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Updated Mar 07, 2014 at 09:30PM EST by James.

Added Dec 05, 2009 at 01:26PM EST by DJ Intercept.

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“U MAD?”, sometimes written as “you mad?” or “u mad bro?”, is a catchphrase that is often used in discussion threads to imply that someone is losing their temper during the course of an argument, sometimes taunting or baiting other posters into a flamewar. Due to the agitating nature of the phrase, it is often considered a form of trolling.


The phrase “You mad, ‘cause [I’m better than you]” is a dissing technique found in the context of hip hop music, with its roots in freestyle battling. The phrase can be often heard on “diss tracks”[1], or songs primarily intended to insult another artist (example shown below, left). The first image macro using the phrase featured the Harlem-based rapper Cam’Ron pointing off camera with the overlaid text “YOU MAD.” The still image came from a segment on the Bill O’Reilly Show (shown below, right) where Cam’Ron appeared with producer Damon Dash to debate whether or not rap was harmful to children in November 2003.

DAMON DASH: How do you hurt children by promoting to be an entrepreneur and a CEO and to do right…


O’REILLY: Hold it! Hold it! You’re looking at a principal…

CAM’RON: Why don’t you want to let him talk? You mad. You mad.

O’REILLY: You won’t let me finish.

CAM’RON: Where did you start, A Current Affair, right?

O’REILLY: No, wrong.

CAM’RON: I’m going to get at you in a minute.

O’REILLY: You go ahead. You get at me.

CAM’RON: I’m going to get at you in a minute.


The first Urban Dictionary definition for the phrase “U Mad” was submitted by user Johnny Twoguns[4] on August 13th, 2004, attributing the coinage to Cam’Ron. The same year, U-Mad.net[10] was established as a personal homepage for an independent rap group.The first “u mad” YTMND[6] page was created on September 25th, 2005. On the Body Building Forums, a thread titled “‘U Mad’ pictures”[5] was posted on June 20th, 2007, sharing reaction images (shown below) to express the sentiments of the phrase.

Between 2008 and 2009, the phrase became incredibly popular on BodyBuilding.com[13], where it was used in thousands of threads.[14] The phrase also seeped into other forums including My Anime List[12], Rune Tips[15], Real GM Basketball[16], Project 1999[17] and Portal Forums.[18] In 2010, the forst “u mad” single topic blog[20] was launched on Tumblr and internet culture blog Urlesque[19] asserted that “U Mad” was being replaced by “U Jelly”. The first archived 4chan[3] thread using “u mad” took place on March 28th, 2011. Several Facebook[2] groups exist referencing “u mad”, but the largest[11], established in August 2011, has nearly 155,000 likes as of November 2012.

Notable Images

High School Sign Controversy

On September 3rd, 2011, Fox 8 Cleveland[8] reported on a group of high school students in Ohio that were accused of “racial intimidation” for displaying a “YOU MAD BRO” banner during a football game. The article was subsequently posted to Reddit[9] and Gawker[7] on September 5th, 2011, followed by TIME[21], Yahoo! News[22] and Smosh.[23] Though it is unclear whether or not the students were reprimanded, the Kirtland Schools Superintendent Steve Barret noted that he saw the sign as disrespectful with an air of bad sportsmanship.[24]

Post-Election Instances

Following President Obama‘s reelection in early November 2012, many photos of the President with the caption “u mad” began to circulate on social networks.[25] There were 65,820 mentions of the phrase on Twitter that day[26], a large spike compared to the previous day’s count of 21,716 mentions. The hashtag #umad also accompanied these photos on Instagram[27] and Tumblr.[28] Additionally, 6 different Facebook fan pages[29] were created for “U Mad Romney?”, with approximately 340 likes amongst them.

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