So Far Gone (mixtape)
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So Far Gone Mixtape
So Far Gone
Drake - So Far Gone cover.png
Mixtape by
ReleasedFebruary 13, 2009 (February 13, 2009)
Recorded2008
GenreHip hop
Length70:35
LabelOctober's Very Own
Producer
Drake chronology
Comeback Season
(2007)
So Far Gone
(2009)
So Far Gone EP
(2009)
Singles from So Far Gone
  1. "Best I Ever Had"
    Released: February 14, 2009
  2. "Successful"
    Released: February 14, 2009

So Far Gone is the third official mixtape (and debut commercial mixtape) by Canadian rapper Drake; it was released on February 13, 2009, under his October's Very Own label. The mixtape proved to be a major catalyst in the launching of Drake's career on an international scale, and was universally well received by professional critics and hip-hop fans alike.[1]

The tracks "Best I Ever Had" and "Successful" were released as singles from the mixtape, and attained unexpected success on the US Billboard Hot 100. The mixtape was promoted with a release party in Toronto with Drake and LeBron James.[2] Artists including Omarion, Lloyd, Lykke Li, Lil Wayne and Bun B provided guest vocals on the release. The mixtape helped launch the careers of producers 40 and Boi-1da, whose contributions to the musical direction of the mixtape were applauded by critics.

On February 15, 2019, the mixtape was released on commercial streaming services for the first time, commemorating its tenth anniversary.

Background

In an interview with Complex, Drake explains: "The whole tape extends from one of my closest friends Oliver. One night we were having a discussion about women and the way we were talking about them, it was so brazen and so disrespectful. He texted me right after we got off the phone and he was like, 'Are we becoming the men that our mothers divorced?' That's really where the cover comes from, too. It's just this kid in pursuit of love and money. We're good guys, I'm friends with some real good people and for him to even text me after we got off the phone it just showed we have a conscience. But sometimes you just get so far gone, you get wrapped up in this shit. The title has a lot of meanings--as the way we carry ourselves, the way we dress, the way people view us, not to sound cocky, it's just that feeling that we're just distanced in a good way. You're just elevating past the bullshit and past all the shit that you used to be a part of and you're not that proud of, you're just so far gone."[3]

Composition

Music

The mixtape's music was characterized by atmospheric keyboards, minor keys, snare drum, synth lead, smooth piano, live instruments, down tempo and mid tempo tracks, sparse and minimalist beats, and atmospheric chords. In a Complex interview, Drake's primary producer, Noah "40" Shebib, said that 808s & Heartbreak was an influence on the mixtape's atmospheric sounds.

Lyrics

Typically, lyrics in So Far Gone address his relationships with women, gaining fame, past struggles, and creates metaphors for the struggles of others ("Houstatlantavegas", a stripper, "November 18th", the city of Houston etc.) Many of the more upbeat songs also include themes of braggadociosness, ego, wealth, the music industry, confidence around women and sexual experiences.

Singles

"Best I Ever Had" was released as the first single, in 7 months prior to the release of the EP as a digital download from the So Far Gone mixtape. The song was eventually released as an official single on June 16, 2009. The single charted for 24 weeks while eventually peaking at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The single also managed to peak at number one on both the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart and the Billboard Rap Songs Chart, thus becoming Drake's first number one hit on both of these charts. The song was certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) indicating sales of over 2,000,000 copies in the United States.

"Successful" was released as the second single from So Far Gone. The single managed to peak at number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and spent a total of 18 weeks on the chart. The song also reached the Top 5 on both the R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap charts peaking at number 3 and number 2 respectively. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) indicating sales of over 500,000 copies in the United States.

Reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic81/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
The Boston Globe4/5 stars[7]
Exclaim!4/5 stars[8]
Pitchfork7.4/10[4]
Slant Magazine3/5[5]
Sputnikmusic4/5 stars[9]

The mixtape was well received. It currently holds a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim."[6] RapReviews.com gave a positive review of the mixtape and commented on it by saying "So Far Gone is unquestionably one of the most cohesive, atmospheric hip hop records in recent memory--which is almost the antithesis of what one expects from a mixtape." The Boston Globe gave the mixtape a positive score and commented by saying "His materialism threads throughout So Far Gone (champagne flutes, girls, BlackBerrys, more girls), but he chases that with soft touches of humor and honesty." Pitchfork reviewed the mixtape positively and said "So Far Gone still scans as one of the most compulsively listenable mixtapes of a great year for mixtapes." Slant Magazine gave the mixtape a mixed review, but commended Drake's effort, "For a beginner, even one whose big-time endorsements seem to have cemented a promising start, So Far Gone is a pretty brave effort, and Drake's ability to juggle standard bling-and-bluster narratives with intelligent narratives bodes well for his future".[10]

Accolades

  • MTV's Hottest Mixtape of The Year
  • Complex's #3 Best Albums of 2009
  • Complex's #5 Best Mixtape Album of The Decade

Commercial performance

So Far Gone debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, with 45,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending February 21, 2019 ten years after released.[11]

Track listing

Credits adapted from Tidal[12] and EP liner notes.[13]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Lust For Life"402:56
2."Houstatlantavegas"
  • Graham
  • Shebib
404:51
3."Successful" (featuring Trey Songz and Lil Wayne)406:14
4."Let's Call It Off"Peter Bjorn and John3:54
5."November 18th"DJ Screw3:07
6."Ignant Shit" (featuring Lil Wayne)Just Blaze5:04
7."A Night Off" (featuring Lloyd)
  • Graham
  • Shebib
  • Lloyd Polite
  • M. Isley
  • O. Isley
  • E. Isley
  • Grant
  • Ronald Isley
  • Rudolph Isley
  • S. Carter
  • Jasper
403:14
8."Say What's Real"West3:51
9."Little Bit" (featuring Lykke Li)
Yttling3:50
10."Best I Ever Had"Boi-1da4:18
11."Unstoppable" (featuring Santigold and Lil Wayne)
3:30
12."Uptown" (featuring Bun B and Lil Wayne)6:22
13."Sooner Than Later"
  • Graham
  • Shebib
  • Dalton Tennant
D104:22
14."Bria's Interlude" (featuring Omarion)402:19
15."The Calm"
  • Graham
  • Shebib
404:04
16."Outro" 2:55
17."Brand New"
  • Graham
  • Shebib
  • Tennant
D103:37
Total length:68:17
Physical and 2019 streaming version bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
18."Congratulations"
5:33
Total length:73:49

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies an uncredited writer, due to sampling royalties
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer

Sample credits

Personnel

Credits adapted from Tidal[12] and EP liner notes.[13]

  • Noah "40" Shebib - mixing (except on "Outro"), recording engineering (except on "Outro"), remixing (on "Let's Call It Off", "Little Bit" and "Unstoppable"), vocal engineering (on "Sooner Than Later" and "Brand New")
  • The Peresian Gangster - remixing (on "Unstoppable")
  • Finis "KY" White - additional vocal engineering (on "Successful", "Ignant Shit" and "Uptown")
  • Cory Mo - additional vocal engineering (on "Uptown")

Charts

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[16] 34
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[17] 37
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[18] 7
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[19] 21
Irish Albums (IRMA)[20] 57
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 61
UK Albums (OCC)[22] 21
US Billboard 200[23] 5
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[24] 1

Release history

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various February 13, 2009 Digital download October's Very Own
February 15, 2019 Streaming [25]

References

  1. ^ Jayson Rodriguez (June 5, 2009). "Drake's Big Break: Lil Wayne's Protg Graduates From Degrassi to Hip-Hop | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Pictures: So Far Gone Mixtape Release Party With Drake & LeBron James at 6 Degrees". 1vibe.net. Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ "Drake Talks Young Money, Kanye Comparisons & Ghostwriting | Complex Blog". Complex. February 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ a b c "Album Reviews: Drake: So Far Gone". Pitchfork. June 29, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Drake, So Far Gone". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ a b "So Far Gone [Mixtape] Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "Drake, 'So Far Gone' - The Boston Globe". Boston.com. March 2, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  8. ^ "Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority". Exclaim.ca. February 22, 2009. Archived from the original on March 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. ^ "Drake - So Far Gone Review". sputnikmusic. August 10, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ "So Far Gone Mixtape". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "Drake Scores 10th Top 10 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'So Far Gone' Mixtape". Billboard.
  12. ^ a b "So Far Gone / Drake - TIDAL". Tidal. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d So Far Gone (EP booklet). Drake. Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, Universal Motown. 2009. 0602527194288.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ Fu, Eddie (February 13, 2019). "Knowledge Drop: Drake's Love For Kanye West Led To The Tears For Fears Sample On "Lust For Life"". Genius. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Glaysher, Scott (February 13, 2019). "Every Track From Drake's 'So Far Gone,' Ranked: Critic's Picks". Complex. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. February 25, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be - Drake - So Far Gone (An October's Very Own Presentation)" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "Drake Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Drake - So Far Gone (An October's Very Own Presentation)" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 22 February 2019". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com - Drake - So Far Gone (An October's Very Own Presentation)". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  22. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  23. ^ Caulfield, Keith (February 24, 2018). "Ariana Grande's 'Thank U, Next' Spends Second Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ "Drake Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  25. ^ "Drake Launches 'So Far Gone' on Streaming Services for First Time". Highsnobiety. February 13, 2019.

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