9 years ago, on the day before Valentine’s Day, Drake blessed the world with his third mixtape and arguably his best project to date. On February 13th, 2009, So Far Gone was released to the masses.
Just to put it in perspective, in 2009 I was in the 7th grade playing pop warner football listening to Lil Wayne take over the world. This was the world’s official introduction to the man known as, Drake.
Drake had been around before this, his name circulating the music industry for some time; not to mention his role in teen drama television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in the early 2000s – leaving in 2007 for the emancipation of a new budding career as a rapper where he would become this overnight sensation; taking the world by a storm. With his talent for lyricism, eloquence and just the mere mystery of him, he quickly propelled to top of mind conversations as it pertained to Hip Hop, leaving folks either unknown to or almost forgetful of his former character as Jimmy Brooks.
If you knew, then you knew – it was different back then; if you rapped then you rapped, if you were a singer then you crooned. Very seldom did people intertwine the two. Then came Drake. Listening to the tape, you can clearly hear his OutKast and Andre 3000 influences. Straying away from conventional hip-hop beats, different sounds, cadences and melodies, Drake had something special in his hands.
The content was very introspective. It was very transparent, almost too transparent in a Joe Budden-esque fashion. He was letting you know what it was like gaining the money, cars, clothes, and the hoes, I suppose? (You should get that if not now then later.)
The single Best I Ever Had off the mixtape went 2x Platinum and that’s what really got things going for the 6 God. And Successful was released after that featuring the person who later signed him, Lil Wayne and good friend, Trey Songz. That record went Gold. He was able to tour for 7-8 months off of the mixtape which was also unheard of.
Since then, Drake has went on to take control of the rap game. Playing with and perfecting the sound for his debut album Take Care that was released two years later. Beating insurmountable odds, Drake has had quite the career since So Far Gone, which due to its depth and contrast to anything that was being heard on the radio of that time, he continues to soar.
Drake is gearing up for a big 2018, releasing some more music that is being well received by the public. Hopefully we get another project of the same caliber of So Far Gone. Happy 9th Birthday to this wonderful project!