Doc Brown vs. Big L – not a classic hip hop contest but one Blaise decided to mentally organise.
Firstly, I am fully aware there is no actual contest between Doc Brown and Big L when it comes to lyrical content. The combination of lack of sleep and overexposure to sun has brought these two parallels together for an amusing contrast of slang from across the pond. I remember the first time I heard Ebonics. My first thought was how unreal he sounded, which even lead me to pitching the song to my GSCE English teacher as a subject to study spoken word performances and rap as different sides of the same coin. I was met with some initial hostility but after I argued my point (which led to a detention and an apology from the teacher), it was accepted and studied in correlation with Shakespeare’s lyrical genius too. Slang arises from different communities and social demographics and for anyone involved in hip hop across the globe, they’ll be familiar with certain terms and will have adopted them or even “remixed” them in their own way. For that reason, even the likes of Urban Dictionary have sprouted up to give clarity to certain terms that the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries would have otherwise rejected.
Below are two links to both Big L‘s “Ebonics” and the rather humours UK version from former rapper turned comedian Doc Brown breaking down his version of “Slang 101”. Enjoy!