By now you’ve probably heard the news of legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk selling limited-edition skateboards with paint made from his own blood. (And if you haven’t … that’s a thing that’s happening for some reason.) Hawk’s creepy business venture falls in line with a recent trend of celebrities being weirdly obsessed with their own blood, and the reaction to the announcement was mostly positive. The skateboards sold out overnight.
The lack of blowback over Hawk’s blood-infused boards, however, was met with criticism from rapper Lil Nas X. Four months ago, the “Old Town Road” singer, in collaboration with art collective MSCHF, produced a series of custom black and red Nike Air Max 97s to promote Nas X’s song “Montero.” The shoes, called Satan Shoes, included a drop of human blood in them. While the collab sold out in under a minute, it caused a ruckus among conservatives and evangelicals due to the satanic imagery. Nike even filed a lawsuit against MSCHF, temporarily blocking sales of the shoe.
It was a major controversy, so when news of Hawk’s limited-edition skateboards — which also contain human blood — reached Nas X, he asked an obvious question: Why is everyone suddenly cool with this?
“now that tony hawk has released skateboards with his blood painted on them, and there was no public outrage, are y’all ready to admit y’all were never actually upset over the blood in the shoes? and maybe u were mad for some other reason?” Nas X tweeted.
So what does all this have to do with “Nah he tweakin,” a phrase you might have seen a bazillion times across your Instagram timeline over the last week? Well, when @rap, the Instagram account for RapTV, posted a photo of Tony Hawk with the caption: “TonyHawk’s blood is being used in $500 limited-edition skateboards. Y’all rockin with it!?” Nas X responded in the comment section with, “Nah he tweakin.” Since then, almost every comment on the post also reads “Nah he tweakin.”
Now the phrase has turned into a meme, flooding various IG comment sections on posts that have nothing to do with Lil Nas X or Tony Hawk. Even Instagram’s Communication team acknowledged the meme, tweeting “Yeah we tweakin, but only a little bit,” in response to some users having issues with comments loading.
You might be wondering how this random comment turned into a full-fledged meme. Well, besides making bangers and expertly shutting down homophobic assholes, Lil Nas X is one of, if not the only celebrity who knows how to use the internet correctly.
Before he was a Grammy-award-winning artist, he was a Nicki Minaj stan. And if you’re unfamiliar, barbs (Minaj superfans) run the internet. It’s why Nas X is so good at clowning his haters and promoting his music: he basically does it all through shitposting and memes that his own internet stans are incredibly receptive to. He is not another celebrity clumsily trying to relate to their fans on Twitter and Instagram with the help of a fastidious PR team; he is one of us.
And that’s why Lil Nas X can comment something as simple as “Nah he tweakin” and have thousands of users descending on comment sections with the same phrase, subsequently turning it into a hilarious meme.
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