“The Motto” by Drake (ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga)

It doesn’t take rocket science to make an accurate presumption of what a song by Drake featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga would read like. So let’s dive into what the vocalists are saying a bit more specifically.

Drizzy

From the onset, Drizzy presents himself as being “the f–king man” – an alpha male, if you will. And it isn’t long thereafter in which the main source of this status, that being his wealth, is revealed. This attribute enables him for instance to womanize in different major cities. And in terms of the type of money we’re referring to here, Drake alludes to being only 25 years old yet ‘sitting on $25 million’. Or put more plainly, he’s young and filthy rich.

About halfway through the verse though, Aubrey steers us in another direction by giving a shoutout to Mac Dre, a rapper from California who was murdered back in 2004. Despite this remix being dropped in 2011, almost a decade after Dre’s murder, Drake and the homeys still decided to use it as an opportunity to memorialize him. 

However afterwards, the rapper promptly returns to his boasting standard, noting for example how the Young Money label and extended family thereupon are chillin’, while others crew are falling off. Drizzy then proceeds to once again go back to the topic of women and how he is akin to a ‘pimp’ when dealing with them as he will.

Such a theme also guides us into the chorus, which commences with Drake illustrating how females want to get close to him. Next he goes on to drop the phrase “YOLO”, an acronym for ‘you only live once’, which is considered the thematic highlight of this piece. Now he doesn’t go on to explicitly state what that phrase actually means. 

But by implication, taking into consideration the lines which immediately follow, in the short-term context it would mean something like being really serious about making money on a daily basis.

Lil Wayne

Next up is Lil Wayne, who starts his segment by dissing “one time”, which street-savvy readers would know is actually a slang term for police. Weezy continues by making some statements that wouldn’t be appropriate to re-mention here. But what it boils down to is this.  He touts himself and his crew as being very tough. 

The rapper also likes smoking grass a lot. Additionally he gives a few colorful shoutouts to bedroom adventures, one near the end of the passage alluding to Weezy enjoying giving sex of the oral kind. And if you really read in-between the lines it also seems that he expresses an appreciation for PAWGs, i.e. phat-a-s White girls.

Tyga

Tyga adopts a similar disposition in the third verse, i.e. commencing by mocking opps. In fact he is a lot more directly-boastful, such as comparing his ability to buy multiple cars to someone who can’t even afford one. 

Also he raps about how he deals with women. And as an example, the vocalist doesn’t seem to have any qualms about sleeping with other guys’ girlfriends. He also presents himself as someone who will “f–k” a lady just once and then ignore her if she doesn’t act right. And so on and so forth. 

As with the other vocalists, it appears pretty obvious that Tyga’s main goal is to leave the listener with the impression that he’s living some type of fantasy ‘hood life, i.e. being rich, well-sexed and gangsta.

The Motto

So as for what “the motto” actually is, we would assume that is “YOLO”, as explained above. So putting all of this together, the conclusion would be that Drake and the homeys’ way of appreciating the one life they were given is by having as much fun with it as possible, while of course simultaneously defending it from opps.

Lyrics of "The Motto"

“The Motto” Facts

Primary Artist(s): Drake
Featured Artist(s): Lil Wayne and Tyga
Album/EP: “Take Care”

Was “The Motto” a single release?

Yes. The song was the fourth single from Drake’s “Take Care” album. Drake and his crew officially brought released in November 29 of 2011.

Writing and Production

Drake, Lil Wayne, N.Cobey, Tyler Williams, Shahid Reshi and Salvatore Casto are the authors of “The Motto”. It was produced by the Canadian record producer, T-Minus.

Awards/Honors

At the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, “The Motto” got a nomination for “Best Rap Song”.

It lost the award to “Ni–as in Paris” by Jay-Z and Kanye West. The following are the songs it competed with:

  • “Daughters” (Nas)
  • “Mercy” (Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz)
  • “Young, Wild & Free” (Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa ft. Bruno Mars)

Other Accolades

Over three million copies of “The Motto” have been sold in the United States so far.

In February of 2012, “The Motto” became the rapper’s 12th song to hit number one on the “US Rap Chart”. This extended Drake’s lead as the artist having the most number one hits since the chart started.

Chart Performance

  • UK Singles (22)
  • US (14)

Sampling

  • Audio Push – “Bro Code” (2011)
  • Nelly – “Motto (Remix)” (2011)
  • Tory Lanez – “Motto (Freestyle)” (2012)
  • Tyga – “Wish” (2012)
The Motto

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