@ em or dap em! The Evolution of Subliminals

Subliminal messages have been around forever. Since the days of drive-in movies, where advertisers would sneak hidden messages into film or commercials to get consumers to buy their product, we always become exposed to hidden messages. Over time and with the evolution of communication, this evolved to what we coin in hip hop as the “Subliminal Diss”, where an artist would indirectly insult or criticize someone without naming names. Some do it to be clever, others do it out of cowardice, fearing whatever backlash and repercussions would ensue. Of course this is a reflection of everyday life, as subliminals reign supreme in this world, and you may not even notice.
Think about when your boss has a meeting and declares “we really need to all get in here on time and ready to work” 24 hours after you had a talk with him/her about lateness. Think about every time someone starts off a sentence with “no disrespect” or #Noshots. It almost 99% of the time is #shotsfired, #grenadeslaunched, and #operationDesertStorm! For greeks, how about the infamous “Bros was sayin” or “Some sorors told me”? Sound familiar? Well, welcome to the evolution of the subliminal messages.
The internet, for all the good it’s brought us over the years, has enhanced these subliminal movements to the nth level. Whether it’s a Facebook status about a situation, an email chain, or a Gchat/IM, people can hide behind the comfort of a computer and say whatever they feel, because more than likely you won’t trace who they are and they can pass it off as Internet humour.
With all the different forms of Internet communication that I mentioned, nothing takes subliminal dissing to its highest level as Twitter has shown. It’s uncanny and even genius how you can talk sh*t about someone and they wouldn’t know! Some ways include:
If they don’t follow you, you can say anything without them seeing it
Private Pages
Speaking someones name without using their @name

These points and others, make it very easy to be bold on Twitter without retaliation. However, Twitter giveth and Twitter taketh away. When people follow you, they can Retweet and post what you said. When they follow you, even if their page is private, the message will be seen by others with one retweet. Twitter has about 6 degrees of separation (probably way less), so if enough people RT your message, those subliminal disses will be brought to light and will get around to the original source of your jokes/criticism/hate.
To combat this cowardice, dudes such as @FoxxFiles @RealLifeKaz and others have adopted the phrase “@ em or dap em” This basically means that if you have something to say about someone on twitter, put their @name in it, or hold your tongue. Since the inception of this rule, I’ve seen a slight decline in subliminals, and a exponential increase in exposes on people droppin sublims. I had my own run-in, as someone had issues with my dudes and thought that a 2 month rant wouldn’t get exposed. Check my timeline from 9/30/10 to see it unfold.
I say all this to say, Antoine Dodson told it right: “Hide yo wives, hide yo Husbands”, because they @’in everyone out here!! If you think you’re going to be ill, let people put batteries in your back to talk sh*t and people won’t find out and ETHER you on the net, then keep sleeping. It’s all love and jokes because it’s only the internet, but you can’t stop the rain, and twitter ether flows like the Nile!
@ em or dap em, stop being SHOOK!
Sincerely Yours,
P.S – Check out the SBM Fan Page on Facebook HERE!! Like it and tell a friend!


  1. Ah so this is what was goings ons in your timeline yesterday,lol

  2. I was wondering why you were going in yesterday. lol. Had me felling sorry for whoever was on the other end of that rant.

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