Up In The Ear is fond of all things new and previously undiscovered. In Drake’s case however, he has always been on the radar, but I chose not to jump on the hype machine. I got all of the mixtapes in advance and chose to sleep on them until all the smoke disappeared.
It weren’t until a few months ago that I started getting into his music, in light doses, but for the past week his mixtape ‘So Far So Gone’ has been playing on a constant loop.
It’s a beautiful offering, it’s innovative yet very sincere and non ‘up his own arse-ish’. From top to bottom I really can’t complain because I love every song and never notice when the album restarts because the best tracks, ‘Sooner Than Later’ and ‘Brand New’, are at the end of the mixtape.
If I were to have one complaint, it’s the presence of Bun-B. I really don’t understand why I can’t listen to him, at all, but every time I hear his verse on any mixtape or track, no matter the artist, I feel like skipping the track.
Is it the tone of his voice, his flow, and or his content?
I just feel like I’m always hearing about trill, cadilac grills, whether or not a hater has said he’s fake or real, etc etc exceter-fucking-ra! I’m really bored of him and I mean no disrespect by saying all of this but his verses have polluted a few songs which will each get their shine real soon…
Digressions aside, Drake is to be applauded for constantly progressing throughout his mixtape career. Whilst most artists remain complacent with one genre and sound Drake has opted to evolve. From the sample and loop based music on his first mixtape, to the more soulful and experimental on his follow up, So Far So Gone continues to demonstrate Drake’s ability to progress. As a result, So Far So Gone sounds more like a minature album than a mixtape. Not only does it tell a story, the tracks and collaborations sit side by side each other in unison. Drake even treats us to a dissertation of some sort on Kanye West‘s ‘Say You Will’. As one of Kanye’s biggest supporters, I was impressed by not only his delivery but his content.
Drake is a sincere rapper who isn’t afraid to say exactly what’s on his mind. There’s also a high level of vulnerability found within tracks such as ‘Brand New’ and ‘Soon Than Later’, which distinguishes Drake from his contemporaries who would rather opt to be on the opposite polarity of being vulnerable, apart from the likes of J. Cole amongst others.
Drake’s a great artist, both musically and in regard to the content of his lyrics, because he’s open. His continued honesty and growth with every offering brings the listener a step closer to seeing the world his eyes, and relating to what he’s going through.
I can only say so much about So Far So Gone, because ultimately you’ll have to listen for yourself. I find that it helps a great deal to listen to an artist’s back catalogue rather than listening to a new album from someone you’ve never listened to. It gives you a chance to understand the artist, as well as where they’re coming from.
K O. Golding
- Drake Discusses His Favorite Verse!!! (dabxblogger.com)
- Drake – Something (princepbs.wordpress.com)
- J. Cole – In The Morning (Feat. Drake) (Video) (exeterrap.com)