Back in February I predicted that Drake’s “Started From the Bottom,” which had just entered the charts at number 63, would eventually make it near the top, which it did, peaking at number six a few weeks back. And I guessed that it might stick around long enough to make it into competition for summer jam of the year, which it has, although there is some serious competition.
What I didn’t foresee is that the phrase “No New Friends,” adapted from the lyrics to the song’s breakdown, would become a street phenomenon, inspiring designs from streetwear designers and popping up in mixtape lyrics by other rappers. What I definitely didn’t predict is that the slogan would also inspire essentially an entirely new song by Drake, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and hip-hop Illuminati ringmaster DJ Khaled, which currently sits at number 61.
Figuring out exactly what to call “No New Friends” is tough. Although the song’s billed as a remix it doesn’t quite seem to make sense to call it that—the beat’s an almost entirely new creation aside from a looped bit of piano arpeggio from “Started” and a couple of snippets of Drake’s original vocal. But it’s not a fully independent entity either. Its core concept’s lifted straight out of “Started,” and there’s something about its vaguely elegiac tone that comes straight from the original.