Day 58: "I'm Goin' In" – Drake feat. Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy, So Far Gone EP, 2009
Today we premiered the video for Jeezy's "Bout That," which features Lil Wayne and a lot of luxury cars. You can watch it here and see a picture of what Wayne looks like in it above. I already wrote about it pretty extensively for the Year of Lil Wayne, but if the combination of Wayne, Jeezy, and luxury cars is your thing, don't worry: There's still plenty of that out there. In fact, you can get it with some Drake thrown in! You guys love Drake, right?
Well, way back in 2009, Drake was a young rapper with a hot mixtape called So Far Gone, and just about everyone in rap was eager to give him a co-sign (this was, obviously, before the only path to success was a Drake co-sign). He already had Wayne's stamp of approval, so for the label-sanctioned EP release of So Far Gone it made sense to bring in some other heavy hitters. This is the period when we got "Forever," the swollen Drake/Kanye/Wayne/Eminem posse cut (more on that another time), but it also spawned a popular rap radio hit in "I'm Goin In," featuring Young Jeezy, an important song because it was Drake's first hit without a sung hook. At the time, Drake was considered a total lyrical lightweight, roundly mocked for his "hashtag" punchlines and one notorious radio "freestyle" in which he read his lyrics off his Blackberry (you could probably argue his current fixation on revenge is still about proving his critics from this period wrong). "I'm Goin In" was his chance to prove he had bars.
Did he succeed? Well, at the time bars like "making hos wobble like a bridge in an earthquake" and "I just tell the truth so I'm cool in every hood spot / 21 years and I ain't ever met a good cop" seemed pretty clever; in retrospect they lack the panache and confidence of later Drake raps. They sound, basically, like they were read off of a Blackberry, a sin that is particularly hard to overlook given the absolute confidence with which Jeezy and Wayne attacked this beat. Jeezy has a whole riff about busting ten nuts in a two-seater, which culminates in him wishing there was more leg room. Plus he begins his verse with the total attention grab of "Hold up, wait one motherfucking minute / It's the El Capitan, I got motherfucking lieutenants / If I said I'm goin' in then I motherfucking meant it." Wayne, meanwhile, stomps on the beat "like a motherfucking Sigma" and generally sounds so thrilled with his handiwork that when he gets to the hook you wish that hook were just a signal that he's about to keep going in.
In hindsight, it was a setup for Drake to keep going in, with two very talented rappers giving a fledgling one a launchpad to take off from. The song was a hit, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Photo: Wayne in Jeezy's "Bout That" video / Screenshot via YouTube
Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.