While everyone in the sports world has been focused on Angel Reese, LSU and the conversation surrounding their women’s national championship victory over Iowa, I’ve been more focused on a particular hand gesture.
Throughout the women’s NCAA basketball tournament, Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark could be seen doing the “You Can’t See Me” celebration popularized by legendary wrestler John Cena. That eventually came back to bite Clark, as Reese did the celebration during the closing minutes of LSU’s 102-85 victory over Iowa on Sunday. This had me thinking, do people really know where the hand gesture originated?
Who created the ‘You Can’t See Me’ celebration
Many people give credit to Cena for creating the iconic hand gesture, but even he knows better. During a 2022 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the legendary wrestler gave credit to G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo, who did the gesture in 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” video and in his own “So Seductive” video.
During the interview, Cena said, “I developed a special maneuver in the WWE called the You Can’t See Me. In which, I put my hand in front of my face and say ‘You can’t see me.’ And the reason I did this is that while we were making the album to which my theme music is on, my younger brother, Sean, was always our litmus test. He liked the same music and he would never go to the studio with us.”
He continued, “He heard ‘My Time Is Now’ and just did this dance that Tony Yayo did in one of the G-Unit videos. It was like, he put his hand over his head and just kind of bobbed his head like that. And I was like, ‘Man, what are you doing? That looked just ridiculous.’ He said, ‘No, no, it’s Tony Yayo, he’s doing this thing.’ And I’m like, ‘I’ll do it on TV,’ and he’s like, ‘I dare you to do it on TV.’”
I love Tony Yayo, and I’m glad that Cena gave credit to an underrated MC like Tony. But I’m sorry to break the news, but he’s not the one who created the gesture.
Years before Yayo was waving his hands with G-Unit, hip-hop legend Flavor Flav was doing it in music videos for Public Enemy, most noticeably in the visuals for, “Night of the Living Baseheads.”
Although he was doing the gesture with two hands instead of one, the act is still the same. So before everyone is so quick to give Cena all the praise for popularizing such a fun celebration, make sure you give props to Flavor Flav and Yayo for pioneering the dance.