You do you is an expression for warning people to follow their own paths in their own pace.
The phrase is a useful reminder for people never to go out of their way, pleasing others, as the only one you need to please is you.
A predecessor to “you do you” was do your thing, which can be traced back to the 1840’s, although it truly started to spread in the 1960’s, thanks to the hippie movement.
“You do you” started to be popularized in America by the hip hop culture during the 90’s and early 2000’s.
The expression served as the title for several songs in the legacy of artists such as Funkmaster Flex.
It was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2015, with several other entries written since that year.
- The New York Times Magazine – How ‘You Do You’ Perfectly Captures Our Narcissistic Culture