Drake Thanks The People Who Launched His Career 10 Years Ago…Even Kanye
A decade ago today (February 13, 2009), Drake released his So Far Gone mixtape. Very quickly, the project would tower to compete with the industry’s old guard in a big way. Breakthrough single “Best I Ever Had” topped the Rap charts and reached #2 overall from a project that was initially given away for free. To many fans, this mixtape introduced an MC/singer double-threat that has not only stayed relevant but become one of music’s most influential figures. Ever evolving 10 years later, Drake continues to redefine what it means to be successful, and constantly reminds the masses that he’s still goin’ in.
To celebrate this career milestone, Drake has announced that he is re-releasing So Far Gone to all streaming platforms tomorrow (February 14). It is the first time the mixtape edition has ever been on any of the digital platforms. In September 2009, Young Money/Cash Money released seven songs from the project as an EP. This week, the YMCMB artist and OVO founder and further extended his gratitude for longevity by thanking all that he felt inspired him and contributed to the success of the tape.
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@futuretheprince a decade ago you were Dj’ing all ages parties…@ovo40 a decade ago you were scared to share your beats…@oliverelkhatib a decade ago you worked at a clothing store selling someone else’s product…@boi1da a decade ago you were in a basement with pink insulation walls figuring out fruity loops…@ovoniko a decade ago we were handing out flyers promoting club nights…@realbriamyles a decade ago you were working the makeup counter at Beverly Centre…@nebzilla a decade ago your moms house was my safe place and we really ran through the 6 everyday together…@bunb a decade ago you were a legend and you will remain that forever…@benballer a decade ago you promoted me as if you were getting a cut of my career…@treysongz a decade ago you were the first person to recognize potential and give me a co-sign…@omarion a decade ago you came to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and laid a verse for an unknown artist from Canada…@darkiemade a decade ago you emailed me the cover art for something that would change my life forever…[email protected] a decade ago you came to my release party at 6 Degrees and made me the biggest artist in the city off your presence alone…@kanyewest a decade ago I rapped over your beat cause you just made the best shit and even though you stay wildin on twitter these days I will never forget what you contributed to the game and my career…Portia I don’t know your IG but a decade ago you told me to rap over June 27th and bonded me and Houston Texas forever…@jas.prince a decade ago you took a chance on MySpace and introduced me to Wayne…@liltunechi a decade ago you took me out of Toronto and gave me the biggest blessing anybody has ever given me…I will never forget anybody involved in this journey even if you don’t fit in this caption…So Far Gone streaming everywhere for the first time ever Thursday. 🙏🏽
On Instagram, Drake posted the So Far Gone mixtape artwork. In his caption, the 32-year-old reminisced on just how the contributors to the project impacted him 10 years ago. The online acknowledgments include longtime producer and right-hand-man Noah “40” Shebib, Bun B, NBA superstar Lebron James, and Kanye West. In each person Drake thanked, the artist recalled where they were at the time of making the mixtape.
At a time when Drake and ‘Ye’s rocky relationship has been in headlines, the artist who won the “Best Rap Song” Grammy Award Sunday night for “God’s Plan” was in a thankful spirit. Tagging West, he wrote, “A decade ago I rapped over your beat ’cause you just made the best sh*t. And even though you stay wildin’ on Twitter these days, I will never forget what you contributed to the game and my career.” The mixtape’s “Say What’s Real” sampled Kanye West’s “Say You Will,” an 808s & Heartbreak song that was less than four months old at the time. West later directed the music video for “Best I Ever Had.”
In December, Kanye West tweeted a text message from OVO representative Free looking to clear the sample. At the time, ‘Ye scoffed at the request given his frustrations with Drake, reportedly bothered by lines his past collaborator said on French Montana’s “No Stylist” and Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” that Kanye felt were disses. In the moments that followed, West publicly spoke of the situation, and then announced to the public when Drake called him. In 2018, West produced Pusha-T’s DAYTONA, a Grammy-nominated album which included the diss track, “Infrared.” In an October episode of Lebron James’ The Shop, Drake stated that he felt as though information about his family and business was given to Pusha-T by Kanye. Pusha has denied those claims.
In his post, Drake acknowledges guest Trey Songz as one of his earliest industry supporters. He recalls Omarion’s generosity. The post values Bun B as a legend then and now. He especially thanks Rap-A-Lot Records executive Jas Prince for introducing him to Lil Wayne after hearing his music on MySpace. Dreezy says Weezy gave him “the biggest blessing anyone could have given me.” He says much of his awareness came from Lebron James attending his release party. He also credits Portia, a woman who suggested he rap on DJ Screw’s June 27th. The results, “November 18th,” would bond Drake with the Houston, Texas sound for many years to come.