Sunday, December 20, 2009

Drake - So Far Gone (mixtape)

With a debut album - Thank Me Later - scheduled for March 2010 on Young Money (a.k.a. Lil Wayne's own label), Drake is probably one of the most obvious tips for 2010 by any book. And judging from this mixtape alone, he's definitely headed for very big things indeed. Basically, imagine the day after 808s & Heartbreak, a post-hip-hop world where main rap-artists start singing, baring it all (ok, in some cases with a big help from auto-tune, guess you can't win them all), over instrumentals that defy any categorizations... and you get closer to what Drake does in So Far Gone. This guy has basically achieved the creation of a new brand of electro-soul, as elegant, smooth and charming as it is futuristic, banging and sexy, in a post-melancholic record of post-electronic-r&b, studded with an absurd amount of brilliant synth-lines and hooks and post-whatever verses. But it doesn't stop here: for example, we also have the songs he chooses to sample, from the likes of Lykke Li, Peter Bjorn & John, Santogold (before she turned into Santigold) or, you guessed it, Kanye West in 808's... This is a selection that could be a bad thing if it was just meant to show how supposedly cool he is, but in here these songs are given the right treatment, meaning he doesn't rap or sing over them, he actually duets, twists and makes them his own. And a final word to his natural flow: it's a pleasure to see how someone can switch from rapping to singing and back to rapping with such an amazing ease, while being pretty good at both, and using this not as a gimmick but just to serve the songs structure. "Tonight I’ll just fuck you like we’re in Houston" - also great to see someone getting away with lines like this. (8,5/10)

Drake - Best I Ever Had (video)

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