Roll Safe is an image macro series 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 images are 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 Simpson is shown pointing to his head and smiling after saying that he finds a woman “beautiful” because “she’s got good brains,” joking that she is skilled at performing oral sex (shown below). Within eight months, the video gained over 1.04 million views and 1,300 comments.
Filmmaker: “Oh, so you’re attracted to intelligence, RS?”
Reece Simpson: “Yeah man, I think Rachel is beautiful because she’s got good brains.”
On November 15th, 2016, the @FootyHumor Twitter feed posted a screenshot of Ewumi pointing at his temple along with a joke about starting a fight with a girlfriend in order to play video games (shown below).
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 (shown below, right).
The following day, Redditor InformationSpork submitted a post asking about the meme to /r/OutOfTheLoop, where Redditor elfa82 cited the Hood Documentary series as the origin. On January 28th, 2017, the @girlposts Twitter feed posted the reaction image along with the message “you can’t get cheated on if you don’t get into a relationship,” gathering upwards of 14,000 likes and 3,700 retweets over the next four days (shown below, left). On January 30th, Twitter user @Trillxdadian submitted the Roll Safe screenshot captioned with “If you’re already late.. take your time.. you can’t be late twice” (shown below, right). Within 48 hours, the tweet garnered more than 51,000 likes and 42,000 retweets.
On February 1st, 2017, Redditor Dieselman25 submitted the screenshot of Ewumi in a post titled “Roll Safe Memes on the Rise Buy Immediately” to /r/memeeconomy. That day, Redditor SkipLoL submitted a screenshot of @Trillxdadian’s tweet to /r/BlackPeopleTwitter, where it accumulated over 7,700 points (96% upvoted) in less than 24 hours. Meanwhile, the news sites HipHopWired and Bossip published articles about the image macro series.