The hook “Started from the bottom, now we here … ” makes Ebony‘s Alisha Tillery wonder how many of us lose sight of the advantages we’ve received along the way.
We love that story of nothingness and grind, but while we’re all shouting Drake’s catchy hook so passionately (with our hands up in the air for added drama), are those words really true for us individually, or is it just a song that sounds great in the club? Did we really start at the bottom?
Drake himself didn’t even start at the bottom, per se. He was a teen actor on a popular sitcom, so the checks had been rolling in for a while, even if they didn’t come from rap. Many of the folks embracing the mantra are actually from middle class families with parents who worked and had multiple college degrees. How would the people who sacrificed for their well-being feel about them claiming they started from the bottom when their only struggles have been privileged first world problems?
The real question, as Joe Budden would say is, “Where is this “bottom” you speak of?” I’d say it’s relative and almost everyone has a “bottom,” at some point in their lives because few of us start at the top of our desired endeavors. I listened to “Slaveship” daily for a year straight as motivation as I worked as a substitute teacher and cashier at Target while I attended graduate school full-time. I lived off Hot Pockets, two-for-one specials and box wine (don’t laugh). I wasn’t homeless, unemployed or hungry, but to me, I was definitely at the bottom.
Read Alisha Tillery’s entire piece at Ebony.
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