A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Here's what your kids are listening to: The inaugural edition

So last Friday, I was, ummmm, "enlightened" by one of my students about the significance of the date (four twenty), which is supposedly the day to smoke pot all day. I am so naive. So I'm going to strike a blow for those of us who can't negotiate the verbal minefield of current slang without a GPS device.

Ever wonder what the heck your students are talking about when they suddenly spout a piece of gibberish as they walk down the hall? Ever wonder what's being pumped into the tender little ears of your children and your students through their little white iPod earbuds? Ever said something innocently in class and have half of the kids fall out their chairs for no apparent reason?

Well, Ms. Cornelius is here to help. Once a week, I will post the lyrics to a current hot song for your edification. No longer will you be the old clueless fossil--I will help you be hip. And just in time for Prom season!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: the lyrics to the poetic stylings of T-Pain and Yung Joc, treating us to their thoughts in "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')".

Some vocabulary you may need: Snap Music is apparently a dance-club based form of hip-hop coming out of the South, especially Georgia. "Crunk" (not the hip-hop genre, the adjective) is defined here and also here for us old geezers. But "crunk juice" is Red Bull and hard liquor.

A "shawty" (or shorty) is a good-looking female. A synonym is "dime-piece." And I don't really like the sound of that, either, to be honest. Amazing how many ways there are to put down women.

"Buy U a Drank"

"Shawty snap, yeah
Shawty sex
(ay ay )
(she snappin)
yeah yeah yeeah
la da da oo oh.

Snap ya fingers, do your step you can do it all by yourself!

Baby girl, what's your name?
Let me talk to you,
Let me buy you a drink
I'm T-Pain, you know me:
Konvict music, Nappy Boy ooh wee
I know the club close at 3.
What's the chance of you rollin' wit' me
Back to the crib? Show you how I live
Let's get drunk, forget what we did.

Imma buy you a drank oooh whee, then Imma take you home with me
I got money in the bankkkkkkkkkk- Shawty, whatchu think 'bout that?
Find me in the grey cadillac-
We in the bed like- ooh ooh ohh, ooh ooh
We in the bed like- ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh

Talk to me, I talk back; let's talk money, I talk that.
Crunk juice bottles, oakley shades-Shawty got class.
Oh, behave- let's get gone
Walk it out (now walk it out) just like that.
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout
We gone have fun, you gone see-
On that patrone you should get like me.

Imma buy you a drank ooh whee then, ohh, Imma take you home with me.
I got money and the fame- Shawty, whatchu think bout that?
Find me in the grey cadillac-
We in the bed like -ooh ooh ohh, ooh ohh
We in the bed like -ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh ooh.

Won't you meet me at the bar? Respect big pimpin'.
Tell me how you feel- mama, tell me what you sippin'.
A certified dime piece- deserve louy 1-3
150 a shot- 3 for you and 3 for me.
I'm checkin' yo body language- I love the conversation.
And when you lick your lips, I get a tinglin' sensation
Now we're both 'bout tipsy; you say you in the mood
All I need is 'bout a hour- better yet, maybe two.
Let me take you where I live- Ferrari switch gears
When I whisper in ya ear, Ya legs hit the chandelier
Passion fruit and sex all in the atmosphere
Imma let T-Pain sing it, so he can make it clear.

Imma buy you a drank oooh whee, then Imma take you home with me.
I got money in the bankkkkkkkkkk- Shawty whatchu think 'bout that?
Find me in the grey cadillac,
We in the bed like- ooh ooh ohh, ooh ooh.
We in the bed like- ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh.

Let's get gone- walk it out.
Now walk it out think about it (aw, snap).
Now rock rock rock rock, you can do it all by yo'self.

Imma buy you a drank ooh whee, then, ohh Imma take you home with me.
I got money and the fame- Shawty, whatchu think bout that?
Find me in the grey cadillac
We in the bed like -ooh ooh ohh, ooh ohh.
We in the bed like -ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh ooh."

Well, it's no MacArthur Park, but it's number three on iTunes this week. I particularly like the objectification of women in this one. Not that today's rappers invented THAT problem, but they sure aren't helping. Duh.



At 4/24/07, 7:14 PM, Blogger educat said...

Man, and to think I got in trouble for "Blastphemous Rumors" by Depeche Mode.

At 4/24/07, 7:53 PM, Anonymous MsWhite said...

My contribution to the cause:
Every teacher should have it bookmarked!

At 4/24/07, 8:28 PM, Anonymous mrschili said...

My sister handed me a CD a couple of months ago with the warning that I should NOT listen to it when the children are in the car with me. I labeled it "Nasty Hip-Hop" after the first listen. I was just this side of appalled by the lyrics (well, those I could actually make out, that is), but I do have to admit that I LOVE the beats.

I'm going to really appreciate this weekly feature!!

Last term, I wrote a blog entry saying that I'd been "tapped" to teach a section of such-and-so for the upcoming term, and I think it was Sassie Cassie who clued me in that "tapped" does not mean "assigned" or "volunteered" any longer; it means "done" or "nailed" in a sexual way. Oops. I really need to stay current with the lingo...

At 4/24/07, 8:53 PM, Anonymous Aleisha said...

As a former teacher and an individual employed in the human services field I do not see the benefits of teachers learning the songs or the slang of their students. Teachers are there to focus on academics and to help to enfore decision making skills and not to try to fit into the mainstream with the students. I do see how you may feel that being able to understand their music is connecting with the students but is it necessary to do so in a manner that may be misunderstood as accepting the harsh lyrics related to women and in some instances life in general.

At 4/24/07, 9:38 PM, Blogger Mrs. T said...

Urban Dictionary is very useful- they have some useful 4/20 information on it as well.

At 4/24/07, 10:09 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...


I think you are completely misunderstanding the purpose here. The point is not to approve, and I don't think that is implied anywhere here. Instead, my motto is basically "Forewarned is forearemed."

We cannot provide guidance if we do not dismantle the "secret lingo" these songs create and perpetuate. Or perhaps you think I and other teachers should sit in class and let the kids make nasty comments without understanding what they are saying? Obviously, this crap is appalling.

And that's the point. Thanks so much for stopping by. Try reading again. Jeez.

Meanwhile, the urban dictionary is a wonderful tool. I really have found it useful, especially when trying to untangle verbal altercations into which I've had to step.

At 4/25/07, 5:49 AM, Anonymous mrschili said...

I agree, Ms. Cornelius; it's important to understand what the students are saying.

We're not trying to be their buddies, Aleisha; they already have plenty of friends. What good teachers know, though, is that it's desperately important to CONNECT to our students. It's also necessary, as Ms. Cornelius pointed out, to be able to decode their dialect so that we're aware of what's happening in the environment. Language is power, just as much as knowledge is - and it's important for teachers to be able to speak, at least marginally, the language their students use with each other. Knowing the code gives you the keys.

At 4/25/07, 9:21 PM, Blogger Gradual Dazzle said...

Aleisha, while I agree that we're not there to "fit in" with them, there has to be a certain understanding of their culture -- which you have to agree is very, very different than the one we grew up in. Knowing your audience is a key element in getting your message across.

At 4/25/07, 9:23 PM, Blogger Polski3 said...

There is also a current "country-western" song about taking a sweetie out to the old hunting grounds and checking her for ticks......suggestive lyrics are not the sole domain of the rappers and hip-hoppers. BUT,on the other hand, you don't find, to the best of my knowledge, anyone but hip-hoppers and rappers using the you-know-what- terms to describe women and the put-downs of women.

As for teachers being aware of the language of their students, I believe it doesn't hurt....we teachers are not trying to be friends or 'hang' with our students, but, to do our jobs, we do have to know something of where are students are coming from.....

At 4/28/07, 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My contribution to the cause:
Every teacher should have it bookmarked!

...except that it's blocked by many filtering systems...!

At 4/9/08, 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What ever happened to people actually taking time to write songs , its horrible. I actually got called a DimePiece by a lil boy.


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