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The earliest known instance of the Crying Nae Nae was published by the Twitter  account Barstool Old Dominion on June 14th, 2018. The post features a series of emojis dancing the Nae Nae with sad emoji heads as well as the lyrics to "Africa" by Toto". The post (shown below) received more than five retweets and 30 likes in less than 10 days.
Following the popularity of the original dance, it was not uncommon for someone to recreate the dance in emoji form (examples below).
On June 19th, Twitter user @robeeaquino posted a variation in which the text reads, "at the house stage like: Ring ring goes the the telephone. There’s no one home. Operator. We have a problem." The post (shown below, left) received more than 690 retweets and 1,500 likes in one week.
The following day, Twitter user @ufobri posted a variation in which the emoji is saying "you ever wake up and wish you hadn't." The post (shown below, center) 950 retweets and 2,700 likes in less than one week.
Days later, on June 23rd, Twitter @GGFrosteX tweeted the image with the lyrics to the song "Country Road" by John Denver. The post (shown below, right) received more than 5,700 retweets and 17,000 likes in three days.
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