When we think of California’s Bay Area, we most often think of San Francisco. It’s an iconic cultural hub known for its rolling hills, its livability, a perfect climate and great sourdough bread. It’s one of the most adored and most expensive cities in the United States. But I think Oakland has gotten short shrift, and it’s time for the injustice to stop.
After all, it can be argued that the Bay Area’s most awesome contribution to American culture comes not from Frisco but in fact from nearby Oakland. That gem of a cultural phenomenon to which I refer, friends, is none other than hyphy.
Inadvertently founded by rapper Keak Da Sneak around 1994, hyphy is a rap sub-culture that was born in Oakland and subsequently spread throughout the bay. In case you hadn’t guessed, hyphy is all about getting, well… hyphy.
The music is fast-paced, pounding and all about partying very very very hard. It’s sort of like crunk, but way more hyphy. To be a part of the scene, you must have a “sydeshow,” or a big ass party where everyone parks their cars in the street, blasts their sound systems and literally ghost-ride their whips. Yes, Oakland and hyphy gave us ghost riding the whip. Forget San Francisco’s sourdough.
It’s not all too likely that those getting twisted at a sydeshow are drinking fine wine. In fact, the preferred hyphy drinks are Hennessy and tequila. Still, I see no reason why wine drinkers can’t work some hyphy slang into their lexicon… it’s only natural to get pumped about wine.
(Let E-40 direct traffic and break down hyphy for you.)
If only to give Oakland some well deserved credit for coming up with the craziest rap in the country, I offer you some hyphy slang to whip out at your next dinner party. In the words of E-40, “the rap game without the Bay Area is like old folks without bingo.” Don’t be old without bingo. Learn these phrases:
“doobid” – the words ‘dumb’ and ‘stupid’ mashed together, meant to indicate that one is both dumb and stupid.
“directing traffic” – to explain something, break it down, expound, take charge.
“flamboasting” – any possible, ridiculous and/or ostentatious manner of showing off, boasting or ego tripping.
“gerbazlle/gerbazll’n” – to act stupid, clown around, be a fool
“ridin’ the yellow bus” – to have a good time in whatever way possible, regardless of any social stigma or negative opinions of one’s actions
“supa sick wit’ it” – said of somebody or something awesome, appealing, cool, impressive, admirable
“slapper/slumper” – a song with loud bass, a fat beat or with other hyphy characteristics
“whadiddadiz” – an alternative to “what’s up?” or “what’s going on?”
“yadadameen/yadadamsayin” – an alternative to “do you know what I mean?” or “ do you know what I’m saying?” Popularized by rapper and hyphy founder Keak Da Sneak.
If you’re supa sick wit’ it, break out some hyphy when you pop that next bottle…