*THIS IS FOR COLLEGE PURPOSES ONLY*
Roll Safe originated in Kayode Ewumi’s 2015 webseries “Hood Documentary,” as the type of streetwise London guy who acts like he knows everything. The meme version of the character, developed by Black Twitter in February, focuses on one frame of Ewumi pointing knowingly at his own head. Roll Safe has it all figured out, but he also has it all wrong.
“If you don’t check my bank balance, you can’t be broke” and “you can’t disappoint your family if you’ve never made them proud in the first place,” are typical Roll Safe sentiments. Even if you instantly recognize that his logic doesn’t hold up, you might be able to relate to the feeling behind it: there has to be some clever way out of our dismal failures, right? The meme broke in late January but really hit its stride in February.
Roll Safe is an image macro serious featuring a screenshot of actor Kayode Ewumi grinning and pointing to his temple while portraying the character Reece Simpson (a.k.a. “Roll Safe”) in the web series Hood Documentary. The image is often captioned with various jokes mocking poor decision making and failures in critical thinking.
On June 1st, 2016, the BBC Three YouTube channel uploaded a mini documentary on the Hood Documentary series, in which the Ewumi is shown pointing to his head and smiling (shown below). Within eight months, the video gained over 1.04 million views and 1,300 comments.
On January 22nd, 2017, Twitter user @trapafasa posted the Roll Safe screenshot along with a caption noting that “‘men are trash’ tweets have gone down 70%” due to the approach of February (shown below, left). Within eight days, the tweet gained over 18,000 retweets and 17,000 likes. The following day, Twitter user @RyanWindoww tweeted the image along with the message “You can’t be broke if you don’t check your bank account,” receiving more than 74,000 likes and 47,000 retweets over the next week.