As someone who travels on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway on a daily basis, the silver lining to the dreaded gridlock in the past few weeks has been seeing Drake’s latest billboard announcing Started From The Bottom, the first single from his upcoming album. The Toronto-born MC released the new track over the weekend and posted the following message on his personal site to accompany the lead single from his third studio album.
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
The song focuses on Drake’s rise to the top of the music world, taking on familiar subject matters like his relationship with his family and his allegiance to his friends. The track has a solid beat and features a new style of rapping for Drake, who takes on a clipped tone rather than his usual melodic rapping style.
Unfortunately, Started From The Bottom doesn’t feel like a first single. The track isn’t radio-friendly like Take Care and doesn’t doesn’t fit into the club banger category like Fancy. Drake has never been an artist to aim for Top 40 chart position with his music, but the song can’t even be praised for taking musical chances like Drizzy’s past work on Find Your Love or Little Bit feat Lykke Li. Sounding more like a filler track than a kick-off to a new album, Started From The Bottom is hopefully not a precursor for what’s to come on the Drake’s upcoming disc.