Drake – Started From The Bottom

The terminally sad rapper manages to make even a song about success upsetting.


Words by: Aimee Cliff

The world was hoping that Drake would be dropping a new single on the night of the Grammys next week, but as it’s turned out, he unveiled it on Saturday instead via his Soundcloud page. Started From The Bottom is a simple, subtle cut that carves itself into your memory after only one listen, and it’s been confirmed as the first single to be taken from the rapper’s upcoming third (and as-yet unannounced) full-length album.

It’s got lyrics that could have been dreamt up by an online Drake-verse-generator (refrains “fuck a fake friend, where your real friends at?” and “started from the bottom, now the whole team here” being choice offenders), but sonically the OVOXO ringleader is taking an interesting turn. Seemingly inspired by the atonal cyber-sadness of Future, his vocal delivery has retained the listlessness that became his signature in the bleak twilight of Marvin’s Room, but he’s gained a deeper-set, more rugged tone of voice that’s full of drunken swagger and affront. It strikes a note that sounds a bit less like “started from the bottom, now we’re here, so I win!” and a bit more like “started from the bottom, now we’re here – now what?”. It’s a striking departure – or perhaps a strikingly subtle evolution – from the brilliance of 2011’s ‘Take Care’, and gives hope that there’s plenty more delightfully melancholic rap to come.

Stream the track here, and read Drake’s own words on it below.

Drake: My good friends,

It has truly been too long. I assume you’re all keeping well and making the most of this year that has been given to us. Today is the day to begin sharing my newest work with you. This is the first single off of my upcoming album. I feel sometimes that people don’t have enough information about my beginnings and therefore they make up a life story for me that isn’t consistent with actual events. My family and my second family (consisting of the best friends anybody could ever have) all struggled and worked extremely hard to make all this happen. I did not buy my way into this spot and it was the furthest thing from easy to achieve. I am proud of every part of my past and I’m excited for this song to find a place in your life as well. I didn’t feel I needed any interviews or radio or press to launch this song. It felt right to come back to the site that I started on and release it to the people that started here with me. Judging by this post, the tour that we’ve been planning, the conversations about new songs and album artwork…I think it’s safe to say we’re back together again. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

“You don’t have to ask me how I’m doing…just listen to the music” – K.Samir

Taken from Drake’s original blog post at Octobers Very Own.

Submit your music Close