"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 15 reviews

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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.


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.


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


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


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 byMerveille February 18, 2021

if you have the clean version 10+

the song is explicit but good don't watch the video cause' it shows more drinking explicit stuff.

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
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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