Hip hop and pop culture: What is pushing “🅿️ ”?

Some things won’t ever change. Like how the sun eventually set tonight or how the potholes won’t ever be fixed, there will always be a new hip hop trend for you to get into. 

As hip hop has grown and evolved from the 20th century onwards, it has undeniably become one of the world’s leading pop culture influences. Originating in the Bronx borough of New York, the combination of flashy fashion and catchy hooks has drawn millions of fans from all around the world and rocketed many rappers to superstardom. Nowadays, you can’t even walk into a party without seeing somebody in Yeezys or people adding “skrr” to every adlib possible. 

Earworms are nothing new in hip hop. Soulja Boy’s 2007 dance craze “Crank Dat” and Lil Pump’s 2017 hit “Gucci Gang” have changed the music industry and society as a whole. An earworm is basically a melody or tune that easily gets stuck in your mind for a while after you have heard it.

The most recent example of this is Atlanta rapper Gunna’s single, “pushin P.” The blue 🅿️  emoji has been plaguing the comment section of every Instagram post and every TikTok comment — almost all words that have the letter “P” in it have been respelled to include the now infamous icon. So what is pushing P? What isn’t P? And how do we start using the slang correctly? 

In a series of tweets posted by Gunna via Twitter promoting his newest album DS4EVER, he mysteriously began using the P emoji in tweets, even asking his fans “B4 I tell u….What u think Pushing mean ????” Gunna later went on to clarify and gave examples of what is and isn’t P. 

On Twitter, he said, “Risking your life to feed your family is P,” and “Being a real n***a off the Internet is P.” On the contrary, what isn’t P would be “Jumpin n a person beef or situation when u dk wats goin on Not P.”

Gunna went on Instagram Live to reiterate what he means by P. “If you see a lady at the door and you hold the door for the lady, that’s P. We pushing P” he said. “If you’re tryna act richer than your partner like, that aint P”.

Pushing P and the 🅿️  emoji can basically be used synonymously with the phrase keeping it one hundred, or the “100” emoji. It involves doing something positive, being respectful and chasing your goals. In other words, doing something that in most people’s eyes would be considered a nice deed. Pushing P means you’re doing something good such as hyping up your friend for a test. If you’re discouraging their efforts, that isn’t P. It’s all about the vibes. 

There have also been misconceptions about the meaning of Pushing P. Gunna’s song “P Power” featuring Drake had many people and fans wondering if P was another way of saying p***y. With lines such as “That p***y got power, that p***y got power” followed by “Get play as a player (we player), that P get devoured (P),” it’s easy to see where this misconception came from. But this has been refuted by Gunna himself. 

By now, you should get the memo but if you still have questions about what pushing P is, Urban Dictionary has got your back. On Jan. 17, an anonymous user posted what is currently the most widely agreed upon definition of P, with over 2000 likes. “It’s more then (sic) a couple words or ‘applying pressure.’ Pushin 🅿️  is a lifestyle, a whole way of living.” Essentially, it’s a positive way of living.

Gunna is simply going to milk this wave. On Feb. 5, he announced on his Instagram page that he will soon be releasing a children’s book called 6 Things I do to be Pushing P. The book is authored by Brian “Bwritous” Wright and features illustrations by Lavan Wright. Based on the Instagram video, the short story will be completely pink and most likely based on tweets Gunna made earlier. “Be loyal” and “boss your chick up” are just some early examples shown of what this book may contain.

In the end, it’s really up to you if you want to hop on the trend or not. Like most pop culture references or overly memed slang, pushing P will most likely die off. Until then,  it’s ok to not use P. However, to hate on the trend or hate someone else for saying P is most definitely the opposite of what Gunna first meant when he coined the phrase. 


Graphic by James Fay


[spotifyplaybutton play=””]


Exit mobile version