By: Tom Westerholm
Readers who have follow Cardboard with any regularity know that I’m a vocal defender of hip hop. As a writer, how could I not be? Rappers twist words and phrases into smooth flowing verses and rhymes with a proficiency that I will never be able to touch. Some of my favorite artists include Jay-Z, N.W.A., Immortal Technique and Tupac. So please understand that I am a proponent of the genre.
But seriously: this YOLO crap has got. To. Be. Stopped. Now. Before I lose my mind.
You’ve seen it all over your Facebook: teenage girls making faces at their computer camera 460 times, putting them all together in one album, and calling it #YOLO because they don’t actually know how a Twitter hashtag works.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, YOLO is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.” It originated in Drake’s song “The Motto,” the final bonus track of his latest album Take Care. The video starts with rapper Mac Dre’s mother talking to the camera, telling Mac that he would be proud of her if he could see her now, a strong woman. In fact, much of the video seems to be giving credit to the Bay Area rapper, who was shot to death in 2004. Listening to the song however, it seems that Drake has completely divorced the idea of YOLO from the death of Mac Dre, save for one line (“Rest in peace, Mac Dre, I’m-a do it for the Bay”). For the sake of argument, let’s assume that he hasn’t.
Drake would have you believe he has taken Mac Dre’s death to heart, realizing that he only has one life to live. So what is Drake’s lesson from the idea of YOLO? Should he treasure his loved ones while they are alive? Should he use his considerable resources to help those less fortunate than him? Should he find the woman of his dreams and spend his life with her?
Tell Tune, “Light one, pass it like a relay”
She know even if I’m f***ing with her, I don’t really need her
That’s how you feel, man? That’s really how you feel?
Cause the pimpin ice cold, all these b****** wanna chill
I mean maybe she won’t but then again maybe she will
I can almost guarantee she know the deal, real n****, what’s up?
Drake only lives once, so he is going to have sex with as many women as possible, since they know the deal, and he’s going to smoke a lot of weed with his buddy Lil Wayne (Tunechi). Thanks Mac Dre! Your death has inspired me to greater heights!
Look, I understand why people like this song. It’s catchy. The bass line is dark and fun at the same time. The rapid-fire lyrics contain several funny one liners and inside jokes (“YMCMB, you n***** more YMCA,” a shout out to the Young Money crew as well as a shot at the popular Village People song). And I also understand that I’m making a big deal out of a fairly harmless trend. But it’s stupid. So there.