As mentioned in part 1 of our Hip Hop Slang Dictionary, hip hop music’s dictionary uses a variety of slang terms that have changed as hip hop itself has changed over the years. Today we are doing a lyrical breakdown of US rap slang.
East Coast rap
East Coast rap is most famous for its NYC origins. US rap slang as we know it was born in the South Bronx and developed from Queens to Virginia Beach.
jiggy – fly or cool and originated in NYC, specifically Harlem.
Let outsiders violate our blocks and my plotJay-Z, “Hard Knock Life”
Let’s take the dough and stay real jiggy, uh-huh
represent – means from or exemplifying, and it originated in NYC, specifically Brooklyn.
Biggie Smalls, who you represent?The Notorious B.I.G., “Jeans and Snickers”
The Brooklyn clique
Where the boots is tied tight, and the jackets is thick
jawn – or joint are all-purpose nouns originating in Philadelphia.
And everybody knows that I’m golden brownFunky 4+1, “That’s the Joint”
And you know…
[Drum roll…] SHE’S THE JOINT!
- mad – usually used to describe a large quantity or high quality, something that was really good or abundant
- beat – something that’s over or done with, something that sucks
- boge – cigarette
- musty – something that’s dirty
- busted – something that is lame or poor quality, often used to describe a person’s appearance
- mint – something of high quality, another word for fresh
- bumblefuck – the middle of nowhere, aka anywhere west of Philly
West Coast rap
Rap may have started in New York, but California taught it how to chill out and slow down. And, there’s no definitive answer to whether LA’s rap terminology is more innovative than the Bay Area’s (Snoop Dogg and E-40), and the debate ain’t pretty.
gouda – money and it originated in Vallejo.
Ten wraps and a rubber bandE-40, “Gouda”
Three or four more in my other hand
beotch – an insulting or incredulous address, often aimed at a woman, and it originated in Oakland.
I’ll call her a beotch!…Too $hort, “Call Her a Bitch”
Call her a beotch!…
ghostride the whip – to let a car drive itself, and it originated in Vallejo.
When I say something you say it right back to me, you smell me?E-40, “Tell Me When to Go”
We’re gonna do it like this right here
Ghostride the whip, ghostride the whip
Ghostride the whip, ghostride the whip
- whip – car
- stunting – showing off or posing for attention
- swag – gear, usually won or acquired for free
- aight – alright
- yadadamean – super quick, easy way of asking “Do you know what I mean?”
The South is often referred to as the “dirty South” or the “third coast” of rap. Yet, it – specifically Houston, Memphis, Atlanta, and New Orleans – has some of the richest and most prolific online record-keeping of their regional terms. Considering that Southern hip hop is a relatively recent genre compared to the Coasts, their library of slang is pretty impressive.
crunk – crazy or drunk, and it originated in Atlanta and Memphis.
She getting crunk in the club I mean she workYing Yang Twins, “Get Low”
Then I like to see the female twerking taking the clothes off BUCKEY naked
flossin’ – to show off and originated in Houston.
What you know about acting bad, flossin’ prowlersLil’ Flip, “Texas Boyz (Screwed)”
I got seven dvd’s I’m watchin’ Austin Powers
lean – a type of sizzurp (a Sprite-codine-candy mixture) or the effects of heavy inebriation, originated in Houston.
So just pour it in my drink and ima sip until I lean hardLil Jon, “Me and My Drank”
Drink got me moving slower than a retard
- trap house – a house where drugs are sold and it originated in Atlanta.
- ratchet – crazy or off-the-hook, often used to refer to a woman, originated in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
- woes – a spin on “whoadie”, meaning “Working On Excellence.
- natnat – a promiscuous woman whom’s sexual affairs are common knowledge.
- Yeene-enno – shorter, quicker way of saying “You didn’t even know”.
The Midwest, which encompasses songs celebrating the toughest aspects of gang life and the softer backpack rap of the Twin Cities, is quite diverse. That’s because we’re including everything that’s not the South, Eastern Seaboard, and Cali – which admittedly tends to be Chicago-dominated. Here’s the US rap slang from the Midwest.
juke – to trick or steal or to grind, originated in Chicago
Back it up like, juke jukeChance the Rapper, “Juke Juke”
Three, four, juke juke
thot – means that ho over there and originated in Chicago
Okay you got meChief Keef, “Love No Thotties”
I don’t love no thotties
woo dis – means so on and so forth and it originated in Chicago
They was talking “woo woo this woo wap da bam”Chance the Rapper, “Angels”
City so damn great, I feel like Alexand’
- stan – means an obsessive fan and originated in Detroit.
- juggalo – or jugalette means an avid Insane Clown Posse fan (male or female), originated in Detroit.
- grinding – study hard.
- homey – close friend.
- chase cheese – express sympathy over a petty matter.
- cockamamey – ridicilous.
- zany – funny.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post on US rap slang. Make sure to check out Dreadpen’s Divine – Winter 2020 collection 🙂