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Unformatted text preview: Hip Hop Language and Culture and April 27, 2010 Part II Language in the US Dr. JC Weisenberg Keepin it real! Keepin Originally hiphop artists attempted to demonstrate that they were real niggas. Real niggas meant they were telling exactly what was happening in the real world, on the streets. They had confrontations with police; they had been arrested perhaps They told the truth Artists like NWA (Niggers With An Attitude) distinguished themselves from other blacks who had too much invested in white society Other related terms Other Wigger or wigga: lliterally a white nigga or white Wigger wigga iterally person who identifies with hip hop culture (Smitherman). (Smitherman). c.f. The White Negro by Norman Mailor. Essay in c.f. The “Advertisements for Myself” that describes the obsession of 1950s hipsters with black male street culture. (*some people in the film claim white kids want to be “cool” by trying to use terms from hip-hop culture; Black culture is cool, represents cool represents independence, divergence from status quo) independence, Replace NWord with My President?
Contributed by Zina Sanchez: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8sJOuEGq0 www.presidentplease.com President Please is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the abolition of “the NWord” and it’s replacement with the word “President”. (source: presidentplease.com) About My President “We’ve been deeply inspired by Barack Obama, who has led the entire country down a new road to freedom and self empowerment. Since we finally have an African American in the Oval Office, there is no better time for the black community to embrace a new optimism. We hope that this website will inspire hope, change, and a renewed positive attitude which we can carry into the future. Our dream is that every child born after January 20, 2009 won’t ever hear the N Word.” (Mission statement from presidentplease.com) July 2007 – Hundreds of onlookers cheered as the NAACP put to rest a longstanding expression of racism by holding a public burial for the Nword during its annual convention. Grammar: Habitual be be Probably the most often-studied feature of AAE in Probably Hip-Hop is habitual or be (Prof. S. Alim) habitual (Prof. Early studies of AAE syntax noted the uniqueness Early of this feature and were in agreement that it was used for recurring actions. recurring 1. We be clubbin’ on Saturdays. We be clubbin’ and could not be used in finite contexts: not 2. She be the teacher. 2. be Habitual be in contexts be
I be the truth. -- Philadelphia's Beanie Sigel be Dr. Dre be the name. -- Compton's Dr. Dre Dr. be This beat be the beat for the street. -- New York's Busta This be Rhymes Rhymes Brooklyn be the place where I served them thangs. -Brooklyn be New York's Jay-Z New I be that insane nigga from the psycho ward. -- Staten be Island's Method Man. Island's Equative copula*: everyday examples examples
We be them Bay boys. (Bay Area's Mac We be Mall in a conversation with James G. Spady) Spady) It [marijuana] be that good stuff. (Caller be on the local Bay Area radio station) on You know we be some baaad brothas. be (Philadelphia speaker in conversation) (Philadelphia
*has a subject compliment (boys, stuff, brothas), uses be as the verb *has be S. Alim’s (2002) main points: points: Hip Hop artists are ultra-conscious of their Hip speech. Hip Hop artists consciously vary their speech to Hip “represent” the streets. the Speech is thus consciously varied toward the Speech informal end of the continuum in order to maintain street credibility with the primary audience, the African American Street Culture. audience, MC battles or MC-ing MC Within hip-hop, MC battles are one of the most visible and Within potentially humiliating venues for demonstrating one’s verbal skill. This usually entails a combination of spontaneous and This pre-written rhymes and ritual insults directed at the opponent’s mother, sister, or crew but may also end in humiliation if the rhymes don’t flow. Opponents typically face-off for 30 sec to 1 minute Often use hooks like “on the mic” and fillers like “yo” and Often “check it” to keep rhymes flowing. “check Black MCs do not resort to race-referenced insults when Black they battle each other, although they may invoke hierarchies of color or use the N-word (Cutler, 2009) hierarchies Whiteness as a highly marked category category Eyedea (real name Mike Averill, from Minneapolis, St. Eyedea Paul, Minnesota. Paul, Eyedea’s spit also contains several references to Eyedea’s appearance and style as opposed to race. (see You Tube) appearance An additional way that White American competitors like An Eyedea keep it real and acknowledge racial boundaries is by avoiding certain themes and terms of address. by Black competitors commonly use “nigga” throughout the Black battle. During the 4 rounds of competition, Eyedea never uses During this term for any of his black opponents. However, black MC “R.K.” from Miramar, Florida, uses the term 11 times when he battles Eyedea. How do Eyedea’s opponents mark him as white? (Battle with E-Dub (Edward Dixon, from Detroit, Michigan) (Edward
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j288pLJbjv4&feature=related 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. You shouldn’t be rappin’, you should be skate boardin’ the X-games. Where the fuck you from, Minnesota? Home of the Vikings and ho-ass Temple Wolves?! You belong on MTV. You ain’t fuckin’ with me, light skinned Eminem. You’re not from Detroit. Stop tryin’ to be Eminem. They got Shells battlin’ Lil’ Chuck Norris. I’ll be damned to lose against Vanilla Ice. You look like Buffy the mother fuckin’ rhyme slayer. Discussion 1 Does hip hop have a language? What is the future of hip hop? How do you think African American hip How hoppers feel about the participation of Whites? Whites? Will hip hop be taken over by White Will performers someday like jazz and rock ‘n roll? roll? Discussion 2 Discussion Do you think Whites have a right to use the Nword in any context? What are you feelings about the Nword, after watching the film NWord? Should African Americans continue to use the NWord? ...
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