Edited by Azizi Powell
This post is part of a continuing series on pancocojams about African American Vernacular English.
This post presents two videos of the Cameroonian and Ugandan collaborative record "Chill" by Gasha featuring Eddy Keno. "Gasha" is from the Cameroons, West Africa and Eddy Keno is from Uganda, East Africa.
In addition to showcasing this song and its official video, this post focuses on the use by a number of commenters in the videos' discussion threads of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and/or Jamaican slang.
The content of this post is presented folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
Thanks to Gasha and Eddy Keno for this song. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the producers of these videos and their publishers on YouTube.
My secondary focus in this post is on the use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and/or Jamaican slang in the YouTube discussion thread of Gasha & Eddy Keno's record "Chill". In the context of the title of this collaborative Cameroonian and Ugandan Afrobeat song, "chill" means "to relax and enjoy oneself". In other contexts the AAVE word "chill" may also mean "stop" [and continue to maintain you self-control in the face of provocation.]
By no means is this the only non-American or non-Jamaican discussion thread that includes African American Vernacular English and/or Jamaican slang.
From my reading, it appears that "cool" is by far the most widely used African American Vernacular English (AAVE) word in non-American (USA) YouTube video discussion threads. In the context of those comments, "cool" probably means something "hip" (very good, very up to date). While "cool" and "hip" are sometimes still used by White Americans, those slang words have rarely been used by African Americans since at least the 1980s. Instead, we have replaced that meaning of the word "cool" with a number of other AAVE words or phrases. Among those words and phrases (given in no particular order) are "sick", "dope", "off the hook", "off the chain", "on fire", and "on point".
African Americans also created the widely used slang term "killed it" (slayed, murdered) to mean "doing something or having done something extremely well", i.e. "He killed that beat". Some of these Black American originated slang terms are also used by (apparently non-American) commenters in this focus video's discussion thread and in some other contemporary non-Anerican video discussion threads.
I believe that the referent "bro" [or "brother"] and "sister" in these comments also are examples of African American cultural influence on non-African Americans. Given African inter-ethnic rivalry, it's hopefully a good sign that people living in that continent are willing to consider people who aren't members of your ethnic group as their brothers or sisters.
From my reading of various YouTube video discussion threads, it appears that "Big up" is the Jamaican slang phrase that is most often used by non-Caribbean commenters. That phrase is found in the comment threads for Gasha's and Eddy Keno's "Chill" video which is the focus of this post.
The Jamaican slang use of the singular word "Respect" [as an indication of props/big ups] is also found in those videos' discussion threads. The contemporary colloquial meanings of "Big Up" and "Respect" is to elevate, applaud, congratulate (give props -give the proper praise to) someone for something that he or she has done very well.
"Massive" (meaning big, as in "a really big hit"), "tune" (meaning "song") and "one love" are other Jamaican terms that are found in this video's discussion thread and that I found in other some other discussion threads of contemporary African videos.
FEATURED VIDEOS AND SELECTED COMMENTS (with some slang word explanations)
Read #2# and #4 for explanations of this song. This exchange is an exception to my focus in this post on selected examples of comments that include African American or Jamaican colloquial terms. I assigned all of these comments for referencing purposes only. All of these comments are from 2015. These comments may not be given in consecutive order.
Example #1: Gasha - Chill ft Eddy Kenzo (Official HD)
Afro Nation TV, Published on Feb 24, 2015
Gasha, on this super hit With Eddy Kenzo! Shot in Cameroon, Bonaberi Douala, Savour Africa, get a sneak peak of what Cameroon has to offer!! Bamenda Oyee!! #Njang Oyee!! Enjoy, live,laugh,love, #CHILL.
"Bamenda" is a city in Cameroon, West Africa.
1. Binta Kila
"to me this song is so dope but i still cant understand the video. wats d story behind d video ,please some explain it to me. then the picture quality is not the best but this two did a wonderfull job . kudos !!"
"dope" = very good
2. Lena Liz
+Binta Kila The song is about a girl (Gasha), who bring a guy she is going to marry (Kenzo,) home to meet her family and friends. She is singing girl talk to him, about stuff she would like him to do for her once they get married.
He sings to back to her, telling her, that not only can he do all things for her, he will change her life.
3. Binta Kila
"OKII! thankss +Lena Liz"
4. FineBoy NoMoney
"Gasha over like money!!! a boy comes to see u and the first thing u tell him is to buy you Aeroplane.you want to kill our
in-law???lol okay nice collabo.by the way..if Eddy Kenzo gives you only 2pikin, u can holla me for more. hahaha"
"holla"= AAVE for "holler" (call)
5. A Thomas
"hands up for what africa is struggling to be>>>>
Gasha keep up babe
Rep the city and lift our flag up DOUALA/CAMEROON"
"hands up" - AAVE gesture of appreciation ("wave your hands in the air"); "Doula" is the largest city in Cameroon, West Africa; "rep" (AAVE abbreviation for "represent"; "(continue) being a good representative of your city...)
These Cameroon girls be killing it ♡♡♡ #AfricaRocks
"be killing it" = doing an exceptional job
"Great stuff #Gasha do Cameroon proud the eddy kenzo collabo killed it #team237 #kamerforthemusic"
8. Christelle Isabelle
Wow! OMG! this is good! bigup guys!
9. okuomose okuns 4 months ago
Am feeling this collab.
"I'm feeling" came from the African American Vernacular English (AAVE) saying "feelin the rhythm and feelin the vibes [vibrations- of the music].
10. Cccf Vvvvs
"Big up kenzo i love your songs listening from saudi arabia"
11. Kone Kadi 4 months ago
Cool j'aime trop
Cool + French words "j'aime trop (English translation- I love this a lot.]
12. pablo escobar
"cool!i love it.check this out pple https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfrGQEbqshE"
13. Jimmy Ashubwe
"eddy Kenzo. Man you are one different guy. Dont loose this style its true East African you going places brother."
14. PHIL-PHAR D'AMSTADAM
"cool this bamenda girl"
I believe this comment means "This Bamenda girl is cool".
15. Debel Ajiboye
"I am a Nigerian and I am just knowing about Gasha through this song. OMG! She is really talented. What a talented female artist Cameroon got. Big up Kenzo for futuring her, she killed the song with her opera voice, you must indeed buy her an aeroplane like she said loool"
16. Georges MOMO
"Big up Gasha"
17. Oscar Oscar03
"Bt dee prblm my sista s dat it doesn't hv English subtitles hencee I cnt undstnd so cn u help meh plz wit its translation"
This sentence is purposely written with contemporary American spelling without any punctuation marks. In Standard English the sentence is "But the problem my sister is that it doesn't have [any] English subtitles. Hence [therefore] I can't understand [it]. So could you help me please with its translation?
Example #2: Chill - Gasha ft. Eddy Kenzo [Official HD]
Eddy Kenzo, Published on Feb 24, 2015
East meets Central, UGANDA meets Cameroon, EDDY KENZO and Gasha merge brains to bring out greatness of AFRICA.
1. simon mario
2. Denis Ssenyondo
"Bro Thts Wht we call internal"
3. Gnoan Jean Roland Bnié
"you are and will be one the best singer of Africa the way you use to do your music it's not like other.
i'm and will everytime be one of your fans. Big up to you Mister Eddy may God bless you more and more"
4. Muke Alison
awww my boo, Gasha. soo proud of you gurl. I am addicted to this song. You and Kenzo killed it #TeamCameroon #Team237
"boo" means "girlfriend" (from the African American pronunciation of the French word "beau")
5. jerome nsubuga
"Thanks for making Uganda be known worldwide bro am also walking on my mixtape and I hope its the same"
6. email@example.com Bkk
"massive tune. Bernarzo say so."
"Chill bae <3<3 team Africa#237"
"bae"= best friend
8. hajati sem
"Kenzo this is the best collabo and the video is off the hook! African kabisa."
9. barla same
"Thanks Gasha to bring Eddie Home and product this great African song.RESPECT!!"
10. Bilola Ndibuli
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