"Started from the Bottom" (CD Single)

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
"Started from the Bottom" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Megastar's return falls flat; edited version OK for teens.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Brags about working hard for his success, calls out "fake friends."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite his attempt to glorify his humble beginnings as a night shift manager at a drug store, a majority of the song and video are spent showing off his opulent wealth.

Violence
Sex

Lyrics are sex-free, but the music video includes some slow-motion footage of women's gyrating bodies, as well as a misogynistic sketch in the middle involving a cashier disgustingly hitting on a customer.

Language

Constant use of the "N" word and "f--k."

Consumerism

Boasts about getting "half a million for a show" and claims "I wear every single chain, even when I'm in the house"; video features a flight on a private jet, expensive-looking parties at mansions, and the usual assortment of luxury cars and jewelry.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No references in the lyrics, but the music video has shots of a hookah, unidentified smoke blowing, and lots of fancy bottles of alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Drake's single features repeated swearing ("N" word and "f--k") for no apparent reason in a song that's supposed to be about the rapper's roots, but winds up more like a hyper-defensive ego-fest. The clean version of the song should be appropriate for teens, but it's not exactly difficult to tell which words are omitted. The video has shots of a hookah, unidentified smoke blowing, and lots of fancy bottles of alcohol and some slow-motion footage of women's gyrating bodies, as well as a misogynistic sketch in the middle involving a cashier disgustingly hitting on a customer. The song and video both celebrate the lavish life.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlexandre M. February 23, 2018
Fun catchy
Adult Written byRosebud95 November 1, 2013

Why is he rapping/talking like that?!

He sounds gallingly monotone >:(
Teen, 13 years old Written byPapa Karis May 23, 2016

LOVE IT

This is a fab song. It has a great beat and lyrics that you can sing along with. If you aren't a fan of these swear words that he uses, then you shouldn... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysmashingepicness767 July 26, 2013

Both explicit and edited versions are good

Bad, bad, man, this song gets me everytime I listen to it! Love the beat, the song, love everything! Video - not bad, song - killa!! The unrated version is alri... Continue reading

What's the story?

Pop-rap king Drake is back with the first single off his forthcoming album, which features a stripped-down beat and more rapping than singing. Released with a personal message from Drizzy himself claiming he wants fans to be able to connect to his past, "STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM" is a call-out-the-haters origin story with no apparent target, though it continues the introspective trend of his last album, Take Care.

Is it any good?

Though catchy and radio-friendly, the track suffers from its repetitiveness and Drake's boring flow. His message seems mixed and a little twisted, as if he's trying to tap into an inauthentic persona, and as a result, this song isn't a whole lot of fun. While it's refreshing to hear less production wizardry than on his usual fare, it's not exactly a thrilling change of pace.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the song's message. Why would an established star like Drake want to send a message to fans about where he came from and who he was before he was famous?

  • How do this song and other tracks Drake has been featured on lately differ from his earlier, more Auto-Tune-based recordings?

  • What do you think of Drake's decision to release this track via his blog -- with a personal note attached -- rather than making the traditional media promotional rounds?

Music details

  • Artist: Drake
  • Release date: February 6, 2013
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Cash Money Records
  • Genre: Hip-hop
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes

For kids who love rap and club tunes

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