Today in Hip-Hop: Drake Releases ‘So Far Gone’ Mixtape
On this day, Feb. 13, in hip-hop history...
2009: Canadian rapper Drake was already a somewhat buzzed-about underground rapper in 2008, but the release of his third mixtape, So Far Gone, sent him to the stratosphere.
With his previous two tapes, 2006's Room for Improvement and 2007's Comeback Season, Drake was making a name for himself but hadn't truly crossed over. Once he dropped So Far Gone, he quickly turned into a household name and began a path that lead to him being one of the most famous rappers in modern hip-hop.
The sound of So Far Gone was unique for it's time; purely atmospheric and dictated by emotion, a direct contrast to tough guy street rap of the past. At the time, Drake admitted that he, along with the project's main producer, Noah "40" Shebib, drew their inspiration from Kanye Wests' 808s & Heartbreak. Their spin on ’Ye's soundscape caught on, and is still imitated to this day.
So Far Gone as a mixtape was about Drake's struggles with newfound fame, and being honest about the relationships in his life, platonic or otherwise. Something about his earnestness sent him to the top, and the singles tell that story clearly. "Best I Ever Had," a heartfelt ode to a woman in his life, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and also went double platinum. The following single, the Trey Songz-assisted "Successful," also did well, hitting No. 17 on the same chart and being certified gold.
The tape was well-received, and Drake found himself in the midst of a huge label bidding war for his services. As history would have it, he settled in on Lil Wayne's Young Money, and helped lead Cash Money Records into its next era.
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