Started from the bottom.

The other day I made a comment about how Drake never “Started from the Bottom” in reference to his popular single that everyone is now quoting.

I was then scolded by my friend who began to tell me all these things about Drake’s past as if she had memorized his Wikipedia page.

“Yeah, even if he didn’t grow up in Forest Hill, he still would have started from the bottom of the rap industry. Everyone starts from the bottom in some way,” she said.

“I guess…,” I replied, admitting to defeat.

But after this discussion, I began to ponder about how we as people assume too much about people without knowing the whole story. I then proceeded to Wikipedia and searched up Drake. My friend was right.

It is true that Drake grew up in Forest Hill and found a job as series regular on Degrassi: The Next Generation. But just because he grew up within a wealthy neighbourhood and had a job, we don’t really know all the facts.

Drake grew up in two Toronto neighbourhoods and lived in Toronto’s west end. And while he moved to the wealthy Forest Hill (which was probably a bit of an upgrade), he still lived in a basement…so technically he was still starting from the bottom.

To add to this, Drake’s earnings from Degrassi was his family’s only source of income as his mother had become ill.  According to Drake, ” The only money I had coming in was off of Canadian TV, which isn’t that much money when you break it down. A season of Canadian television is under a teacher’s salary, I’ll tell you that much. It’s definitely not something to go fucking get.”

But not only had he not started from the bottom in economic standards, Drake also had some troubles fitting in. When he visited his father in Memphis, he was told he was “the furthest thing from hood” and even witnessed his father being arrested.

Upon reading up on Drake’s past, it’s clear that he had seen and experienced some things that were tough but character-building. I now have a lot of respect for him, and in ways, I feel like I can somehow relate. 

I grew up in a pretty “ghetto” part of Scarborough in my early years of childhood. The area continues to be filled with run-down houses and at the time, the media had started to report a bunch of stories about murders and stabbings around the neighbourhood.

It became kind of clear to me why we never had family gatherings at my place. Perhaps it was because my parents never bothered to host, or it could have been the fact that no one wanted to come over. Because of these stories, and the fact that we wanted to live closer to my high school, we moved out of the house soon after to a predominantly Asian neighbourhood.

Right now, I’m lucky enough to be living in an apartment downtown and still reside in a nice home up in the suburbs. When I tell people I live in two places, they ask why…as if we’re rich or something.

I don’t really consider my family rich, but we are comfortable. Having two places was a convenient idea for all of us as we all wanted to save time from commuting downtown for work/school  anyways.

Just because we own two places, doesn’t mean we don’t save in other ways. We still have one car, we all work to pay off the bills and we no longer have cable because we don’t really need it. Through these thrifty methods, I believe it’s all relative in how our money is spent.

Now I’m not saying I have had similar experiences as Drake because hell, he has been through a lot. But what I’m saying through this is that we all start from the bottom–whether it’s through life, school, work, etc. 

When I move out of home, I know I’ll be starting from bottom as I try to make a living out of my degree, find a place to live and basically start paying for everything myself without relying on my parents for anything. 

Let’s not making generalizations about a person’s life  before we know exactly what they’ve been through. Drake is a talented performer who raps from experience.

When he says that he’s “Started from the Bottom,” we should believe him. Because out of all the things he’s gone through, why would he lie?


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