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"Was there ever any doubt that you only live once?"
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"Was there ever any doubt that you only live once?"

Some music artists and pop stars are releasing songs with provocative lyrics that may encourage inappropriate behaviour, warns Denise Juvane, 19, a student from Mozambique now living in England.

Drake is a well known Canadian entertainer who topped the charts following his 2009 recording contract with Young Money Entertainment.

Drake’s fame reached new heights with his 2010 album ‘Thank me later’. But his most recent 2011 album, ‘Take care’, was the one which earned him even greater attention with tracks featuring artists such as Rihanna, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross.

The fact that Drake has done well for himself, and has not failed to deliver to his target audience, is to be praised. However, Drake’s recent song ‘The Motto’ from ‘Take care’ can come across as controversial.

The song is best related with the motto being ‘YOLO’ which means ‘you only live once’. However, this motto is intriguing. Was there ever any doubt that you only live once? As well as that, the motto for Drake’s song, although catchy and quite comical, can come across as quite suggestive, in a sense that it may deem inappropriate behaviour as appropriate, since we only live once.

Saying YOLO when you ‘snooze’ your alarm and fail to wake up seems acceptable, but going on to use the same excuse to hurt others or do harmful things to oneself may go beyond its purpose. Personally, I don’t think that Drake’s ‘YOLO’ idea was one which opened gaps for inappropriate behaviour, however, the fact that it is suggestive worries me simply because the youth of this day and age are capable of anything, even more so now, that they have the motto ‘you only live once’.

The ability to influence teenagers through the media is huge, and music is one of the main influential platforms for the behaviour of youngsters. It would be unfair to penalise Drake only and his songs for the behaviour of the youth. Rihanna’s song “cheers” is also very suggestive. The lyrics read:

‘Cheers to the […] weekend, I drink to that, yeah yeah, Oh let the Jameson sink in, I drink to that, yeah yeah.”

Here, Rihanna, although displaying her happiness for the weekend, is insinuating that not only must drinking go on, but the mentioning of Jameson equals the drinking of Irish Whisky. The song being sung and applied by people of age is completely acceptable, but it must not be forgotten that Rihanna is seen as an ‘idol’ amongst 14-15 year olds.

Is this the type of inspiration that Rihanna, Drake, and others are giving us?

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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