Nah He Tweakin’: A Look Back

Lil Nas X posing in front of the mirror
Share:

Social media’s impact is encompassing. It creates waves across every sector of society, from commerce to politics in sports. If you were active on social media around the end of last year, you might remember seeing this phrase pop up from time to time. It was often used as a caption on photos or videos of people doing something silly or funny. But what does it actually mean?

What’s the Meaning of Nah He Tweakin?

Origin

The phrase “nah he tweakin” is actually derived from hip-hop culture. It’s often used to describe someone high on stimulants. In other words, they’re not thinking clearly and are acting irrationally. If you break the phrase down, “nah” is a negative response, so “Nah he tweakin” would mean “No, he’s not thinking straight.” or simply, “He’s crazy.”

Usage

People can use the phrase in various ways, but it’s generally used to describe someone acting out of character or doing something that seems irrational. It was primarily used by Twitter and Instagram users after Lil Nas X mentioned it, but people can also use it in other contexts, such as in memes and real life.

For example, if you see someone acting strangely, you might say, “Nah he tweakin” to describe their behavior. Anyone can also use the phrase to show approval or excitement. For example, if you see someone do something you think is cool, you might say, “Yup, he’s tweakin!”

What Started Nah He Tweakin’?

Around the end of August 2021, the phrase started popping up on social media. It’s unclear who first started using the words or why, but it quickly gained popularity when rapper Lil Nas X used it in a comment on Instagram.

In the comment, Lil Nas X was responding to an Instagram post by RAPTV about the controversy surrounding Tony Hawk and his new line of DNA-infused skateboards. 

RAPTV had posted an image of the legend with a headline where Tony Hawk announced his $500 limited edition skateboards painted with a mixture infused with his own blood, to which Lil Nas X replied, “nah he tweakin.”

The phrase continued to be used, even by spam bots, after Lil Nas X’s comment, and it eventually caught on as a way to describe people doing things that are out of the ordinary. 

Various celebrity social media accounts, including Kanye West, Cardi B, and the Kardashians, have all been called out for “tweakin” in one way or another, with the comment section of their posts being filled with the phrase. The phrase garnered 11M+ public interactions on Instagram alone within the first 12 hours since Lil Nas X posted the comment.

Why Did Lil Nas Say, “Nah He Tweakin'”?

Hawk Blood Death

This started as a response to RAPTV’s post about Tony Hawk selling his blood-infused skateboards. On August 24, 2021, the beverage company Liquid Death announced its collaboration with legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk. 

The limited edition skateboard release, called “Hawk Blood Deck,” included 100 boards painted using red paint infused with Tony Hawk’s blood, each screen-printed manually onto the skateboards.

The boards came with a “certificate of authenticity” autographed by Tony Hawk and sold for $500 each, with 10% of the proceeds going to charity. While many might have thought this was cool, many people, along with Lil Nas X, called out the “double standards,” in comparison to the rapper’s March 2021 Satan Shoes release with MSCHF.

Satan Shoes

The Satan Shoes, a limited edition release of 666 pairs priced at $1,018, were modified Nike Air Max 97s that featured a pentagram, an inverted cross, the phrase “Luke 10:18,” and a number out of 666. Each had one drop of human blood in the sole, which MSCHF says was donated by their employees and was not the rapper’s own blood.

This started a public outrage because of the blood inclusion and the satanic references, with some even calling for a boycott of Nike. The company filed a lawsuit against MSCHF, and the shoes were eventually recalled. Some argued that if Tony Hawk’s release was okay, then Lil Nas X’s should have been as well.

Lil Nas X voiced his thoughts on Twitter about the double standards, with a part of it saying, “and maybe u were mad for some other reason?” insinuating that people were mad about the shoes because a black gay man created them. This could be the reason for Lil Nas X’s tweets and comments, “nah he tweakin” on the Tony Hawk post to call out the double standards.

Instagram Responds

On August 26, 2021, Instagram announced that they had muted the term from the platform because it cluttered the Instagram comment section, leading to issues loading other comments. Instagram fixed the problem later that day, and the company announced that all Instagram comments should be back.

Nah he tweakin’ has become a famous phrase on social media because of Lil Nas X, but like many things on the internet, the trend died down eventually. Many people have forgotten about the phrase, but it still holds a special place in the hearts of those who remember it.