Drake’s Top 5 Best Mixtapes

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Drake performs at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 23, 2016. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Drake dropped his first mixtape Room for Improvement in 2006 which he wrote and recorded in his mother’s basement in Toronto. The mixtape definitely needed improvement, to say the least. Since then, Drake has dropped a classic with So Far Gone and has given the public many trap songs to party to, most of them being with Future.

Here is a list of Drake’s best mixtapes from best to worst. Even though they are mixtapes, they are staples in Drake’s discography. Drake is the king of the mixtapes.


1. So Far Gone (2009)

So Far Gone is Drake’s third mixtape release. Many treat this mixtape as Drake’s first album due to the disappointment in Thank Me Later. The album was inspired by his love for Houston, Texas where he spent a lot of time at during the recording process. It was also the introduction of a specific melodic sound that Drake and his producer 40 would carefully create.

So Far Gone landed Drake his first grammy nomination for “Best Rap Album.” The mixtape was promoted with two singles “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful.” The tape also features artists like Omarion, Lloyd, Lykke Li and Lil Wayne. With lyrics like, “ And my mother tried to runaway from home/But I left somethin’ in the car so I caught her in the driveway/ And she cried to me so I cried too/ And my stomach was soaking wet, She only 5’2,” the mixtape received rave reviews for the honesty and uncertainty hip-hop was missing up until that point.

See The Full Playlist here.

Find Out More About So Far Gone here.


2. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015)

It’s still confusing on whether this is an album or mixtape, Drake released If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late for free on Soundcloud before taking it down and putting it for sale on iTunes. What makes this album so great is that Drake takes you on a journey on how it would feel being his friend in Toronto. On “Know Yourself” he raps “running through the six with my woes!” Even if you don’t know what “woe” means you can still feel how excited Drake is being in Toronto sounded by close ones.

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late marks the return of Lil Wayne and Drake collabs. The album also features OVO-signee PARTYNEXTDOOR on two tracks – “Preach” and “Wednesday Night.” Each track on the mixtape is filled with what Drake fans love – there are party anthems, songs where Drake sings, and songs about Drake’s home life.

See The Full Playlist here.

Find Out More About If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late here.


3. Comeback Season (2007)

This is Drake getting solid footing as an artist. He knows who he wants to be, he is just learning to perfect it. Comeback Season is the mixtape that Drake dropped right before his critically acclaimed So Far Gone mixtape. It was his first attempt at being the artist we see today. Drake can feel his life is about to change. In “The Presentation” he raps, “They like, ‘Damn who’s Drake, where’s wheelchair Jimmy at?” as an ode to the on-coming criticisms he knows he’s about to face.

Although Comeback Season was a turning point for Drake, this mixtape isn’t higher on the list because of lines like “I’d never copy Nor-bit like Eddie, man/Did you get it? Eddie Murphy was in Norbit” which he raps on Man of the Year. Comeback Season is still particularly good because it’s the first time we see Lil Wayne and Drake on a song together which sets the tone for the Young Money takeover that’s about to happen.

See The Full Playlist here.

Find Out More About Comeback Season here.


4. What a Time to Be Alive (2015)

This mixtape surprised some fans as Drake collaborated with Future for the duo project. Drake teased the project by posting a bunch of diamond emojis across his social media and then in the middle of the night in September Drake dropped the mixtape. What a Time to Be Alive was met with mixed reviews for a few good reasons. First, it sounded nothing like we had heard Drake before – the songs were all trap infused party songs. Secondly, Drake sounded like he was doing his best Future impression.

The executive producer of the mixtape is Future’s main producer – Metro Boomin. The tape sounded like a Future project from beginning to end. Before this mixtape was released, Drake dropped If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late which was mostly filled party anthems inspired by his Toronto Roots. What a Time to Be Alive made fans worry that Drake had lost his substance. Instead of his introspective heartfelt lyrics Drake was saying things like “Scooter in here with the zombies/Gucci get out it’s a problem/I might take Quentin to Follies/You hate your life, just be honest.” However, old Drake wasn’t completely lost as he finished the mixtape with a freestyle titled “30 for 30” where raps “Shit is purely for sport, I need a 30 for 30/Banners are ready in case we need to retire your jersey.” Maybe What a Time to Be Alive is Drake’s championship celebration for all the hard work he has put in thus far.

See The Full Playlist here.

Find Out More About What A Time To Be Alive here.


5. Room for Improvement (2006)

Like the title states, there needs to be some improvement with this one. Drake’s honesty is to be admired though as he navigates this 23 track mixtape sounding like a teenager trying to find his place in the hip-hop world. The confident rapper we see today on his Views album isn’t formed yet.

Drake’s discography is full of songs of him singing, however on Room for Improvement, Drake called on the help of Toronto singers like Beatchild, Voyce and Nickelus F to sing the hooks for him. There are lines that give flashes of brilliance that we would see more of, “And your daddy want it very right/I make you happy, plus I’m Jewish, he don’t approve/I think he want you to marry white/He want Sinatra at the wedding, not Barry White/’Cause black is black honey, even if he’s very light.” But for every line of brilliance there are a bunch that wouldn’t even allow him to show his face in today’s hip-hop like “Shake it, shake it, drop it, drop it, bounce it, bounce it, wop it, wop it” on City is Mine.

See The Full Playlist here.

Learn More About Room For Improvement here.

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