The title stands for "Do It Yourself." The song is about taking responsibility and control of your life.
"D.I.Y." is part of Peter Gabriel's second solo album. He used a mostly acoustic arrangement on the track to distinguish it from his work with Genesis. Gabriel played the piano and was backed by Sidney McGinnis on acoustic guitar and mandolin, Tony Levin on Chapman Stick (a guitar/bass hybrid), Jerry Marotta on drums, and Bayete (Todd Cochran) on keyboards. It was produced by Robert Fripp.
This was released as a single, but despite heavy promotion it was a commercial failure. Charisma Records, Gabriel's label in England, re-released it in September 1978 with both "Mother Of Violence" and "Me And My Teddy Bear" on the B-side. The original, released that May, was backed with "Perspective."
The mostly acoustic sound was chosen in hopes of mimicking the chart success of Gabriel's hit "Solsbury Hill." Heavier electric versions of the song can be found on some bootlegs.
When "Nothin' On You" reached #1 on the Hot 100, B.o.B became the first American act whose name is a palindrome to top the chart. The other two who did so prior to the Atlanta rapper were both Scandinavian groups - ABBA and A-Ha.