“A lot of y’all are still sounding like last year/The game need change, and I’m the motherfuckin’ cashier.”
Drake rapped these lines with casual bravado on “Successful,” one of the first hits from his free mixtape So Far Gone in 2009. The tape did not chart, due to Billboard‘s accounting rules at the time. But it spawned three major singles — including “Successful,” which eventually went platinum — and started Drake on his path to superstardom.
In a twist, “last year” — or, say, ten years ago — doesn’t sound so bad, no matter what Drake chose to sneer about on his breakout: So Far Gone recently hit streaming services in full for the first time, and enjoyed the third biggest streaming tally of the week, good for a Number Five debut on the albums chart, according to Billboard.
Not only is So Far Gone a decade old, several of the mixtape’s major hits — “Best I Ever Had,” “I’m Goin In” — were already available on streaming services. Still, streamers returned to the mixtape in droves, apparently curious to revisit the deep cuts, and So Far Gone amassed 47.4 million on-demand audio streams.
Listeners were especially interested in the first five tracks on So Far Gone, according to data from BuzzAngle, an analytics company that tracks music consumption. The most listened-to song on the mixtape last week was, appropriately enough, “Successful,” which also features verses from Trey Songz and Lil Wayne. “November 18th” and “Lust for Life” were close behind, followed by “Houstatlantavegas.”
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Only two new albums were more desirable to streamers than the music that Drake released in 2009: Ariana Grande’s juggernaut Thank U, Next, which is sure to be one of the biggest albums of 2019, and A Boogie wit da Hoodie’s Hoodie SZN, which has proved to be remarkably resilient, casually amassing over 50 million streams week after week after week since its release in December.
So Far Gone is due out on CD on March 8.