Yayo is a Spanish slang term from Latin America, used to refer to the number one drug of the continent; cocaine.
Alternatively, the word may be spelled “llello” or “yeyo.”
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The origin of the term remains debated, as it had entered mainstream use from the criminal underground.
The most probable genesis of the expression is the nickname of the notorious Dominican narcotics smuggler; Santiago Luis Polanco-Rodriguez, whose moniker was incidentally also “yayo.”
The slang word for cocaine really exploded in 1983, when the box office hit Scarface had debuted.
The protagonist of the film, Tony Montana uses the phrase several times to refer to the product of power; cocaine.
It is considered of the star of the film, Al Pacino that he had picked the slang term up while studying Cuban Spanish for the motion picture.
Spread and Usage
Following the massive success of Scarface, the movie was often referenced in the ever more popular genre of music; hip hop.
Several rappers idolize and mention Tony Montana, from the motion picture, so it is no coincidence, that numerous rap songs feature the term “yayo” or some other derivate of the expression in the lyrics.
Urban Dictionary users had been attempting to write the right definition for “yayo” since 2002, with a plethora of entries written on the subject, as of July 21st, 2020.
- Urban Dictionary – Yayo