Here at the Chocolate Grinder, we’re typically concerned with breaking new artists and gathering aural tidbits that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Drake does not fit into either of those categories, but his latest clip for “Started from the Bottom,” which he helped to direct, is so incorrigibly absurd that it deserves a shout-out. On one hand, it’s a pastiche of rap video clichés: you’ve got the “rags-to-riches” storyline (complete with ghost-riding a whip out in the snow), the non-sequitur, poorly-integrated skit inserted in the middle without any explanation, and plenty of vaguely misogynistic scenarios involving the ladies (apparently telling a girl she looks like your dead ex is a good pickup line; who knew?) But the locations and situations that Drake/Drizzy/Champagne Papi/Jimmy from Degrassi use to frame his narrative are so out of sync with those put forth by the song that you can’t tell whether he’s thumbing his nose at convention, establishing his own context, or is simply just plain confused.
Just like a bad Lisa Frank sticker collage, none of the visual components of “Started from the Bottom” match up, resulting in one heaping pile of self-serious silliness that warrants a watch solely by account of its inanity. From the dubious youth-league soccer match that opens the clip (I think the kid scoring the goal is supposed to represent Drake killing the rap game, but it’s hard to focus on metaphors when you’ve got the giant Toronto Parks & Recreation logo filling up half the screen), to the sloppy editing that creates the illusion that Drake is simultaneously flying his plane AND chilling on it, the laughs keep coming. I especially enjoyed the strange parallel drawn between “the bottom” and what appears to be an otherwise enjoyable job at a Walgreens-esque store in Toronto. I worked at CVS, and we did NOT have the privilege of a confetti deluge every night after closing, so I think Drake’s complaining a bit too much.
This might not be The Room of rap videos — as far as I know, that holy grail of god-awful hasn’t been found yet — but it’s definitely at least Gigli. And if you’re looking for further proof that nobody will ever surpass Lil B as the rightful heir to the hip-hop crown, just take a gander at this clip. And don’t ask me what any of it means.
• Drake: http://www.drizzydrake.org