“S-S-S-Started from the bottom… now we here”

Karl Marx concept of alienation is introduced to us in the video as a concept of imprisonment. An individual could never fulfill true happiness at his workplace because of the conditions and limits on his/her freedom are imposed. His power to control his actions, destiny and ability to think are not controlled by himself, but rather by those he works for. Marx concludes that a person can only be his or her real self once they leave the work place.

As stated in the reading, the communist Manifesto, the people who control the means of production, the bourgeoisie, are the ones who are in control of the proletariats, the people who sell their labor to the market and just become a commodity. I think in a way it’s harsh to critique and categorize a person like Marx does in the communist manifesto, but its nothing less than the truth. Though many people have no other choice but to be chained to being a proletariat in society due to lack of resources and other unfortunate circumstances, Marx believes there is a way for someone who was once a proletariat to become a bourgeoisie. We all strive to become something meaningful in life and acquire as much wealth for our hard work, but with all this money we become greedy and along with the greed comes the problems.

An example of this may be seen in Drake’s song, “started from the bottom”.

No new niggas, nigga we don’t feel that

F**** a fake friend, where your real friends at?

We don’t like to do too much explainin’

Story stayed the same, I never changed it

No new niggas, nigga we don’t feel that

F*** a fake friend, where you real friends at?

We don’t like to do too much explainin’

Story stayed the same through the money and the fame cause we…

In this chorus we see how Drake expresses his feelings about making it to the top, but he feels like since he made it, everyone that doubted him suddenly wants to become a part of his life and his successes. Though he doesn’t intend to let them in, he feels alienated from everyone not knowing who is with him because they genuinely want to be and not because of his money and credentials. In the line “Story stayed the same through the money and the fame cause we…” I feel like the story of his progression as an artist and where he came from will never change even as his career continues.

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4 responses to ““S-S-S-Started from the bottom… now we here”

  1. I totally agree with you and love the connection you made with Drake’s song. However, I am not 100% sure, but I am pretty sure that Marx believes that you cannot move from being a proletariat to the upper class. If you are a proletariat, you will stay a proletariat. For Marx, Drake’s life would have been a miracle. This same miracle happened to many lives of celebrities. Another example would be Kesha. I think that Marx believes that the upper class makes it almost impossible for the lower class to move up in the hierarchy.

  2. This is definitely something that many people could see and understand by making the connection between Marx and this song. Drake has expressed in several of his lyrics his constant struggle to continue with his fame yet remain true to those who have been by his side all along. Most celebrities today would agree that once they reach a certain fame status the personal relationships around them suffer greatly due to the fact that others who are in lower classes tend to seek out their fame in order to find shelter in a higher social class.

  3. Sharp and clear presentation of Marx’s ideas. Marx concedes it’s possible to move from proletariat to bourgeois, but not probable. And even when social mobility happens for a select few, the “story stays the same” — the *story* being *capitalism* for Marx.

  4. Yes, I can agree what you are saying based on how alienation and drake song are related. I like how you explain Marx concept on how a worker could not be happy in his/her workplace because it is controlled by the people who he/she works for. As for the Drake, I see the connections you make based on his fame, he is alienated from people because he does not know who is actually there for him on a personal level or as a celebrity. By the way, great job on explaining Marx’s concept thoroughly.

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