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This article is about the mixtape. For the EP, see So Far Gone (EP). So Far Gone Mixtape by DrakeReleased February 13, 2009 (February 13, 2009)Recorded 2008Genre Hip hopLength 70:35Label October's Very OwnProducer
So Far Gone is the third official mixtape by Canadian rapper Drake; it was released on Friday, 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; So Far Gone was universally well received by professional critics and hip-hop fans alike, and has since been hailed as a fine release of quality music.
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 at Toronto with Drake and LeBron James. 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.Contents
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."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 ("Houstanatlantavegas", 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 ratingsAggregate scoresSourceRatingMetacritic81/100Review scoresSourceRatingThe Boston GlobefavorableExclaim!favorablePitchfork Media7.4/10Slant MagazineSputnikmusic
The mixtape was acclaimed by critics, currently holding a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim." 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 Media 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".Track listing No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length1."Lust for Life"Aubrey Graham