Rap dictionary

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Mon Aug 16 01:40:17 UTC 1999

     My thanks to Barry Popik  for drawing my attention to the rap
dictionary on line
( www.rapdict.org/.) and to Jonathan Fine for interpreting the rap lyrics
that were l
 incomprehensible to me:
        "If you gotta be a monkey, be a gorilla
         It;s 4 a.m.
        I'm off a tab and still a
        World rap billa'
        Pushin' big Benz
         Wit' a chickenhead drawers hangin' from my antenna!"

    I checked the online dictionary. "Chickenhead" is listed:  "any dumb
person (usually refers to women, unfortunately) who clucks (speaks) a lot
and walks around aimlessly or without purpose (like...   [That's the way
the entry ends: with  "like" followed by three dots.]

    I see that RHHDAS also lists "chickenhead" (= dolt)  with the first
attestation coming  as early as  1906,  but the reference is  to both men
and women.

     Meanwhile,   a preliminary check turns up more items that are absent
from the online dictionary than are present;  a few examples:

1) "babymuva" ----BLAZE, April 1999, p.47: "Eminem needs help... he's
having problems deciding which Spice Girl to make his next babymuva."

2) "whip" (apparently = car) ----BLAZE, April 1999, p. 58: "I pull up in
the whip, pop the trunk, ya feel it?/ Barefoot gorilla funk, ya hear it?"
-------The online rap dictionary has two items 'for "Whip," both nicknames.

3) "billa'" (in the lyrics quoted above from my earlier message).  This
word isn't in RHHDAS or the online rap dictionary.  I'm not sure of its

    So the online dictionary is a good beginning, but it is evidently only
a beginning.  Does  someone  out there have a student who might be
interested in working on  this project?  Perhaps as a term paper?  If the
collection is a good one (with  illustrations from rap lyrics or articles
about rap from such publications as BLAZE) , an effort should be made to
see that it gets published somewhere.

-----Gerald Cohen

gcohen at umr.edu

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