The ABC’s of Rap Fandom, Pt. 2 (N-Z)

Okay, kiddies, yesterday we covered A through M of rap fandom, now let’s rock N through Z. Get in where you fit in.

N: Nigga – Yes, unfortunately you can’t be considered a rap fan in my book if you haven’t uttered this word in unison with your favorite song. Sorry, but it’s the ugly truth. I know in the presence of Black folks my melanin-challenged friends do their best to hit that inner mute button during that part of the song or substitute “ninja” for nigga, but we all know in those moments alone “Ninjas With Attitudes” just won’t cut it. Besides, “Niggaz With Attitude” just rolls off the tongue much better.

O: O.D.B. – If you don’t know what this acronym stands for OMG you are so not a rap fan.

P: Pac Persona – Tupac lived a “Thug ____?” (It doesn’t get much easier than that).

Q: Queens Borough – We all know where hip-hop started, but Queens has cranked out some of the game’s biggest and brightest. Name five rappers from Queens and you’re good. (Oh, and no cheating, no triple scores for saying Run-DMC, they functioned as one cohesive unit and will be counted as such).

R: Run-DMC – Speaking of which, if you can’t identify one if not all three members of this legendary rap group then shame on you. Even though the trio has Adidas sneakers older than most of today’s rap fans you’ve got to know that the same Rev. Run you see on that MTV reality show contributed more to rap than spawning two hot daughters, or sending inspirational Blackberry messages from the comfort of his bathtub. (What’s up with that anyway?).

S: Serious – If you take everything rappers say seriously, then you don’t know this rap shit.

T: Texas Two Step – Step 1: Know a Scarface song. Step 2: Know more than just UGK’s verse on Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’.” If you’ve got these two things covered you’re good.

U: Uncle L – From his first album in 1985 to his last in 2008, LL Cool J has been in the mainstream of rap. You’ve had ample opportunity to cop and return one of his many albums. So if you have never downloaded purchased an LL LP your rap fandom just received 14 shots to the dome.

V: Vote Or Die – If you rocked a “Vote Or Die” tee during the 2004 and 2008 elections and plan to bust it out again in 2012 you’re definitely a rap fan—with a very worn out campaign slogan. But, hey, whatever works.

W: Who Is She? – Asking whom Common rhymes about on “I Used To Love H.E.R.,” says more about your intelligence than rap fandom. In the end they’re both at a low level. (Bonus points if you know what the H.E.R. acronym stands for).

X: XXX – It’s crude, lewd and all of the above, but Too Live Crew’s “Pop That Pussy” is one of the greatest rap songs ever. If you haven’t heard it you’re either not a rap fan or your parents did a remarkable job depriving raising you.

Y: Ying Yang Thing: “Wait ’til you see my _______.” Fill in the blank and you’re a rap fan.

Z: Zero Tolerance – Rap fans should not argue rap with anyone who says “this is not music.” (Ahem, Bill O’Reilly…again).

That’s all folks. How’d you do? —Rondell Conway

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  • Pierzy

    In terms of “N” I always censor myself. During NWA songs I sound like a lunchtime radio edit.

    • General

      What up P?

      Hope the MBA program is goin well…

      Honestly I think S should be for sell-out, as in all of mainstream hip hop journalism has sold out to the record labels to bring us artist promotion disguised as actual journalism…

      I only mention this because how many times has XXL made blogs disappear that may not be in tune with the current marketing strategy of a certain artist…

      • Pierzy

        What’s good, Gen? I appreciate it!

        I understand your point. A point (or two) regarding how business changes the culture and even affects the vision of the artist by forcing them to make more radio-friendly tracks.

        • General

          Yes it is funny that they push some artists away from what they do well in order to make a radio friendly track…

          Whatever happened to the days of NWA and the movement of rap without radio support being successful…

          You would think with many more outlets to distribute and have your music heard that cats wouldn’t be so fixated on the radio

        • westcoastaggie

          You can thank the telecommunications act of 1996 for a big reason why we have the suck azz radio formats.

        • thoreauly77

          nwa’s breakthrough hit and exposure was due to them putting a radio friendly track on the album “straight outta compton”. the track is called “express yourself”, and is all about avoiding drugs and violence, and is the flipside to many of the themes they dealt with on SOC.

          so yeah, even they made radio friendly tracks for exposure.

        • General

          Your right that “Express Yourself” was on the radio, but it didn’t come out as a lead single. Instead of NWA having to beg the radio to play their songs it was the other way around. The radio stations were pushing for them to have something to play since they were in demand…

          If you look at EFIL4ZAGGIN they dropped that CD too without pushing a radio joint.

          My point was it was the demand for these artists that lead to having to have their songs edited to play on the radio, not them purposely trying to make a cookie cutter song for radio play

  • Incilin

    Again, this is fuckin stupid. Why the fuck do I need a Vote or Die t-shirt? Seriously? And I don’t give a shit about 2 Live Crew, so what?

    I’m amazed that there’s references to ODB and UGK but none of Nas or Biggie or Rakim. Clearly, you don’t think someone is a rap fan unless they like the same type of music you do.

  • DJ

    Not sure what the hell vote or die has to with being a fan of hip hop, I can understand getting the younger kids to vot through hip hop, but definitely not a requirement to be a serious fan. I can agree that scarface and early LL are important and doesnt really matter where you are from everybody in the older age bracket knows their material and importance. Same thing for Ice Cube. I still listen to Rampage with LL and EPMD all the time.

  • Chilly Willy

    I think Q should be for Quotables. I mean, Queens is all good, but that means you’ll have to acknowledge every single borough that brought any heavyweight rapper in the game (there goes your C, B, S, L…).

    But if you never quoted a dope verse from your fav emcee in a random conversation, or at least paraphrase it (lunchtime radio edit, word to P), you are not a rap fan.

    • Worley

      Good idea on the Q.

      Agree with everything except maybe the V. Bluff Daddy did have a lot of rap n*ggas wearing that sh*t though.

      • Chilly Willy

        I don’t agree on the V either. If you rocked a Vote or Die tee, maybe you just wanted to Vote, or else you’d Die.

        V should be perfect for Verb.
        It’s the most verbose form of music evar. An average rap song could contain about 3 pop song word-wise, and still last the same amount of time (the radio-friendly 3 mn and half). So it’s a very verbose fix that rap fan get for every rap album they get. And I ain’t even talking about Twista…

  • Gooderz

    I had to think about the q one for a minute and I still can’t name 5 MC’s from Queens; Run DMC, Nas, Q-Tip, Mobb Deep and I draw a blank LOL

    Good list tho and I got to agree with Pierzy; I’m on a lunch-time edit ting too ha ha

    • capcobra


  • Grimey G

    Really enjoyed this 2 part column, it was entertaining if nothing else. On an unrelated note, Shyne getting deported is bullshit. He served his time and this feels almost like double jeopardy, getting punished again for the same crime. I know there is legal precedant to deport him but that doesn’t mean we have to follow it, and this is a cop saying that. Sorry to get off topic

  • capcobra

    Q is perfect cause without Queens it wouldn’t be a hip hop business…word to russell simmons.

    • Chilly Willy

      Well, without the Bronx, would there even be a hip hop ? That’s what I mean by that remark.

      But you right about Rush though. So I guess D would be for Def Jam.

  • DJ

    I agree with chilly willy on V, I hate when people try to argue that rap isn’t music, or that it doesnt take any skill to write the lyrics just because they dont relate to the topics, when other forms of music repeat the same lyrics over and over again, most pop and rock songs are mostly hooks and no substance.

  • El Tico Loco

    3rd post of I used to love hearing every rhyme. And S should be for slept on with AZ, Inspectah Deck, G Rap, 90% of the Bootcamp Click, Akinyele (he did murk Live @ the bbq),

    • El Tico Loco

      (bump enter by accident and it works)smh
      Styles P, Chino XL just for starters.

  • DJ

    El Tico Loco, Deck has been stealing the spotlight lately on all his guest appearance’s, Cuban Linx II, Chamber Music, I dont know who Phil Anastasia is but, Deck and Sean Price killed on his track, I hear you on 90% of Boot Camp, Sean P gets his due now, but how about Steele from Smif n Wessun, some of his more recent versus on the newer Boot Camp albusm have been sick.

  • beaver

    i don’t have N.U.V.W.X.Y…
    Pac Thug Life ..of.Course.
    Rev Run JMJ DMC..
    ODB Ol Dirty Bastard i know da rest..

    T i know step 1 but step 2 nope..big pimpin is a annoyin ass song..i think its 1 of jay’s whackest songs..ha

    well my score outta all 26 is

    18.5/26…i did goodd..
    let me add i’m only 16 years old…

  • ri067953

    Yo, whoever writes this blog is a cornball!

  • Brooklyn

    az is actually from east new york, not queens, although east new york is on the border. anyway, i don’t think that q should be for queens, because while queens did churn out some great rappers, the other 4 boroughs did their fair share of blessing the rap world with some greats.if anything, n should have been nyc, because not only did rap start here, but we also have provided the best peoples to ever do it. and that ying yang twins song was all over the place, my grandmother knows the lyrics, and she still thinks that rap means to knock on a door loudly.

  • Sajib

    I think the only reason they put “vote or die” is cuz they couldn’t think of anything else. If thats the case i suggest V for Vernacular. So much of this hip hop is not just what’s being said but how it’s being said. Just cuz u cant understand Raekwon or E-40 doesn’t make them wack. It means u can’t understand them! A basic hip hop fan should be familar with the slang of their respective region cuz every place has their own slang. And if a person is starting from and wants to be pointed in the right direction then start wit Big L – Ebonics.