TALKING BLACK in AMERICA – Skills


Six feet that’s Two Chains. Call your girl, she hit me back like you rang, I’m the hottest thang you say Mental Institutions answer me as you sane.
You basic, dude, you trippin’. Lace your shoes, think again, deja vu, play with me You play to lose. Call your homies, they be the bravest fools, I mean take the cruise. An individual’s ability to speak spontaneously, authoritatively in the vernacular is not only highly prized, but is literally used in verbal combat When you finish round one, boy, you cast a stone Look at the crowd, they eyes glued like they got lashes on in the drafted zone I’m with some mean boys / run up deep in a Jaheim voice While you at the crib with your son watching Nickelodeon Teen Choice [Laughter] You often throw a lot of negative shots at each other and they’re not necessarily, uh, genuine. Your Mama joke, you know, Your Cousin, you know, any There’s no boundaries, you know. I’ve heard all the type of jokes are the type of like direct blazes, or some, some might call it blazing. It was, it didn’t have to be like, you know, “I hate you” and it’s just, we just battle with words, you know? It’s as much about the language Itself and the connections that are being made as it is about like how the language, like how it’s being delivered. [Rap] As much slang as we use in hip hop, there’re probably more people that would have been English majors or writers in hip hop than there is in any other genre. Just the usage of words like metaphor, similes, double entendres, triple entendres. You might not even have a high school diploma and you know how to use these things. People think that African American English is picking up these things from hip hop when in fact hip hop is making use of long-standing features of African American English. When you’re in a situation where people don’t own property, unemployment is high, you don’t really have anything, but talk is plentiful. It’s very natural that you, you end up in a situation where there becomes a hierarchy based on how adept you are with using language.

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