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Hyphy

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Hyphy

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Hyphy (pronounced high-fee; IPA: [ˈhaɪfiː]]) is a style of music and dance associated with San Francisco Bay Area hip hop culture. It began to emerge in early 2000 as a response from Bay Area rappers against commercial hip hop for not acknowledging the Bay for setting trends in the hip hop industry.[1] Although the "hyphy movement" has just recently seen light in mainstream America, it has been a long standing and evolving culture in the Bay Area. The term is a combination of the words "hype" and "fly".[2]

It is distinguished by gritty, pounding rhythms, and in this sense can be associated with the Bay as crunk music is to the South. An individual is said to "get hyphy" when they act or dance in an overstated and ridiculous manner. Many in the Bay Area would describe this as acting "Retarded", "Riding The Yellow Bus", or "Going Dumb".

Contents

Culture

The word "hyphy" was originally coined by Keak Da Sneak.[3] If someone was hyphy, they were reacting spontaneously to the music. Alternately, it is based heavily around partying and having as much of a good a time as possible.

A particular feature of hyphy culture in the bay area are sideshows or sydeshows , when one or a series of cars perform the extremely dangerous stunt of doing multiple doughnuts in their car by braking and turning at high speeds. Hyphy culture, like much of rap culture, also endorses greatly the heavy usage of drank (alcohol), purp (marijuana) and thizz pills (ecstacy). Dancing and partying, too, are an important aspect of hyphy culture.

Slang

Like many Bay Area trends, Hyphy has a unique culture of slang—much of it invented by E-40, Mac Dre, and other important figures. Below is a partial list of notable slang terms in hyphy culture: [4][5]

  • "Flamboasting" - All manner of showing off.
  • "Gas-brake dippin'" - Driving while quickly alternating between stomping on the gas and the brake.
  • "Ghostride the whip" - Driver walks alongside slow-rolling car with the door open, giving the appearance that the car is driving itself. Passengers ride with all the doors open and sometimes leap out of the moving cars.
  • "Giggin'" - Dancing wildly.
  • "Going or getting dumb/stupid/ignorant/retarded/hyphy/yellow bus" - is the main concept, which means having a good time while ignoring society's negative opinion of "uncivilized" behavior.
  • "Hyphy train" - A wild, mobile party with a long line of cars with all the doors open, in which occupants ghost-ride, flambost, dance on the hood and roof, and otherwise get hyphy.
  • "Scrapers" - Vintage four-door American sedans with whistling pipes, oversize spinning rims and a powerful stereo system. They hang low in the back and send off sparks when you're gas-brake dipping.
  • "Scrape/Swang" - Turning a sideshow/sydeshow.
  • "Stunna shades" - Oversized dark glasses that help accessorize the sagging jeans, white T-shirts and dreadlocks that are part of hyphy fashion. Unusual looking glasses that people wear when they go hyphy. "Stunnas" are frequently aviator style glasses, but often more elaborate or attention getting.
  • "Stunting" - Turning donuts, figure eights and other car tricks. Allen Gordon, former editor of Rap Pages magazine, says, "If you can spell out your name in tire tracks in the street — you're the man."
  • "Thizz" - Street slang for Ecstasy pills, popularized by the late Andre "Mac Dre" Hicks. Thizz is also the name of Mac Dre's record label.[6]
  • "Thizz Face" - Coined by Mac Dre to describe a "look on your face like you smell some piss". Originated from the face that one makes when putting an Ecstasy pill in one's mouth, due to the bitter taste. The term and facial expression have been appropriated to mean several other feelings and situations.
  • "Thizzle Dance" - A dance associated with Mac Dre's song by the same name, the thizzle dance (thizz dance, thizzing, closely related to going dumb) involves wearing a strange facial expression and waving one's arms and legs in a bizarre or unusual-looking way. "Thizzing" is also associated with shaking one's dreadlocks, getting on the ground, or imitating animals.
  • "Yadadameen/Yadadamsayin?" - A phrase popularized by Keak Da Sneak meaning "Do you know what I mean?" and "Do you know what I'm sayin'?" The 'dada' usually signifies rolling the letter 'R', however, for effect and for people who cannot roll their 'R's, the informal 'didi' (pronounced did-I) is appropriate.
  • "Yokin" - To alternately press on the gas and brake so your car dips.

This is merely an introduction to the slang associated with the hyphy movement.

Cities/Locations

Centered around the San Francisco Bay Area, the capital of the Hyphy Movement is Oakland. Additionally, Vallejo, Richmond, and various other locations in Northern California are key areas in the hyphy movement.

Artists

Important to the hyphy movement are the involvement of Oakland, California and San Francisco Bay Area rap artists. Major entertainers from the Bay who are considered hyphy artists include:

E-40
Keak Da Sneak
Mac Dre
Mistah F.A.B.
Tha Hoodstarz
The Federation (hip hop group)
The Team (Rap)

External links

News Media

Sites

Notes

  1. ^ From the USA Today article:
    "Every record label was getting at us at that time, but we fumbled the ball," says E-40, whose My Ghetto Report Card entered the Billboard album chart at No. 3 in March. "I hung on like a hubcap in the fast lane along with a few other rappers, and now it's time again. We had a 10-year drought and they went to other regions and were bypassing us like the surgery out here. But we're trendsetters, and the rap game without the Bay Area is like old folks without bingo."
  2. ^ Arnold, Eric K., "The Politics of 'Hyphy': Snoop Dogg, et al. have pilfered Bay Area hip-hop slang for years. No more.", East Bay Express, June 30, 2004.
  3. ^ In 1998, Keak Da Sneak used the word "Hyphy" for the first time on record, on the song "Cool" from his Sneakacydal LP.
  4. ^ "Flambosting the hyphy nation", USA Today, April 13, 2006.
  5. ^ Also see the long list of hyphy slang in the East Bay Express article in the Notes section of this page.
  6. ^ The USA Today article referenced here has the definition: "The feeling that comes from popping pills while listening to the music and getting hyphy. Not condoned by many hyphy followers."
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