Another great word from the large dictionary of New York City slang has died.
Deadass is officially dead. The internet has seized the word like real estate vultures in Hunt’s Point. It had a good run but I’m sorry to say that deadass has been harambe-ized.
New York took a lot of L’s this past year thanks to the viral nature of the internet. Everyone knows what a chopped cheese is and Timberlands have turned into the male Uggs. And with the rapid rise of New York memes, it is safe to say that we are losing another pillar of New York culture.
“Deadass,” isn’t a word that is taken lightly. Deadass is a word that means one of three things.
1.That you are extremely serious about doing something.
“Deadass, I’m going to make him pay up for that.”
- A way to make a statement that isn’t a joke and shows you are very serious.
“I saw your girl hooking up with James. I’m deadass!”
3.A sign of pure disbelief.
Person 1: “They arrested me for hopping the turnstile”
Person 2: “Deadass?”
Yes, deadass is a beautiful word. The way it rolls off the tongue is something uncomparable to other words that expresses such a feeling. Yes, you could say “I’m serious” or “seriously?” but it just doesn’t flow like deadass does.
Personally I’m not sure how old the word is. The Urban Dictionary definition dates back to 2003. Of course, deadass and other New York City slang is rooted in ebonics. Browsing through Rap Genius shows the word definitely started to circulate around the 1990’s. The earliest use of the word seems to come from Fat Joe’s 1993 song “Bad Bad Man.”
“I’m not a daydreamer, but I’m known as a schemer. I’m deadass when it comes to this”
In 1995, Lord Finesse dropped the word on his legendary track “Hip 2 Da Game.”
“I turn MCs red fast. I never sell out, fuck that yo, I’m deadass.”
Onyx’s Fredo Starr also dropped the word in the intro to their 1998 song “Fuck Dat.”
In 1999, Public Enemy boldly stated “You have no right to be deadass wrong” on their song “Kevorkian.”
All of these rappers are New York MCs, which definitely proves that the word has its origins in New York. Personally I didn’t hear the word until I was around 11 or in middle school. I remember one of my friends just dropped the word out of nowhere.
At first, it made absolutely no sense. What the hell is a deadass? Then I realized that is what made the word so great. No one understands it unless they’re from your area. Deadass and other New York slang separated the real New Yorkers from the fakes.
Once one realizes how the word functions it becomes glued to your conscience. I don’t think I go through one day, or even three hours, without dropping the word to show how I’m feeling. I’ve even reiterated deadass into “dead booty” and “Dead fucking ass.”
But of course, the internet found out about it and decided to completely destroy the word. Google trends shows that within the past two months, “deadass” has shot up in interest. Other cringey search queries like “deadass facts b,” “deadass b meme,” “deadass meme,” have shot up as well.
Now, I would have no problem with people using the word if they used it correctly. However, this is not the case. In fact, the most common phrase I have heard is “deadass facts b.”
Now, “deadass facts b” is a meme, it isn’t a phrase. It is a joke that combines three popular slang words from New York City. So we broke down deadass but let’s break down “facts” and “b.”
Facts is pronounced as “fax” and is usually used as a sign of affirmation or agreement.
Person 1“Yo that test was wild hard”
Person 2 “Fax! OD!”
Person 1: “Donald Trump is wildin!”
Person 2: “Fax my guy!”
“B” is simply a letter that is a short, simple way to address a person or friend.
“Yo B was gud”
“You aii b?”
Now read the popular phrase “Deadass fax b.” It is practically saying. “Seriously! I agree with you! B!” It honestly sounds a little ridiculous and I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that this meme does not reflect the reality of New York slang.
Simply put, if you’re not from one of the five boroughs please don’t try to jack our slang. Our BS detector goes off the charts especially if it just doesn’t flow right. If it does not feel natural then don’t even stress it. There a million other words you can use to describe your feelings. Just don’t use deadass.