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A suburban housewife’s guide to mid-90’s gangsta rap music

with 57 comments

Alright, ladies. Before delving into the realms of true gangsta rap, we need to familiarize ourselves with a few key terms. Dictionary.com is a fine source of reference for such an endeavor.

gangsta (gāng’sta) n, adj
(Black English) a member of a youth gang

rap (rāp) n. Slang
A talk, conversation, or discussion.
A form of popular music developed especially in African-American urban communities and characterized by spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics with a strong rhythmic accompaniment.
A composition or performance of such music.

nigga n., [nig-ga]
(ethnic slur) extremely offensive name for a colored person; [syn: negro]

-izzle suffix, slang
African American English suffix used for pop-culture hip hop slang and by the Linguistic expert, Tomas Frederiksen. It is sometimes called “Snoop speak” or “Snoop slang” because it was popularized by Snoop Dogg, although several other musicians have used similar slang long before him. The “izz” infix technique is a similar form of this practice.

With our new understanding of the culture, let’s have a look at some of the top record albums.


Dr. Dre – The Chronic

This introspective release chronicles the doctor’s battle with testicular cancer.

Let’s break down these phat tracks, shall we?

sunflowers border

The Chronic

chronic [ˈkronik] adjective
1.(especially of a disease) lasting a long time
Example: a chronic illness.
2. Marijuana, which is prescribed for pain management to those with such illnesses.

 An annotated sampling of the lyrics:

This is dedicated ta da niggaz dat been down from day one

DRE is keeping it real by giving recognition to those sharing his cancerous affliction

Welcome to Death Row

Although testicular cancer can be fatal, there are many treatment options. Obviously, Dre is feeling pessimistic concerning his future health

Like we always do about this time

A person with such an illness is often prescribed a structured drug regimen.

Ha ha ha yeah

There’s the positive attitude that’ll get you through this!

9-2’s

The author of this article is unfamiliar with this term. Perhaps it is a clinical term from the kind doctor

Death Row Records

 In mythology, the Grim Reaper (Death) records the activities of those on his list

Creepin’ while ya sleepin’

The morphine and other pain management drugs often cause one’s skin to ‘crawl’

Niggaz wit attitudes, Naw low 

See the above definition of ‘Nigga’

Niggaz on a muthafickin’ mission

 Testicular Cancer Awareness is a grand mission, indeed

Fuk Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)

Ever the dedicated physician, Dr. Dre is continuing his practice at the free clinic, even at the height of his personal travail.

An annotated sampling of the lyrics:

Ha, yeah, hell yeah, ha know what I’m sayin

Inner city medical doctors are often frustrated by patients’ lack of compliance.

Yeah, Mista Busta, where the fuck ya at?

How is your treatment progressing, Mr. Busta?

Can’t scrap a lick, so I know ya got your gat

I seem to be unable to acquire a tissue sample for culturing.

Your dick on hard, from fuckin your road dogs

You seem to have gonorrhea, sir.

The hood you threw up with, niggaz you grew up with

We need a sampling of the vomitus from your hat (seemingly used as a receptacle). You’re friends should also be  looked at.

Don’t even respect your ass

Many sex workers use the neighborhood (‘hood) clinic as their sole source of medical care. Dr. Dre is concerned for the high risk lifestyle these people lead.

That’s why it’s time for the doctor, to check your ass, nigga

A rectal exam is made more comfortable by friendly banter.

Used to be my homey, used to be my ace
Now I wanna slap the taste out yo mouth

Dre is upset when a fellow doctor is leaving the clinic for a higher-income (bling) private practice, thereby lowering the care available to the poor (G’s).

sunflowers border


Cypress Hill – Black Sunday

Cypress Hill is a mexican-american (‘Chicano‘) gangster rapping group formed by the talented grandchildren of migrant workers.

Black Sunday was the last major dust storm of 1935, and the damage it caused was not calculated for months (PBS.org.) The Dust Bowl storms especially effected the Esé
migrant workers, who fed and clothed their families by harvesting the white man’s crops.

Always keeping with reality, these hombres share the story of their lives, familias, and pay tribute to the sacrifices of their predecessors.

Let’s break down these phat tracks, shall we?

Ain’t Goin Out Like That

This ‘track’ describes the living and working conditions of ‘hombres’. The band, as many other aspiring Chicano rappers, worked in the construction industry, building luxury condos (‘cribs‘) in which they aspire to someday live. The work is difficult and often dangerous.

 An annotated sampling of the lyrics: 

Let’s kick it ese

‘Ese’, pronounced ‘essay’ is Spanish for ‘friend’. Use by non-Mexicans may be interpreted as an informal attempt to bridge the language gap.

COMMIN’ OUT DA SLUMS!!!
It’s da hoodlums

The commute to work can be treacherous for inner-city young Eses.

I’m pullin’ my gat out on all you bums
So bring it on when you wanna come fight this

Many indigents can become violent when one doesn’t respond to their monetary requests.

Outlaw I’ll kick ya like Billy Ray Cypress Hill

Mr. Hill was heavily influenced by the soul-stirring rhymes of the great Billy Ray Cyrus

Kill I’ll bust that grill
Grab my gat and load up the steel

There’s a reason why construction work is referred to as a hard-labor profession.

And if you wanna get drastic
I’ll pull out my blasted glock automatic

Sir, I was not tardy for work this morning. Here, look at my gosh-darn digital watch.

Synthetic material bury your blocks n mortar

These building materials are substandard and do not meet city carbon-neutral requirements.

Headed down to da Mexican border
Smokin’ that smellie, Northern Cali,

Urban areas of California are stricken with air pollution (‘smog’), which is especially irritating the the respiratory systems of the ‘Chicano’, due to the flared nostrils common among the race. Many spend their weekends in Mexican resorts, where the air is better due to the lack of any viable industry.

sunflowers border

 Insane In The Brain

This is an English-language recording of the song originally released in their homeland, ‘Loco en la Cabeza’ (lit.: Crazy in the Head).

To the one on the flam
Boy your temper just toss that ham
In the fryin’ pan
Like spam

Feel done when I come in slam
Damn
I feel like the son of sam
Don’t make me wreck shit hectic

Next to the chair got me goin’ like General Electric
EEEN!
The lights are blinking
I’m thinking
It’s all over when I go out drinking
Oh, makin’ my mind slow,
That’s why I don’t fuck wit da big four-o
Bro’, I got ta maintain
`Cause a nigga like me is goin’ insane

Many of the clever alliterations were lost in translation, as rhyme and rhythm were given precedence over meaning. The original espanol lyrics are:

Soy uno con mi familia
aunque discutimos a veces,
nosotros gozo siempre de la compañerismo
sobre una comida agradable del lomo de cerdo asado.

Cuando soy cansado,
y él es la hora para el siesta,
mis 12 hermanos y hermanas y el
snuggle de I junta con gusto en el colchón pelado.
Nos olvidamos a menudo de cómo es afortunado estamos verdad.

Tenemos electricidad en nuestro casero,
incluso si es no fiable.
Cuando sale la energía, bebo tequila.
No debo beber tanto.
Tequila me hace estúpido y controvertido.
 Está loco beber al exceso.
Uno quién complace regularmente debe estar loco en la cabeza.

The literal translation is:

I am one with my family
Although we sometimes argue,
We always enjoy each other’s company
over a nice meal of roasted pork loin.

When I am tired, and it is time for sleep,
my 12 brothers and sisters and I
snuggle together warmly on the bare mattress.
We often forget how fortunate we truly are.

We do have electricity in our home,
even if it is unreliable.
When the power goes out, I drink tequila.
I should not drink so much.
Tequila makes me stupid and  argumentative.
It is crazy to drink to excess.
One who indulges regularly must be crazy in the head.


Ice Cube – Death Certificate

 An embellished coming of age sage, based on singer/song-rapper Mr. Cube’s own journals.

Let’s break down these phat tracks, shall we?

sunflowers border

My Summer Vacation

This emotional track is a collage of outtakes from Mr. Cube’s various summer vactions.

 An annotated sampling of the lyrics:

 Damn G, the spot’s gettin hot

Golly, father. Your chosen vacation destination is overly crowded.

So how the fuck am I supposed to make a knot?

I need further tutelage on proper seamanship, namely nautical knots. (This lyric was retrieved from the unrealized song “Rollin’ wif my Boyscout Posse 187”

Police looking at niggaz through a microscope
In L.A. everybody and they momma sell dope
They trying to stop it
So what the fuck can I do to make a profit?

Law enforcement officers are mistrustful of negros (‘niggaz’), due the their tendency to trade in illicit drugs. It is difficult to lead a life of crime when ‘the man’ insists on enforcing the unfair laws of our great democratic nation.

Catch a flight to St. Louis
That’s cool, cause nobody knew us

We take an airplane trip to the fine state of Missouri, where we’ve never been.

We stepped off the plane
Four gang bangers, professional crack slangers
Rented a car at wholesale

My fellow short-order cooks and I exit the jet in an orderly manner, and proceed to the car rental counter, discount coupons in hand.

Drove to the ghetto, and checked in a motel
Unpacked and I grab the three-eighty

We drive into the city and acquire a room at an inexpensive hotel.
After I re-fold my clothes and put them into the provided chipboard dresser, I check my email on the computer (380SX) kindly provided by the establishment.

Cause where we stayin, niggaz look shady
But they can’t fade South Central

The weather is nice and cool here, but I am homesick for my friends.

 

 Color Blind

This ‘track’ uses a traffic jam as a metaphorical tool for illustrating the importance of family.

 An annotated sampling of the lyrics:

Here’s another day at the stoplight
I’m lookin in my mirror so I can see who can see me
South Central is puttin Ice Cube to the test

South Central (a colloquial name for the city of Los Angeles, California), is notorious for its frustrating traffic jams, which cause many people to be late for their jobs.

With four brothas in the SS
I can’t go around and can’t back up
So I gotta peep game layin in the cut
Is this a jack or a kidnap?

My younger brothers are in the car, as I’m supposed to drop them off at school before work. They are terribly bored, waiting for the traffic to clear, and so I am. We play a card game to pass the time.

Since I’m never ever slippin I fully strapped
I grab my gat out the glove
Now, do these fools got a problem with me?
Or do they got love?

This game is growing old, but I have an assortment of travel games in the glove-box.
Will that please my brothers? I think it will!

sunflowers border

 For a more detailed education on the fad of rapping music, please see this encyclopedia article

If you suspect your child may be involved in rapping-gangster related activities, refer to this handy reference chart of gang-signs.

Yo, yo, yo! Special thanks to my homeboy, Devizzle! Much love, my brutha!

Peace!

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Written by The Bagel of Everything

August 30, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Posted in 420, cancer, crack, drugs, music, race, rap, review

57 Responses

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  1. Nigga? Did you say nigga? I hear Al Sharpton comin’!

    Can I just tell yo how awesome this post is? Write more later, gotta run – literally!

    Bagel Note: I didn’t say the n-word. I quoted it from the artists’ lyrics and from the dictionary. Also, thanks. You rock. er, rap. or whatever the kids are saying these days.

    Stiletto

    August 31, 2007 at 9:15 am

  2. This is far and away my fave thing you’ve ever written.

    You get a LULZ which is a corruption of LOL.

    Kevin

    August 31, 2007 at 9:58 am

  3. Stiletto: Who you tryin to get crazy with, ese? Don’t you know I’m loco?!

    Kevin, You’re only saying that cuz it was entirely your idea.

    Shall I paste?

    4:20 PM
    Kevin: you’ve got issues!!!
    me: very much so ;b
    i need an editor to bust my cunt
    gimme an assignment
    Kevin: hmmm
    A suburban housewife’s guide to mid-90’s gangsta rap music
    me: hahahahaha
    thats excellent!
    Kevin: there you go
    you better write it up
    me: i dont know anything about rap music
    Kevin: right
    me: right

    bagel of everything

    August 31, 2007 at 10:07 am

  4. Why you gotta rat me out like that bustah?

    Kevin

    August 31, 2007 at 10:10 am

  5. I was only giving mad proper recognition to my homo-boy, yo!

    You are indeed a clever young gentlemizzle.

    bagel of everything

    August 31, 2007 at 10:15 am

  6. I feel really enlightened. I think I’ll share this with all my students. I mean, I should pass on knowledge, right? They’re only in 2nd grade, but whatever.

    abarclay12

    August 31, 2007 at 1:47 pm

  7. zOMG! They let you around children?

    bagel of everything

    August 31, 2007 at 1:48 pm

  8. A: i think you meant “drop some knowledge on their young impressionable posteriors”
    Bizzle: tha rizzle dizzle fo shizzle.

    keywork

    August 31, 2007 at 2:23 pm

  9. sure, just when i was starting to like it, you explain it…funniest thing I’ve read in quite awhile bagel….it doesn’t overcome the cat thing, but it was good

    criminyjicket

    August 31, 2007 at 5:02 pm

  10. Thanks, Old Dirty KW!

    CJ: Explaining why things are funny only makes them funnier, right?

    You should go visit the idea man and blame it all on him.

    bagel of everything

    August 31, 2007 at 5:10 pm

  11. “…when I say ‘I got burnt by gonorrhea’ its coz I had that shit fo real..”
    Big Baby Jesus, explaining his lyrics

    Its all gravy(vomit), Notorious B.O.E.

    keywork

    August 31, 2007 at 5:15 pm

  12. You should review the Geto Boys’ tribute to matrimony, ‘Til Death do Us Part or Da Lench Mob’s theoretical concept album based on the life of Jane Goodall, Guerillas in tha Mist.

    Soylent Ape

    August 31, 2007 at 5:39 pm

  13. just remember: ya can’t spell *crap* without *rap*

    (sorry, 8 years down kinda turned me off of ever wanting to hear the dulcet thump & yo of hip-hop ever again)

    brahnamin

    August 31, 2007 at 10:03 pm

  14. word

    Frontier Former Editor

    August 31, 2007 at 11:34 pm

  15. CJ over at Because I Said So has written a lovely review of this post. Somehow the ping didn’t come through, so here’s the link.

    Go tell him thanks, or to go fuck himself. Whatever you feel.

    bagel of everything

    September 1, 2007 at 1:00 am

  16. awwwww, Bagel….I’m touched

    hag

    criminyjicket

    September 1, 2007 at 12:46 pm

  17. CJ: I’d edit in the link into the actual post (and fix all my typos) but wordpress tends to garble any “complicated” formatting when I try to edit.

    bagel of everything

    September 1, 2007 at 6:32 pm

  18. i don’t think I’d worry about it. I liked the post, and was merely trying to explain what a huge leap toward detante’ you had made with it. Try not fucking it up by overanalyzing or blaming the ineptitude on wordpress. It makes you look Bushie.

    sometimes, like now, I’m just amusing me.

    criminyjicket

    September 1, 2007 at 6:42 pm

  19. bitch

    Check this out!
    We ARENT LISTED on WP TAGS!
    A while back, we had an issue with our drafts showing to the public with wordpress.com/tag/blah and now it’s been over fixed.

    http://wordpress.com/tag/jenkem/ <– I posted an article with this tag approx 12 hours ago, and it still shows as “Sorry, we don’t have any posts here with that tag. You may want to try one of the sites below.”
    http://wordpress.com/tag/model-railroad/ <– this list goes back 6 months on the first page, but our 8/29/07 post isnt there at all
    http://wordpress.com/tag/ration-reality/ <– we aren’t even on this one! *sniff*

    These are just a few examples. I’ve checked dozens of our tags and we don’t seem to be listed for any of them.

    I’ve emailed support, and I’m sure they’ll look into it first thing Monday morning. They’re pretty quick with that. (I hearts WP!).
    I’m frustrated tho. We hadn’t made the ‘top posts’ list in a while, and our hit count has also been low. I was busy blaming Jesse’s absence, but I think this may be part of the problem too.

    *cry*

    I hope we haven’t simply been blacklisted!

    bagel of everything

    September 1, 2007 at 6:52 pm

  20. you called me bitch….heifer. That isn’t good. If it’s the case I recommend reposting this after it’s fixed.. This one is art. And not the usual color crayon outside the lines you youngsters practice here. *s*

    criminyjicket

    September 1, 2007 at 7:48 pm

  21. Bagel…I’m submitting your name at Urban Dictionary:

    Bagel of Everything: one funny muthuh fuckin’ ho and/or a dough-like concentric circle made, boiled and baked under rabbinical supervision.

    lauriekendrick

    September 2, 2007 at 10:25 am

  22. HA! Thanks Laurie! You both rock, and also roll.

    bagel of everything

    September 2, 2007 at 11:00 am

  23. Oh, please do. I would love to see Bagel’s name in the UD. I’d give it a thumbs up!

    Stiletto

    September 2, 2007 at 11:29 pm

  24. I checked: It’ll be right betwixt bagel muncher and Bagel Racing
    (I think. I’m not good with the alphabets).

    bagel of everything

    September 3, 2007 at 1:05 am

  25. Is anyone else struck with the irony of the first mainstream exposure to rap coming from white artists? In the U. S. and Britain, it was Blondie with “Rapture” and in Northern Europe, it was Falco’s “Der Kommissar”

    Soylent Ape

    September 3, 2007 at 8:38 pm

  26. criminyjicket

    September 3, 2007 at 9:36 pm

  27. CJ: Is the UrDic def. based on your name, or is your name based on the urdic def?

    bagel of everything

    September 3, 2007 at 10:57 pm

  28. dunno….i typed in criminy and voila…it was there.

    I don’t do crack…i don’t do anything…my work does urine testing…assfucks

    criminyjicket

    September 4, 2007 at 12:16 am

  29. Awesome.
    I looked up your name too, but it seems to have re-directed me to this.

    Ego-Surfing:
    Searching the internet for things describing oneself; also using search engines to answer people’s questions on forums in order to appear knowledgeable in the subject, unlike the dumbsh1t you really are.

    bagel of everything

    September 4, 2007 at 2:14 am

  30. no kidding? when I looked up bagel of everything it redirected me to this
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nagger+batch

    criminyjicket

    September 4, 2007 at 5:41 am

  31. That isn’t nice, CJ.

    I appologise to all the nagger batches reading the above comment.

    bagel of everything

    September 4, 2007 at 6:51 am

  32. it was early…i was in a hurry…and i really did give a shit if it was perceived as nice or not. thanks for pointing out what an asshole i was…high praise around here

    criminyjicket

    September 4, 2007 at 7:08 pm

  33. spooge monkey

    bagel of everything

    September 4, 2007 at 7:22 pm

  34. ass harlot

    criminyjicket

    September 4, 2007 at 8:12 pm

  35. blumpkin-licking liberal

    bagel of everything

    September 4, 2007 at 8:17 pm

  36. Holy shiznat.

    I actually own all of those CDs.

    stepher

    September 4, 2007 at 10:36 pm

  37. @ Stepher: Yeah, I have them on cassette somewhere, too. My hip-hop fascination died with the emergence of P-Puff Diddy-Daddy and Bad Boy Records.

    Soylent Ape

    September 5, 2007 at 6:14 am

  38. I used to sell AD/d insurance, door to fucking door. I listened to alot of gansta rap to puff myself up before a cold call. Worked miracles.

    bagel of everything

    September 5, 2007 at 11:06 am

  39. im sorry…i havent been getting yur email cuz i use my aol account for things that ask for email. then i dont check it cuz it’s full of spam. lol
    i will go thru it again…

    ellen

    September 13, 2007 at 11:23 pm

  40. Ellen: Your email isn’t published here, sweety. Only me, Jesse, and Soy have access to the info, and we already know your phone number, home address, DOB, and preferred sanitary absorbency.

    bagel of everything

    September 24, 2007 at 1:31 am

  41. Is you’re Spanish really that bad or is it part of the gag?

    ImaViking

    October 4, 2007 at 11:17 am

  42. God bless Falco’s poor deceased soul…here’s to Rock Me Amadeus forever!

    Stiletto

    October 4, 2007 at 11:38 am

  43. LMAO!

    I use internet language generators.
    There’s one that translates your words into ghetto street lang.

    The best one if the Biblical curse generator!

    On one of my post about trashy Virgie Arthur, I kept getting rude comments from someone in Canada. I told them to learn the langauge before they left comments. They posted back that I was a bitch for making fun of their English because they mostly spoke French. I googled the English to French generator and posted back to them in perfect French. Told them to fuck off or learn English before posting. Never heard from them
    again.

    Lovin’ this blog. Needed a laugh this morning. Happy Freakin’ Holidays!! Yo Yo Yo

    trailerparkbarbie

    November 26, 2007 at 9:23 am

  44. Thanks, Barbie.
    You’d prolly like this.

    bagel of everything

    November 26, 2007 at 9:45 am

  45. […] A suburban housewife’s guide to mid-90’s gangsta rap music […]

  46. Yes, I did LOVE it!!!!!

    I superglued my tongue today so I needed a good laugh.

    trailerparkbarbie

    November 26, 2007 at 9:18 pm

  47. […] Posts: A suburban housewife’s guide to mid-90’s gangsta rap music  Office Space Redux – Word up! It’s Cameo!! – Movie trailers recut as […]

    Black-Off « Ration Reality

    February 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm

  48. This is brilliantly hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!

    salon1

    April 4, 2008 at 2:27 am

  49. […] posts: Black-Off – A suburban housewife’s guide to mid-90’s gangsta rap music – Word up! It’s Cameo « […]

  50. **** all you racist ass people up on here celebrating this garbage, at least I know your all only laughing at this cause your all alone on a computer, scared little bitches wouldn’t show your true colors in public.

    **** suburban racists

    September 14, 2008 at 7:52 pm

  51. I sometimes wonder if people even fully read these posts before letting their ignorance fly. If they really do, then I mourn for the loss of irony and humor in the world. Anyone who’s read RR over the years knows we have no resentment toward any race. If anything, this article shows the ignorance of the white “suburban housewife” who wrote it. (BTW, since I have to spell shit out for some people, she doesn’t REALLY believe those artists are saying what the article says they’re saying.)

    I don’t know what you mean about showing our “true colors” in public. Do you think I’m in the Klan or something? Do I have sheets and brown shirts in my closet? I got news for you, SR, I couldn’t get in a hate group if I wanted to, ‘cuz I’M A JEW! That, and I don’t hate any race wholesale. Thosemeshuggeners hate me as much as they hate blacks, Latinos or Punjabis. (The closest I could get would be joining B’nai B’rith, but that kind of hate is limited to zoning laws and bad service at the Sizzler.)

    Hey, Suburban Rasicsts, are we at Ration Reality the “scared little bitches”? Seems you’re the one who didn’t leave a link. You know where to find us, punk-ass! As the Boost Mobile ads that make me cringe would say, “Where you at?”(sic)

    Soylent-Ape

    September 21, 2008 at 10:46 am

  52. I don’t know how you put up with this shit, Soy. Appears the fucking reading comprehension of the “open-minded” set. Maybe you need to put a disclaimer at the beginning of the article that basically says, “Hey, Dumb Ass! Yes, this means YOU. Please read complete article before fucking commenting or we reserve the right to allow you to make yourself look like a total fucking jackass. Thanks – Mgmt.”

    Glad to see some action around here though. =) Hope all is well.

    SEO Hack

    September 23, 2008 at 12:33 am

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