Food News

Rapper Drake Thinks He Owns the Term YOLO -- But Did He and Rick Ross Crib the Phrase from the Fort Lauderdale Restaurant?

YOLO: love it or hate it, it's the new 'in' acronym. It's become the catchphrase excuse for all things ridiculous: drunken sorority girl hook-ups, speeding, frat boy public urination, Darwin Award-like behavior, or any other insignificant experience deemed to be worthy of a hashtag by social media users themselves. We get it, you've seized the day.

While the term has been a part of our lexicon for years now, it was popularized in Drake's 2011 song "The Motto." Now the rapper wants royalties for use of the phrase. Clean Plate Charlie spoke to Tim Petrillo of the Restaurant People -- the group that owns Fort Lauderdale restaurant ;YOLO -- to get his take on the trademark catchphrase.

See also:
- Where to Host Your Company Holiday Party in South Florida (Hint: Booze is a Must Have)
- Q & A with Restauranteur Tim Petrillo of YOLO, Tarpon Bend, and now Vibe
- Tim Petrillo, Co-Owner of YOLO, Tarpon Bend, Vibe, etc. (Part 2)

Last week, Drake shot and uploaded two pictures to Instagram of merchandise adorned with the catchphrase. He suggest the stores Walgreens and Macy's pay up for using his "motto."

The rapper may be responsible for the term's current pervasive usage, but YOLO has been around in pop culture since well before Drake's rise to fame. Adam Mesh of the reality show Average Joe was the first to publicly verbalize the term on TV back in 2004. In 2006, the Strokes used it for a promotion blitz entitled "Operation YOLO" for their single "You Only Live Once," which has had more than 16 million YouTube Hits. And in 2008, local restauranteurs, the Restaurant People opened their Las Olas hot-spot. All of which happened before Drake even had his first hit, "Best I Ever Had," off of his 2009 EP So Far Gone.

The Restaurant People are not taking Drake's hissy fit seriously. "I think Drake saying that is such a joke," says Petrillo. "Frankly, I am not sure if Rick Ross (with whom Drake did the song) didn't get the idea from us. Ross has been eating at our restaurant since we opened in 2008. We have trademarked that name since we opened. I would really love for Drake's people to contact me about royalties: I might have my people contact him. Even Google knows who came first."

Everyone knows, if there is one thing you don't mess with, it's Google. Good luck on that one, Drake. Apparently, the rapper needs to learn how to take his own advice and live life to the fullest -- not whinge about other people stealing a term he didn't even coin. Proposed New Year's resolution for Drake: let it go.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sara Ventiera