Edited by Azizi Powell
This post provides definitions for and commentary about the American phrase "Walk that walk & talk that talk". A video of John Lee Hooker's Blues song "Boom Boom" which includes that phrase is also included in this post. An excerpt of Juelz Santana's 2013 Hip Hop song "Sho Nuff" that contains the phrase "walk that walk and talk that talk at phrase is also included in this post.
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DEFINITION & HISTORY OF "WALK THAT WALK AND TALK THAT TALK"
'Walk the walk' is almost always said in combination with 'talk the talk', for example, "if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk", or "walk it like you talk it". This is a 20th century American alternative to various old sayings which epitomise the notion that 'talk is cheap', for example 'actions speak louder than words' and 'practice what you preach'. The context for the use of any of these expressions is in response to what is seen as empty boasting. People who are accused of such are said (in the USA) to 'talk a good game' or (in the UK) to be 'all mouth and no trousers'…
The earliest usage that I can actually verify is a citation from the Ohio newspaper The Mansfield News, June 1921:
"Although he has no gilded medals upon his bosom, Howard Herring of the North American Watch company, walks the walk, and talks the talk, of a hero today."
More recently, and especially in the UK, where 'walk the walk' has never caught on, the phrase is sometimes condensed to 'walk the talk'. This appears to have derived in the UK as a simple mishearing of the American original. The earliest example of it that I've found in print is in an article in The Times (London), from May 1993. This came in an interview with Gordon Roddick, co-founder of The Body Shop cosmetics chain:
"Some of the less friendly observers have determined that we will abandon our principles and reveal ourselves as shallow cynical exploiters. We must disappoint them... quite simply put, we walk our talk."..."
From http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070921212100AAvheMy "What is the meaning of walk the walk or talk the talk,?"
"Basically, it means being able to do what you say you can do, instead of just idle boasting."
-The Dragon, 2007
FEATURED MUSICAL EXAMPLES
The phrase "walk that walk and talk that talk" can be found in numerous American songs, including Blues, Pop, Rock, and Hip Hop.
Here are two examples of those songs:
Example #1: John Lee Hooker - Boom Boom w/ Lyrics
RevolverLover101 Uploaded on Jul 23, 2010
!I DONT OWN NOR CLAIM TO OWN THE MUSIC OR LYRICS TO THIS SONG OR CLAIM TO BE THE ARTIST. THIS SONG IS FOR PEOPLE TO LISTEN TO AND ENJOY ONLY CREDIT GOES TO THE ARTIST LISTED IN TITLE OF VIDEO!
feel free to ask for requests.
Boom boom boom boom
I'm gonna shoot you right down,
right offa your feet
Take you home with me,
put you in my house
Boom boom boom boom
A-haw haw haw haw
Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm
Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm
I love to see you strut,
up and down the floor
When you talking to me,
that baby talk
I like it like that
Talk that talk, walk that walk
When she walk that walk,
and talk that talk,
and whisper in my ear,
tell me that you love me
I love that talk
When you talk like that,
you knocks me out,
right off of my feet
Hoo hoo hoo
Talk that talk, and walk that walk
" "Boom Boom" is a blues song written by John Lee Hooker and recorded in 1961. The song was a hit in the US in 1962 and 1992 in the UK. It is one of Hooker's most identifiable songs and has been recorded by numerous blues and other artists, including a 1965 Pop hit by The Animals"...
Juelz Santana's "Sho Nuff" is a 2013 Hip Hop song that includes the phrase "walk that walk and talk that talk". Here's the lyrics from that song's hook:*
"Am I gettin' money? (Sho nuff)
Am I the meanest? (Sho nuff)
Am I the baddest? (Sho nuff)
Am I the flyest? (Sho nuff)
Who got the illest mojo fo sho 'round this town, me
Yeah I walk that walk, yeah I talk that talk
I'm from grimy ass New York"
*WARNING: This song contains profanity, sexually explicit references, and also includes "the n word". Because of that content I'm not linking to a video or the full lyrics of that song. However, here's explanations of selected words from that hook:
"Sho nuff" = sure enough (meaning "Definitely!"; "You're absolutely right about that".)
"baddest" & "illest" = the best [Another equivalent slang term is "sickest".]
"flyest" - hippest [Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/01/fly-fly-girl-slang-definition-examples.html for a pancocojams post on "fly girl", fly guy", fly]
"mojo" - a power that may seem magical and that allows someone to be very effective, successful, etc. from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mojo
"I'm from grimy ass New York" = equivalent to saying "I'm from the 'hood [so you know I'm bad"] "Ass" in "grimy ass" means something like "ole" as in "dirty ole New York [New York City]
Thanks to all those who I quoted in this post. Thanks also to those vocalists who are featured in this post & thanks to the publisher of the showcased video.
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