Sunday, May 10, 2009

HIPHOP 101: THE BASICS


A lot of dudes new to the game of Hiphop might not really understand the loads of terminologies used in this genre. These jargons are strictly informal and sometimes might sound more or less like Sanskrit to the ears of many but if you wanna fluently express yourself in the midst of Hiphoppers, you might wanna get these terms embossed on your skull like words on a tombstone.
Hiphoppers-Hiphop is a culture and so its practitioners or lovers are generally referred to as Hiphoppers. This term serves to include Rappers, Hiphop Singers, Dee-Jays (DJs), Breakdancers, Hiphop media hosts, Hiphop Entepreneurs, Graffiti Artists and Hiphop Analysts like me. Yea, me!
Hiphop Heads-A hiphop head is anyone who is knowledgeable in the game of Hiphop. This includes skilled rappers, hiphop analysts, hiphop music beat makers, hiphop On Air Presenters and Dee-Jays. It also quite excludes distant lovers of the game, entepreneurs or people whose roots are not deeply rooted in the game. One who does not have a long standing history of participation in the game is not a Hiphop head.
Emcee- An emcee simply refers to a skilled rapper. One whose lyrical abilities is sharp and brilliant. The short form of Emcee is MC which means Master of Ceremony. In this sense, MC refers to an event host or orator whose job is to entertain the audience by talking. Relating this to Hiphop, an MC or Emcee refers to one who is gifted in the art of rapping, oration and speech delivery. Many Hiphop radio hosts fall into this category.
Dee Jay-Basically, a dee-jay is one who plays songs at an event or radio show.This meaning has been highly modified ever since Grandmaster Flash invented scratch. These days, a typical dee-jay plays songs with a Turntable which allows him to mix songs, marsh songs and even extract samples from songs. A dee jay is also a beat maker! The art is called Deejaying or Turntablism. The short form of dee jay known as DJ means Disc Jockey and basically means the same thing. A DJ might be referred to as a Mixmaster or Grandmaster depending on how skillful he/she is.
Cats- Cats (singular. Cat) is a slang which basically means people or a group of guys. The term is used when referring to or speaking about a group of Hiphoppers in their absence.
Others include:
Wackness- Wack or wackness is a term used to describe something or someone who is rubbish or nonsense. Wackness in Hiphop generally refers to a rapper or a song or an album or even a show who/which is below standard. Wackness is also used to describe poor lyrics, weak rhymes or a clumsy beat.
Dope-This is the direct opposite of ‘wack’. The slang is derived from the feeling one gets from smoking dope. Dope, as used in Hiphop, refers to a rapper or a song or an album or a show who/which is above average. Dopeness is also used to describe tight lyrics, strong rhymes and good beats.
ILL or Sick-These two terms are the emphatic forms of ‘dope’. Ill/sick is an ironic expression used to describe a rapper with exceptional lyrical abilities, a smash hit, a brilliant punchline or a classic rated album.
Playahater-A playahater is one who is hating on (the game of) another.The word is derived from ‘player’-the hiphopper going about his hustle and ‘hater’-the dude trying to discredit the hiphopper.
A playahater would want to see the downfall of another on who he is hating. One’s playahaters don’t respect his guts, don’t feel his swag and most times label him wack just of course because they don’t like him for reasons best known to them.
Sucker-The word ‘sucker’ basically means freak. That means someone who is a freak for something. In hiphop music, it is used as a offensive word to refer to someone as a freak, faggot or fanatic.
Now you know some of the terms used in Hiphop, learn how to use them correctly in the midst of fellow hiphoppers.
Remember to use them in the right environment. You don’t go saying in a job interview, “…I’m the illest cat for this job…. All those suckers out there are bunch of wacks when it comes to this..!”. You would be kicked out anyway.
Hiphop lives!
Peace.

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