Answered: What is the Dab Dance?

Lebron's doing the dab, Cam Newton's doing the dab, Diddy's doing the dab - what the hell is the dab?
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Lebron's doing the dab, Cam Newton's doing the dab, Diddy's doing the dab - what the hell is the dab?

Hip-hop moves fast, and it moves even faster on the internet. One day the world hasn't heard of Fetty Wap, the next he's onstage with Taylor Swift. One day "lit" is short for literature, the next day there's seemingly nothing that isn't lit. From rappers to songs to memes, even the most astute rap internet watcher can't know everything, so we're starting our new Answered column. You have a question, we'll find an expert to answer it, and for the inaugural edition we're keeping everything in house.

So just what is this "dab" thing everyone from Lebron to Diddy is doing now? 


My Dearest Yoh,

As you very well know, I’m not exactly in tune with the larger hip-hop internet universe. It seems like every squad call you mention a rapper whose name sounds more like a Pokemon or some album I’ve never heard of. Still, while I’m out of touch I’m not completely on my own planet. I notice that the trends, the dances, and the culture most foreign to me is mostly coming out of Atlanta. Like ATL and Word Of Mouf, you are my window into the Atlanta world so I figure you can help me with this one.

The other day I saw a video of Lebron doing something called “dabbing.” I thought he might have been kissing his biceps, or maybe was sneezing and didn't want get his germs on the ball, until I saw another clip of dabbing on my Twitter machine. Turns out its not about weed. Turns out it's this dance from Atlanta and like all things Atlanta I don’t quite get it but that hasn't stopped it from blowing the fuck up. I saw it like four times this week watching football. Papi did it too. My rule is that once something reaches ESPN it’s officially a thing.

So...can you explain dabbing? Is this going to be the next “Watch Me Whip”? I won't be breaking out the dance myself, but I would like to know what it is so I'm not so in the dark. 

Teach me the magical ways of the A. - Lucas


My Dear Friend Lucas,

So you want to learn about the Dab? I’m not surprised, once a dance becomes a touch-down celebration questions are bound to arise. Well, it’s a bit bigger than the end zone, it was arguably the dominating dance of the summer. Someone with no knowledge might see the video of Lebron James doing the dab and assume he’s sneezing his soul into his forearm. Lets never call it “kissing his bicep" ever again please. As in ever. Thank you.  

Before we get into the big names that are riding the wave, let’s start with the origins. Like anything that is enamored by the internet, its humble beginnings can be hard to trace. Some cite everyone’s favorite trio since Huey, Duey, and Louie - The Migos - as the originators, while others will argue that Pee-Wee Longway, Rich The Kid, or Jose Guapo, all fairly notorious Atlanta artists, created the dance. All these rappers played a part in making the dance popular but it's Skippa Da Flippa that really pushed the dance in his videos before it reached the mainstream. Regardless who did it first, the dance has roots in Atlanta, where dances are manufactured like Coca-Cola and one-hit-wonders.

The dance itself is simple, the easiest dance since the Macarena. Rich The Kid has shot a tutorial for all those that want to practice before stepping out into a world where the Dab is essential for any social gathering. You don’t just do the Dab, you feel the Dab. Let the beat guide you and when the drop comes in, you simultaneously tilt your head while lifting your right forearm, sneezing is a good example, just don’t accidently shoot snot. The Dab is all about swagger, there’s nothing cool about launching boogers into the hair of a cute girl who paid my salary for the lavish weave. While Future wasn’t the creator, his music is tailored made for dabbing. A3C was a Dab festival because no one could resist every time “Jumpman,” “March Madness,” “Where Ya At” or “Commas” would play. Which was every other song. It’s as if Future saw the future and foresaw the dance and predicted the perfect production. I think Future’s incredible year and the popularity of the Dab is not a coincidence.

The Atlanta club scene has been dabbing all year, the rest of the world is just now catching up. Mac Miller can be seen dabbing in his latest video “Club House,” Post Malone paid homage to the dance in his “White Iverson” music video, and even the cast of ESPN’s Highly Questionable caught Dab fever a few weeks ago. Papi of course out-dabbed both his son Dan and Bomani. Even though the famous are elbows deep in the Dab, the youth of Atlanta are still the most entertaining to watch. They can take a simple move and add their own creative touch that will make your favorite rapper’s Dab look more like a dud.

Soon enough Good Morning America will be dabbing with their complicated Starbucks Espresso and soccer moms and hockey dads across the world will be sneezing all across Vine killing the cool while the kids in Atlanta search for the next wave. Hopefully the next time you are in the car and that beat is knocking and your arm begins to tingle, you dab in the name of Atlanta.

You're welcome - Yoh


The Game just rapped about drinking whiskey and pickle juice, is that really a thing people drink? Does Mike Jones' phone number still work? Does Pusha T do a new "whooo!!!" ad-lib every time, or is there a master "whooo!!" clip they re-use? Whatever your question is, hit us @refinedhype or @djbooth and we'll get it answered.

Until next time, happy dabbin.

[Image via Instagram.]