The Bottom Line
With arguably the most subdued single of his career, Drake has reinforced his ability to do more with less. The Canadian megastar is doing the same thing he's always done with his lead singles—set up the calm for the quiet storm that's sure to follow. Production from Mike Zombie gives "Started from the Bottom" the right mix of character and confidence, enough to make those uncanny loops stick to your medulla.
- Measured, triumphant lyrics
- Haunting production
- Familiar story
- Touches on Drake's humble beginnings
- Produced by Mike Zombie
- Released February 1, 2013
Guide Review - Drake - "Started from the Bottom"
"Story stay the same, I never changed it," Drake raps on "Started from the Bottom." That statement sums up the song's sentiment in many ways. For one, it reaffirms the attempt to make the classic struggle-to-success narrative sound fresh is a struggle in itself. More importantly, it underscores Drake's ability to grab "Headlines" for doing the same thing "Over" and over.
But all of this is by design; Drake has mastered the art of restraint. Like previous lead singles "Over" and "Headlines," "Started from the Bottom" is Drake being Drake. Nothing new here. If there's one minor gripe, it's that Drake's defensive stance seems out of character at best, out of touch at worst. It's kinda hard to feel sorry for a millionaire whose idea of struggle was arguing with his uncle. Still, you have to give Drake credit for staying in his lane and staying true to his sound. "Started from the Bottom" splits the difference between a buzz single and an album track.A key aspect of the song's magic is Mike Zombie's production. Zombie hits all the right notes: big drums, ghostly keys, and a hazy cloud towering over the mix. The breaks give Drake room to breathe before bringing us back to triumphant territory. And who wouldn't throw their hands up to: "Started from the bottom, now we here."