So Far Gone: A look back at one of the most influential hip hop mixtapes of our generation

Like him or hate him, Drake is one of the most dominant artists of all time. Drake’s songs and albums consistently top music charts, and he has broken numerous records that were previously set by legendary artists such as Michael Jackson. On February 13th, 2009, Drake released the mixtape So Far Gone. A decade later, its impact on music is still considerably large.

So Far Gone was a revolutionary mixtape that affected the entire hip hop genre as a whole. At a time where all hip-hop artists talked about scary life in the streets, Drake talked about his feelings and stresses in life. Drake became an artist the common person could relate to. In an interview with Complex, Drake said, “The only choice I have is to be honest with my listeners. And that’s not to say it’s not a glamorous life and it’s not fun, but the reality is it’s great for the average person to hear a musician’s reality because we all seem so unattainable.”

Later in the interview, Drake admits to his love of R&B and its influence on his music. He says, “I love R&B music, man, that’s what you gotta understand. I listen to R&B music more than I listen to rap.”

On songs like Lust for Life and Successful, Drake talks about his hopes and dreams for life. Topics such as love and heartbreak at the time were strictly off limits for rappers, and usually meant for R&B music. Rappers needed to be tough, braggadocious people. Drake’s goal through his music was to be as transparent as possible to his listeners. He wanted to let them see not only the highs of his life, but the lows as well.

This style of music was pioneered by Kanye West. Throughout his career, Kanye West set out to break the stereotype of a rapper. Specifically on his album 808s and Heartbreak, Kanye uses autotune and singing to show emotion and sadness through his music. 808s and Heartbreak was the breakthrough for this style of hip hop, and Drake took the blueprint Kanye had set for him and made it into his own.

On one song, titled The Calm, Drake talks about how his sudden success as an artist is negatively affecting him emotionally. On the song, he says, “My life is so insane, all of my first dates are interrupted by my fame. They love it when you smile, unaware that it’s a strain. It’s a curse you gotta live with when you’re born to entertain.” The listener can feel just how awful Drake feels inside, and it is obvious he is not holding anything back.

The Executive Producer of the mixtape, Noah “40” Shebib, talked about this defining song in an interview with GQ. He said, “He rapped that story out a couple times. Lyrics can be interpreted as you want, but his life is transparent through his lyrics, and it’s pretty brutally honest and it’s scary how much is there.”

This brutal honesty about life paved the way for loads of hip hop artists to follow. It was especially important for Toronto artists, as they had long failed to break into the American hip hop scene. Artists such as The Weeknd, Jazz Cartier and Tory Lanez would have never been able to create the hit songs they have made without Drake making So Far Gone.
In an interview with Vibe Magazine, Jazz Cartier acknowledged this, saying, “As an aspiring artist I think it meant the world to a lot of us. So Far Gone is the blueprint to the Toronto sound. It gave kids like myself hope that somebody who did the same as us can take things to the next level.”

Although So Far Gone does not hold up compared to the rest of Drake’s discography, its impact on music stands regardless. It propelled Drake’s career to a legendary status, and will go down in history as one of the most groundbreaking projects of its time.
 
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Like him or hate him, Drake is one of the most dominant artists of all time. Drake’s songs and albums consistently top music charts, and he has broken numerous records that were previously set by legendary artists such as Michael Jackson. On February 13th, 2009, Drake released the mixtape So Far Gone. A decade later, its impact on music is still considerably large.

So Far Gone was a revolutionary mixtape that affected the entire hip hop genre as a whole. At a time where all hip-hop artists talked about scary life in the streets, Drake talked about his feelings and stresses in life. Drake became an artist the common person could relate to. In an interview with Complex, Drake said, “The only choice I have is to be honest with my listeners. And that’s not to say it’s not a glamorous life and it’s not fun, but the reality is it’s great for the average person to hear a musician’s reality because we all seem so unattainable.”

Later in the interview, Drake admits to his love of R&B and its influence on his music. He says, “I love R&B music, man, that’s what you gotta understand. I listen to R&B music more than I listen to rap.”

On songs like Lust for Life and Successful, Drake talks about his hopes and dreams for life. Topics such as love and heartbreak at the time were strictly off limits for rappers, and usually meant for R&B music. Rappers needed to be tough, braggadocious people. Drake’s goal through his music was to be as transparent as possible to his listeners. He wanted to let them see not only the highs of his life, but the lows as well.

This style of music was pioneered by Kanye West. Throughout his career, Kanye West set out to break the stereotype of a rapper. Specifically on his album 808s and Heartbreak, Kanye uses autotune and singing to show emotion and sadness through his music. 808s and Heartbreak was the breakthrough for this style of hip hop, and Drake took the blueprint Kanye had set for him and made it into his own.

On one song, titled The Calm, Drake talks about how his sudden success as an artist is negatively affecting him emotionally. On the song, he says, “My life is so insane, all of my first dates are interrupted by my fame. They love it when you smile, unaware that it’s a strain. It’s a curse you gotta live with when you’re born to entertain.” The listener can feel just how awful Drake feels inside, and it is obvious he is not holding anything back.

The Executive Producer of the mixtape, Noah “40” Shebib, talked about this defining song in an interview with GQ. He said, “He rapped that story out a couple times. Lyrics can be interpreted as you want, but his life is transparent through his lyrics, and it’s pretty brutally honest and it’s scary how much is there.”

This brutal honesty about life paved the way for loads of hip hop artists to follow. It was especially important for Toronto artists, as they had long failed to break into the American hip hop scene. Artists such as The Weeknd, Jazz Cartier and Tory Lanez would have never been able to create the hit songs they have made without Drake making So Far Gone.
In an interview with Vibe Magazine, Jazz Cartier acknowledged this, saying, “As an aspiring artist I think it meant the world to a lot of us. So Far Gone is the blueprint to the Toronto sound. It gave kids like myself hope that somebody who did the same as us can take things to the next level.”

Although So Far Gone does not hold up compared to the rest of Drake’s discography, its impact on music stands regardless. It propelled Drake’s career to a legendary status, and will go down in history as one of the most groundbreaking projects of its time.
damn this shit nice. i don't fw drake that much but this is a nice insight into this project.
 

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sfg is ass cheeks bro wtf is this 😂😂
Whole point of the blog is to show the mixtape's place in history as a building block for music (and Drake's stardom) to get to where it is today, not to say how good the mixtape or even Drake is.
 
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