Watch: A Drake-Inspired Graduation Speech
Drake’s induction of new phrases into hip-hop vernacular now serve as foundation of a motivational graduation speech. Jason Pollock, creator of Undroppable, a web series and documentary on the importance of a high school education, used three popular sayings by the Young Money rapper as tools for inspiration during his commencement speech at Schenectady High School.
In an effort to “clarify” the meanings behind them, Pollock employed Drake’s “YOLO,” “No New Friends” and “Started From the Bottom” mantras to deliver positive messages to the students.
“‘You Only Live Once’ is about living everyday to the fullest, because you only live once,” he explained. “‘You Only Live Once’ is about making sure everyday that we tell the people we love that we love them; YOLO. YOLO is about doing as much as we can everyday to try an help our community, because we only live once.”
Asserting that people often misinterpret the sayings, Pollock denounced the literal meaning of “No New Friends,” and instead advised the graduates to value their true friends.
“What ‘No New Friends’ to me means is that there are a few people in your life that you grew up with who truly know you and they are your real friends,” he said. “Let’s make sure that we value these real friends.”
Pollock also discussed perhaps the most controversial of Drake’s phrases: “Started From the Bottom.” Acknowledging that most people apply the saying to having money and fame, Pollock defined different “bottoms” that people can face.
“Drake is not talking about money and fame; he’s not talking about that when he’s talking about ‘Started From the Bottom.’ I think ‘Started From the Bottom’ resonates with us for a real reason. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or you’re poor, ‘Started From the Bottom’ is really for everybody because we all start from the bottom. We all have to start from the bottom with emotional stuff. We have to start from the bottom with maybe being depressed. We have to start from the bottom with maturity. with understanding of the world, with morals, with ethics. And so each of you had to start from the bottom, and now you’re here.”
Check out Jason Pollock’s Drake-inspired speech here.