Jazmin Kopotsha | Culture Writer | 7 days ago

A Brief History Of The Word ‘Dope’ And How Bella Hadid Failed To Bring It Back

The Debrief: The low down on why ‘homeboy’s gonna like, get it’ is a meme now

Once upon a time, the word ‘dope’ was slang for someone who was a bit of an idiot. A little bit stupid and not particularly quick to the mark (see: Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves). The word, as we all know, is also sometimes used in the States to refer to drugs, specifically weed or heroin. 

Then in the 80s, around the time that rap and hip-hop became a thing and everyone was suddenly interested in urban cultures and the exciting new vernacular that emerged from it, we found out that ‘dope’ could also mean ‘really damn cool’. 

In the years that followed as language evolved, opinions changed and new slang replaced the old slang, the word ‘dope’ was used less. Shock horror, it kind of stopped being cool to say ‘dope’. ‘Dope’ was the word the dad in every American teen-movie would rigidly overuse to try and awkwardly relate to their kid’s new urban friend who had come over for dinner. Few of us, particularly in the UK, have heard anyone use the word ‘dope’ for a really long time. 

So, to make up for lost time, Bella Hadid used it as many times as she possibly could in an awkward trainer shopping video with Complex. It was cringe and the internet couldn’t handle it. 

‘For me, I feel like girls look so sexy in tennis shoes. I think it’s the dopest that you could wear with a dress and which whatever you wanted. I think it’s the hottest thing a girl can wear. Sneakers on a man is definitely the first thing I look at, so if you’re going to have a dope show that both guys and girls can wear, I mean, come on, matching shoes, that’s dope’, Bella told Joe La Puma. That’s two on the dopeometer. 

Bella was asked if she had any sneaker turn offs. ‘You know what, I’m cool with it and I don’t mind dirty sneakers but they better be fresh’. Extra point for use of the term ‘fresh’.  

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Okay, brace yourself. I’d encourage you to cover your eyes if I didn’t need you to read the rest of this article. Bella continued to explain her sneaker turn-offs (and ons) and said: ‘If homeboy’s coming through with these, it’s quiet, yeah. No, it’s quiet for him. If he comes through in these, you got some Air Maxs out here, you got some Jordans, homeboy’s gonna like… get it’.  

Did you cringe? Because the whole entire internet definitely cringed. At the fresh bit, at the homeboy bit and at the awkward hesitation before ‘get it’ bit. Twitter, of course, had an absolute field day bouncing between shock, hilarity and elaborate meme creation.  




One guy thought she sounded like an undercover cop, others wondered if Bella’s homeboy would get it if he was wearing crocs. The consensus, though, was that Bella was trying way too hard to sound like she’s down with the cool, sorry, ‘dope’ kids. 

‘You know what I really like basketball sneakers and they’re some of the dopest shoes that Nike has,’ she added, pointing to a pair of blue Nike Air More Uptempos. That’s about a gazillion on the dopeometer and no, sadly the word is still no longer cool. 

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