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Yes, We Understand

Celebrity interviews have long bugged us. And no wonder: So many actors and musicians have the mistaken impression that they're deep intellectuals that one wishes Noam Chomsky would take up a singing career just to invade their turf. (Doesn't the "Defeat American Crusader and Zionist Imperialism Blues" sound catchy?)

For those of you who think celebrity chats are harmless fun, we offer the following two words: Tom Cruise. Put them in your unhinged L. Ron Hubbard pipe and smoke 'em.

But surely some celeb chitchat is particularly noxious. This, dear reader, brings us to the theme of today's humble "post": Interviews with the princes of malapropisms and inarticulateness known as rappers.

As anyone in these here United States of America well knows, the media love to glorify these characters as street-corner prophets--no matter how violent and misogynistic their lyrics, someone always defends them on the grounds that they are simply "keeping it real," as if this were truly a good defense.

In fact, we, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," have long tired of the public acclimation offered to rappers' pathological palaver. We think critics such as Stanley Crouch are correct to heap scorn on the adulation of this pernicious garbage.

Of course, interviews with rappers are usually mind-blowingly awful. If we, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," were in Congress, we'd sponsor a "No Interviews with Rappers Makes America Great Bill," which would surely pass with flying colors, despite its rather clunky NIRWRMAGB non-acronym.

Now, to be sure, conversations with rappers are not the only targets of our scorn. Certainly chats with victorious racecar drivers are equally otiose. After all, the winner always says the same darn thing: "Well, the car was running good." Oh, if we could only ban that post-vehicular commonplace!

Yet one particular--and seemingly omnipresent--verbal tick in the limited oratorical arsenal of rappers particularly offends. We refer to the stock use of the phrase "You know what I mean?"

The manic recourse to this little question must strike anyone suitably unfortunate to take in an interview with a rapper. (Hey: Interview with a Rapper--that sounds like a really bad Hollywood flick.)

Of course, the phrase is not really offered as a question, and is not articulated as such. Rather, it appears sprinkled in rappers' speech with great regularity, as if delivered as one word: "kno-wha-tiy-mean."

To add insult to injury, it is always mind-bogglingly easy to "know what they mean." The rapper employing this phrase is not discussing the finer points of particle physics. Nor is he elaborating on the rhythmic subtleties in Duke Ellington pieces. On the contrary: He is usually talking about some aspect of "keeping it real."

So, we, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," have a simple message for our rapper pals: Yes, we know what you mean. In fact, we know exactly what you mean. Please stop asking us.

(Note: The crack young staff normally "weblog" over at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they are discovering that they think they feel for Chaka Khan, love her, and want to rock her. In fact, that's all they want to do.)


Comments (11)

Well, y'know, I mean, DUH!<... (Below threshold)

Well, y'know, I mean, DUH!

Crack Young Staff needs Str... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Crack Young Staff needs Strunk and White. Stat!

word up. no'm sayin'?... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

word up. no'm sayin'?

My standard answer to ""kno... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

My standard answer to ""kno-wha-tiy-mean" usually stops them cold: "no, I don't. Could you say it again in English?"

J.

You should also include the... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

You should also include the term "You know what I', saying."

we, the crack young staff o... (Below threshold)
general public:

we, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly,"


That's getting pretty old, too.

My standard answer to ""... (Below threshold)

My standard answer to ""kno-wha-tiy-mean" usually stops them cold: "no, I don't. Could you say it again in English?"

Excellent comment!

I have never understood why such misogynistic, violent, violence-glorifying, criminal elements remain unprosecuted and unhindered in public entertainment. Lamenting the conditions of the ghetto is one thing, but the other dreck is abominable.

>"we offer the following tw... (Below threshold)
arnold:

>"we offer the following two words: Tom Cruise."

I'll offer two more: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Someone please put a stop to the loony-tune Hollywood know-nothings.

Heh, my father (probably on... (Below threshold)

Heh, my father (probably one of the whitest, most non-rapperish person on the planet), practically has "you know what I mean?" copyrighted.

My sister once counted the number of times he used said phrase in a single phone conversation. I believe the total came out to be 128 times. I'm not joking. It's scary.

YKWIM should be banned. Completely and irreversibly. Forever.

It is what it is.... (Below threshold)

It is what it is.

I'm sure WIZBANG is delight... (Below threshold)

I'm sure WIZBANG is delighted to have a crack young staff of racists posting on their site. Know-wha-tiy-mean? Your crack young staff has it down zzwhut I'm sayin... kno-wha-tiy-mean. Your crack young staff takes no prisoners whut with denigrating negroes with their pathological palaver kno-wha-tiy-mean of pernicious garbage. And, wow, your crack young staff takes on the otiose vernacular of the commonplace....zzzwhut I'm sayin' is it's all about the folks...at NASCAR. The crack young staff at HATEMONGER'S is surely livin' up to their name. Kno-wha-tiy-mean?




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