While pop-rap superstar Drake may hail from the great wintery north (aka Toronto), that doesn't mean his loyalties don't reside elsewhere. If the video for his new single "The Motto" is any evidence, much like Tony Bennett, Drake may have left his heart in San Francisco.
The video opens with a clip of Wanda Salvatto, Mac Dre's mother, posthumously thanking her son, the Bay Area rap legend who died in a 2004 Kansas City shooting. "As long as I'm here," she says, "you'll be here."
Directed by Lamar Taylor and Hyghly Alleyne, the video is an outgrowth of the song's theme of paying respects to Northern California's rich hip hop scene. "Rest in peace Mac Dre/I'm gonna do it for the Bay," rhymes the former Degrassi star as he drives around the Bay Area in a classic convertible hitting landmarks like the Bay Bridge and Berkeley's Amoeba Records.
"You know for me initially it was just the love that I got out here before any of this had taken off. It was just a place that had shown me so much love," Drake said in an interview with Wild 94.9. "I'm always intrigued by areas of the world that have their own culture, and that are so committed and so loyal to their own brand of music and culture. I think the Bay is one of the strongest examples of that."
Lil' Wayne also makes an appearance in the video with a strong verse that could only come from the self-proclaimed greatest rapper alive. "Talk stupid, off with your head / Nigga, money talks and Mr. Ed," says Weezy as he dances at night on the waterfront with the bridge illuminated in the background.
There is one serious problem with the video. Rapper Tyga, who hails from southern California, rocks a Dodgers jersey during his verse. Totally unacceptable.
However, the video makes up for it by closing with shots of Drake hanging out with local pioneers E-40 and Mistah F.A.B.
"The Motto" appeared as a digital-only bonus track on Drake's newly platinum-certified sophomore album Take Care.