The Song That Michael Phelps Was Listening To When His Rio Face Became A Meme Was Finally Revealed At The 2016 VMAs

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Michael Phelps presents onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Source: Jason Kempin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Rio Olympics gave the world so many amazing moments from the performances of the Final Five to Usain Bolt breaking even more records, but one of the greatest Rio moments had to be Michael Phelps' meme face. You know the face: The furrowed brow, the intense eyes, and a look of pure determination to crush the competition (which he did). The Phelps face that launched a thousand memes has now been explained by Phelps himself. 

Phelps was on hand at the 2016 VMAs to introduce rapper Future. During his speech Phelps not only let the world know how much rap music means to him, Phelps also confirmed he was listening to Future's song "Stick Talk" when the cameras snapped the instantly iconic photo of his intense expression. That's right, Phelps listens to Future to get hyped just like everyone else — he just ends up taking home a ton of gold medals as a result. 

Knowing what an inspiration Phelps is to so many people, it was wonderful to see him celebrate one of his personal heroes. Future's music is special to all of his fans, but it is so cool to know Phelps cranked up "Stick Talk" to prepare himself for the Olympics. Clearly, the song did the trick because Phelps got way more than a meme out of the Olympics. 

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The intensity level of "Stick Talk" is off the charts. Future's song touches on guns, earning all the money, and owning your power. That last part is particularly relevant to a swimmer of Phelps' caliber. The song's strong beat and powerful lyrics are the perfect song to listen to when you need to get in the zone in a hurry. 

Now that Phelps' has revealed the full story behind the meme face, he should probably share one of his medals with Future — it's not like he's in short supply of them or anything. 

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