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‘YOLO’ has become one of the most popular phrases on the web this year, mostly thanks to R&B singer Drake’s use of the phrase, which stands for “You Only Live Once.” Drake recently spotted ‘YOLO’ on shirts and hats at Macy’s and Walgreen’s and isn’t happy that he’s not seeing any of the profits from them.
On Christmas day, Drake posted a photo on Instagram of ‘YOLO’ hats at Walgreen’s. “Walgreens....you gotta either chill or cut the cheque,” the Canadian native wrote. Later, he posted a picture of a shirt with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and ‘YOLO.’ “Macy's...same goes for you,” he wrote.
According to Rolling Stone, Drake first used ‘YOLO’ on a 2011 mixtape with Rick Ross, then again in the Take Care track “The Motto.” He rapped, “You only live once n***a YOLO.”
However, the letters ‘YOLO’ were used in that context for years prior to Drake. NBC’s 2004 series The Average Joe used it, as did Adam Mesh for a clothing line that year. Gawker also noted that there are over 100 U.S. trademark applications for the phrase on countless products.
So, it looks like Drake missed his chance to cash in on the popular catchphrase before corporate America stepped in.