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Thug Shaker is a slang phrase describing videos of Black men, who presumably live a "thug" lifestyle, performing the "rump shaker" dance move while naked, which consists of shaking their buttocks. The clips are frequently used in bait-and-switch media and fall under the Thugposting meme category, in fact, being the inspiration for the genre's namesake. The name "thug shaker" and a related copypasta both hail from a 2023 gay pornography video. In early 2023, classified Russia-Ukraine war documents were leaked on a Discord server called Thug Shaker Central by one of the moderators named Jack Teixeira, inspiring mainstream discourse about the meme.
On April 30th, 2023, the gay pornography video "That Dick Tastes Like Money" by the production studio Thug Hunter was released. In the video, a man named Logan approaches a young Black man, who according to the plot is a "badass thug from the hood," and pays him for sexual intercourse. In one part of the video, Logan asks the man to remove his pants and shake his buttocks, referring to the act as the "thug shaker" (SFW still image from the video shown below).
Oh, you've got an ass on you alright, see that's what he's talkin' about! Spread your ass open, dude. You can do the rump shaker, huh? The thug shaker, give me the thug shaker! Shake your ass. Take your hands off it and shake that shit, pull your shirt up, I know you can shake it. Shake it. Yeah, that’s some thug ass right there.
The bait-and-switch trend, which involved editing a clip of a Black man shaking the buttocks into an unrelated video started with the Black Guy Twerking clip. The clip, originally uploaded to the video-sharing app Triller, was first used in a bait-and-switch video in March 2016, gaining massive virality in 2018 on Instagram (example shown below). The popularization of the clip led to similar bait-and-switch media also gaining popularity, including the Ninja Twerking meme in December 2018, and eventually to Thug Shaker bait-and-switches.
Two years after the viral spread of the original Black Guy Twerking clip in late 2018, other "thug shaker" bait-and-switch videos were popularized by the now-suspended Instagram user jorge.mp4, who started uploading such videos to their profile at least as early as October 2023. The earliest known edit containing the titular clip, a ranking video, was made by jorge.mp4 sometime before October 19th, 2023 (shown below).
In the following year, @jorge.mp4 uploaded multiple bait-and-switch memes using the clips, which were also spread by Discord users through a variety of servers (reuploads to backup account jrge.mp4 shown below, left and right).
Starting at least as early as March 2023, other users joined in on the trend, using the Thug Shaker clip from the Thug Hunter video and other clips for bait-and-switch media and other memes. For example, in March 2023, Instagram user dailythugshaker became active, repeatedly posting the same edit of the Thug Shaker clip in the following year.
In 2023, the bait-and-switch trend saw further spread across all major platforms, while Thug Shaker bait-and-switches have been referenced in various memes.
Bill Jensen Trolling
Thug Shaker bait-and-switch videos have often been used as a trolling tactic against Bill Jensen, a Christian streamer and YouTuber who is a character played by YouTuber Shane Boyle (examples shown below).
Thug Shaker Central Discord Leak
Russia-Ukraine War Documents Leaked on Discord refers to an early 2023 leak of classified U.S. Pentagon documents regarding the Russia-Ukraine War on an American Discord server, which soon spread to a larger Minecraft Discord server. The documents were leaked by 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a Texas-born member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, to a Discord server called Thug Shaker Central. The photographs of the documents spread elsewhere in early 2023, to 4chan, Twitter and Telegram where they were reportedly altered by Russian propagandists. A Discord user named Lucca in the WowMao Discord server was the first leaker reported on, but then Teixeira was arrested by the F.B.I., likened to be the original leaker. The leaks were condemned by the U.S. government months after their initial leak, inspiring viral discourse and widespread media coverage in April 2023.