For those who think "Bye Felicia!" is a random phrase that caught fire on the Internet, here's a history lesson: the popular term, perfect for dismissing something you just can't be bothered about, originated in the 1995 hood classic Friday.
Now, on the 20th anniversary of the film, Angela Means — the actress who played "Felisha," the character for whom the phrase was created — talks about the history of the meme, how often she's confronted with the phrase and her fondest memories of filming Friday.
Speaking to Vibe, Means walks us through how "Bye Felicia" came to be. The phrase, she says, was a lucky instance of improv.
“[Ice] Cube uttered the words based off what I gave him as an actor,” Means says. “I don’t think that was actually in the script. That’s what the vibe was and we went with it.”
Means adds that nothing could have prepared her for the phrase becoming as huge as it is today. "It is crazy," she says. "I will never have the last word again. Again, it’s a testament to Ice Cube. I don’t even have the vocabulary to describe his impact on not just a local or national level, but a global level."
The former actress — Means is now a photographer and, for the past decade and a half, has put the majority of her time into raising her son Brad Kaaya, a star football player for the University of Miami — admits that even she uses the phrase once in a while. "I’m very selective with it. I’m an adult and it’s a little redundant like, ‘Okay, Felicia saying, ‘Bye Felicia,'” she says. "I have a Felicia page on Facebook that’s got a couple of thousand followers, where I talk like Felicia. We have fun."
As for Friday's legacy, Means says, "It’s transcendent. It’s a timeless piece during a magical time in L.A. and urban Black history...you put Ice Cube, DJ Pooh and some of the funniest people in the business together, that’s the formula for magic. It wasn’t even like you were looking at a movie."
Friday turns 20 on April 26.
(Photos from Left: Angela Means Kaaya via Instagram, New Line Cinema)
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