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May 27, 2004

Slang of the Week: spit (verb)

Leo wasn’t great in school, but his English teacher was impressed when she heard him spit rhymes .

Celebrity quote:
“Proof was like, ‘You gotta come down to the shop, you gotta spit.’”
-Rapper Eminem, recalling his early days with bandmates from D12

Spitting may be impolite in most circles, but in rap, it’s required. Rap lyrics are often referred to as rhymes, for obvious reasons. As 50 Cent says of other rappers in Wanksta, “They know they can't shine if I'm around the rhyme.”

Bust a rhyme, another expression for rapping, has been around since the 1980s. This term was so popular that Brooklyn native Trevor Smith took it for his performance name and became successful as Busta Rhymes in the 90s.

To rap well is to flow, but according to Rolling Stone, Eminem has come up with a new way of describing good rap. In a recent BBC radio interview, he explained, “We’re slingin’ hot clay!” Time will tell if this invented expression is here to stay.

What’s new at Slang City?
In music, take a look at our translated version of 50 Cent’s 21 Questions.