Category Archives: Street Language

The study and application of street communication. Commonly referred to as Black English, Urban Slang and Ebonics. It is Hip Hop’s urban language and linguistic codes—the verbal communication of the streets.

Advanced Street Language includes the correct pronunciation of one’s native and national language as it pertains to urban life. In addition, advanced Street Language deals with one’s communication skills even beyond what one says.

Street Language is not always spoken words. Hip Hop’s Street Language includes Beat Boxin and certain street codes that may not be communicated in words at all.

We can see here within these definitions how even hip and hop come together to mean hip—informed, and hop—springing or dancing. Together the term hip hop (even when spelled in lower case h) can mean an informed springing, or an up to date modern dance, or an informed movement upward. A hip (updated) hop (movement) is an intelligent movement—a movement aware of itself.

To be hip means to be up to date, relevant, in the know. Therefore to hip something or to make something hip is to modernize it. To hip a hop is to modernize an upward movement.

The term culture (1439) from the Latin cultura (cul-too-ra), meaning tending, care and cultivation, seems to come from cult-, the past participle stem of the Latin colere, meaning to till, cultivate, tend to and inhabit. Cult (1616) originally meant worship or homage; not to worship or to pay homage. Cult comes from the Latin cultus (cul-toos), meaning cultivation, care, attention, worship. We can see here that the term worship was originally associated with the cultivating, caring for, and attending to, of something or someone.

Looking at the etymology of hip and hop and culture together we can interpret such a phrase as meaning; the cultivation, care, attention and worship of the seed (plan/vision) of the new vine (people/way).

Another interpretation of hip hop culture could read; the cultivation, care, attention and worship of the intelligent movement. The term hip hop culture seems to imply the cultivation of, and care for, the upward springing of intelligence.

The very fact that these terms hip and hop and culture and even hip-hoppa which we spontaneously gave to ourselves in childhood play within a so-called slang dialect intuitively corresponding to the etymology of these words and terms only proves once again the depth into which the Hip Hop mind can go if left to its own development.

23 Years Anniversary – The Birth Of Jeru The Damaja’s 1st Solo Album





A Sucker EMCEE, a one-man show from Craig “Mums” Grant | OkayPlayer

a sucker emcee

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In 2014, the LAByrinth Theater Company produced A Sucker EMCEE, a one-man show from Craig “Mums” Grant. Grant, a poet and actor, used hip-hop and rhymes to tell his life story, from a young boy in the Bronx to a great success in the acting field — he appeared on HBO’s OZ — to back to the Bronx again.

Three and a half years after the play’s initial run, the show is coming back, this time at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.

The show will have a limited six-show engagement. The original production team, which included director Jenny KoonsDJ Rich Medina and set designer David Meyer, are all returning, so expect the same quality as the initial show.

Tickets for A Sucker EMCEE are on sale now and cost $25 in advance and $35 at the door. The show will run from April 26 through April 30, 2017, so jump on this quickly.

April 26 through April 30th

FOUNDING FATHERS narrated by Chuck D

Video presented by Founding Fathers…
A factual report about unsung DJ’s who contributed to the foundational principals of the music known today as Hip Hop. This documentary transports you to a journey back to the early underground disco days of the streets and parks throughout New York City.
-In memory of the late great Pete “DJ” Jones, Rest in Peace

Behind The Beats with Nottz – Presented by The Drum Broker & Scratch Magazine TV

Video by Drum Broker
Published on Feb 11, 2015 & & Present ‘Behind The Beats with Nottz’. One of the most anticipated behind the scenes look at one of Hip Hop’s most prolific producers & beatmakers. 

Check out Nottz’s Wiki and get familiar:

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RECAP: Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Summer 2014


DJ Rob Swift on the 1s and 2s at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

2 weekends ago I was honored with the chance to attend the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Tickets were provided, so I had to make the pilgrimage to NYC to check it out.

The festival similar to the A3C Fest in ATL is celebrating it’s 10th year in operation this year.

The Legendary Brand Nubian at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

Hosted in a vacant lot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (right off the East River) it was a beautiful sunny day for an outside concert for sure. When I arrived Tanya Morgan joined by Spec Boogie were getting on stage. I dipped out and missed a few acts including Brand Nubian, Beatnuts, and who knows who else. Luckily I looked at the BKHHF website that morning and noticed that Jay Electronica’s set time had been moved up to an earlier time. The post mentioned his set would be epic, and there would be special guests you didn’t want to miss. 

Video Music Box, VJ Ralph McDaniels at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

30 minutes after his initial set time though, his DJ was still spinning his actual songs to the crowd. The host Uncle Ralph McDaniels and other staff looked like they were stalling, the sound engineer kept checking mics (as if the mics weren’t crispy already from the last performance). I started thinking to myself did this just turn into a Jay Elec listening party? Is he here? Will there be a show? 

Jay Electronica at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

And FINALLY… Jay graced the stage flanked by a crew of brothers dressed in F.O.I (Fruit Of Islam) garb. Once he appeared, I must say he definitely gave the crowd a show.

Jay Electronica at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX
Jay Electronica, Talib Kwali, and Mac Miller perform at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX
Jay Electronica and Mac Miller at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX
Talib Kwali, Jay Cole and Jay Electronica at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

The hour-long set featured all the joints you would probably expect to hear in a Jay Elect set: “Eternal Sunshine,” “Exhibit A (Transformations)”, “Exhibit C,” etc. Special guests included Mac Miller (who straight forgot whatever verse he was supposed to be spitting) which turned into freestyle session between the two. There was also Talib Kweli and J-Cole who seemed to appear and disappear rather quickly. The show was going great and had no one else appeared on stage with Jay, I would have been perfectly fine with that.   But being the magician Jay Elect is, of course he had a trick up his sleeve and that was none other than Jay-Z himself.

“It Feels Good To Be Home!” Jay-Z says to the crowd at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

Hov didn’t just pop up to rock the couple cuts he has with Jay Elect, he set it off by his rendition of “Young, Gifted, and Black,” and even gave the crowd a treat of “P.S.A.” as well as his joints with Jay Elect including the latest “We Made It.”

Jay Electronica and Jay-Z perform live at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX
Spike Lee talks to the community at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

I took a bunch of camera phone pics and even got some video. Then I saw all these fly pictures and HD video, and put my stuff in the archives. HA. 
Oh… and before you see these videos, I must mention I ran into Spike Lee who had a 40 Acres Pop Up Shop set up at the fest. I treated myself to a T-shirt and a “Do The Right Thing” behind the scenes book which Spike actually signed… Not too bad considering where we were a few years back! HA.

Jay Z Joins Jay Electronica For “Young Gifted… by BKHipHopFestival

Raekwon The Chef performs live at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

After this… CJ Pro Era rocked, and Raekwon did his thing with a few Brooklyn guest including AZ, Masta Killa, Troy Ave, and Papoose. But to be honest, nothing quite surpassed the energy of the moment seen above.

Masta Killa joins the stage with Raekwon The Chef at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

Pics courtesy of Tyrone Z. McCants of Zire Photography. See Full Gallery Here

Shouts to the homie Navani, Suce, Dillon, E Holla, and everybody else I got a chance to connect with during my brief stay in NYC.

Until next time… 



Hip-Hop Vocab: The Lexicon Is In The Lyrics | KNAU Arizona Public Radio

Chris Kindred for NPR Listen Listening… 0:00 /

Originally published on December 23, 2015 4:35 pm

Austin Martin, a junior at Brown University, stands in front of an eighth-grade class at Community Preparatory School in Providence, R.I. He’s here to test out the website he developed, which he hopes will help junior and senior high school students learn the vocabulary they’ll need for their college entrance exams.

He starts the class by connecting his laptop to a projector, and then he veers off the traditional path, away from rote memorization — and toward rap music.

A short song clip plays over speakers: “So rude that your mentality is distorting your reality.”

Martin zeroes in on the word “distort.”

“OK, so in this example,” he says to the class, “When they say ‘so rude that your mentality is distorting this reality,’ what do you think he means?”

The program is called Rhymes with Reason. He’s using rap lyrics to teach vocabulary, in the hope that some will connect more to popular music than they do to static words on a page.

This undergrad isn’t the first to think of using hip-hop in the classroom to engage students. The Hip-Hop Education Center, founded by New York University professor Martha Diaz, lists hundreds of programs that use hip-hop culture as a teaching tool.

But Martin says aggregating his lessons on a website for kids to use anywhere — at home, on their phone — sets his program apart.

Hip-hop, Martin says, is full of words students might need to know for the SAT or ACT. He’s amassed more than 450 examples so far.

“I just got out of high school. My sister is in high school,” says the 20-year-old Martin. “I’m in tune with that climate.”

In the classroom, most of the kids seem to understand that “distort” means to alter or change.

And then, like many English teachers, he asks the class to use the word in context. But not in a sentence. He wants them to write it in their own rap lyrics.

Here’s what student Tiffanie Pichardo comes up with: “You’re always distorting my brain, making me insane, the way you cross your arms and give me attitude, why don’t you go somewhere and don’t be rude.”

Micah Walker takes a different approach: “I went to court, but my opponent started to distort what I was saying, in fact they started fraying, from what that was the truth, and as a result, I came out with a broken tooth, but it’s OK ’cause it’s my turn to step into the booth.”

Grace Jordan raises her hand with another rhyme: “People think that I’m no good but their views are distorted. I’m the best; they’re wrong is what I retorted. Their minds are warped; they’re not in their right mind, ’cause smart people know I am the best. I’m the best that people can find.”

After the exercise on “distort,” the class moves on to “meticulous,” “complex” and “domain.”

They keep rapping right up until the bell rings — some want to keep going.

Eddie Moyé, the teacher in this eighth-grade class, says this enthusiasm isn’t unusual; the kids took to Rhymes with Reason right away.

“They were saying, ‘This is so much fun!’ ” he says. “They were saying, ‘Not to dis you, Mr. Moyé, but we like what Austin is doing with us,’ and I said, ‘I don’t have a problem with that.’ ”

Although he’s in an Ivy League college now, Martin says that he struggled in school. He was smart, but he says the things he was really intellectually curious about weren’t valued in the classroom.

“I knew every last thing there was to know about hip-hop and basketball,” he says. He could tell you incredibly detailed facts about rappers and NBA players.

“My favorite NBA player was Allen Iverson,” says Martin. “I could tell you what points-per-game average he had in 2004.” (It was 30.7.)

So why not tap into that enthusiasm to help kids like him, who might be turned off by traditional schoolwork.

He’s hoping Rhymes with Reason will do the trick.

After the class, Martin says he’s happy with how it went, particularly the way the students responded to their everyone else’s lyrics — saying “ooh” and “aah” when they heard a good rhyme.

“It’s really good to have that validation in the classroom for something you generated from your own mind,” he says.

Martin says Rhymes with Reason is still in the testing phase. It’s used in only a handful of classes, and he doesn’t yet have reliable data to show that it actually improves test scores or vocabulary.

But if the kids in Eddie Moyé’s eighth-grade class are anything to go by, Austin Martin is on to something.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



What motivates scientists and inventors? NPR’s Joe Palca has been exploring the power of the creative brain. And today, as part of his series Joe’s Big Idea, he has the story of a college student and entrepreneur. His online program uses hip-hop to teach vocabulary to teens.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: The program is called Rhymes with Reason, and it’s the invention of Austin Martin. Martin is a junior at Brown University. He’s invited me to go with him to a class at Community Preparatory School in Providence, where he’s testing the software.

AUSTIN MARTIN: So guys, how are you guys doing?


MARTIN: Cool. So today, we’re going to get into another lesson with Rhymes with Reason.

PALCA: Martin has attached his laptop to a projector so the class can see what he’s doing.

MARTIN: I think we might jump around a little bit just to get some, like – some fun words in there. 

PALCA: Martin decides to start out with the word distorting. He calls up a webpage with a music clip. He clicks the link.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Rapping) Glue it, to my heart I do it huge. And your attitude just blew it. So rude, it’s your mentality; it’s distorting your reality. Actually, the more you speak make me think where I’d rather be.

MARTIN: OK, so in this example, when they say so rudely your mentality’s distorting this reality, what do you think it means?

PALCA: Most of the kids seem to get it means altering or changing. Then he asks the class to use the word in context. But not in a simple sentence like we used to do but in a rap lyric, and this is where things get interesting. In a few minutes, hands start to shoot up.

TIFFANIE PICHARDO: You’re always distorting my brain, making me insane, the way you cross your arms and give me attitude. Why don’t you go somewhere and don’t be rude?

MICAH WALKER: March 31 I went to court, but my opponent started to distort what I was saying. In fact, they started fraying…

GRACE JORDAN: People think that I’m no good but their views are distorted. I’m the best; they’re wrong is what I retorted. Their minds are warped. They’re not in their right minds because smart people know I’m the best that people can find.

PALCA: That was Tiffanie Pichardo, Micah Walker and Grace Jordan.

EDDIE MOYE: Great job.

PALCA: Eddie Moye is the regular teacher in this eighth grade class. He says the kids took to Rhymes with Reason right away.

MOYE: And they were saying oh, this is so much fun, this is so much fun. And they were saying well, not to diss you, Mr. Moye, but we like what Austin’s doing with us. And I said I don’t have a problem with that.

PALCA: Although Rhymes with Reason inventor Austin Martin is now in an Ivy League college, there was a time when he struggled in school. He did excel in two subjects – hip-hop and basketball. He says he could tell you every last fact about every rapper, every NBA player.

MARTIN: My favorite NBA player was Allen Iverson. I could tell you what points-per-game average he had in 2004.

PALCA: It was 30.7, in case you’re interested. Anyway, Martin figured he’d take that kind of passion and use it to good advantage.

MARTIN: I wanted to find a way to finally make it so the intellectual engagement in hip-hop was rewarded in academic setting.

PALCA: He’s hoping Rhymes with Reason will do the trick.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: Oh, I’m so excited.

PALCA: The class has moved on from distorting to other words. The students try making lyrics with meticulous…

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: When I spit my bars, people think I’m meticulous. It comes naturally – OK, I lied. It’s ridiculous.

PALCA: …Or complex…

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #3: Rapping is complex. For example, all I can think to rhyme with complex is the word Rex.

PALCA: …Or domain.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #4: I am sick of people coming at my domain. I’m from Pawtucket – yeah, I’m repping the name. Best city in Rhode Island. It puts the rest to shame. Better keep up ’cause I’m in the fast lane.


PALCA: The kids seem reluctant to stop when the period is over.

MOYE: OK, ladies and gentlemen, please collect home books. Put them back in the home book locker, please.

PALCA: After we leave the school, I asked Martin whether he thought the session went well. He said yes, particularly the way kids responded to each other’s lyrics.

MARTIN: Seeing them – like, everyone say ooh and ah when they come up with a good rhyme – it’s really good to have validation in the classroom for something that you generated from your mind.

PALCA: Martin says Rhymes with Reason is still very much in the testing phase. It’s only being used in a handful of classes, and he’s not got reliable data yet showing it actually improves test scores. But if the kids in Eddie Moye’s eighth grade class are anything to go by, it looks like Austin Martin is onto something. Joe Palca, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Source: Hip-Hop Vocab: The Lexicon Is In The Lyrics | KNAU Arizona Public Radio#stream/0

Hidden Text: The Roots – What They Do w/ text

You have a message… beep…  date: 1996….

Peace Party People! Yo my dawg found this video. The videos show subtext stating that the video and the portrayals were not real. Big business removed the text to keep the illusion alive long enough for labels to get fat while having the common fan believe these artists were really living the lifestyles they showed in their videos. I think it was brilliant. But many people missed the full message and fell into the trap spawning the need for materialism and ignorance. Some believe that was a conscious time in hip-hop. Imagine were hip-hop would be if we got the message. Its been over 15 years since the video with text could be found online. The removing of the text was said to be because of a rap beef between the Roots and B.I.G… but don’t believe the hype.

Side note, I think there was more text. This could been done over.

Music video by The Roots performing What They Do. (C) 1996 Geffen Records. Director: Charles Stone III

How Jadakiss And Styles P Are Bringing Juice Bars To The Hood [INSIGHTS] I Elite Daily

Published on Sep 1, 2015

You don’t have to be a legendary rapper in order to help your community, but it certainly helps.

Jadakiss and Styles P are bonafide hip-hop heavyweights whose careers have spanned three decades, but their legacies may be solidified by something other than their music.

Through their chain of juice bars, Juices For Life, The LOX members are looking to provide a much-needed place for people in low-income neighborhoods to consume something good for them. These neighborhoods are often referred to as “food deserts,” since access to nutritional food is virtually nonexistent.

Styles P said, “In the poorer communities, mostly, the money gets invested in liquor stores and the kind of things we don’t need.”

Jadakiss and Styles P are leading by example and looking to put an end to food deserts through their Juices For Life locations, but they aren’t alone.

Jeff Brown, the founder and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, a chain of grocery stores that offers high quality and nutritional food at affordable prices, said, “What Jadakiss and Styles P are doing, they’re successful, and they don’t need to be concerned about society… They’re deciding to use their success to make a difference for people. I think if we all did that, we’d fix a lot of our country’s problems.”

With its three locations, Juices For Life is giving people unprecedented access to nutritional options in the Bronx and Yonkers, New York, with hopes of expanding in the near future.

Subscribe now for more videos from Elite Daily:…

Check out more INSIGHTS from Elite Daily:…

Travis Wolfe
Styles P 

Producer: Max Grunner
Associate Producer: Shawn Hazelett 
Director of Photography: Terence MF Thomas 
Camera Operators: Sean H. Horan, Kevin Losani
Editor: John Stish, Kevin Losani 
Motion Graphics: Oliver Dudman 
Senior Producer: Kevin Losani 

Music Courtesy of Extreme Music

“Mild Shine”
Written by James S. Levine 

“Busted Ya Grill”
Written by Matt Smith and Daniel Carl Holter 

“Labored Rebirth”
Written by Matt Smith and Daniel Carl Holter

“Hoes Before Bros”
Written by Daniel Suett, Billie Ray Fingers and Bruce Fingers

“Play Your Cards Right”
Written by Daniel Suett, Billie Ray Fingers and Bruce Fingers

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