So Far Gone

So Far Gone

Released in 2009, So Far Gone functions as a sort of Drake time capsule—an album that showcases the talent, verve, and tunefulness that would soon propel him to superstardom. Though only Drake’s third mixtape. So Far Gone allowed the avant-garde rapper to decisively and cohesively establish his identity as a genre-bending, vulnerable MC, one who would go on to inspire droves of artists—and, in doing so, launch an unprecedented era of hip-hop. The mixtape’s title dates back to a conversation between Drake and co-executive producer Oliver El-Khatib. While acknowledging the lack of respect for women they displayed during an earlier exchange, the pair reflected on getting caught in the mix—in other words, of becoming “so far gone.” The title was part warning, part prophecy—the bold statement of a young rapper foreshadowing his own astronomical ascent. Drake would need that confidence, as he faced plenty of skeptics in his early years. And he did have an unlikely backstory: Here was a half-Jewish Canadian former child actor, born Aubrey Graham, who believed he would become one of the world’s biggest rappers. But on So Far Gone, the striving rapper—working alongside longtime producer and sound architect Noah “40” Shebib—flawlessly displayed the multitude of below-the-surface facets that would propel his career forward. Drake draws on his father’s Houston roots on “Uptown” and the chopped-n-screwed “November 18th,” details his failed relationships on the atmospheric “Sooner Than Later,” and praises a grade A lover on the giddy “Best I Ever Had,” which would earn him multiple Grammy nominations and deliver Drake to the upper reaches of the pop charts. Meanwhile, even lesser-known tracks like “Little Bit” and “Let’s Call It Off” prove Drake’s versatility and undeniable star power. The album’s genius even applies itself to Drake’s marketing tactics, in which he utilized online spaces like Myspace and his own OVO blog to offer So Far Gone for free—a move that helped him earn international recognition. Drake would make bigger hits in the years to come, but So Far Gone stands as a crucial artifact from early in his career, one that showcases his combination of radio-friendly tunes and showbiz smarts.

Other Versions

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada