Drake-So Far Gone

so-far-gone-front-coverAubrey Drake Graham, better known by his stage name Drake, isn’t your typical rapper.

That tag seems to get thrown around a lot, with each new rising talent the hype machine starts churning out labels like “innovative” and “unique”; in the age of the internet hip-hop acts  thrive on pre-debut mixtape hype more than ever.

In the newest crop of potential superstars carving their name out through the internet, one name seems to stand out among the rest. Drake, a former actor on Degrassi: The Next Generation seems like an odd choice for that role, yet he exudes the confidence of a seasoned vet.

I haven’t seen the show personally, but some have a qualm with listening to a rapper who played a disabled character in a high school show. I suspect it has something to do with acting…

His newest release, a CD quality mixtape called So Far Gone, features the multi-talented entertainer rapping and singing (well, without autotone…) over a host of mostly original beats and a small crop of modern classics. It’s available for free download at his website http://octobersveryown.blogspot.com/.

It’s his talent that got him noticed by Interscope, which he is signed to, and Lil Wayne, whom he is now closely affiliated with. Weezy and other guests such as Santogold, Bun B, Trey Songz and Swedish rockers Peter Bjorn & John assist Drake in creating a fully realized album.

But among the high profile guest apperances and multiple Lil Wayne features there is never any question who the star of the show is. Drake not only holds his own, he sets the standard.

Take “Ignorant Shit”, as Drake and Wayne compliment eachother perfectly over the Jay-Z beat of the same name. His rapping style has been called a mixture of Lil Wayne and Kanye West, an extremely fair comparison, but he instantly sounds like one of their peers instead of an apprentice. Much like a few other rising talents such as B.O.B. and Kid Cudi, Drake can sing almost as well as he raps.

As his influences entertainingly shove their nuance and eccentrities through the autotone Drake lets his true range show. On So Far Gone he sings more than his equally great Comeback Season, but he divides his talents perfectly.

“November 18” creates the perfect soundtrack to 2 A.M. on a Saturday. A tribute to the Houston rap scene, it features a chopped and screwed chorus layed over relaxed keyboards and slow motion squeals. Elsewhere on “Say Whats Real” Drake borrows the beat from Kanye West’s newest LP opener “Say You Will” and raps reflective on the struggles of living up to potential nobody believed in besides himself.

Well now people are taking notice, in a big way. With a close working relationship with Lil Wayne, rapidly growing support and famous friends like LeBron James, Drizzy Drake isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. His debut album, Thank Me Later, is set for release later this year.

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~ by rozco on February 23, 2009.

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