[Ads-l] "Represent" in hip-hop/rapspeak

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 31 08:45:23 UTC 2015


We've talked about intransitive "represent" before -- it's well, uh,
represented on Matt Kohl's site The Right Rhymes:

http://www.therightrhymes.com/represent/

FWIW, here are some lyrical examples of "represent from [place name]"
in songs from the '90s:

"I be the Abstract Poetic representing from Queens."
A Tribe Called Quest, "Sucka Nigga" (1993)
http://genius.com/A-tribe-called-quest-sucka-nigga-lyrics

"Representing from the 'Bridge, you know how it is."
Mobb Deep, "Stomp Em Out" (1993)
http://genius.com/Mobb-deep-stomp-em-out-lyrics

"Come up representing from the upper west."
Beastie Boys, "Root Down" (1994)
http://genius.com/Beastie-boys-root-down-lyrics

"Lost Boyz represent from South Jamaica Queens."
Lost Boyz, "Get Up" (1996)
http://genius.com/Lost-boyz-get-up-lyrics

"I represent from the east coast bringing the ruckus."
Large Professor ft. Pete Rock, "The Rap World" (1996)
http://genius.com/Large-professor-the-rap-world-lyrics


On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 4:10 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>
> I first encountered this in the very early '90s. "Represent" means
> something like, "to effectively represent one's neighborhood, associates,
> etc., through a hip-hop performance."
>
> In the present case, however, maybe "representing from" just means "based
> in; from."
>
> (Or as everybody under the age of 60 seems to say, "out of.")
>
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 11:52 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >
> > Deloney | Free Listening on SoundCloud
> > https://soundcloud.com/deloney
> > A classically-trained, multi-instrumentalist rapper and producer
> > _representing from_ St. Louis, MO.
> >
> > Unless the thought is "... _representing_, from St. Louis, MO." Given the
> > current trivialization of punctuation...
> >
> > Youneverknow.

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