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Believe the Hyphy: Learning to go dumb with E-40 

Don't know the language? Learn it from E-40.The last time E-40 came through town, about 14 months ago, this publication - the one you're reading

click to enlarge Don't know the language? Learn it from E-40.
  • Don't know the language? Learn it from E-40.
Don't know the language? Learn it from E-40.The last time E-40 came through town, about 14 months ago, this publication - the one you're reading right now - discussed the plus-sized rapper at length, but only briefly touched on his illustrious lexicon. The Bay-Area hip-hop mogul (who is approaching legendary status or as already achieved it in some circles), is best known for helping to cultivate the rambunctious and at times intentionally ridiculous "hyphy" sub-genre of rap and is returning to continue the lessons that he began with his 2007 Bend show. We thought we'd also help in the educational process.

The "hyphy" phenomenon is still alive, perhaps not as much as it was two or three years ago when the bump-and-crunch sound and "go dumb" dance moves lit up the hip-hop world, but alive nonetheless as you'll see when E-40 and his troupe of high-energy cats work the Midtown into a frenzy this week. Although "hyphy" has been a part of Bay-Area hip-hop culture since the mid-1990s, the movement didn't fully take hold until the major success (as in top ten Billboard success) of E-40's 2006 record entitled My Ghetto Report Card. Loyal hip-hop aficionados know all about E-40 and the hype of the "hyphy," (perhaps learning this from the documentary DVD E-40 and the Hype on Hyphy) but this article is not for the astute hip-hop fan. This is for the McSweeney's-reading sort of Joe or Jane who's main exposure to rap music comes in the form of 15-second intervals emanating from the cracked windows of passing Honda Civics on Third Street. In short, this is for the uninformed.

This cool-as-all-hell rapper has been reportedly working on a slang dictionary to lay out some of his verbiage in one easy-to-read manual. Although we couldn't get our mitts on an official E-40-sanctioned hyphy dictionary, we did, however, amass the following list of hyphy terms and their accompanying definitions. Read, learn, and of course, go dumb.

Dipped in butta: Well dressed

Stunna shades: Oversized sunglasses once key to the hyphy movement, but now a must have accessory for any female age 12-65.

Goin' dumb: Dancing rambunctiously

Scraper: a low-riding, four-door American sedan, often equipped with any number of other hyphy alterations.

Gas brake dippin': The practice of slamming the gas and brake pedals while driving. It looks pretty cool, but might induce vomiting.

Ripper: A less-than-complementary term for a less-than-reputable woman.

E-40 with Maniac Lok, Kenny Mack, The Chef Boyz and the Collektive
8pm. Friday, June 27. Midtown Ballroom, 51 NW Greenwood Ave. $30 plus service fees/advance, $35 plus service fees/day of show. Tickets at Ranch Records and All Ages. 

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