At a time when activists are calling for more responsibility in hip-hop, the genre finds itself under the microscope again. People are blaming "YOLO (You Only Live Once)," an expression popularized by Drake, for the death of five young men in Ontario, California.
Ervin McKinness, who rapped as Inkky, thumbed several YOLO tweets before his death. McKinness and four other 20-somethings died in a drunk driving accident on Labor Day in Ontario. Marquell Bogan (23), Dylan George (20), Jonathan Watson (21), and JaJuan Bennett (23) also died in the crash.
McKinness' tweets just minutes before the tragic crash are heartbreaking:
- "Driving tweeting sipping the cup f-ck yolo I'm turning it up"
- "Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #F-kIt YOLO"
As for those blaming YOLO for this tragedy, you're absolutely right. YOLO bought them alcohol, jumped behind the wheels, and then crashed that Nissan Sentra at 120 MPH.
Look, no matter how you feel about the expression, you truly only have one life1 and you should live it to the fullest. Every day. But living it up does not = a lack of judgment. In fact, it means the opposite of what McKinness and his friends were doing.
(1Unless you believe in reincarnation, of course. My folks still think I'm a reincarnated version of my grandfather.)