TEENage Hitlist: Started From The Bottom - Drake

with Dominic Bell

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

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WHAT makes a hit? Is it the lyrics, the artiste, the hype at the time? Is it 'something special' about the voice or rhythm?


The TEENage Hitlist pinpoints the hits and the misses as soon as we hear both local and international releases.




Started From The Bottom


Drake




After a myriad of immensely popular guest appearances in 2012, which have led him to be the rapper with most Number One singles in R&B/Hip Hop history, Drake has released his first new solo single since 2011, and its entitled Started From the Bottom.


As the title suggests, is a rags-to-riches narrative, as Drake raps about the struggle he has had to endure in his quest for musical prominence.


The highly anticipated track, however, is easily the hardest Drake song to analyse, as it barely employs elements of his craft that he has been known for since 2009.


Instead of an expected sung chorus, Drake repetitively raps "Started from the bottom and we here". Crooning-wise, he solely does this for the bridge, which closes the song.


For flow, Drake shows that he has the ability to use Chicago Trap Music's GBE style, which was popularised by Chief Keef. It can also be argued that Kendrick Lamar and Future influences are present too.


Mike Zombie, who produced the single, executed an eerie soundscape of spooky synths, but with kick drums of a tempo fast enough to be played on dance floors.


Many tongues will wag about Started from the Bottom. Some critics will pan the track as a weak first single, while some will laud it as an unexpected risk worthy of praise.


TEENage Hitlist believes that Started From the Bottom will capture listeners after a few spins. It can be safely said that Drake has once again proven that he doesn't have to sacrifice artistic integrity for airplay, as many of his contemporaries have had to do.


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