Started from the Bottom

"Started from the Bottom" is a song by Canadian hip hop recording artist Drake, released as the first single from his third studio album Nothing Was the Same.[2] The song was written by Drake, Michael Coleman, and Noah "40" Shebib, and it was produced by Coleman under his stage name Mike Zombie, with additional production by Shebib.[3][4] It features a sample of the ambient piece "Ambessence Piano & Drones 1" by Bruno Sanfilippo.[5] "Started from the Bottom" has charted in many countries, reaching a peak of number six on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Started from the Bottom"
Started from the Bottom - Drake single.png
Single by Drake
from the album Nothing Was the Same
ReleasedFebruary 1, 2013 (2013-02-01)[1]
GenreHip hop
Drake singles chronology
"Right Here"
"Started from the Bottom"
"No New Friends"
Music video
"Started from the Bottom" on YouTube


"Started from the Bottom" was originally planned to be released on February 10, 2013, coinciding with the Grammy Awards.[6] However, it was instead premiered on February 1 through Drake's "October's Very Own" blog, as he preferred to release it without prior interviews.[7] The song was officially released on iTunes on February 6, 2013.[8] At the 55th Grammy Awards, Drake teased that an official remix would be released.[9]

Music and lyricsEdit

Lyrically, "Started from the Bottom" addresses Drake's early life and career beginnings. He commented of its concept, "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. 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." The song makes use of instrumentation from drums and a piano; MTV describes it as "departure" from his earlier works.[10]

Music videoEdit

On September 4, 2012, Drake was seen filming the music video for the song which was being directed by Director X.[11] The music video was released on February 10, 2013. The video features an all-white dressed Drake standing in the back of a white Bentley convertible, during a blizzard. In other scenes, he works retail in a Shoppers Drug Mart drugstore, flies a plane into his native Toronto and dances around in a club. Drake's mother, Sandi, and producers Boi-1da and Noah "40" Shebib also have cameos in the video. At the end it displays Drake and his friends partying at a villa.[12]


Shortly after the song's debut Wiz Khalifa was the first to release a remix to the song.[13] Since then artists such as Lil Wayne, Machine Gun Kelly, Bow Wow, Soulja Boy, Ace Hood, Meek Mill, Chris Brown, Papoose, Wyclef Jean, Riff Raff, Arcángel & De La Ghetto, Misha B, and Karmin[14] have released their own remixes or freestyles to the song.[15][16][17][18] On February 15, 2013, Mike Posner, Asher Roth, T. Mills, Chuck Inglish and King Chip released a music video for their remix of the song.[19] On October 12, 2013, DJ Felli Fel released a remix supporting the Los Angeles Dodgers 2013 playoff run, featuring Ice Cube, Tyga and Ty Dolla Sign.[20] Shortly after an extended version also featuring, Warren G, Problem and Chino XL was released.[21]

At the 55th Grammy Awards, Drake suggested that an official remix could be released.[9] He begun work on it with Rick Ross and DJ Khaled but the recording session resulted in the first single off Khaled's next album, "No New Friends".[22]

Critical receptionEdit

Lewis Corner of Digital Spy gave the song a positive review stating:

Backdropped by a haunting piano loop and tinned snare, the production falls in line with what we've come to expect from a brooding Drake track. "Started from the bottom now we're here," he reflects. "Started from the bottom now my whole team fucking here." The ascent to stardom has clearly been the smoothest of paths, but we hope there's a little more depth to the remainder of his new material to keep him up there with the best.      .[23]

On December 2, 2013, Complex named "Started From the Bottom" the second best song released in 2013. David Drake of Complex said, "Musically, "Started From the Bottom" is Drake at his most irrepressibly memorable. Stripped down to a simple piano line and a crisp, unforgettable drum pattern, the song's simplicity gave it a singular fingerprint. It epitomizes the new, clean, minimal direction Drake took throughout Nothing Was The Same, while sounding like no other song on it. It is wistful, atmospheric, as catchy as a nursery rhyme. Lyrically, the song is packed with hooks, each line a mantra of burgeoning confidence, hard-earned."[24] Rolling Stone then ranked the song at number nine on their list of the 100 Best Songs of 2013.[25] XXL named it one of the top five hip hop songs of 2013.[26]

Chart performanceEdit

The track entered the UK Singles Chart at number 71 on February 10, 2013. The following week it rose forty-six positions to number 25 – becoming only Drake's third top 40 entry as a solo artist in the UK. The song has reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and is Drake's eleventh top 10 hit on the chart.[27][28] The song sold over 2 million digital copies in the US by January 2014.[29]


Year Ceremony Award Result
2013 BET Hip Hop Awards "Track of the Year"[30] Won
2014 Grammy Awards (56th)[31] Best Rap Performance Nominated
Best Rap Song Nominated

Track listingEdit

Digital download
1."Started from the Bottom"2:53



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[51] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[52] Platinum 80,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[53] Gold 400,000 
United States (RIAA)[54] 6× Platinum 6,000,000 

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release historyEdit

Country Date Format Label
United States February 6, 2013[55] Digital download
February 12, 2013[56] Urban radio
April 9, 2013[57] Mainstream radio


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  3. ^ "Drake - Started From The Bottom | New Hip Hop Music & All The New Rap Songs 2011". HipHop DX. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  4. ^ Alexander Russell (23 August 2013). "Here Are The BET Award Nominees". Complex.
  5. ^ "Some weeks ago, the hip hop artist Drake's... - Bruno Sanfilippo". Facebook. March 11, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  6. ^ Sia, Nicole (2013-02-02). "Hear Drake Set His Origin Story Straight on 'Started From the Bottom' | SPIN | SPIN Mix | Songs". SPIN. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
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  12. ^ 02/10/2013 7:43 pm EST (2011-01-23). "'Started From The Bottom' Video: Drake Drops Visuals For New Single On Grammy Night". Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  13. ^ "Wiz Khalifa Releases "Started From the Bottom" Remix". 4 February 2013.
  14. ^ Karmin - Started From The Bottom (Drake Cover). 25 February 2013 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ Rose Lilah (14 February 2013). "Ace Hood - Started From The Bottom (Freestyle) - Stream [New Song]". HotNewHipHop.
  16. ^ "Papoose Freestyles Over "Started From The Bottom" On Showoff Radio!". WORLDSTARHIPHOP.
  17. ^ "Video: Wyclef Jean – 'Started From the Bottom (Freestyle)'". Rap-Up.
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  19. ^ "Mike Posner (Feat. Asher Roth, T Mills, Chuck Inglish & King Chip) - Started From The Bottom Remix". WORLDSTARHIPHOP.
  20. ^ cvernoncoleman (13 October 2013). "DJ Felli Fel Featuring Ice Cube, Tyga & Ty Dolla $ign "Dodgers Anthem 2013″". XXL Mag.
  21. ^ "DJ Felli Fel ft Ice Cube, Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign, Warren G, Chino XL, Problem - Dodgers Anthem 2013 (New Version)". HipHopEarly.
  22. ^ Ernest Baker (12 April 2013). "Drake Is Dropping 2 New Songs Next Week". Complex.
  23. ^ Lewis Corner (12 February 2013). "Drake: 'Started From the Bottom' - Single review". Digital Spy.
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  26. ^ xxlstaff (9 January 2014). "XXL Lists The Best Hip-Hop Songs And Albums Of The Last 40 Years – XXL Issue 152". XXL Mag.
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  28. ^ Trust, Gary (2013-02-27). "Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' Tops Hot 100 for Second Week". Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  29. ^ Paul Grein (January 2, 2014). "Can You Believe "Don't Stop Believin'" Loses Spot as Best-Selling Rock Song?". Chart Watch. Yahoo.
  30. ^ "Track of the Year". 23 September 2013.
  31. ^ "Grammy nominations 2014: See the list of nominees". Entertainment Weekly's
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  53. ^ "British single certifications – Drake – Started from the Bottom". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 12, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Started from the Bottom in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  54. ^ "American single certifications – Drake – Started from the Bottom". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 25, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
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External linksEdit