Language schools » Slang » Hip Hop Slang

Hip Hop Slang

Hip Hop

Hip hop music uses a variety of slang terms that have changed as hip hop itself has evolved and changed. Much of its lexicon is drawn from African American Vernacular English. Hip hop slang makes use of alternative pronunciations, mostly drawn from AAVE; ordinary words given new meanings; new coinages and portmanteau words; and vernacular phrases.

The slang used in a hip hop record can often date it to a certain era and/or school of hip hop. As the hip hop culture has expanded worldwide, non-Americans and even non-English speakers have increasingly borrowed from and contributed to the slang of hip hop, often modifying the meanings of words to their own uses.

Popular terms

A list of popular words, terms and phrases. Most terms have been adopted by entities outside of hip hop and used in general conversation.

1/One/One-love: a term of respect in closing of a meeting or conversation. This term is almost exclusive to the East Coast (NY, PA, NJ) of the United States.
2-1-5/2-1-Fifth: the primary area-code for Philadelphia, PA.
4-1-1: is the telephone directory number used in the US. 411 is used as a slang term meaning "information".
4-9-3-11/Get the "4-9-3-11": a number code which when translated to the corresponding alphabetical order spells out the word "dick". Primarily used in New York City.
7-1-8: is a New York City area code for The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn.
7:30: Unknown origin, according to an interview with Foxy Brown by The Source magazine, it is the time when mental hospital patients must take their medication, thus implying someone is "crazy". Exclusively used in the New York area. As well as other East Coast areas like Boston.
8 + 1: a 9mm handgun.
A-Alikes: (1) a twin or someone with a physical resemblence. (2) a relative. Primarily used in New York City.
Aiight: (1) safe or unharmed. 2)yes or very well 3)satisfactory 4)without fail Derived from “all right”, Aiight carries many of the same meanings. Also can mean mediocre. Often used in exclamatory fashion to show agreement. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Air out: To shoot and kill someone.
B: a term addressing someone you don't know. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Badonkadonk: an abnormally large posterior or buttocks on a female; i.e. Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams, etc. Began as an African-American term but is now used outside of this circle.
Baller: Someone with significant wealth or spends alot of money on material items. Can be used sarcastically.
Bananas: crazy, often in a positive and/or amazing sense. Primarily used in New York, United States
Bangin: (1) Description of a very good song, party, television show or movie. (2) Description of a very potent drug, particularly marijuana (3) Having sex. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Big Pimpin': a male who claims to have access to alot of money while also claiming to have the ability to acquire many females without spending his money to get sex from them.
Bling-bling: (1) to show off a material possession, usually jewelry or a car (2)a gaudy or flashy material possession. Has gained national mainstream usage.
Block-Huggers: people who rarely, if ever, leave their block or neighborhood without being coerced. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Bone: to have sex with.
Bounce: to leave. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Bourgeois: (1)a member of the middle class (2)a person who's values are petty & materialistic. Bourgeoisie, Bougie (slang) -(in Marxist theory) the class opposed to the proletariat.
Brains: oral sex or the act of performing oral sex (on a male).
Breezie: (1) a female (2) a foul disreputable woman Breezie is slang for females primarily used in the Western (CA), United States.
Brolic: (1) to act excessively macho, aggressive, and/or violent. (2) the outward appearance of being strong or physically aggressive. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Buster: an individual easy to disrespect and or violate, usually do to cowardice or the desire to avoid conflict. Primarily used in Western, United States (CA).
Bustdown: a female known for being extremely promiscuous (sleeping around) primarily used in the Midwest (IL), United States.
Butta: (1) pleasant to look at, usually used in reference to cars, clothes, and attractive people of the opposite sex. Derived from “Butter”. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, CT, etc), United States
Buggin: acting wierd, crazy, or stupid. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Burn/Burner/Burning: (1) having a sexually transmitted disease (2) v: to smoke marijuana(3) a firearm (burner). Primarily used on the Westcoast but now known nationally.
Buzzed/Buzzin: the point at which one has been drinking but is not legally drunk according to local law enforcement standards.
Chill/Chillin': to relax or in a state of relaxation, also known as "maxin". When used in conversation (i.e. "you need to chill"), denotes "you need to relax" or settle down. Primarily began usage in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but is now used almost globally.
Cake: money and or financial assets.
Celly: a cellular phone.
Cheese: money and or financial assets.
Chickenhead: (1) a female of low class and/or moral stature (2)a foul disreputable woman usually lacking goals and direction. Chickenhead has origins in the Northeast, United States but has gained national understanding.
Chum Shaker: brass knuckles. adopted from dock worker slang for teamster shakedowns. "jimmy hoffa's bringin' his chum shakers to this deal."
Chronic: a type of marijuana usually smoked in the Western and Southwestern, United States.
Clucker: a crack-head or drug addict. Primarily used in the Midwest (Chicago), United States.
Cockblock: a person who prevents sexual intercourse between other consenting individuals with their presence or through direct actions. Cockblocking.
Cold: (1) of high quality. (2) pleasing to look at. Primarily used in the Midwestern, United States (IL, MI, WI).
Co-sign: the act of adding to or supporting the words and/or actions of another individual, often without solicitation by the individual being co-signed for.
Crackhead: an offensive term used towards someone who abuses drugs, more than likely heroin, crack or cocaine. Primarily used on the East Coast (NY, PA, NJ), United States.
C.R.E.A.M: an acronym for "Cash Rules Everything Around Me". Originated by the Wu-tang Clan.
Crib: an individuals residence.
Crunk/Krunk: (1) To be enjoyable, usually in reference to a party. (2)to become excited and/or agitated. Primarily used in the Southern, United States. (3)to exhibit behavior that is both "crazy" and characteristic of someone who is "drunk."
Cris: short for Cristal champagne.
Cut: (1) to have sexual intercourse with. Originated in GA; primarily used in the Southeast, United States. (2)a song on an album.
Dawg/Dogg: a close friend, the origin of this term is unknown but was first used in a popular context by DMX. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States at first but has spread globally to the point of being used incorrectly.
Dime/Dimepiece: an extremely attractive woman. On a 1-10 scale rating with 10 being the highest, thus implying a particular woman is exceptionally good looking. For a woman to achieve "dime" status all aspects of her physical frame must be in perfect form and flawless (face and body). Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but has gained national acceptance.
Diss/Diss'd: the act of disrespecting or being disrespected. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but has gained national acceptance
Dubs/Rollin' on Dubs: a car with chrome rims, specifically 20" or larger. Used primarily in the South, United States.
Duce: an extremely unattractive woman, opposite of a "dime". Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Dun: a friend or comrade. Primarily used in New York City.
Earth: a term of respect from African-American males to African-American females affiliated with the Five Percent Nation, as many rappers are followers of Five Percent doctrine.
Fifty-four Elevens(54.11s): Reebok sneakers often worn by adolescent females and/or Chickenheads. Derived from the price of the sneaker which formerly was $49.99 plus New York City sales Tax which totaled up to $54.11. Originated in NY, primarily used in Northeast United States Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT, etc).
Five-O(5-0): a police officer or police presence. From the 80's television program Hawaii 5-0
Fo'Sho/Fo'Shizzle: Derived from "For Sure", definite. Fo'Sho is primarily used in the Midwest, United States. Fo'Shizzle is primarily used in the Western, United States. Both have gained national acceptance.
Floss: to show off and/or tease with material possessions, especially cars or jewelry. Flossy., adj,Flossin'.
Flow/Flowin: the act or description of an artist showing excellent cohesiveness and breath control when rapping, also known as "spittin". Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Fly: in a state of attractiveness or enjoying ones material possesions (i.e. "I'm fly). Can also be used to describe an attractive individual or an attractive item. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but now known nationally.
Front/Frontin': (1) to lie and/or exaggerate. (2)to intentionally mislead especially when concerning accomplishments. (3) a person being anti-social or disagreeable. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Fugazy: (1) a fake or imitation. (2)to be fraudulent
Gaffle: to trick or deceive, especially out of property. Originated on the West Coast, United States.
Ganja: marajuana
Gate: a place where drugs are sold, such as crack houses and "weedspots". Primarily used in New York City.
God: a term of respect between African-American males affiliated with the Five Percent Nation, as many rappers are followers of Five Percent doctrine.
Grillz: (1) A set or combination of gold or platinum teeth worn by southerners. (2) in the Northeast, the term "grill" or "ice-grill" means to have a staring contest
Gully: (1) to be of ghetto quality. (2)characterized by dirt and/or grime. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Hate/Hater/Playa Hater: an individual who is allegedly jealous of another persons success. Usually constructive criticism will follow with the former being called a "hater" or "hatin'", while other labels as being a "hater" are valid, example: an invalid label of "hating" would be accusing someone of getting rich through illegal means with substantiated proof. A valid label of being a "hater" would be knowing a person achieved success legally but the "hater" chooses to downplay or discredited the successful person. This term originated on the East Coast however, it has spread globally and is highly over-used in all sorts of media. It is not uncommon to hear or read someone say "don't hate on me" or "hater's keep away" when in reality they have nothing to be jealous of or "hate" on.
Herb: (1) an individual easy to disrespect, take advantage of, and/or violate, usually do to cowardice or the desire to avoid conflict. Primarily used in Northeastern, United States. (2)marijuana. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Hella: very or extremely. Primarily used in Western, United States (Cali).
Holla: talk to me, talk to me later, or I will talk to you later (I'll holla). Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but now known nationally.
Hooptie/Squata: a vehicle, more often than not an older model vehicle that doesn't run very well. "Hooptie" is generally known nationally while "squata" is primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Hot: (1) of high quality. (2)pleasing to look at. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Hustle/Hustlin'/Hustler: one who is selling illegal items (drugs, weapons, stolen goods, etc.).
Hydro: a type of marijuana. Primarily used in the Mid-West.
Hype: (1) a crackhead or drug addict. 2)getting excited or crazy. Primarily used in the Midwest (especially Chicago), United States but has become understandable in most parts of the country.
Hyphy: getting excited or getting hyped at parties. Primarily used in the West Coast, coming from the Bay (Oakland,CA)
Ice/Iced-out: area
Illadelh (illa-del): a term used by Philly residents as an alternate name of their hometown. The origin is unknown but was first seen and heard on The Roots "Illadelh Halflife" album.
Jack: to steal. Originated in Western, United States.
Jake: a police officer or police presence. Primarily used in the Northeastern, United States.
Jawn: Used similar to a noun to describe a person, place or thing. More often when the name of said noun cannot be remembered. Exclusively used in Philadelphia and south New Jersey.
John-Blaze/Johnny-Blaze: see hot. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, CT), United States.
Jump-off: a person involved in a sexual tryst or relationship that has few obligations or expectations other than sexual relations, or the act of being in such a relationship. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Jukin: To dance while grinding one's ass against another dancer's pelvis. This slang is common in Chicago
Keep it real: a statement implying that someone be honest or authentic in their statements or actions, be it positive or negative as long as they are being "themselves".
L-7: (1)an individual who conforms to all the rules set forth by the dominant culture even when they are in opposition to seemingly more sensible and reasonable alternatives. (2)geometrical reference to square based on the informal meaning of the term square.
Lab: an individuals place of work or anywhere they conduct business. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Mad: very or extremely. Primarily used in Northeastern, United States (NY, NJ, PA).
Mark: (1) an individual easy to disrespect and or violate, usually do to cowardice or the desire to avoid conflict. (2) a person prone or soon to be the victim of a crime, especially a crime involving robbery and/or violence. Primarily used on the Westcoast, United States
Naw'mean?/Nah'mean?: Do you understand what I'm saying? Derived from “Know what I mean?" or "Know what I'm saying?”. Often used at the end of a sentence to add emphasis. Primarily used in the Northeast, United States.
No Homo: (1) punctuation-like phrase, that follows a statement or sentence which could have ambiguous social meaning due to the influx of homo-thugs and bisexual behavior. (2)not to be interpreted in a homosexual way. Originated in New York City but is rapidly gaining recognition throughout the Eastern, United States.
Off-the-Hook: (1) of high quality. (2)pleasing to look at. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but is pretty much nationally understood. Also interchangeable with Off-the-chain or Off-the-meter.
On my grind/On The Grind: one who is going through hard times to get something accomplished. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Ova the Top: (1) over exaggerated attempt to prove or show how authentic or real someone or something is. (2)too much of something.
One-time: a police officer or police presence. Primarily used in the Western, United States (Cali).
Paper: money and or financial assets.
Peace: An opening word used as a greeting to friends, or in closing to mean goodbye. Depending on the voice inflection, this word can also be used to bring a sudden close to an arguement or to give the impression that communication is no longer desired. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States with Five Percenter origins.
Phat: (1)to be very good, especially in reference to music and viewable content; (2) something of high quality. Similar to "Tight". Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but is nationally accepted.
Pie: an undisclosed quantity of material, usually used in reference to illicit drugs and or money.
Playa/Player: (1) a male whose primary goal pursuing females is to have sex, most likely more than one. (2) an unfaithful male or female. Can also be used sarcastically.
Played/Played out/Played yourself: (1) Something no longer popular or a current trend (as in a "played out" pair of jeans). (2) to be made a fool of (you got "played") or to make a fool of yourself ("played yourself"). Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but also used on the Westcoast.
Please-Believe-Me/It: exclamatory term often used at the end of a sentence to add emphasis on the truth expressed by the preceding sentence. Primarily used in the Western, United States (Cali).
Politic: to speak or converse with. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Po-po: a police officer or police presence. Primarily used in the Northeastern, United States.
Props: a high level of respect or privilege within a certain area or social group. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but pretty much nationally understood.
Punane: area
(1) vagina or in reference to vagina. (2)cowardly. area
QB: Queens Bridge in New York City, specifically Queens Bridge Projects.
Rah-rah: exaggerated talk and/or actions to give the, usually false, impression of power, toughness, or machismo. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Redbone: an African-American of light skin complexion. Usually used in reference to females.
Represent/Representin: to do something, or the act of doing something to the best of ones ability. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Save (Captain Save-A-Hoe): to be excessively nice to a person due to romantic interest, especially females. A male who attempts be a be a saviour to a woman with personal or financial problems, usually through monetary means (Note: This only applies to a relatively new male-female encounter, as in any long-term relationship emotional support is obvious. A "Captain save-a-hoe" attempts to support a female he barely knows in order to to gain her affection or sex.) Orignated by E-40.
Scrub: (1) a man lacking possessions that would be considered attractive by many people, especially women, such as a nice car, personal living space, and/or money (2)a man lacking goals and/or motivation. Originated with the titled song by TLC.
Shawty/Shorty: (1)a girl. (2)an adolescent or someone significantly younger in age than the speaker. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but known almost globally.
Shaolin: Shaolin is what the Wu renamed Staten Island (where they're primarily from) after the Shaolin temple where the Wu-Tang Clan trained and fought in the kung-fu movies. This is part of a mid-90s underground movement to raise awareness among minorities of their pre-American ancestry by renaming places after ancient Eastern civilizations, Queens being "Kuwait" and New Jersey being "New Jerusalem", etc, with the added social commentary of these being places long ravaged by war to remind us of the wars going on in our own 2nd class communities here in America.
Shine: (1) to front on. (2) to show off, often with material possessions such as jewelry and cars.
Shook: (1) to be scared or frightened. (2) to scare or frighten. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Shout-Out: to acknowledge a friend or acquaintance verbally or through writing. Usually done on TV or radio, or in the credits of some artistic work.
Sizzurp: an alcoholic drink composed of vodka, a fruit drink high in glucose, and cough syrup, preferably containing codeine.
Skeet-Skeet: a term of unknown origin in the South, United States describing male ejaculation or the "act" of ejaculating. First heard by Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz.
Stunner: (1) a person who is prone to front on. (2) a person who shows off, often with material possessions such as jewelry and cars. Primarily used in the Southern, United States.
Stunt: (1) to brag or show off, particularly to show off material possessions such as jewelry and automobiles. (2) a lowly female. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States
Stunt-dummy: (1) an imitation of a product or person. (2)a cheap knock off or imitation.
Sun/Son: A term of respect between males, as in "one who shines like the sun" or one who is worthy of respect. However this term is usually misunderstood (or intentionally used) as "son" (e.g. male child of a parent), in this context it could be a term of making oneself superior to a rival male. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States with Five Percenter origins (sun not "son").
Thick: a woman with a medium to large body frame punctuated with a large butt. There is much controversy over this term as some women who consider themselves "thick" are actually chubby or obese. General consensus is that a woman must have a positive waist-to-hip ratio while at the same time having large thighs and medium to above average breast size with little body fat, such as the body of a moderate female body-builder or female athlete.
Throwed: to be extremely intoxicated. Primarily used in Southern, United States.
Tight: (1) personally close; intimate. (2)stingy; difficult. (3)to be very good, especially in reference to music and viewable content; of high quality. (4)to be upset about something. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States .
Toss-salad: to lick, suck, and/or otherwise stimulate the anus or butt-hole using ones tongue. Origin is unknown but was bought to attention by comedian Chris Rock.
Trick/Trickin': a male who spends excessive amounts of money on a female to earn her respect or affections. Similar to a "Save". Tricks usually end up being exploited by gold diggers. This does not apply to a man in a serious relationship with a woman (engaged, married, etc.).
Trife: short for "trifling".
Trip/Trippin': (1) to become agitated or angry. (2)to act in a highly unpredictable manner. (3) a hallucinatory experience induced by a psychedelic drug. Primarily began usage in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but is pretty much used globally.
Wally's: short for the Clark Wallabee shoe.
Wanksta: (1) a wanna-bee thug, imitation hustler, or psuedo gangster (2)somebody who has been doing illegal activities for a long time but does not have any material possessions to show for it. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States originated by 50 Cent, is now understood nationally.
Wet: (1) to shoot with a firearm or to be shot with a firearm. (2)to be under the influence of the hallucinogenic drug PCP (Angel Dust, "leak").
Whip: a motor vehicle, taken from the motion one does while making a sharp turn with one hand across the top of the steering wheel then rapidly turning the wheels straight again. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Wifey: girlfriend- usually used by men in reference to a woman they are dating primarily, but not necessarily exclusively. If actual marriage occurs this term should no longer be used. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States but is accepted nationally.
Wig-out/Wild Out/Wildin': to temporarily lose control of oneself or act in a wild and unpredictable manner. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States.
Wiz (Wisdom): a mans wife or fiance', Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States with Five Percenter origins.
Word/Word Up/Word Is Born: (1) to certify that ones statement is authentic or truthful. (2) to agree with a truthful statement. When used as "Word?" (as a question), can be used to request validity or show doubt of a statement. Primarily used in the Northeast (NY, NJ, PA, etc), United States with Five Percenter origins.
Yadadaimean/Yadadaimsayin: ya know what i mean/ya know what im sayin. Primarily used in the West Coast, coming from the Bay area
Yo! Primarily used as a greeting (i.e Yo wassup homie); to replace a name (i.e It's mad hot in here,yo!).