Hyphy (pronounced HI-FEE;) is a style of music and dance primarily associated with the San Francisco Bay Area hip hop culture. It began to emerge in early 2000 as a response from Bay Area rappers against commercial hip hop for not acknowledging the Bay for setting trends in the hip hop industry. Although the "hyphy movement" has just recently seen light in mainstream America, it has been a long standing and evolving culture in the Bay Area. Bay Area rapper Keak Da Sneak takes credit for coining the term when he was a young boy, as his mother would often tell him he was hyper. He would repeat the word "hyper" as "hyphy", and to this day, continues to use the word "hyphy" to describe his behavior.
It is distinguished by gritty, pounding rhythms, and in this sense can be associated with the Bay as crunk music is to the South. Contrary to popular belief, the musical aspect of the movement has very few similarities to crunk music, as it is dictated by more uptempo beats. An individual is said to "get hyphy" when they act or dance in an overstated and ridiculous manner. Many in the Bay Area would describe this as acting "Retarded", "Riding The Yellow Bus", "Stupid" or "Going Dumb". E-40 is seen by many in the Bay Area as the "door opener" to a much bigger movement yet to be exposed to the world in its entirety
A particular feature of hyphy culture in the Bay Area are sideshows or sydeshows, when one or a series of cars do multiple doughnuts by braking and turning at high speeds. Other car maneuvers include "Yoking" and "Ghostriding". Hyphy culture, like much of rap culture, focuses heavily on the usage of alcohol, marijuana and ecstasy, and many do use the aforementioned articles and seemingly promote such activity. In particular, the influence of ecstasy is emphasized through hyphy's heavy sexual proclivities. Dancing and partying are important aspects of hyphy culture, though it is not necessary to be on drugs or alcohol to participate.
Like many Bay Area trends, Hyphy has a unique culture of slang. Below is a partial list of notable slang terms in hyphy culture:
- "Backwood" – a blunt of marijuna
- "18 Dummy" – Going dumb by drinking Jose Cuervo 1800 Tequila, also known as "Dummy Juice. The word was made popular among Bay area citizens by The Federation.
- Doobid/Dubid – a combo of the words DUMB & STUPID
- Direct Traffic" – to explain or give directions.
- "Flamboasting" – All manner of showing off.
- "Gas-brake dippin'" – Driving while quickly alternating between stomping on the gas and the brake. Also known as "Yokin'".
- "Gerbazlle" – To act foolish. (Gerbazll'n)
- "Gettin' it" – To be under the influence of ecstasy.
- "Get/Gettin' Twisted" – Getting high. Refers to the act of "twisting" (rolling) a joint or a blunt.
- "Ghostride the whip" – Driver walks alongside slow-rolling car with the door open, giving the appearance that the car is driving itself. Passengers ride with all the doors open and sometimes leap out of the moving cars, sometimes dancing on top the hood.
- "Giggin'" – Dancing wildly. Also known as "Turfin'" or "Turf Dancing", a form of dance created by youth on the streets of Oakland, California, involving intricate footwork and fluid-like arm movements, inspired by the Hyphy Movement mentality of "going dumb". Oakland's equivalent to South-Central Los Angeles's krumping.
- "Going or getting dumb/stupid/ignorant/retarded/hyphy/Ridin' the yellow bus" – is the main concept, which means having a good time while ignoring society's negative opinion of "uncivilized" behavior.
- "Gouda" – (Goo-dah) Referring to Cheddar, Cheese, The Duckets, Skrilla, Benjamins, C-Notes, Grip, Greenbacks, Cash-Money, in reference to money.
- "(Hitting) the Drop" – A dance move that consists on one crossing their legs, then falling on their knees. They then bounce using their knees and feet, and then twist their legs to get back up.
- "Supa sick wit it" – Means appealing, awesome, or can related to hyphy (see above)
- "Hurt" – A variant of calling somebody "lame", or otherwise a distressed person.
- "Hyphy train" – A wild, mobile party with a long line of cars with all the doors open, in which occupants ghost-ride, flamboast, dance on the hood and roof, and otherwise get hyphy.
- "Pud" – Variant of calling somebody "gay", although not literally homosexual.
- "Runner"/"Ripper" – A girl who is known to get around.
- "Scrapers" – Vintage four-door American sedans with whistling pipes, oversized spinning rims and a powerful stereo system. They hang low in the back and send off sparks when one is "gas-brake dippin".
- "Scrape/Swang" – Turning a sideshow/sydeshow.
- "Slapper/Slumper" – A song with particularly loud bass and/or Hyphy connotations.
- "Slappy (goin slappy)" – Acting out in a wild manner (see dummy).
- "Stunna shades" – Unusual looking glasses that people wear when they get hyphy. Oversized dark glasses that help accessorize the sagging jeans and white T-shirts that are part of hyphy fashion. "Stunnas" are frequently aviator .style glasses, but often more elaborate or attention getting.
- "Stunting/Turning Tight Ones" – Turning donuts, figure eights and other car tricks. Allen Gordon, former editor of Rap Pages magazine, says, "If you can spell out your name in tire tracks in the street — you're the man."
- "Thizz" – Street slang for being up on Ecstasy, popularized by the late Andre "Mac Dre" Hicks. Thizz is also the name of Mac Dre's record label.
- "Thizz Face" – Coined by Mac Dre to describe a "look on your face like you smell some piss". Originated from the face that one makes when putting an Ecstasy pill in one's mouth, due to the bitter taste. The term and facial expression have been appropriated to mean several other feelings and situations. Also known as doing the Cheney.
- "Thizzle Dance" – A dance associated with Mac Dre's song by the same name, the thizzle dance (thizz dance, thizzing, closely related to going dumb) involves wearing a strange facial expression and waving one's arms and legs in a bizarre or unusual-looking way. "Thizzing" is also associated with shaking one's dreadlocks, getting on the ground, or imitating animals.
- "Whadiddadiz?" – like "what it is" or "What is going on".
- "Yadadameen/Yadadamsayin?" – A phrase popularized by Keak Da Sneak meaning "Do you know what I mean?" and "Do you know what I am saying?" The 'dada' usually signifies rolling the letter 'R', however, for effect and for people who cannot roll their 'R's, the informal 'didi' (pronounced did-I) is appropriate.
- "Yay Area" – The Bay Area of California.
- "Yee" – Originating from the streets of Richmond, California meaning "HEY" or "WASSUP".
This is merely an introduction to the slang associated with hyphy culture.
Centered around the San Francisco Bay Area, the capital of the Hyphy Movement is Oakland. Additionally, San Francisco, Vallejo, Fairfield, California, Richmond, and various other locations in Northern California are key areas in the hyphy movement.
Major entertainers from the Bay Area who are considered hyphy artists include:
- Keak Da Sneak
- Mac Dre
- Mistah F.A.B.
- The Federation
- The Team
- Too $hort
- Turf Talk
- Dem Hoodstarz
- The Luniz
- The Pack