Updated: Feb 14, 2019
Whether you want to admit it or not, Drake is a mega-star. He's an omnipresent in rap music and if he says something is cool, it WILL be deemed cool. All that started from So Far Gone.
Today, So Far Gone turns 10-years-old and we couldn't let that time pass without highlighting how strong of an impact it created. Hell, it altered what we thought rap would become! In 2009, Drake was laboring in underground. He was just coming off Comeback Season, where he linked up with Young Money and was creating some buzz. Still, for most people, Drake was nothing more than that dude that acted in Degrassi.
That all changed when this mixtape was released. The project paired the style of the moody, depressing sound that Kanye West and Kid Cudi excelled at in 808s & Heartbreaks, and added sheer lyricism and introspection to it. Although, looking back and seeing how much Drake has improved in those areas, being that some of the things he rapped about could be a bit banal, there's no denying the sincerity that he rapped with. He admitted things on record that most rappers were still way too prideful to rap about. Drake took the insecurities men were afraid to speak on and wore it as a badge of honor. Even with all Drake accomplished on So Far Gone, the biggest star of the album is Noah "40" Shebib.
The project was one of the last few real mixtapes that had beats from other artist that Drake rapped over. Ultimately, it's the original beats that 40 provided that changed the landscape of rap for years to come. When you played the first track and you heard those first sounds of Lust for Life followed by Drake's kick off verse with "I'm trying to do it all tonight...," the instrumentals lifts your soul and permanently places it at ease.
Houstanlantavegas, a fitting ode to the strippers Drake would become known to love the acquaintances of, followed in the same footsteps. Every originally produced track, created to perfect canvas for Drake to create a new rap game through. In 2009, I drove around in a black 1994 Honda Civic and if I didn't blast So Far Gone every day for that one summer, it would be a miracle. It brought me back to a time that most had no idea who Drake was but also brought me back to so many other memories that shaped me. Music has a funny way of doing that. Bria's Interlude definitely reminded me of a woman I was infatuated with and Take Some Time Off was a soundtrack to at least one of my tryst during that time. Now that Drake is on top of the game, a lot of what made So Far Gone special are things that we've become use to and are no longer impressed by. However, on its 10 year anniversary, it's worthwhile to remember these things are what made Drizzy special. So, Say Whats Real and spin it for old times sake today. That's never a bad idea. You'd be in luck, too, as the EP is now on all streaming services just in time for Valentine's Day.