To pour one out for the homies refers to the act of pouring out a beverage, usually alcoholic, on the ground to honor those who are no longer with us.
The homies are the friends that used to be with us and would often participate in drinking sessions, but have now passed.
To acknowledge their importance, you pour a bit of the liquor you are drinking on the ground, as if you would pour it to them.
The beverage that hits the ground is the equivalent of what the homie would have drank if he was still with you.
It is particularly used by “thugs” or gangsters, to honor their dead homies.
Although the expression is today used in pop culture, the history of “pouring one out for the homies” goes way back.
Over 5000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were known to pour beverage on the ground for their lost companions, but rather than alcohol, they would pour water – a symbol of life.
The custom is also recorded in Ancient Africa and Ancient Greece, as mentioned in The Iliad.
Ancient Rome took “pouring one for the homies” to the next level, and the fallen would have stone chalices built into their tombs, so that grieving companions could pour wine into their cups and drink with them even after they had passed.
Although the custom dropped in Europe after Christianity hit, it is still regularly practiced throughout Africa, even to this day.
Bringing it back to pop culture, Tupac Shakur would often reference the practice in his music, particularly in Pour Out A Little Liquor in 1990.
- Cake – ‘Pouring One Out’ Explained: History, Meaning & Getting It Right
- Urban Dictionary – Pour one for my homies