The Motto

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"The Motto"
Drake-the-motto-1.jpg
Single by Drake featuring Lil Wayne
from the album Take Care
Released November 29, 2011 (2011-11-29)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Genre Hip hop, hyphy
Length 3:02 (Album version)
3:54 (Remix version featuring Tyga)
Label
Songwriter(s) Shahid Reshi, Aubrey Graham, Dwayne Carter, N.Cobey, Tyler Williams, Salvatore Casto
Producer(s) T-Minus
Drake singles chronology
"Mr. Wrong"
(2011) Mr. Wrong2011
"The Motto"
(2011) The Motto2011
"Take Care"
(2012) Take Care2012
Lil Wayne singles chronology
"IMA BO$$ (remix)"
(2011) IMA BO$$ (remix)2011
"The Motto"
(2011) The Motto2011
"Faded"
(2012) Faded2012
Music video
"The Motto" on YouTube

"The Motto" is a song by Canadian recording artist Drake. The song features American rapper Lil Wayne and is a digital iTunes Store bonus track from Drake's second studio album, Take Care. "The Motto" premiered on Power 106 on October 31, 2011.[1] Drake released the song on his OVO blog a day later.[2] It was first played on rhythmic top 40 radio stations on November 29, 2011 as the album's fourth single.[3] The song has a connection to the Hispanic/Latino band Aventura.[4]

The track has sold over 3 million copies in the United States.[5] It peaked atop both the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and US Rap Songs charts, and was ranked 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-end Chart. "The Motto" was nominated for Best Rap Song at the 55th Grammy Awards.[6] Peaking at number 14, the song is one of the few songs to rank within the top 20 in the year-end chart without reaching the top ten. A music video directed by Lamar Taylor and Hyghly Alleyne was released on YouTube on February 10, 2012 and features cameos from E-40 and Mistah F.A.B..[7]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received a nomination at the 2013 Grammy Awards.[8]

Remixes and freestyles[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

The song debuted at #18 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with first-week sales of 124,000.[17] In its 22nd week, it ascended to #14.[18] On the week of February 18, 2012, "The Motto" reached No. 1 on the US Rap Chart making it his 12th No. 1 on the chart and extending his lead as the artist with the most No. 1 hits since the chart began.

The song has sold 3,113,000 copies in the US as of April 2013.[5]

Cultural impact[edit]

The song uses the phrase YOLO, an acronym for "you only live once".[19] The phrase can be seen in youth culture: for example, a high school prank in Chicago, Illinois, involved high school students chanting "YOLO."[20][21] Some people have graffitied YOLO on walls.[22][23] It has become a popular Twitter hashtag.[24] Some youth have said that it is their motto,[25][26] and actor Zac Efron got a tattoo with the acronym.[27]

Some youth, however, have taken action against the "YOLO" mindset; hip hop artist Joey Bada$$ released a song entitled "Death of YOLO" on his album Summer Knights. The song uses nearly dying in a car accident, a result of the "YOLO" lifestyle, as a metaphor for living making poor decisions.[28]

The hip-hop magazine Da South reported that the rapper Lecrae has deconstructed the motto YOLO in his answer song "No Regrets".[29] The Washington Post describes YOLO as "the newest acronym you'll love to hate".[30] The Huffington Post says: "YOLO is dumb."[31]

The phrase "you only live once" is commonly attributed to Mae West,[32][33] but variations of the phrase have been in use for over 100 years,[34] including as far back as (the German equivalent of) "one lives but once in the world" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the play Clavigo in 1774,[35] and as the title of a waltz Man lebt nur einmal! ("You Only Live Once!") by Johann Strauss II in 1855.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
United States November 29, 2011 Rhythmic contemporary radio[3]
Urban contemporary radio[50]
January 10, 2012 Rhythmic contemporary radio (re-release)[51]
Urban contemporary radio (re-release)[51]
United Kingdom April 6, 2012 Digital download[52]
United States April 10, 2012 Mainstream radio[51]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Drake Debuts 'The Motto,' T.I.'s 'Headlines' Remix & Talks Kendrick Lamar Feature". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. November 1, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Drake Feat. Lil Wayne – The Motto". October's Very Own. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Top 40 Rhythmic Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on November 24, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Drake Spits The Language Of Love On New Romeo Santos Track: Listen". MTV News. 
  5. ^ a b c Grein, Paul. "Week Ending Oct. 6, 2013. Songs: Adele Reaches A Milestone". Yahoo. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  6. ^ Vasquez, Andres (2012-12-06). "Grammy Nominees Revealed; Frank Ocean, Drake & 2 Chainz Among Those Nominated | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  7. ^ "The Motto (Explicit) - Drake ft. Lil Wayne, Tyga". VEVO. 
  8. ^ "Drake receives three nominations at the 2013 Grammy Awards". Young Money HQ. Retrieved September 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ "New Music: Tyga "The Motto (Remix)"". Rap Radar. Retrieved November 2, 2011. 
  10. ^ "New Music: YG, Nipsey Hussle, & Snoop Dogg "The Motto (Remix)"". Rap Radar. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Nelly – The Motto (Remix)". YouTube. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ "New Music: Jeremih "The Motto (Remix)"". Rap Radar. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ "New Music: Mario "The Motto (Remix)"". Rap Radar. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Young Jeezy & Freddie Gibbs – The Motto (Remix)". Nah Right. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Wale & Meek Mill – The Motto (Remix)". Rap Radar. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  16. ^ "1995 - The Motto Remix (Nekfeu x Sneazzy x Alpha Wann)". Youtube. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ "It's Official: Drake's 'Take Care' Debuts At No. 1 On Billboard 200". billboard.biz. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Drake – The Motto ft. Lil Wayne & Tyga". 
  20. ^ Wright, Sharon (June 1, 2012). "Student Arrested Following Conant High School Senior Prank". NBC Chicago. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Students lose prom, graduation privileges after senior prank". DailyHerald.com. January 6, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  22. ^ Express-Times File Photo. "Clinton police: Two men spray-paint profanity, 'YOLO' on town structures". lehighvalleylive.com. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Middle School Boys Accused Of Spray-Painting Homes, Destroying Water Fountain | WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio". 10tv.com. May 31, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Parents, Students: Hoffman Estates School Overreacted To Senior Prank « CBS Chicago". Chicago.cbslocal.com. June 1, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  25. ^ Swanson, Mirjam (May 18, 2012). "TRACK AND FIELD: Mitchells making most of it | Breaking News | PE.com – Press-Enterprise". PE.com. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Class of 2012 calls it a year". Archived from the original on June 8, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Zac Efron Tat-Tat-Tatted Up!". 
  28. ^ "Joey Bada$$ - Death of YOLO Lyrics". Rap Genius. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  29. ^ Hill, Kellus (14 May 2012). "Lecrae - Church Clothes". Da South. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  30. ^ Judkis, Maura (February 25, 2011). "#YOLO: The newest acronym you’ll love to hate – The Style Blog". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  31. ^ "The Black Sheep Online: YOLO: The Evolution Of The Acronym". Huffingtonpost.com. May 17, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  32. ^ Clare Conville, Liz Hoggard, Sarah-Jane Lovet. Dangerous Women: The Guide to Modern Life. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Mae West Quotes". BrainyQuote. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  34. ^ "You Only Live Once – YOLO". Quote Investigator. May 24, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Johann Wolfgang von Goethe". Qikiqoute. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Drake feat. Lil Wayne – The Motto" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  37. ^ "Drake – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Drake. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  38. ^ "Official UK Singles Top 100". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  39. ^ "R&B Singles Top 40". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Drake – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Drake. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  41. ^ "Drake – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Drake. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  42. ^ "Drake – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rap Songs for Drake. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  43. ^ "Drake – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Drake. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  44. ^ "Drake – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Drake. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  45. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  46. ^ "American single certifications – Drake – The Motto". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  47. ^ "Best of 2012 - Hot 100 Songs". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  48. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - 2012 Year End Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  49. ^ "Rap Songs - 2012 Year End Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  50. ^ "Urban Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on November 29, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  51. ^ a b c "CHR – Available for Airplay Archive". FMQB. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  52. ^ "The Motto (feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga) – Single by Drake". Itunes.apple.com. April 6, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012.