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Saturday, August 1, 2015

What "Hit The Quan" REALLY Means

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about the "Hit The Quan" song/dance by @iHeart Memphis and showcases one YouTube compilation video of that dance.

This post also showcases the lyrics to a short version of the "Hit The Quan" song. Explanations about the meanings of those lyrics are also included in this post.

Various YouTube videos of clips from Vines* showing people performing the Hit The Quan dance are currently trending on the internet. Almost all of the Vines that I've watched feature the same shortened form of the song.

*Vines are six seconds videos that repeat in a looped format.*
(Correction 11/18/2015. Thanks Anonymous November 18, 2015 at 6:07 AM!)

The content of this post is presented for cultural, etymological, and entertainment purposes.

Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos, all those who are quoted in this post, and the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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WARNING: The complete "Hit The Quan" song contains profanity and the four letter form of the n word. However, the shortened form of this song that is featured in this post doesn't include that content. I've embedded one video of the Vine version of "Hit The Quan". I chose that particular example because it features @iheartMemphis dancing at the end.

I also provided a link to a YouTube sound file of the complete "Hit The Quan" song and a link to a video of Rich Homie Quan and others performing the dance that inspired the "Hit The Quan" song and dance. However, because the n word and some profanity are audible in that full version of the "Hit The Quan" I'm not embedding that sound file. Also, because the n word is audible throughout the compilation video of Rich Homie Quan's "Flex" song and dance, I've decided not to embed the video itself.

In addition, as a reminder, many of those discussion threads contain profanity, sexually explicit references, homophobic references, and other content that I consider to be problematic.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/08/homophobia-in-discussion-thread.html for a pancocojams post on "Homophobia In Discussion Thread Comments of Three YouTube Hip Hop Dance Compilations".

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VIDEO EXAMPLE: iHeart Memphis - Hit The Quan Dance #HitTheQuan #HitTheQuanChallenge King Imprint



King Imprint Published on Jul 15, 2015


Song: iHeart Memphis - Hit The Quan

Since everyone's been telling us to make a video to this song, i had to get the crew and murder sh*t for yall #hitthequan NEW KingImprint video!
-snip-
It seems to me that "Hit The Quan" is part dance and part pantomine. With the exception of the shooting pantomine, this post doesn't include any description of how this dance routine is performed.

Please add your descriptions in the comment section below. Thanks!

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WHAT IS "HIT THE QUAN?"
"Hit The Quan" is a Hip Hop dance/song. The song was written and performed by @iHeartMemphis as a tribute to the Flex ("Walk Thru") dance that Atlanta, Georgia Hip Hop artist Rich Homie Quan is known to perform during his shows.

The command to "hit the quan" means "Do the dance that was popularized by rapper Rich Homie Quan."

Rich Homie Quan's birth name is Dequantes Lamar. The word "Quan" in the song "Hit The Quan" refers to that rapper's dance. I don't know whether "Quan" is a nickname that that rapper had before he adopted "Rich Homie Quan" as his stagename. However, it seems likely that "Quan" could be a nickname for "Dequantes" and/or for other names that begin or end with the element "quan" such as "Daquan" and "Quantrell".

Additional meanings for the word "quan" are given in the section of this post about "Rich Homie Quan".

Some information about the name "Daquan" is found in this post and in the comment section below. Information about the name "Quantrell" is also found in the comment section below.

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WHAT DOES THE NAME "@iHeartMemphis" MEAN?
@iheartMemphis means "I love Memphis [Tennessee].
According to commenter paul peeples, end of July 2015 on the earliest YouTube example of this song/dance that I've found (a sound file with one cover photograph that was published July 1, 2015), @iheartMemphis is a Memphis night club promoter who has used that stage name for some time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZCN_zaypd4 - "@iHeartMemphis- Hit The Quan" (Prod. by Buck Nasty).

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WHAT DOES THE PHRASE "HIT THE ____" MEAN?
""Hit the (dance name)" means "Do the (insert a dance name)". Two other contemporary way of saying "Hit the (dance name) are "Crank the (dance name)" and "Drop the (dance name).
-snip-
As a result of the internet "Daquan meme" that appears to have started on Black twitter in July 2014, the name "Daquan" is undoubtedly the most well known personal name that includes the element "quan".

Some bloggers on "Hit The Quan" YouTube discussions threads hve some fun with that title by combining the standard English definition of "hit" (to strike a blow) with the African American Vernacular English word "da" meaning "the", and the "Black name" Daquan. Examples of those comments is "Poor Daquan. Don't hit him" and "Why does someone want to hit Daquan?"

Those comments are meant to be witty. @1heartMemphis is clearly saying "the Quan" and not "da Quan". The word "da" (meaning "the") is pronounced "dah" and the prefix "Da" in the name "Daquan" is pronounced "day". Besides, @iheartmemphis is clearly saying "the quan" and not "dah quan" or "day quan".

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WHAT ARE THE LYRICS TO "HIT THE QUAN"?
There are two main versions of this song: The original longer version and the shorter version/s that are used for Vines.

The YouTube sound file whose link is given above is the longer version. The lyrics to the entire song contain the n word, referents to illegal drugs, sexually explicit references, and references to urban street activity. As noted above, because that version includes language that I consider problematic, I'm not embedding it in this post. However, here's a link to that longer version: http://genius.com/Iheartmemphis-hit-the-quan-lyrics/#
Transcriber: Created by mcohen72, July 25, 2015

Note that a commenter on that website indicated that there's a mistake in that transcription. (And this mistake appears to be widely quoted). The transcriber wrote "with ADs on her belt"
but Gearitz, http://genius.com/Gearitz wrote "He actually says designer belt".
-snip-
What I hear is "with a designer belt".

Here are the words that are usually used for "Hit The Quan" vines:
"Clean pair Of sneaks
With a designer belt.
Please watch your step
Cause I'm feeling myself.
Throw a flag on a play.
Man, somebody get a ref.
Da Da Da Da Da Da Da.
Man, somebody get some help.
Pulled up on the block.
Hit the quan.
Hit the quan.
Hit the quan."
-snip-
Some vine examples of this song start with the line "Oh I think they like me”.

"Clean pair of sneaks" mean "sneakers" ("tennis shoes") that look good (in part because they are expensive, brand name shoes).

Pulled up on the block = drove a car to the neighborhood.

Note that these lyrics include bragging and warning like many Hip Hop songs (and many other songs from numerous Black musical genres).

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WHAT DO THE LINES "PLEASE WATCH YOUR STEP, CAUSE I'M FEELING MYSELF" MEAN?
According to Jason_Levine, http://genius.com/Jason_Levine, those words mean "Watch where you’re going because when he’s feeling himself, meaning he’s in his zone, you do not want to get in his zone."
-snip-
This is a warning not to mess with the person who is speaking.

In the 1960s or thereabouts there was a saying that a person was "really feeling his cheerios". "Cheerios" is a brand name for a box of cereal which was marketed as "the breakfast of [athletic] champion. People who were "really feeling their cheerios" were feeling good about themselves and were confident that they were able to do what needed to be done. I believe that that's the same meaning as the contemporary phrase "I'm feeling myself".

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WHAT DO THE LINES "GO BLAH DA DA DAA DA, MAN GET SOME HELP" MEAN?
[Updated 8/4/2015]
According to GBABY099, http://genius.com/GBABY099
"[those lines are] referring to shooting."
-snip-
In most Vines that I've seen of "Hit The Quan", dancers pantomine shooting a gun at another dancer. That dancers falls down as if he or she is shot. However, in some "Hit The Quan" Vines, dancers don't do that shooting pantomine. Some of those dancers might know that that's what the words mean, but choose to do another dance movement. That may be because they don't want to imitate shooting a gun and shooting at someone. But dancers may also choose not to do this pantomime simply because they want to interpret the dance their own way. Putting your own style to a dance (your own flavor to the mix)is an integral element of this dance and of other Hip Hop dances.

Click http://theboombox.com/rappers-and-gun-violence-exploring-hip-hops-love-of-firearms/ for a 2013 article entitled "Rappers and Gun Violence: Exploring Hip-Hop’s Love of Firearms".

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WHAT DO THE LINES "THROW A FLAG ON THE PLAY, MAN SOMEBODY GET THE REF" MEAN?
According to Danny Malice,
http://genius.com/DannyMalice
, "He referencing football where if there is a penalty they throw a flag on the play."

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WHAT DOES THE NAME "RICH HOMIE QUAN" MEAN?
"Rich" is what that rapper is striving to be.
"Homie" means a person from your neighborhood (your home boy, or home girl).
"Quan" is a shortened form of that rapper's first name, "Dequantes". (Dequantes Lamar, born October 4, 1989).

The prefix "De" in that name may be pronounced "day" as it is in the male name "Daquan".
-snip-
It's possible than "Quan" may [also] have some other meaning/s in that song.

Here are five selected entries for the word "quan" ("kwan") from twelve entries on http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=quan
(given in chronological order based on their posting date with the oldest entry given first)
1. "quan 

When you are one with something. Suggests unity or completion. A loosely defined quality combining or uniting athletic skill with love and respect, as well as money.

This word is used in the movie Jerry Maguire by Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. "Jerry, you are the ambassador of quan." And "Some players have coin, but I have the quan."

by jyther November 22, 2002"

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2. "quan 

the ultimate; the almighty; the maximum overlord

Sean McClellan

by Sean McClellan March 27, 2004

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3."Quan 

A coin in the battle mode of "Super Mario All-Stars", a video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Inspired by the quote from the movie "Jerry Maguire", "Some players have coin, but I have the quan."

I risk all for the quan.

by Scherzo May 12, 2005

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"Kwan
One-ness; A word that is a level up from swag. Strength, Power, good sense, stlye and ability. The term is mostly used as a definite article "The Kwan" than just Kwan.

"Damn yo, he came to a Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting in a Christian Dior Suit! He got The Kwan for real."
by SirRosewood September 01, 2011

**
5. "Quan 

A gangsta ni&&a* who has a lot of friends. He very athletic, funny, and outgoing. He attracts a lot of girls and usually has children at a young age. He most likely had a troubled childhood and grew up in poverty. He is very close to his family and values a strong family bond. He seems to overcome all odds to survive his struggles. He most likely has a very big penis. He is not afraid to hurt someone if pushed to the limit and is very violent when pushed. He is in the streets a lot and will do nearly anything for his hood. Quan is one of a kind.

"Damn I wish I was Quan."

by who u think? September 08, 2012"
-snip-
*This word is fully spelled out in this definition.
-snip-
I wonder if some of these definitions are folk processed forms of the word "khan".
From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/khan
"Khan"
noun.
1. A ruler, an official, or an important person in India and some central Asian countries.

2. A medieval ruler of a Mongol, Tatar, or Turkish tribe.
-snip-
The word "quan" is also a Kung Fu reference*, although I don't know that that reference is meant or implied in the "Hit The Quan" song or the urbandictionary.com definitions that I've quoted.

*From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaolin_Kung_Fu
"Shaolin Kung Fu (Chinese: 少林功夫; pinyin: Shàolín gōngfu), also called Shaolin Wushu (少林武术; Shàolín wǔshù), is among the oldest institutionalized style of Chinese martial arts.[1] Known in Chinese as Shaolinquan (Chinese: 少林拳; pinyin: Shàolínquán or Shaolin wugong (Chinese: 少林武功; pinyin: Shàolín wǔgōng), it originated and was developed in the Buddhist Shaolin temple in Henan province, China. During the 1500 years of its development, Shaolin kung fu, with its rich content, became one of the largest schools of kung fu. The name Shaolin is also used as a brand for the so-called external styles of kung fu. Many styles in southern and northern China use the name Shaolin.[5.,6]
-snip-
The italics were added by me to highlight those words.

In addition, the arch villan Quan Chi in Mortal Kombat video games and their spin offs could influence what "quan" means in this song (although I don't think it was meant to do so).
Here's some information about Quan Chi:
http://mortalkombat.wikia.com/wiki/Quan_Chi
"Quan Chi is the most powerful sorcerer and necromancer in the Netherrealm and a primary villain in the Mortal Kombat series. Quan Chi combines both cunning and brute force in his never-ending plots to overtake not only Earthrealm, but all of reality. He is an opportunist and will ally himself with anyone who can help him further his own goals. He is notable in particular for his ruthlessness and pragmatism. His manipulative and deceptive nature has earned him many enemies, including Sub-Zero and Scorpion, the latter whose entire family and clan he destroyed.
Only Shinnok, Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung and Delia can match Quan Chi's skills as a sorcerer."

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LINK TO A COMPILATION VIDEO OF RICH HOMIE QUAN'S DANCE
Here's a YouTube compilation of the dance that Rich Homie Quan does while singing is hit song "Flex"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__0pjX9FnP0 "Rich Homie Quan Dance Flex Compilation #richhomiedance Ohh,Ohh,Ohh) "Walk Thru Dance"
Published on May 5, 2015

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ADDENDUM
Here's a video of a 2010 dance that some online commenters say is a precusor to Rich Homie Quan's "Flex" dance:

Beenie Biggle Wiggle



Biggiefan170 Uploaded on Feb 11, 2010

HML Stunnazs..lmao...we was bored as hell

im just foolin to bennie biggle wiggle
-snip-
There probably are other Hip Hop/R&B dances that are similar to these dances.

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Visitor comments are welcome.

9 comments:

  1. Here's information about the internet Daquan meme:
    From http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/04/the-truth-about-black-twitter/390120/
    ..."Black Twitter is a force. It’s also not particularly well understood by those who aren’t a part of it. The term is used to describe a large network of black Twitter users and their loosely coordinated interactions, many of which accumulate into trending topics due to the network’s size, interconnectedness, and unique activity."...

    **
    Here's an excerpt from another article about the Daquan meme, along with several comments from that article's readers:
    http://hiphopwired.com/2014/07/07/racially-charged-memes-fueled-fictional-daquan-tweets-photos/
    Fictional Character “Daquan” Fuels Racially Charged Memes
    By Damon Richardson, Jul 7, 2014

    If you’re anything like this writer, the sheer wonderment of why a name as racially specific as “Daquan” was trending on Twitter was enough to look into the latest meme craze. What followed was something more ridiculous than anyone could imagine.
    Depending on your stance, Daquan could be the protagonist or antagonist of these fictional scenarios. But the story ends a similar way each time. Timelines were full of pictures of distraught white mothers, fathers, and husbands appalled by the thought of their loved one being caught in Daquan’s web of deceit.

    The trend resulted in mounds of comedic, but extremely insensitive tweets. Laugh at your own risk in the gallery after the jump. Share your thoughts in the comments.

    Comment:

    Guest [2014]
    Smh. This is just another “The big bad black man corrupting our precious white girls” stereotype. Some people need to wake up. Everything is not just harmless fun. Where are the memes of black men being uplifted? Oh I know. I’m being too serious and need to chill out.

    Augustine
    reply to guest [2014]
    check out the successful black man meme. And there are also white boys in those Daquan memes. Do you feel the same way about the Bad luck Brian meme (clearly making fun of white guys), Scumbag Steve (making fun of white guys), or the Mexican man meme?

    Jay Flex reply to guest [2014]
    reply to Guest
    oh you mean the one where any black man who is in a good school or has a good job got there only because of Affirmative Action and at the expensive of a more qualified white candidate?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The name "Daquan" is sometimes given as "Dequan" in these "Daquan meme" tweets. I've never known anyone with this name, but there are internet articles about several young adult Black male athletes with that name: ("Daquan" ("DaQuan", "Dequan", "Daequan). The earliest birth date that I found for these athletes is 1987. There also is an internet article about a Black pre-teen inventor whose name is Daqaun.

    For what it's worth, I don't know anyone with the name "Daquan'. I asked my daughter who was an elementary school teacher for 18 years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (in a school that was 99.9 % Black). She said she only had one boy named "Daquan" in her class in all those years, and didn't know any other person with that name.

    Also, for what it's worth, the 1994 name bookProud Heritage: 11,001 Named for your African American Baby by Eliza Dinwiddle- Boyd has no entry for Daquan (in any of its spellings). That book also doesn't have any entry for the (in my esperience and judging from the United States social security statistics) much more common name "Dashawn" (or "Dashon", DaSean".)

    My theory is that the name "Daquan" was coined (probably in the mid to late 1980s) by rhyming the name "Dashawn".

    ReplyDelete
  3. The male name "Quantrell" that is cited in this post is included in the 1994 book Proud Heritage: 11, 001 Names For Your African American Baby by Eliza Dinwiddle-Boyd.

    The name Quantrell may have been formed by combining the elements "Quan" with the element "(t)rell". "Quan" is used in the so-called Black [male] name Daquan and "(t)rell" is used in the so-called Black male name "Terrell" (also given as "Terrelle".) .

    Given the history of Quantrill's Raid, it's ironic that the name "Quantrell" is now considered a Black male name.

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantrill%27s_Raiders
    "Quantrill's Raiders was a loosely organized force of pro-Confederate partisan rangers, "bushwhackers", who fought in the American Civil War under the leadership of William Clarke Quantrill. The name "Quantrill's Raiders" seems to have been attached to them long after the war, when the veterans would hold reunions."
    -snip-
    Of course, there may be no connection between the personal name "Quantrell" and the last name "Quantrill".

    Also, for what it's worth, the 2009 American independent film Big Fan, featured a Black character by the name of "Quantrell Bishop".

    ReplyDelete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Anyah Peters.

      I'm glad you like this dance.

      Delete
    2. vines are six seconds videos, not 6 minute

      Delete
    3. Hello, anonymous.

      Thanks for alerting me to that typo - Well, it's not really a typo, but I meant to write 6 seconds instead of 6 minutes :o)

      I'll correct it in the post.

      Best wishes!

      Delete
  5. Thank you for explaining that. #Clueless :-/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Adrian Michelle.

      I was surprised that the meaning of "hit the quan" wasn't more readily available, and I enjoyed learning something from that online research.

      Delete