So Far Gone EP
October’s Very Own/ Young Money/ Cash Money Records/ Motown/ Universal Music Group
September 15, 2009
Hadn’t I reviewed this one already? Yes and no. You see: After Drake’s free So Far Gone mixtape had gotten shitloads of critical acclaim Drake’s new major label home: Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money decided that it deserved a commercial re-release. However since Drake had borrowed liberally from a bunch of the songs on the mixtape, as is common practice with this type of project, releasing the motherfucker commercially would be a rather expensive affair, as clearing samples is costly. Also, who would pay for an album that was already available for free on the internet in the exact same form? So for the EP Let’s Call It Off, November 18, Ignant Shit, Little Bit, Unstoppable as well as some of the original recordings were cut and three new recording were added.
Off course what we have here is still a bit of a rerun of an album I didn’t like that much in the first place, so why review this? Well, l learnt to like couple of the songs off the original So Far Gone after accidentally landing it on my iPod, and no matter whether I’ll like this project I won’t take me long to cruise through as this is only seven tracks long.
Let’s check it out, shall we?
I thought this song sucked when I first listened to the album length mixtape version of So Far Gone, and I still do. Sorry Drizzy. Even though the beat is okay the lyrics are incoherent and nonsensical, dipped in some autotuned emo douchebag special sauce.
2. Succesful (feat. Trey Songz & Lil’ Wayne)
And why include Trey Songz on one of your songs when you yourself could in fact sing this bullshit hook in a nearly identical manner? Wouldn’t that save a paycheck? Also, if you’re going to insert a shitty Lil’ Wayne verse into your shitty song, do put in some more effort into hiding that it was added as an afterthought after Lil’ Weezy decided to show up at the studio after a weeklong sizzurp binge when everyone else had already left the studio.
3. Best I Ever Had
Or the reason I started giving a fuck about Aubrey. I used to dislike Best I Ever Had, but after repeated listens I realised why, to me, this comes off as insincere. This is Drake lying to every female on the planet that she individually is the absolute best thing to have ever happened to him, and getting away with it (He goes as far as to admit it on the intro). This is an admirable if immoral thing to pull off, but would mean jack shit if the flow and beats weren’t so tight. The lyrics are the superlative of corny but intentionally so. “And you don’t even have to ask twice, you can have my heart or we could share it like the last slice.” “Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on. That’s when you’re the prettiest. I hope that you don’t take it wrong.” And the flow gets switched up along with the tone Drake uses on the fictitious female this song is aimed at, which is pretty nice. Boi 1da’s instrumental has just the right balance of melody and bombast. Credit where credit is due, kids.
4. Uptown (feat. Bun B & Lil’ Wayne)
Wasn’t bad when I first heard it and it still isn’t but Lil’ Weezy sounds more annoying this time around. Speaking of him. Why should that motherfucker appear on three out of this EP’s seven tracks? I’m not an opponent of Wayne per se but here he does nothing but detract from the songs over all enjoyability. Oh right. He was at the time the most popular rapper on the planet, as well as Drizzy’s label boss and this EP had to move units in order for Drake to get a shot at a full-length. And also who gives a fuck about marginally important shit like talent and quality control anymore?
5. I’m Going In* (feat. Lil’ Wayne & Young Jeezy)
“I’m going in and I’ma go hard.” Who gave Weezy more sizzurp before he got into the booth? It doesn’t help that this is the hook, so you’ll get to hear it a gazilion times after each verse. Jeezy sounds as enthousiastic but incompetent as ever and Drake ends up having the best verse of the track to nobody’s surprise.
6. The Calm*
This is the Drake I learnt to hate over the years. Some whiny “introspective” lyrics over a crappy unfinished ambient sounding Noah 40 Shebib instrumental. Also, this isn’t calm, at all. “I called this shit the Calm, but I’m the furthest thing from calm.” Clever, no?
Well, well, well. Aubrey said some shit about no autotune at the beginning of this track but it certainly didn’t take him long to break that promise. Everything I said about the Calm is also true about this, but DJ Khalil’s beat is a lot better than what 40 brought to the table on the previous track. I still didn’t really enjoy this but I didn’t hate it either.
Best I Ever Had, Uptown, Fear
So yeah. This EP sucks. Plain and simple. Some of it has to do with the more interesting cuts from the original release being taken off, some of it has to do with Lil’ Wayne’s presence and some of it with Drake recording while on his period again. Still, Best I Ever Had is a classic that’ll help anyone’s hiphop collection get better.
Considering that So Far Gone was already available in a better incarnation you shouldn’t pay a dime for that song or the EP. You should rather track down the best songs off the mixtape version and, hell I’m in a good mood, Fear and call it a night.
*Not on the So Far Gone mixtape