The internet has long been obsessed with Among SuS memes. The term “meme” was coined in 1993 and described an idea that spread virally across platforms and became associated as something funny or weird. Nowadays you can find memers on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Roblox, Discord, Snapchat, etc., all of whom are sharing their own unique take on what’s now known as a meme.
But among us meme — which started out as a remix to the popular track by American rapper Fetty Wap called “Trap Queen”—is unlike any other meme because it feels like a real person singing about how they feel rather than just someone saying words over music. It also doesn’t have many rules aside from being sung along to at karaoke bars, but we’re here to help explain everything else you need to know about this strange yet wonderful phenomenon.
What is the SUS meme?
As of right now, there isn’t one definitive answer for why people enjoy listening to “Among Us,” but there are plenty of theories based on different interpretations of lyrics and sounds from the original track. While some believe it originated in 2014 when Fetty Wap released his hit single, others say it dates back much further to when it first appeared online during 2017. In fact, it seems no one really knows where it came from. But regardless of its origin story, “Among Us” quickly gained popularity due to its catchy tune and hilarious hook line that goes, “…and I’m gonna be your queen.” That line alone made it easy for anyone who heard it to get hooked on wanting more. So naturally, once fans began to hear new versions of the song, they wanted even more. And thus, another iteration of the song was born: Among Us meme.
Some think that the video above may show the first instance of the song getting remixed into a meme. Others claim that it wasn’t until after Fetty Wap performed the song live at Summerfest 2018 that it went viral. Regardless, everyone agrees that it took off pretty fast.
In April 2020, Spotify published a list of songs most streamed in March 2020. According to the site, “Among Us” ranked number two on the streaming service’s chart. At the time of writing this article, it still sits at number four.
It should come as no surprise that since “Among Us” is such a recent release (it debuted on iTunes Store on Feb. 28, 2015) it hasn’t had much competition in terms of numbers compared to older hits. As mentioned earlier, it currently holds the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and is #1 on the Streaming Songs Charts according to Nielsen Music. However, while Fetty Wap does not have any official social media accounts, he does maintain a website that features photos from various concerts and events including a performance of “Among Us” at Madison Square Garden in 2019. He also has a fan club page on Facebook that shows him performing the song alongside members of One Direction. This leads us to believe that if he were to post videos of himself doing “Among Us” it would definitely go viral again.
Another interesting tidbit regarding Fetty Wap’s track record is that despite having millions of streams per month, he only has three songs sitting inside the Top 40 on Apple Music’s charts. Two of those songs aren’t even his own work. His debut album Rock Me Gently peaked at No. 31 last year, while Party Over Here reached No. 46 in 2016. Although these stats might seem low considering he has consistently worked hard to promote himself through multiple tours and concert appearances, it could mean that his upcoming projects don’t have enough momentum behind them to reach the same heights. Or maybe it simply means he needs to try harder and play around with his style.
Regardless, it’s clear that Fetty Wappears to want to keep making headway within the industry and will likely continue to do so. We’ll see what happens next!
Why is Among Us so Sus?
Sus is short for sassy urban slang and refers to a type of speech used by black women. It’s often characterized by using exaggerated speech patterns, dropping certain letters or syllables, and omitting certain vowels. For example, instead of saying “I am going to eat my dinner up,” a sus woman might shout, “I am going to ea-at da-niter!” To understand exactly how it works, you’ll have to watch the clip below.
Now, although both phrases use similar word choices, many argue that “Among Us” uses a form of sus that borders between comedic and tragic lyrical delivery. Some say it takes the concept too far and becomes comically melodramatic, while others assert that it actually adds depth to the overall message. Either way, the effect ends up feeling very unsettling. When paired together with the chorus, it creates a hauntingly powerful experience.
For example, lines like “you said you loved me/but I don’t wanna love you back/cause I’m already gone” feel particularly sad given the context of the rest of the song. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that the vocals in the bridge change mid-song, suggesting that whoever sings it is transitioning from sadness to happiness. The transition makes it appear as though the singer is experiencing feelings of euphoria, but then realizing her emotions make things worse.
To add insult to injury, the song repeats itself throughout the entire track, which leads to some believing it gets stuck in your head. Not surprisingly, this is especially true for white listeners who tend to skip tracks during karaoke sessions. On the flip side, if you pay attention you’ll notice that the vocal changes slightly every few seconds. The pitch drops randomly, sometimes increasing, sometimes decreasing. It gives each listener a sense of unpredictability that is sure to drive away fellow singers.
These factors combined create a truly unforgettable experience. People sing along to it in clubs, perform it at weddings, and put it on their mix tapes. Even though some people consider it offensive, it’s hard to deny its impactful appeal. A lot of people end up falling victim to the uncontrollable urge to repeat parts of the song even outside of karaoke venues.
And yes, it certainly falls under the category of triggering content for sensitive viewers. You shouldn’t listen to it if you struggle with mental health issues or suicidal thoughts.
How did sus become a meme?
While it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact moment that the phrase “sus” entered our lexicon, it’s safe to assume that it originated sometime in early 2010. Prior to becoming widely recognized, the acronym referred to a group of friends whose names start with S. There are several instances of mentions dating back to 2009, however, none of them received widespread recognition.
Fast forward to May 2011 and the hip hop artist Childish Gambino posted a tweet featuring the acronym. Within days, people realized that it sounded vaguely familiar and soon after, the name “SUS” began popping up everywhere. From comments on articles to tweets to Tumblr posts, the acronym found its way onto countless websites, blogs, forums, and comment sections. Eventually, people claimed that they owned the trademark rights to the acronym and decided to capitalize on it. By 2013, “sus” had officially transformed into a brand and was included in marketing campaigns like clothing and jewelry items.
Before long, users began attaching the initials to anything and everything imaginable. They created parody accounts and uploaded mashups of songs containing the letters. Many artists joined forces to produce covers of classic rap songs with the word “sus” replacing specific nouns and verbs. These were usually done in a tongue-in-cheek manner that added humor to otherwise serious topics. Fans were able to relate to the references without taking them seriously.
Because of its versatility, “sus” eventually transcended the world of rap culture and became part of pop culture. Celebrities embraced the abbreviation and incorporated it into their stage performances. Other celebrities liked the trend so much that they wrote about how important it meant to them. During a Reddit AMA session in August 2012, Drake explained that “sus” helped him overcome depression, anxiety, and self doubt. Beyoncé dedicated a verse of her song “Haunted” to the acronym, claiming that it allowed her to express herself freely. Her manager confirmed that she owns the rights to the letter combination. Nicki Minaj and Cardi B also publicly shared that they identify themselves with “sus”.
Even politicians got involved. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign tweeted an image of him holding a sign reading “BERNIE FOR PRESIDENT – BRING BACK THE SUS MOMENTUM.” Hillary Clinton retweeted former President Barack Obama’s response to Donald Trump’s controversial statement about Senator John McCain dying, writing, “He’s fighting cancer & we miss him already.” Joe Biden later criticized Trump’s statement during a debate and declared, “Donald Trump never knew sullen pride.”
Although it didn’t originate on 4chan, /pol/, a political discussion forum notorious for spreading conspiracy theories and outlandish memes, is credited for coining the term “triggered.”