“So Far Gone being named the Mixtape of the Year means a lot to me. It was a risk we all took as a team to put out a mixtape that I’m exploring so many different genres of music — from the Santigolds to the Lykke Lis to Peter Bjorn and Johns, to even myself going from rapping to doing records that sound like old Jodeci songs. It was a mix of all the things that make up my character, and for people to embrace it the way they did and for MTV to name it the top mixtape of 2009 means the world to me.”
Drizzy then goes in depth about his and your favorite tracks from the tape including “Uptown”, “Unstoppable”, “A Night Off” and “Bria’s Interlude”.
» “Uptown” (featuring Lil Wayne and Bun B). “It was one of the later records,” Drake explained. “That was when I felt like the mixtape was moving a little too slow and it needed some energy. It gave me another chance to really just rap. I love to rap and say witty, clever things that people can say in the club. I like to give people that opportunity. When I heard the beat, I came up with this saying, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK.’ And at the time I wasn’t home, so I was like, ‘You can run and tell my city I’m on.’ It became this chant. Initially that wasn’t even the hook. Wayne had the hook that was part of his verse. That’s why it’s called ‘Uptown.’ He was like, ‘I’m so uptown.’ Then we took that out and made the hook [heard on the mixtape]. Bun getting on there was exciting. Produced by Boi-1da — I thought it was the one. That record means a lot for me.”
» “Unstoppable” (featuring Lil Wayne and Santigold). “Me and Oliver were into the Santigold record. ‘Starstruck’ was one of my favorite records. And ‘Unstoppable,’ the beat, it needed to be rapped on by somebody. I always try to do something with Wayne. Everyone has heard Wayne spit, but when Wayne’s put in an awkward situation, he goes off and shines in that atmosphere. So I had given him the beat, and at first he probably heard it and was like, ‘This is weird.’ A month later, I got this verse in my e-mail back. I did my verse and we found a way to edit it together — 40 did his surgery. It became a record that moved. On the So Far Gone Tour it was my favorite record to perform.
» “A Night Off” (featuring Lloyd). ” ‘A Night Off’ is my favorite song on the mixtape. It came from just … the song right before it is ‘Ignant Sh–‘ with Wayne. It was such an exhausting song, rap-wise. We rapped for so long, it was so much to digest. I was like, ‘Man, after you hear that song, it would be so ill to just go into a slow jam.’ At the time it was some girl probably had hit me up like, ‘You never have any time. All I need is for you to take a night off.’ I saw that written on my phone. I was like, ‘A night off. That’s a crazy concept.’ Especially for anybody that works. You could be doing [any job] — to take a night off for somebody means the world. It was sexy and it made women feel special. That’s what I like to do. Lloyd with his higher voice showcased two types of tones. I love that song and girls really like it, which is the best thing in the world.”
» “Bria’s Interlude” (featuring Omarion). “I was smitten over this girl from L.A. and I started writing a song about her. A lot of the R&B [I do] is really based off women that come into my life and inspire me to speak to them in song and say what I never would expose on just a talking level.”
I’m not the biggest fan of the whole Drake movement, but I respect his hustle and the fact that he’s the only one in the game who managed to blow up with no deal and one mixtape…