Thugposting / Gay Black Men Memes
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Thugposting refers to a genre of shitposting, bait-and-switch and ironic memes that use videos and imagery of gay Black men. The most notable memes that fall under the genre are Ambatukam (also known as Dreamybull), Thug Shaker (also known as Thug Hunter), Brandon Curington The Erotic Barber and Animan Studios (also known as Axel In Harlem). The memes aim to recontextualize and subvert the pornographic nature of the visuals as well as subvert the hyper-masculine perception of Black men in popular culture. Thugposting became prevalent on Discord, Reddit, TikTok, Instagram and iFunny, among other platforms, in 2022 and 2023 within hood irony meme circles. Thugposters, as in thugposting meme creators, are predominantly perceived to be straight white men, which has led to criticism of the meme genre due to the perception that the men are subverting Black masculinity in an attempt to be racist and problematic. It's alleged that thugposting started in 2016 within the /leftypol/ Discord server.
It's alleged by posts on the /leftpol/ Discord server's Fandom that the practice of thugposting started in early 2016 within the server. In May 2016, mentionings of the term "thugposting" surfaced on 4chan's /o/ board. One of the first, predominant thugposting trends was the Black guy twerking video which first surfaced in 2016. The video was originally posted to the app Triller and later surfaced on YouTube in mid-2016 (example shown below).
Although thugposting seemingly surfaced in 2016, the term "thugposting" wasn't officially coined and didn't become a prominent trend until January 2022. For instance, on January 2nd, 2022, "thugposting" was added to Urban Dictionary for the first time by the user Ali Saif Al Din, gaining over 150 likes in one year (shown below). The definition referenced the Thug Hunter (thughunter.com) porn videos that were used in Thug Shaker memes, likening them to the genre's namesake. The definition also referenced Discord terms like "general chat," alluding to the thugposting's prominence in an unnamed Discord server. A likely server is the Thug Shaker Central server, which was later involved with a leak of classified Russia-Ukraine War documents in 2023.
Also, the /leftypol/ Discord server Fandom page provided a screenshot of a mod "gulagging" (as in banning) multiple users on January 28th, 2022 for thugposting in the #hobby channel amid a lull in activity (shown below). The screenshot outlined how thugposting was prominent in the server in January 2022.
Around the same time, as in January 2022, "thugposting" was referenced on 4chan's /pol/, among other imageboards. Going into 2022 and early 2023, thugposting became prominent across social media platforms via various thugposting-related trends.
Humorous criticism of the memes surfaced in hood irony meme circles starting in 2022. For instance, on May 5th, 2022, Redditor Honest-Meet posted a meme to /r/wordington that used the caption, "people who post wojaks and doge when i show them actually funny memes like gay black men shaking their ass," gaining roughly 1,600 upvotes in one year (shown below, left). A year later, similar memes surfaced in relation to Animan Studios memes, such as a tweet posted by Twitter user @RealYouTubeKids on February 7th, 2023, which used the 10 Minutes Later: 'Me and the Bestie' format, earning roughly 49,600 likes in three months (shown below, right).
Thug Shaker is a slang phrase describing videos of Black men, who presumably live a "thug" lifestyle, performing the "rump shaker" dance move while naked, which consists of shaking their buttocks. The clips are frequently used in bait-and-switch media and fall under the Thugposting meme genre, in fact, being the inspiration for the genre's namesake. The name "thug shaker" and a related copypasta both hail from a 2020 gay pornography video.
Ambatukam / Dreamybull
Ambatukam, also known as Ambatukam Omaygot, refers to multiple, explicit, porn videos of adult film star Dreamybull who became notable for flamboyantly screaming, "I'm about to cum! Oh my God!" at the end of all his videos. The words "Ambatukam Omaygot" are pronounced the same way as the exclamation, being a version of it that reads like a first and last name of African origin. The videos, originally posted to Twitter, were re-edited and exploited on Discord and TikTok in early 2022 where users recaptioned cropped versions of them, using Dreamy's O-face and posting him ironically.
Brandon Curington, The Erotic Barber
Brandon Curington, The Erotic Barber, also known as Brandon The Barber, is a gay, Black, Atlanta-based barber known for giving nude haircuts and doubling as an OnlyFans model. He's often used in thugposting memes. On TikTok and elsewhere in 2022 and early 2023, the Erotic Barber was matched up against Dreamybull in powerscaling edits. He's known for having Instagram, YouTube and TikTok presences, however, he gained his largest following on his since-deleted Twitter account from 2019 to 2021. In March 2023, Brandon Curington cut Twitch streamer BruceDropEmOff's hair, resulting in various viral videos.
Animan Studios / Axel In Harlem
Animan Studios is an adult cartoon studio focused on gay, male content that gained virality in 2023 predominantly for the cartoon Axel in Harlem that featured a Black man walking down a sidewalk while other men were staring at his oversized rear end. The cartoon was mixed with the song "La Cumbia de Free Fire" by Bukano, specifically the lyrics "Vámonos De Fiesta A Factory." Also the song "Ballin'" by Mustard and Roddy Rich was used which has the primary lyrics "I Put the New Forgis on the Jeep." Both were used to create a series of video and image memes on TikTok, similar to other thugposting memes. Additionally, redraws and fan art emerged on social media platforms like Twitter that redrew the screencaps of Axel's butt and the men staring by substituting characters from multiple fandoms into the template. Animan Studios was founded in 2016 on the website mranimanstudios.com and on Tumblr.
Turbulence Guy / A Whole Bunch Of Turbulence
A Whole Bunch of Turbulence is a catchphrase taken from a viral video (and a series of other subsequent videos that stemmed from it) in which a Black man on TikTok Live nicknamed the Turbulence Guy (real name @officialjustjo or Just Jo Official) was seemingly shaking his penis back-and-forth between his legs off camera, making a clapping sound while saying there was a "whole bunch of turbulence," as in, plane turbulence. Screen recordings of his TikTok livestream went viral across social media, spreading to YouTube in early 2023. His "turbulence" videos later became exploitables in memes, falling under the thugposting genre.
Is That Dick Good? "Yes King" How Good Is That Dick?
Is That Dick Good? 'Yes King' How Good Is That Dick? refers to an ironic, thugposting meme that uses an explicit video of two men having sex with one asking "Is that dick good?" and the other moaning "Yes King." The original video was uploaded to Twitter in March 2023 and features male OnlyFans models ThickMuthaFukah (@Thickmuthafukah) and LoveAndLightTv (@LoveAndLightTv). The meme started in early 2023, surfacing on TikTok, iFunny and YouTube, among other platforms.
 Fandom – Thugposting
 Urban Dictionary – thugposting
 4chan (via 4plebs) – /pol/
 Reddit – /r/wordington
 Twitter – @RealYouTubeKids
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