When Rick Rubin broke north of Def Jam and started a new label in 1988, it was initially titled ‘Def American’, but when he saw the word ‘def’ in the dictionary five years later he decided that it was now “against the anti-establishment image that he was trying to project for the company” and proceeded to hold a funeral for the word. Cheap publicity stunt? Sure, but Rick did have a point. There are a number of slang terms that have long outstayed their welcome in the rap world, and before Mary Hart from Entertainment Tonight starts throwing them around like ‘bling’ I think it’s best that they get respectfully laid to rest.
‘Boom Bap’ – When KRS-One introduced this into the lexicon back in ’93, it made a lot of sense. Now it’s just another cliche to be used and abused by clueless publicists and toy record reviewers.
‘Random Rap’ – I enjoy obscure Philly records from 1987 as much as anyone, but what the fuck is ‘random’ about any of it? Blame ebay.
‘Gully’ – I still kinda like this one, but Dallas Penn recently informed me that it’s been replaced by ‘Hardbody’ around his way, and who am I to argue?
‘Brolic’ – As above. Does anyone use this anymore?
‘Ill’ – I’m guilty of throwing this around on occasion, and if it’s a choice between keeping this or ‘dope’ it’s a no-brainer.
‘Fresh’ – No one has said ‘funky fresh’ for the last 20 years, but I guess it still has some use in describing lettuce.
‘John Blaze’ – Blame Method Man. Then blame the clothing line that hired him to hawk this shit.
‘Illmatic’ – I like how a few Queens rappers tried to act like this was an actual word for a minute.
‘Grown Folk Music’ / ‘Grown Man Rap’ – Fuckouttahere.
‘Hipster Rap’ – My bad.
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