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This was the first single taken from Toronto-based rapper and actor Drake's third mixtape, So Far Gone.
This song samples Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds 1975 chart-topper, "Fallin' In Love
The song's music video was directed by Kanye West. Drake originally intended the clip to have a genuine visual that matched his female fans' passion for the song. However after a late-night recording session with Kanye West, he changed his mind. Drake told MTV News: "At first for this video, I was taking myself way too serious and trying to do some, like, epic sort-of-intimate video... that would have been cool, but the song is too fun for that. So when we were in the studio one night - me, Kanye and Big Sean - we were actually recording a song. And 'Ye... it oozes out of him, creativity... he was just being creative Kanye, like, spewing out ideas, and the day after I texted my manager - we have the same manager - and was like, 'Yo, Kanye's idea was actually the best out of all of them, see if he'll do the video.' I don't know if at that point he knew he was gonna be directing the video. It was more an idea like, 'It'll be funny if we do this.' Then it turned into 'Let's do this.'"
The clip revolves around Drake's roster of basketball playing females. The Canadian MC explained the video's concept to MTV News: "Some of us younger men, we refer to our affiliation with women like a roster. You have key women in your life when you're single and doing your thing." Trey Songz and Fabolous both have cameos in the video.
Drake's mentor is the superstar hip-hop artist Lil Wayne. The Canadian MC told Rolling Stone how Weezy's mentorship helped his rhyming on the So Far Gone mixtape. He explained: "Wayne told me to just remember it's about your thoughts, you got to think about what you want to say beforehand. And then from there, you make it rhyme or you make it connect. But the more important thing is, What's your message, What's your point. And that should be the bare essentials of a line or a verse - what do you really want to say and what do you want to say about yourself? I think he gave me that advice truly for me to set myself apart as a rapper, because I know Wayne sometimes raps for the sake of being a phenomenal rapper. And other times you'll get a song where he tells a story and gets personal. But when he gave me that advice it was almost like him giving me like a cheat code. Here, I'm gonna give you something; I'm gonna give you a piece and see what you do with it. And So Far Gone is what I did with it."
In its ninth week on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, this reached the #1 position. This was the quickest progression to the top by a debuting artist, since 2001, when Lil Romeo's first chart entry, "My Baby
" reached the summit in its sixth frame. It also was the list's first independently distributed #1 since Lil Jon's "Snap Yo Fingers" in 2006.
Drake is the nephew of former Sly & the Family Stone member and solo R&B star Larry Graham.
Drake was surprised by the success of this song. He told MTV News: "'Best I Ever Had' was the second-to-last song I did. When I did it, I was like, 'Cool, it adds a little bounce to [the mixtape],' but I wasn't crazy about it. And that song went #1."
Producer Kia Shine claimed he produced and co-wrote the song for Drake. The Canadian rapper responded to the accusations on his blog stating he has never met Kia Shine adding that his supposed accredition is undeserving and distasteful. However, there have since been rumours that a deal was reached between the two artists and as a result Shine is now getting a royalty for the track.
Playboy Enterprises executives filed legal papers in June 2010 against Drake, Cash Money Records and Universal Music Group alleging copyright infringements. The lawsuit claimed this song illegally sampled Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds' hit "Fallin' In Love
" at the beginning of the track, which was released by Playboy Records in 1975.
This was named Top Rap Song at the 2010 ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, which honors the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2009 R&B/Hip-Hop, Rap and Gospel charts.
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