Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hip Hop Vernacular In A Busta Rhymes Intro On The Yo! TV Show

Edited by Azizi Powell

Busta Rhymes - Pt.1 @ Yo MTV Raps 1997 (HQ)

Uploaded by yoedykraps1 on Apr 26, 2010

This post showcases a 1997 video clip of host rapper Busta Rhymes introducing upcoming videos which would be featured on that episode of the television show "Yo!" (MTV). This post also includes my transcription & analsis of that video clip.

I selected this video clip because I'm impressed by the creativity of Busta Rhymes' distinctive style of rapping, including his inventive use of Hip Hop vernacular.

This post is presented for its historical and folkloric values.

"That’s right!!
Busta Rhymes within the place to be
for the entire whole universe to see.

Aha! Aha! Aha! Aha![laughs]
Hey yo, right now you watchin yo. Ain’t no other place hit you with the more phatest, illmatic, crazy, sporadic, hyperactive, boombastic videos live v-i-a satellite from every street corner in the world ya’ll boob tube. So y’all keep it right there on the dial before y’all miss out on the hottest joints ‘bout to hit right your way.

But on tonight’s show we gonna bang you in the head wit ah couple of new debut joints from the JB’s – [chants] JUNGLE BROTHERS! JUNGLE BROTHERS! [stops chanting] That’s right – a joint called “Not Enough”. Oh, my man. “Not Enough II", pardon me.

But we gonna kinda move it on down on the yellow brick road off onto like one of dem joints, kinda like the old sch-the most official joint from the -from yours truly comin from ma - ma upcoming "When Disaster Strikes" LP. You know, the joint was a little collaboration between me and ma man Hype Williams. We kinda combined the chemistries, you know, formed ah little, brown stewed ah little curry chicken in the video and made it real boombastic. Ya know what I mean. Kinda, kinda made the the revised Busta Rhymes version of the "The Comin To America", the FLIP mode way. You know like how we flip the mode of the regular routine and kinda twist what you see to be like something kinda like what you wanna really see? Alright, well, see right now we gonna show you that joint ‘cause here go the final result of dat chemistry process. We gonna call it [starts chanting] “Put Ya Hands Where My Eyes Can See / Word up / Lemme see what ya got for me.” [ends chanting]. Or if you get pulled over by the police or sumthing, they usually wanna tell ya to put your hands where they can see um. But, naw, we ain’t doin it like dat. We doin it the party way. [starts chanting] “Everybody in the place, throw ya hands up. And watch the joint that’s comin up. [ends chanting].

Y’all stay right there. Busta Rhymes y’all. Yo, we get back at cha."

Here's a link to the Busta Rhymes video that he is referring to in that clip:
As Busta Rhymes indicated, this video is very similar to certain scenes from the 1988 movie Coming To America

Viewer discretion is advised as that song includes profanity, and may othewise be offensive to some viewers.

Reader discretion is also advised for the featured video in this post's viewer comment thread as well as the viewer comment thread of the song given above.

I consider Hip-Hop languaging to be a sub-set of African American English (African American Vernacular English). In this partial analysis, I'm providing a list of the Hip-Hop vernacular that Busta Rhymes uses in this post's featured video clip. By "Hip-Hop vernacular" I mean words and phrases which originated from American Hip-Hop culture or are very closely associated with American Hip-Hop culture. Some of these words or phrases may be part of Standard American English, but their meanings are different when used in Hip-Hop culture and/or, by defusion, when they are used in other forms of African American English.

Disclaimer: I'm not a linguist or a musicologist. Corrections of this transcription and comments about this analysis are very much welcomed.

(in alphabetical order)

About to hit - the joint [recording] will soon debut; "come out"; "be sold" ["hit the spot", "hit the scene"]

Bang you in the head with - in the context of this clip, this phrase basically means to impress you with" [the latest videos]; (See the entry below for "hit you with".)

Boombastic - a superlative; "very good" (probably from Dancehall artist Shaggy's hit 1995 song "Boombastic" I believe that the word "boombastic" was based on the word "boom" + the ending "astic" and not the word "bombastic", although "bombastic" probably was the inspiration for "boombastic". "Boom" (a loud sound, or in this context, "loud music") has positive connotations, as does "boombastic". In contrast, "bombastic" has negative connotations.

[to] Get back at cha - "to return"

Hit you with - in the context of this clip, this basically means "show you"; "present to you" (This is similar to "bang you in the head with" as listed above.)

Illmatic - "illmatic" (from "ill" which means "very good" + the ending "matic". "Illmatic" may have been Busta Rhymes' extension of the Hip-Hop adjective "ill"

Joint - in the context of this clip, "joint" means "video" or "song"

Flip the mode - [Busta Rhymes gives the definition for this phrase in his introduction], to do something the opposite way, or a different way, than it is usually done. ("Flip the script" is a more common [African American] way of saying the same thing nowadays.)

Move it on down on the yellow brick road - to continue on (This is a referent to the song "Ease On Down The Road" as found in "The Wiz" and "Follow The Yellow Brick Road" as found in "The Wizard Of Oz", on which "The Wiz" is based.

Oh, my man - in this clip, I believe that this was said as an aside to thank a male staff person for telling Busta Rhymes that he had made a mistake regarding a video title and, perhaps, also telling him the correct title. As such "Oh, my man" is a shortened form of something like "Oh, thanks. You're my main man".

Old sch - old school (something that is old, no longer current). I think Busta Rhymes started to say this phrase but changed that to "the most official joint"...

Phatest - an extension of the word "phat" (pronounced "fat", meaning "the very best").

Yo - in the context of "Yo! MTV Raps", "Yo" means something like "Hey". However, in this clip, Busta Rhymes sometimes uses "yo" to mean "y'all ("you" or "you all") and sometimes he uses "yo" to mean "me". For instance: "Hey yo [y'all], right now you watchin yo. [me]


Also, "boob tube" is USA slang for "television". I'm not sure where this term came from.

ah - a
dat - that
dem - them
ma - my
naw - no
wit - with
y'all - you all
ya - you

"[Busta Rhymes] best known for his intricate rapping technique, which involves rapping at a fast rate with lots of internal rhyme and half rhyme."


For more information about Busta Rhymes, visit that Wikipedia page.

Also, read Hip Hop As Performance and Ritual by William E. Smith for information about & comparison of the rhyming styles of Busta Rhymes and other MCs.

My thanks to Busta Rhymes, and to the uploader of this video.

Thanks for visiting this page.
Viewer comments are welcome.

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