13. Drake "Started From the Bottom" (2013)
Producer: Mike Zombie, Noah "40" Shebib
Album: Nothing Was The Same
Label: OVO Sound, Young Money, Cash Money, Republic
Drake's "Started from the Bottom" is a triumph of minimalism. The beat's barely there, the lyrics are pared down and shouty, it's like Drake's own version of mid-2000s ringtone rap. Leading the way is newish OVO Sound signee Mike Zombie, whose production here loops up a short, new age-y piano line (that really sounds like someone starting up Windows on a PC) over sprightly 808 programming and a bassline that picks out a weird notes under the fore.
It's hooky and, above all else, insistent, the most immediate of all the songs Drake turned up on during the campaign leading to the release of his third album Nothing Was the Same. Chart impact was swift and heavy, and any rapper worth their snot got somebody to loop up those two open bars he left at the end so they could drop a freestyle and catch a bit of the wave.