The Motto

Album: Take Care Deluxe Edition (2011)
Charted: 14

Songfacts®:

  • This T-Minus produced cut is a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Take Care. According to its chorus, the song is a "carpe diem" jam based on the idea "you only live once." Drake premiered the tune the tune on L.A.'s Power 106 radio station on October 31, 2011.
  • The track features a typically loopy free association contribution from Drizzy's mentor Lil Wayne - "Skeet, skeet, skeet, water gun/ Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt," anyone?
  • Drake gives a shout out to fallen MC Mac Dre on one of his verses: "'I'm in the building and I'm feelin' myself.' R.I.P. Mac Dre. I'mma do it for the bay." The Bay Area rapper was killed in a freeway shooting on November 1, 2004.
  • This was a last minute addition to Take Care. Noah "40" Shebib, who produced much of the album, told MTV News the story of the song: "T[-Minus] sent the record to Drake. I think Drake cut it in Vegas, maybe. He cut the vocals, sent it over to me, I gave it to Gadget, Gadget mixed it, sent it to mastering the next morning and got it mastered, on radio 24 hours later."
  • The song samples both Lil Wayne's "She Will" and Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back."
  • "YOLO," shorthand for "You Only Live Once," was a trending acronym in 2012 and by the end of the year it was popping up everywhere on T-shirts and other merchandise. Drake decided that he was entitled to a cut of retailers profiting from the term as it was he who cemented its place in cultural conversation when he referenced the term in this song. On Christmas Eve 2012 he called out a couple of retailers on Instagram for using YOLO:

    "Walgreens...you gotta either chill or cut the check."

    "Macy's...same goes for you."
    Drake, of course, didn't originate the phrase. Its earliest known use was when Adam Mesh launched the 'You Only Live Once' (YOLO) clothing line during the third season of the NBC reality show The Average Joe on March 20, 2004. The following year, The Strokes launched "Operation YOLO" (You Only Live Once)," in which they invited their fans to call their local radio stations and request their single, "You Only Live Once."

    'YOLO' was officially accepted as a word in 2014 when it was included for the first time in that year's online edition of the Oxford Dictionary.
  • The English female trio M.O. took their name from one of this song's lines ("That's my M.O add a B to that").
  • T-Minus told Genius the story of his instrumentation:

    "It was nearing the end of Take Care, the making of the album. When Drake had contacted me he said he wanted something up-tempo and something simple. So it was a really last minute process. And I put together something really simple. It took me maybe like 30-45 minutes to make the beat. Sent it to him. He ended up writing the record, recording it. The day after, he said the song was already done."

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