Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Moose-Country Grammar: Canadian Rapper Shad Shares Toronto Slang

me and ShadOne of the fun aspects of covering Warped Tour is experiencing the multitude of regions and countries represented musically. Of all the cool peeps I met at Warped this year in San Antonio, Shadrach Kabango (or Shad for short) was probably my favorite. He was interesting and eloquent and had a genuine curiosity that you don't get from a lot of musicians in interviews. He was as eager to ask his interviewer, Double Stereo's Ian Morales, questions as he was to answer them. I sat in on this interview, which took place on Shad's tour bus. Being a Toronto boy, Shad couldn't bear to leave the bus for the 100-degree weather and the blistering Texas sun. Can't blame him, either: Those Warped buses are NICE. That Golden Compass movie was playing on a flatscreen TV that must've been about 60 inches, if not more. And the seats were super comfortable too. Anyway, the topic of slang came up and Shad was cool enough to share some Toronto urban culture with us. Here are some Toronto hip-hop slang words:

Math: phone number, as in I want that girl's math.

Link up: Meet up or hang out. Example: Let's link up later at the club.

King: dude, homie, bro, etc.

What're you sayin': a greeting. Toronto's version of "What's up?" or "How you doin'?"

Scene: a confirmation of understanding or asking if someone understands, much like saying Word when you agree with someone.

So a Toronto hip-hop conversation might go something like this: Yo King, what're you sayin'? Let me get your math so we can link up later, scene?

Weird.

We reciprocated, of course, and let Shad in on some Texas slang, like Houston's use of "already" as a synonym for word or scene. Or Laredo, Texas' use of "Chief" in a similar vein as Toronto's king.

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