Freestyle of the Week Review: Spenzo, “Started From The Bottom Freestyle”

The most striking imagery from Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” visuals–edging out a bevy of comely, Isis eyelinered women and a preponderance of ridiculous dances, including a spiraling, hand spinning, maple-leaf-in-an-updraft maneuver and a high stepping, elbow locked march suspended above Toronto in front of a black and gold, owl emblazoned billboard–comes early; Drake and a topless Bentley, white as a blank page, white fur, white pants, white shoes, white shirt, gleaming silver jewelry, creeping along the road in a manmade cacophony of too perfect snow, moving fast while the skeletal branches in the background remain still.

 It is a scene both ludicrous and beautiful, juxtaposing the “weather,” bare trees, and fur with the summer whip, the rushing snow with the crawling car, Drake’s dancing and emoting with the status symbol’s dead tarantula eyes and permanently grimacing black mouth. With an infectious beat and appealing narrative, “Started From The Bottom” was destined to be drowned in the glut of remixes that have followed its release, but Spenzo’s appropriation of the aforementioned scene helps his to rise above the others.

 While Drake’s trades in the luxuriousness and paradisiacal aspects of his current station in comparison to the mundane, slowly fatal grind of the “average” man–no one is claiming Aubrey came from the cut, lest of all Drake himself, but tales of his cushy adolescence have been greatly exaggerated–and unfurls as a sprawling reflection from on high, Spenzo’s treatment is darker, in every sense of the word. Filmed in Chicago’s hardscrabble Englewood, where H. H. Holmes became America’s first serial killer, the fake snow and perfectly lit streets are traded for a wintry mix, slush, and the blackness of night. Gone is the white fur, replaced with a black Illini top, an inky BMW Spenzo’s Cimmerian chariot, eyes flaming. The bars come fast, mean, and piercing, more drive-by than victory lap.

 Viewed side by side, both renditions of “Started From The Bottom” can be seen either in juxtaposition with one another, or, more harmoniously, as flip sides of the same coin; two artists representing disparate worlds, or on different sides of the same dream.


See “Started From The Bottom Freestyle” here.


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Freestyle of the Week Review: Jim Jones, “Harlem Shake Freestyle”
Freestyle of the Week Review: Trey Songz, “Fu*ckin’ Problem Freestyle”
Freestyle of the Week review: Torch – “Hands on the Wheel Freestyle”


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