As a black male English major, I pride myself on speaking properly and clearly in my schoolwork and my everyday life. When I tell people just how big of a hip-hop fan I am, most people are surprised since hip-hop is known to push the envelope when it comes to English, in terms of words and pronunciation of those words. Hip Hop has done an amazing job of influencing how we all speak, and in my opinion, it has changed it for the better. Below are some examples of how hip-hop has influenced and changed the English language.
Eminem is one of the greatest rappers in the music industry. In his interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s 60 minutes, he said that changing how you pronounce orange, would make different things rhyme with an orange although it is a challenging word to rhyme. Eminem later continued to rap, “I put my orange four-inch door hinge in storage and ate porridge with George”. Pronouncing the words differently, made them rhyme. His fans argued that he is not pronouncing the words correctly, however, there’s no law stating that you can’t pronounce words differently. English has made it difficult to know exactly how to say something. For instance, the words potato, tomato, and salmon, all have different pronunciations from people, depending on where you come from.
Lil Wayne is also one of the most recognizable rappers in the industry. His wordplay and lyrics have been top-notch for his entire career. Lil Wayne’s music has gotten extremely popular and impactful that a Tampa middle school teacher tried to teach her students using one of Lil Wayne’s most popular songs, 6ft 7ft. The teacher wanted her students to look at the lyrics and analyze it for homework. Unfortunately, many parents were outraged and got this teacher suspended. Nonetheless, Lil Wayne has given out massive creative and expressive lyrics over his career that even teachers recognize, although he doesn’t use “proper” English. Rap music has impacted our education. Rappers like Lil Wayne and Eminem are two of the best to do this, and I believe it’s a great thing for the future.
Words created from Hip-Hop
Hip hop has created slang words that have now passed that term and have been accepted by the majority of America within our culture.
Check the examples below:
- Wifey- Girlfriend/Girlfriends
- Big Face- $100 Bill
- Diss- to disrespect and insult someone heavily
- Baller- Someone who is keen on making money
- Kicks- shoes/basketball shoes specifically Jordans