About This Word

wavy

or the wave

[wey-vee] or [th uh weyv]

What does wavy mean?

Popularized by hip-hop artist Max B, wavy is slang for something "cool," "chill," or "excellent."

wavy

complex

Where does wavy come from?

Between 2006 and 2009, New York City-based based rapper Max B released acclaimed mixtapes like Wavie Crockett and Wave Gods in which he coined the terms the wave and wavy into the hip-hop lexicon. In his self-styled slang, Max B's wave and wavy evoke a mellow feeling of creative energy and positivity, apparently riffing on slang terms like groovy, good vibes, and riding the wave. Other nicknames for Max B play on his signature slang, including Wavy Crockett, the Wavy One, and the Silver Surfer.

The term was soon embraced by rappers/singers like Cam’ron, Jim Jones, French Montana, Ty Dolla Sign, SZA, and Rick Ross, whose prominence helped boost wavy in hip-hop slang, from which it spread into the mainstream. 

In January 2016, Kanye West entitled his upcoming album Waves, but fellow rapper and Max B friend Wiz Khalifa took issue. He tweeted “Please don’t take the wave” and "Max B is the wavy one. There is no wave without him." This sparked a highly publicized feud between the rappers.

Although West eventually changed the title to The Life of Pablo, he gave wavy a considerable shout-out, featuring a voice recording of Max B that anoints West as “a wavy dude” and that he has "the official wave." This has been interpreted as Max B giving West his blessing to ride the wave, so to speak. 

Who uses wavy?

Though Max B was incarcerated in 2009, his wave has continued to grow in popularity. Contemporary hip-hop artists regularly make reference to the wave or cite the influence of Max B's wavy vibes.

From hip-hop, wavy has spread to professional sports and other popular venues. NBA teams like the Toronto Raptors, for example, have notably used the term in social-media promotion. As now used by hip-hop fans and younger, often black adults, wavy has come to signify something as "excellent" or "cool" and is used to express various feelings of being "chill" or looking "sexy," "fresh," or "suave."

On social media, wavy is often accompanied by the Water Wave emoji, 🌊, and people enjoy using the slang while on an actual beach.

For example

french is such a wavy language

@sarahsidd_, March, 2018

Wish I had wavy female producers and a female DJ...

@babyflame333, March, 2018

I killed the Hermes store, somebody save me / Stuntin' to the max like wavy, oh shit! / Oh, stuntin' to the max, I'm so wavy  

Rick Ross, "3 Kings" (song), 2012

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