Top Pop Culture Phrases of 2011

With the help of social media, pop culture icons have the ability to either flop or blow up in a matter of days, minutes, or even seconds. Once something catches on, the whole world knows and usually has an opinion about it. Many of these ideas end up on sites like Facebook or Twitter, leaving users inevitably repeating themselves over and over again. With a lookback on 2011, we as twenty-somethings have embraced many pop cultural obsessions. Here’s our top list of “pop culture” phrases from this year:

  • “Going H.A.M.”- Coined by Kanye West and Jay Z in their song titled “H.A.M”, meaning going hard as a motherf*cker, or in other words, trying your hardest and/or going extremely over the top on something. A common sentence using this phrase might sound like, “I’m about to go H.A.M at my gymnastics meet later!!” This could also bee seen used anywhere from the gym, a college classroom during a test or an exam, or even while chugging a beer (“You won’t go H.A.M. on that Bud Light!”).
  • “Y.O.L.O”- Thanks to Drake, this phrase has hip hop listeners throwing good judgment to the wind by simply saying this, or “you only live once.” According to his most recent song “The Motto” featuring the lyrical Lil Wayne, “you only live once, that’s the motto.” This may be true, but “YOLOing” about everything you do may not be the smartest move, especially if a decision you make actually leads to your untimely death. So YOLO it up, but use caution.
  • “Racks on Racks on Racks”- YC dropped his catchy song adorned with this title earlier this year, bragging about the amount of money (or “racks”) he could continuously keep stacking (which is actually very interesting because he is a fairly new artist, but whatever) freely whenever he wanted. This phrase morphed into a semi-different one, applying it to whatever the main topic of abundance was at any moment. For example, if you were tweeting up a storm you may have “tweets on tweets on tweets,” or if you decided to go H.A.M. at a party with your buddies you might have “beers on beers on beers.” However you use it will probably end up more truthful than YC’s reference.
  • “WINNING”If you are reading this and have no idea what is being referenced here, you shouldn’t be allowed on the internet. Charlie Sheen took the usual positive, opposite-of-losing to a new level, making it one of the most annoying phrases of 2011.
  • “Taylor Gang or Die (TGOD)”The wise Wiz Khalifa once said, Taylor Gang or Die, or join his group of Chuck-Taylored-out friends or cease to exist. Once again, rap took a choke hold on pop culture. Many new phrases stemmed from TGOD, basically all relating to representing Taylor Gang and if not, a consequence similar to death would be upon you.
  • “_____ Problems”- Twitter strikes again with this one. The newest, coolest, and trendiest thing to do in the twittersphere now-a-days is to end everything with a hashtagged grouping of words followed by the word “problems.” This started off as a cutesy way to cover up actual “problems”, such as “OMG, I totally have no ass #whitegirlproblems.” There is a problem for everything on Twitter now, which totally kills the original coolness factor of this trend.
  • “That Sh*t Cray”-Kanye West and Jay Z make our list again, with probably one of the most popular phrases of this year. In their song “N*ggas in Paris”, they refer to that sh*t as being “cray,” or the more commonly used word “crazy.” You may think they were simply trying to be hip by dropping the “z” in crazy, creating the word “cray,” but rumors have it they are actually referring to the bad ass Kray twins from the organized crime circles in London from the 1950s and 1960s. You can be the judge of that!

Did you find yourself using or tweeting any other phrases this year? Let us know! As social media junkies, TwentyTweets want to join in your obsession!

~B

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