#159 - American Hip Hop: Nipsey Hussle

November 9, 2022

Nipsey Hussle was a well-known Hip Hop artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist from Los Angeles, California. In this episode, I'll be breaking down the language and culture of one of his songs.

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[00:00:01] What's up, everybody? This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and it's been a while since I've broken down the lyrics of a good song, so I figured I'd do a few episodes using music to teach you English. So today, I'm going to explain the first verse of a song by the late, great, and legendary hip-hop artist, Nipsey Hussle, from Los Angeles, California. Now, the name of this song is I Don't Give a Fucc, and the word "fuck" in this case is spelled with two Cs because he was a Rollin' 60s Crip. But don't worry about that for now. I'll explain that in more detail later.

[00:00:33] So this song, I Don't Give a Fucc, it's from The Marathon mixtape that he released back in 2010, but I'm still bumping this song to this day. Now I'm only going to explain the chorus and the first verse of the song in this episode, but I'll leave a link to the complete mixtape in the description of this episode, as well as on the music channel of the Discord server. So let's not waste any time, my friends. I'm gonna play the song once and then we'll go back and analyze it line by line so I can teach you all about that Los Angeles slanguage.

[00:01:03] And just so you know, the word "slanguage" is not really like, an accepted word. You're not going to find it in a dictionary. Most people probably couldn't explain it to you, but I heard the rapper E-40 say it. That was the first person I heard, used the word "slanguage". And it's just a mixture of the words, "slang" and "language", you know? You'll find that natives we...we play with the language a lot and say things that don't make literal sense, but they make perfect sense, you know, to us. Anyway...anyway, let's get into the song, man. Let's not waste no more time. I'm going to play it now.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:01:43] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:02:19] Look, my mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right. 'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white. If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life. Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:02:41] Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside. Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside. Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside. Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:03:01] I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. Ch'yeah. They say we probably die slangin', bangin', pressin' the line."

[00:03:25] Alright, ladies and gents, do not feel bad if you could not understand everything that was being said, there was a lot of slang going on and maybe the audio wasn't so clear. There might be a bunch of reasons you couldn't understand everything. But now, we're gonna go back and analyze the chorus and the first verse line by line to make sure you understand every single letter of every single word. So let's start with the chorus.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:03:51] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:04:04] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town." So, "I don't give a fuck". It's just a very, you know, strong and rude way of saying, "I don't care". It's a very strong, intense...some people would say, vulgar way of saying that, "I just don't care". "I don't give a fuck", right? Now, to "ride with my burner". In this case, the word "ride" just means to travel around in your car. So if you're riding in your car, you're just in the car or traveling somewhere, or you're riding your bike or you're riding your motorcycle or riding your skateboard, you're just riding. It means you're on this vehicle or in this vehicle and traveling somewhere. Okay?

[00:04:49] Now, "burner" is a word...it's like slang for "gun". So he's saying, "I'm riding with my gun and my beat turned up." And that's the last thing I wanted to explain from that line is 'turned up". In this case, it just means "loud" because when we're talking about music, he said, "my beat turned up". He means "my music", the "music in my car". So if it's "turned up", he's referring to the volume of the music. So we would say, "turn the music down" or "turn the volume down" to reduce the level of sound to make it less loud, more quiet, you get the idea. And we turn the volume up to make the music louder. So if "my beat turned up when I'm riding around town", the picture he's trying to paint for you is he's in his car riding around the city. He's got his gun in his car and his music is loud. That's what you should understand.

[00:05:36] And the next line is "AC blowin' and my window down". So AC is air conditioner. It's that machine in our cars and houses that makes it cooler in the room. So "blowin'" just refers to the air that literally blows out of the vent in the car. So "my AC is blowing and my window down", which literally just means the window in my car is rolled down. It's open. You see what I'm saying?

[00:06:02] Last is "chuckin' up my hood when I hit your town". Now "chucking", to chuck something is like another way of saying to throw something. You throw it really hard, a far distance. Just, you just chuck it. But when he says, "Chuckin' up my hood", how can I explain it to you? You could also say, "throw up my hood". Maybe this will help you understand. And this is referring to things that...it's a part of gang culture. I'm not sure if you're familiar with what gangs are, but they're like, I guess it depends on how you wanna look at it, the definition changes. But think of it as a community or a neighborhood organization that's typically involved in some type of crime. I guess in the past they existed to protect their communities, but now they've become synonymous with like, organized crime, drug dealing, violent attacks, violent crimes, and things of that nature...armed robbery, you know.

[00:06:57] They have rivals. So you might have like, the Bloods on one side of the city, one gang might call themselves the "Bloods". On the other side of the city, the other gang might call themselves the "Crips". And these two gangs are rivals. They're always fighting with each other, killing each other, robbing each other. I mean, they're just enemies. Enemies. So that's what he's referring to. So in gang culture, to throw up your hood or to...to chuck up your hood, you literally lift your hands in the air and you make signs with your fingers. Particular signs that represent your gang that let people know what gang you claim, what neighborhood you're from, who you represent. You see what I'm saying?

[00:07:33] So if he's "chucking up his hood when when he hits your town", which is the rest of the line, he's saying, "When I arrive in your city...", so if "I hit your town", that means "I just arrived in your city". And when I arrive in your city, I'm chucking up my hood. I'm letting everybody here know where I'm from. That's the idea. He's trying to paint you a picture and describe, like, his lifestyle. So I don't give a fuck about nothing. I'm riding around in the city. My gun, in my car, my music is loud, the AC is blowing, the windows are down and I'm chucking up my hood when I hit your town, let you know where I'm from, who I am, and what I represent. That's what he's saying. That's what I understand at least, okay? So let's hear it one more time.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:08:14] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:08:27] Alright, my friend. Now it's time to take a look at verse one. We're gonna go through...and I'll do probably two or three lines at a time just because of the way the song is written. It's easier to explain the ideas that way, alright? So let's start with the first couple of lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:08:43] "My mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right."

[00:08:51] So the first line, what he's saying is "my mother wants to know why I'm involved in violent and illegal gang activity", because to "gangbang" means "to participate in gang activity". A lot of times it's selling drugs, violent crimes, armed robbery, all types of wild stuff, right? So his mother is like, "Why are you doing this?" "My mom wants to know why I'm involved in this type of activity and she's telling me I'm gonna lose my life", which is another way of saying, "She's telling me I'm gonna get killed if I keep involving myself in these illegal and violent criminal activities".

[00:09:25] Alright, next line. "I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right". Alright, the first thing. "I ain't trippin'" so "I ain't trippin'", it's just a really informal way of saying "I'm not worried about it". So if I say, "I ain't trippin about that", it means "I'm not worried about that. It doesn't bother me. I'm not thinking about it. It is what it is." So when he says "I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right", he's saying, "This is the gang I represent. I am a Crip, I represent the Rollin' 60s Crip gang, and I'ma do it right", which means "I'm going to respect the code of my organization" because gangs, they typically have codes and rules and regulations, things that you can do and you cannot do, you know, they just have their way of doing things, right?

[00:10:07] So he's saying, "I've chosen this life for myself, it is what it is. I'm a Crip. I joined the gang, I'ma represent and do it right. I'm gonna follow the code," or "respect the code", I should say. So "whatever my gang calls on me to do, whatever responsibilities I have as a Crip gang member, I'm going to, you know, take care of my responsibilities." That's basically what he's communicating, at least to me. You see? Alright, next line.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:10:33] "'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white"

[00:10:40] So in the next line, he says, "'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight." And apostrophe f-o-r-e is just a really informal way of shortening the word "before". So when he says, "'Fore I run from a nigga", he's saying, "Before I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight." And what he's communicating is like, "I would never run away from someone who wants to fight me or hurt me. I will lose a fight before that happens." You see what I'm saying? "I would rather lose the fight than run away like a coward." That's the idea.

[00:11:11] In the next line, he says, "I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white." So to "hustle" is like, to make money fast, to work really hard to make money really fast. So he's saying, "I've got to find a way to make money quickly." And he's talking to his mom. He's saying, "Mama, I'ma move the white" and that's like slang for selling cocaine. You see what I'm saying? So "I got to hustle, Mama, I'ma move the white." "I got to make money quick. So I'ma sell this cocaine. That's what I'ma do." That's the idea. Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:11:44] "If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life."

[00:11:50] "If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life." So that first line, when he says, "if I died and came back", that's just a natural way of saying "if I died and was born again," basically, "if I had to do all of this over again, I would do it the exact same way." That's what he means when I...when he says, "if I died and came back, I'd do it twice." Then he says, "brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life." So what he's communicating is he was, you know, kind of brainwashed by the other thugs and gang members in his neighborhood and he became this militant soldier ready to do whatever for his gang, no matter how violent or horrific or anything like that. He was just brainwashed. He wasn't thinking for himself anymore and he allowed that lifestyle to consume him. It became his whole world, you know what I'm saying? Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:12:45] "Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night."

[00:12:51] "Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night." Now when he says "cool nigga", what he's really saying is "I'm a...I'm normally a calm, cool, and relaxed person, but I'm ready to take someone's life at any given moment." That's really what he's saying. Like in general, "I'm a cool nigga. I'm a cool guy." It's probably what you should say. "I'm a cool dude. I'm a cool guy, but still a killer. I'm still ready to kill..." you know "if the circumstances call for that at any given moment", you know, "if it's the right moment for that to happen, then I'm ready to make that happen." That's what he's saying, you know.

[00:13:29] And then he continues that by saying, "the bullets have the dogs howling at the moon at night." And this is just, you know, more poetic, a more illustrative way of speaking because he's saying the bullets from the gun, pop, pop, pop, that sound, it scares the dogs. And they start barking and howling at the moon and making noise. Right? That's what happens. You know, dogs are gonna start barking and making noise. You get the idea, right? Alright, cool. Let's go on to the next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:13:55] "Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside."

[00:14:02] "Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside." So that first line, when he says "it's cold outside", what he's saying is like the streets are cold and heartless. There's no empathy or, or love or help for anybody. It's just every man for himself. And there's no hope outside. Everyone in...you know, when you leave the house and you see everyone outside, everybody's hopeless. They...they don't see any way of this...they don't see this situation getting any better. They don't see anybody coming to fix things. This is just the way it is where we live and it's just the way it's always gonna be.

[00:14:39] These streets are cold. Nobody cares about anybody else. And you just got to fend for yourself and survive. That's the mentality, you know? And then he says "a couple niggas getting money, but most is broke outside." So a couple of people is on the block. They're on the street making money, however they can make money. But most people in the neighborhood are broke as fuck. They have no money. Everybody's poor. You see what I'm saying? So everybody's hopeless. And that's the idea. Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:15:09] "Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside."

[00:15:16] "Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside" So "rocks" is slang for "crack rocks". You see what I'm saying? So when you take the cocaine and you cook it up and it forms a solid, you know, rock-like object, then you chop it up into tiny, little smaller rocks. And that's what we call "crack rocks". So when he says "rocks in the house", he's basically painting the picture, you can imagine somebody in their kitchen cooking crack literally on the stove, and then they go outside and they sell it. And that's what he means when he says "selling dope outside". So "dope" is slang for "drugs", you see. So "we cook the crack in the house, we make the crack rocks, and we go outside and sell it." That's the idea.

[00:16:00] And the next line, he says, "reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside." So to "reminisce" just means "to sit and think about some time or person from the past." So he's sitting and thinking about his friends that got murdered outside. That's what he means when he says "got smoked" because to "get smoked" is like slang for to "get killed or to get murdered". To smoke someone means to shoot them or kill them, you know? So he's saying, "I'm reminiscing, I'm sitting, thinking about my friends, about my homies that got murdered outside in the street" due to gang violence, most likely. You see what I'm saying? Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:16:37] "Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside."

[00:16:43] "Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside." So the word "sucker", it's kind of hard to explain, but it's like...It's like an older word that's slang for a loser or a punk or a coward, or just somebody who can't take care of themselves. They can't defend themselves. They can't, you know, a sucker is like a loser, like a punk, a coward, a weak man, a weak person. That's what you can think of when you hear "sucker". But it's like an old...it's an older word, you know, like from the 90s, I think, or the early 2000s, you know. So "suckas in the house when them locs outside" and "loc", l-o-c-s.

[00:17:24] To be honest, I can't really tell you exactly what "loc" means because I'm not involved in gang activities so if like a real Crip gang member could probably give you the exact meaning. But when I hear "loc", what I think of is, it's another way of referring to a Crip. So somebody from the Crip gang and they are a crip. Another word for Crip is "loc" and they call each other that. They say, "What's up, loc? What's happenin', loc?" You know "what's crackin', loc?" And again, don't quote me on this because I am not a Crip gang member, so I'm not like, certified to really be teaching you about the way they speak or exactly what the words they use mean but I'm familiar enough to get the idea and that's what I'm explaining to you.

[00:18:03] So when he says "locs", you can hear that and understand "Crips", the members of the Crip Gang, okay? So when the Crips in the street, when these gang members are in the street doing their activities, the suckers in the house, they know to stay in the house because it's dangerous when gang members are in the street doing what they do. That's the idea that you can understand. So the next line, he says "hustla got to eat when them folks outside." Now I don't...it's kinda hard because this one can be interpreted in a couple of ways. But the idea that I understand when I hear this line is a hustler, which is somebody who hustles, somebody who works really hard to make, you know, good money. You know, he's got to make his money as long as he's got paying customers. You see what I'm saying? He has to take advantage of every opportunity to get paid. There's people in the street willing to buy what he's selling. And he's got to eat. He's got to get paid.

[00:18:53] And that's, that's the...I guess now that I hear myself saying it, you can think of it as slang or just this figurative way of speaking, you know? And I don't know if this is a universal thing in the US, but like, at least in urban culture, definitely in like black urban culture, we use the term or the word "eat" to refer to "getting paid good money". You know what I'm saying? Being well-compensated for whatever work it is you're doing. So you might hear somebody say something like, "If you don't work, you don't eat." And that's literally like "eat food", but it generally just means "survive". If you don't work, you won't get paid, which means you can't survive. You know, if somebody says, "We're eating good over here." What that means is literally you have enough money to buy good and healthy and quality food, but it just means you're doing well in life. You're getting paid a lot of money. You're not just surviving, you're thriving. You're eating good. You know, that's the idea. So "a hustler got to eat with them folks outside." "If there's people outside that's willing to buy what I'm selling, I got to eat, bro, I got to get paid. I'm a hustler." That's the idea. Alright? Cool. Next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:19:57] "Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it."

[00:20:04] "Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it." So that first line, "got a burner on my lap." Now you know what that is. It's just slang for "gun". So he's riding around in his car with a gun sitting on his lap, which is like your lap is that area of your legs, like the...where your thighs are. So imagine you're sitting down like, for example, Santa Claus. A lot of times I don't know if you guys do this in your country, but at the mall around Christmastime, at least in the past, there would be this person who dressed up like Santa Claus and he would sit in the big chair next to the Christmas tree, and the kids could go sit on Santa's lap and take a picture with Santa. So that area of his body where they sit, which is like his thigh, that part of his leg, that's your lap. And that's why we call laptop computers "laptops", because it literally used to...use to put it on your lap and type.

[00:20:56] But anyway, anyway, he's saying he's riding around in his car and he's got his gun on his lap. Ready for anything. Cause that's really what you gotta understand. So "I got my burner on my lap, and I'm dipping in my bucket." So to "dip". It depends on the context, man. But in this case, it's like slang. And what it means is ummm, ummm...It's just like slang for "driving around in my car". That's what you can understand. If I'm dipping and he completes the sentence by saying, "dippin' in my bucket" and "bucket" is slang for "car". But a "bucket" is like a...not a...it's not a fancy car. Typically, it's an older kind of beat up car. It's not the nicest thing to look at. It's just just a regular car. Typically an older one that's not in the best condition.

[00:21:44] And then the last line, he says, "Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it." And "life's a bitch", it's just an expression that we have that means "sometimes, life sucks". "It is what it is," like, "whatever," you know, "life is shit". Tragic stuff happens, you know, it's hard, but it is what it is. And that's what he means when he says, "Fuck it", somebody says, "Ah, fuck it." It's just like, "Whatever, man. It is what it is. There's nothing I can do about it. I accept it. Fuck it. I'm not going to try and change the situation or get stressed out about it. I don't care. Whatever. Fuck it." Just know it's a very aggressive way of speaking. It's a vulgar thing to say. So you probably shouldn't say that at work or in an interview or somebody that you don't know very well just because some people might take it as offensive. You know? I don't, personally. But you get the idea, you know, like in certain situations, you're more formal, you're more buttoned up, let's say, and in other situations you're less formal. And "fuck it" is definitely an expression reserved for less formal situations, but I'm sure you know that.

[00:22:43] But that's the end of verse one, my friend. So after that, it's just the chorus again, and then verse two and so on and so forth. So now I'm going to go back and play the chorus and the first verse again, and hopefully with the context and the explanations, you can understand each line much better. So let's play it now and find out.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:02] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:24] Look, my mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right. 'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white. If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life. Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:46] Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside. Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside. Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside. Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:24:07] I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:24:26] And there you have it, my friends, I hope you enjoyed this episode and this legendary piece of hip-hop culture. The effect that Nipsey has had on us simply cannot be overstated, man, so I really encourage you to listen to more of his music and learn about his story. And I'll definitely be featuring him and his work on the podcast again in the future. But for now, that is all, my friend. This is the Life in English podcast. I am Tony Kaizen and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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[00:00:01] What's up, everybody? This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and it's been a while since I've broken down the lyrics of a good song, so I figured I'd do a few episodes using music to teach you English. So today, I'm going to explain the first verse of a song by the late, great, and legendary hip-hop artist, Nipsey Hussle, from Los Angeles, California. Now, the name of this song is I Don't Give a Fucc, and the word "fuck" in this case is spelled with two Cs because he was a Rollin' 60s Crip. But don't worry about that for now. I'll explain that in more detail later.

[00:00:33] So this song, I Don't Give a Fucc, it's from The Marathon mixtape that he released back in 2010, but I'm still bumping this song to this day. Now I'm only going to explain the chorus and the first verse of the song in this episode, but I'll leave a link to the complete mixtape in the description of this episode, as well as on the music channel of the Discord server. So let's not waste any time, my friends. I'm gonna play the song once and then we'll go back and analyze it line by line so I can teach you all about that Los Angeles slanguage.

[00:01:03] And just so you know, the word "slanguage" is not really like, an accepted word. You're not going to find it in a dictionary. Most people probably couldn't explain it to you, but I heard the rapper E-40 say it. That was the first person I heard, used the word "slanguage". And it's just a mixture of the words, "slang" and "language", you know? You'll find that natives we...we play with the language a lot and say things that don't make literal sense, but they make perfect sense, you know, to us. Anyway...anyway, let's get into the song, man. Let's not waste no more time. I'm going to play it now.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:01:43] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:02:19] Look, my mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right. 'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white. If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life. Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:02:41] Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside. Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside. Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside. Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:03:01] I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. Ch'yeah. They say we probably die slangin', bangin', pressin' the line."

[00:03:25] Alright, ladies and gents, do not feel bad if you could not understand everything that was being said, there was a lot of slang going on and maybe the audio wasn't so clear. There might be a bunch of reasons you couldn't understand everything. But now, we're gonna go back and analyze the chorus and the first verse line by line to make sure you understand every single letter of every single word. So let's start with the chorus.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:03:51] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:04:04] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town." So, "I don't give a fuck". It's just a very, you know, strong and rude way of saying, "I don't care". It's a very strong, intense...some people would say, vulgar way of saying that, "I just don't care". "I don't give a fuck", right? Now, to "ride with my burner". In this case, the word "ride" just means to travel around in your car. So if you're riding in your car, you're just in the car or traveling somewhere, or you're riding your bike or you're riding your motorcycle or riding your skateboard, you're just riding. It means you're on this vehicle or in this vehicle and traveling somewhere. Okay?

[00:04:49] Now, "burner" is a word...it's like slang for "gun". So he's saying, "I'm riding with my gun and my beat turned up." And that's the last thing I wanted to explain from that line is 'turned up". In this case, it just means "loud" because when we're talking about music, he said, "my beat turned up". He means "my music", the "music in my car". So if it's "turned up", he's referring to the volume of the music. So we would say, "turn the music down" or "turn the volume down" to reduce the level of sound to make it less loud, more quiet, you get the idea. And we turn the volume up to make the music louder. So if "my beat turned up when I'm riding around town", the picture he's trying to paint for you is he's in his car riding around the city. He's got his gun in his car and his music is loud. That's what you should understand.

[00:05:36] And the next line is "AC blowin' and my window down". So AC is air conditioner. It's that machine in our cars and houses that makes it cooler in the room. So "blowin'" just refers to the air that literally blows out of the vent in the car. So "my AC is blowing and my window down", which literally just means the window in my car is rolled down. It's open. You see what I'm saying?

[00:06:02] Last is "chuckin' up my hood when I hit your town". Now "chucking", to chuck something is like another way of saying to throw something. You throw it really hard, a far distance. Just, you just chuck it. But when he says, "Chuckin' up my hood", how can I explain it to you? You could also say, "throw up my hood". Maybe this will help you understand. And this is referring to things that...it's a part of gang culture. I'm not sure if you're familiar with what gangs are, but they're like, I guess it depends on how you wanna look at it, the definition changes. But think of it as a community or a neighborhood organization that's typically involved in some type of crime. I guess in the past they existed to protect their communities, but now they've become synonymous with like, organized crime, drug dealing, violent attacks, violent crimes, and things of that nature...armed robbery, you know.

[00:06:57] They have rivals. So you might have like, the Bloods on one side of the city, one gang might call themselves the "Bloods". On the other side of the city, the other gang might call themselves the "Crips". And these two gangs are rivals. They're always fighting with each other, killing each other, robbing each other. I mean, they're just enemies. Enemies. So that's what he's referring to. So in gang culture, to throw up your hood or to...to chuck up your hood, you literally lift your hands in the air and you make signs with your fingers. Particular signs that represent your gang that let people know what gang you claim, what neighborhood you're from, who you represent. You see what I'm saying?

[00:07:33] So if he's "chucking up his hood when when he hits your town", which is the rest of the line, he's saying, "When I arrive in your city...", so if "I hit your town", that means "I just arrived in your city". And when I arrive in your city, I'm chucking up my hood. I'm letting everybody here know where I'm from. That's the idea. He's trying to paint you a picture and describe, like, his lifestyle. So I don't give a fuck about nothing. I'm riding around in the city. My gun, in my car, my music is loud, the AC is blowing, the windows are down and I'm chucking up my hood when I hit your town, let you know where I'm from, who I am, and what I represent. That's what he's saying. That's what I understand at least, okay? So let's hear it one more time.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:08:14] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:08:27] Alright, my friend. Now it's time to take a look at verse one. We're gonna go through...and I'll do probably two or three lines at a time just because of the way the song is written. It's easier to explain the ideas that way, alright? So let's start with the first couple of lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:08:43] "My mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right."

[00:08:51] So the first line, what he's saying is "my mother wants to know why I'm involved in violent and illegal gang activity", because to "gangbang" means "to participate in gang activity". A lot of times it's selling drugs, violent crimes, armed robbery, all types of wild stuff, right? So his mother is like, "Why are you doing this?" "My mom wants to know why I'm involved in this type of activity and she's telling me I'm gonna lose my life", which is another way of saying, "She's telling me I'm gonna get killed if I keep involving myself in these illegal and violent criminal activities".

[00:09:25] Alright, next line. "I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right". Alright, the first thing. "I ain't trippin'" so "I ain't trippin'", it's just a really informal way of saying "I'm not worried about it". So if I say, "I ain't trippin about that", it means "I'm not worried about that. It doesn't bother me. I'm not thinking about it. It is what it is." So when he says "I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right", he's saying, "This is the gang I represent. I am a Crip, I represent the Rollin' 60s Crip gang, and I'ma do it right", which means "I'm going to respect the code of my organization" because gangs, they typically have codes and rules and regulations, things that you can do and you cannot do, you know, they just have their way of doing things, right?

[00:10:07] So he's saying, "I've chosen this life for myself, it is what it is. I'm a Crip. I joined the gang, I'ma represent and do it right. I'm gonna follow the code," or "respect the code", I should say. So "whatever my gang calls on me to do, whatever responsibilities I have as a Crip gang member, I'm going to, you know, take care of my responsibilities." That's basically what he's communicating, at least to me. You see? Alright, next line.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:10:33] "'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white"

[00:10:40] So in the next line, he says, "'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight." And apostrophe f-o-r-e is just a really informal way of shortening the word "before". So when he says, "'Fore I run from a nigga", he's saying, "Before I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight." And what he's communicating is like, "I would never run away from someone who wants to fight me or hurt me. I will lose a fight before that happens." You see what I'm saying? "I would rather lose the fight than run away like a coward." That's the idea.

[00:11:11] In the next line, he says, "I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white." So to "hustle" is like, to make money fast, to work really hard to make money really fast. So he's saying, "I've got to find a way to make money quickly." And he's talking to his mom. He's saying, "Mama, I'ma move the white" and that's like slang for selling cocaine. You see what I'm saying? So "I got to hustle, Mama, I'ma move the white." "I got to make money quick. So I'ma sell this cocaine. That's what I'ma do." That's the idea. Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:11:44] "If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life."

[00:11:50] "If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life." So that first line, when he says, "if I died and came back", that's just a natural way of saying "if I died and was born again," basically, "if I had to do all of this over again, I would do it the exact same way." That's what he means when I...when he says, "if I died and came back, I'd do it twice." Then he says, "brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life." So what he's communicating is he was, you know, kind of brainwashed by the other thugs and gang members in his neighborhood and he became this militant soldier ready to do whatever for his gang, no matter how violent or horrific or anything like that. He was just brainwashed. He wasn't thinking for himself anymore and he allowed that lifestyle to consume him. It became his whole world, you know what I'm saying? Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:12:45] "Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night."

[00:12:51] "Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night." Now when he says "cool nigga", what he's really saying is "I'm a...I'm normally a calm, cool, and relaxed person, but I'm ready to take someone's life at any given moment." That's really what he's saying. Like in general, "I'm a cool nigga. I'm a cool guy." It's probably what you should say. "I'm a cool dude. I'm a cool guy, but still a killer. I'm still ready to kill..." you know "if the circumstances call for that at any given moment", you know, "if it's the right moment for that to happen, then I'm ready to make that happen." That's what he's saying, you know.

[00:13:29] And then he continues that by saying, "the bullets have the dogs howling at the moon at night." And this is just, you know, more poetic, a more illustrative way of speaking because he's saying the bullets from the gun, pop, pop, pop, that sound, it scares the dogs. And they start barking and howling at the moon and making noise. Right? That's what happens. You know, dogs are gonna start barking and making noise. You get the idea, right? Alright, cool. Let's go on to the next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:13:55] "Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside."

[00:14:02] "Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside." So that first line, when he says "it's cold outside", what he's saying is like the streets are cold and heartless. There's no empathy or, or love or help for anybody. It's just every man for himself. And there's no hope outside. Everyone in...you know, when you leave the house and you see everyone outside, everybody's hopeless. They...they don't see any way of this...they don't see this situation getting any better. They don't see anybody coming to fix things. This is just the way it is where we live and it's just the way it's always gonna be.

[00:14:39] These streets are cold. Nobody cares about anybody else. And you just got to fend for yourself and survive. That's the mentality, you know? And then he says "a couple niggas getting money, but most is broke outside." So a couple of people is on the block. They're on the street making money, however they can make money. But most people in the neighborhood are broke as fuck. They have no money. Everybody's poor. You see what I'm saying? So everybody's hopeless. And that's the idea. Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:15:09] "Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside."

[00:15:16] "Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside" So "rocks" is slang for "crack rocks". You see what I'm saying? So when you take the cocaine and you cook it up and it forms a solid, you know, rock-like object, then you chop it up into tiny, little smaller rocks. And that's what we call "crack rocks". So when he says "rocks in the house", he's basically painting the picture, you can imagine somebody in their kitchen cooking crack literally on the stove, and then they go outside and they sell it. And that's what he means when he says "selling dope outside". So "dope" is slang for "drugs", you see. So "we cook the crack in the house, we make the crack rocks, and we go outside and sell it." That's the idea.

[00:16:00] And the next line, he says, "reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside." So to "reminisce" just means "to sit and think about some time or person from the past." So he's sitting and thinking about his friends that got murdered outside. That's what he means when he says "got smoked" because to "get smoked" is like slang for to "get killed or to get murdered". To smoke someone means to shoot them or kill them, you know? So he's saying, "I'm reminiscing, I'm sitting, thinking about my friends, about my homies that got murdered outside in the street" due to gang violence, most likely. You see what I'm saying? Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:16:37] "Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside."

[00:16:43] "Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside." So the word "sucker", it's kind of hard to explain, but it's like...It's like an older word that's slang for a loser or a punk or a coward, or just somebody who can't take care of themselves. They can't defend themselves. They can't, you know, a sucker is like a loser, like a punk, a coward, a weak man, a weak person. That's what you can think of when you hear "sucker". But it's like an old...it's an older word, you know, like from the 90s, I think, or the early 2000s, you know. So "suckas in the house when them locs outside" and "loc", l-o-c-s.

[00:17:24] To be honest, I can't really tell you exactly what "loc" means because I'm not involved in gang activities so if like a real Crip gang member could probably give you the exact meaning. But when I hear "loc", what I think of is, it's another way of referring to a Crip. So somebody from the Crip gang and they are a crip. Another word for Crip is "loc" and they call each other that. They say, "What's up, loc? What's happenin', loc?" You know "what's crackin', loc?" And again, don't quote me on this because I am not a Crip gang member, so I'm not like, certified to really be teaching you about the way they speak or exactly what the words they use mean but I'm familiar enough to get the idea and that's what I'm explaining to you.

[00:18:03] So when he says "locs", you can hear that and understand "Crips", the members of the Crip Gang, okay? So when the Crips in the street, when these gang members are in the street doing their activities, the suckers in the house, they know to stay in the house because it's dangerous when gang members are in the street doing what they do. That's the idea that you can understand. So the next line, he says "hustla got to eat when them folks outside." Now I don't...it's kinda hard because this one can be interpreted in a couple of ways. But the idea that I understand when I hear this line is a hustler, which is somebody who hustles, somebody who works really hard to make, you know, good money. You know, he's got to make his money as long as he's got paying customers. You see what I'm saying? He has to take advantage of every opportunity to get paid. There's people in the street willing to buy what he's selling. And he's got to eat. He's got to get paid.

[00:18:53] And that's, that's the...I guess now that I hear myself saying it, you can think of it as slang or just this figurative way of speaking, you know? And I don't know if this is a universal thing in the US, but like, at least in urban culture, definitely in like black urban culture, we use the term or the word "eat" to refer to "getting paid good money". You know what I'm saying? Being well-compensated for whatever work it is you're doing. So you might hear somebody say something like, "If you don't work, you don't eat." And that's literally like "eat food", but it generally just means "survive". If you don't work, you won't get paid, which means you can't survive. You know, if somebody says, "We're eating good over here." What that means is literally you have enough money to buy good and healthy and quality food, but it just means you're doing well in life. You're getting paid a lot of money. You're not just surviving, you're thriving. You're eating good. You know, that's the idea. So "a hustler got to eat with them folks outside." "If there's people outside that's willing to buy what I'm selling, I got to eat, bro, I got to get paid. I'm a hustler." That's the idea. Alright? Cool. Next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:19:57] "Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it."

[00:20:04] "Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it." So that first line, "got a burner on my lap." Now you know what that is. It's just slang for "gun". So he's riding around in his car with a gun sitting on his lap, which is like your lap is that area of your legs, like the...where your thighs are. So imagine you're sitting down like, for example, Santa Claus. A lot of times I don't know if you guys do this in your country, but at the mall around Christmastime, at least in the past, there would be this person who dressed up like Santa Claus and he would sit in the big chair next to the Christmas tree, and the kids could go sit on Santa's lap and take a picture with Santa. So that area of his body where they sit, which is like his thigh, that part of his leg, that's your lap. And that's why we call laptop computers "laptops", because it literally used to...use to put it on your lap and type.

[00:20:56] But anyway, anyway, he's saying he's riding around in his car and he's got his gun on his lap. Ready for anything. Cause that's really what you gotta understand. So "I got my burner on my lap, and I'm dipping in my bucket." So to "dip". It depends on the context, man. But in this case, it's like slang. And what it means is ummm, ummm...It's just like slang for "driving around in my car". That's what you can understand. If I'm dipping and he completes the sentence by saying, "dippin' in my bucket" and "bucket" is slang for "car". But a "bucket" is like a...not a...it's not a fancy car. Typically, it's an older kind of beat up car. It's not the nicest thing to look at. It's just just a regular car. Typically an older one that's not in the best condition.

[00:21:44] And then the last line, he says, "Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it." And "life's a bitch", it's just an expression that we have that means "sometimes, life sucks". "It is what it is," like, "whatever," you know, "life is shit". Tragic stuff happens, you know, it's hard, but it is what it is. And that's what he means when he says, "Fuck it", somebody says, "Ah, fuck it." It's just like, "Whatever, man. It is what it is. There's nothing I can do about it. I accept it. Fuck it. I'm not going to try and change the situation or get stressed out about it. I don't care. Whatever. Fuck it." Just know it's a very aggressive way of speaking. It's a vulgar thing to say. So you probably shouldn't say that at work or in an interview or somebody that you don't know very well just because some people might take it as offensive. You know? I don't, personally. But you get the idea, you know, like in certain situations, you're more formal, you're more buttoned up, let's say, and in other situations you're less formal. And "fuck it" is definitely an expression reserved for less formal situations, but I'm sure you know that.

[00:22:43] But that's the end of verse one, my friend. So after that, it's just the chorus again, and then verse two and so on and so forth. So now I'm going to go back and play the chorus and the first verse again, and hopefully with the context and the explanations, you can understand each line much better. So let's play it now and find out.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:02] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:24] Look, my mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right. 'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white. If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life. Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:46] Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside. Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside. Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside. Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:24:07] I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:24:26] And there you have it, my friends, I hope you enjoyed this episode and this legendary piece of hip-hop culture. The effect that Nipsey has had on us simply cannot be overstated, man, so I really encourage you to listen to more of his music and learn about his story. And I'll definitely be featuring him and his work on the podcast again in the future. But for now, that is all, my friend. This is the Life in English podcast. I am Tony Kaizen and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • Which line of the song stood out the most to you?
  • Are there any cases in which violent crime is justifiable?
  • Can you relate to Nipsey's mentality and world view?
  • How did you feel while listening to the lyrics of the song?
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
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Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

[00:00:01] What's up, everybody? This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and it's been a while since I've broken down the lyrics of a good song, so I figured I'd do a few episodes using music to teach you English. So today, I'm going to explain the first verse of a song by the late, great, and legendary hip-hop artist, Nipsey Hussle, from Los Angeles, California. Now, the name of this song is I Don't Give a Fucc, and the word "fuck" in this case is spelled with two Cs because he was a Rollin' 60s Crip. But don't worry about that for now. I'll explain that in more detail later.

[00:00:33] So this song, I Don't Give a Fucc, it's from The Marathon mixtape that he released back in 2010, but I'm still bumping this song to this day. Now I'm only going to explain the chorus and the first verse of the song in this episode, but I'll leave a link to the complete mixtape in the description of this episode, as well as on the music channel of the Discord server. So let's not waste any time, my friends. I'm gonna play the song once and then we'll go back and analyze it line by line so I can teach you all about that Los Angeles slanguage.

[00:01:03] And just so you know, the word "slanguage" is not really like, an accepted word. You're not going to find it in a dictionary. Most people probably couldn't explain it to you, but I heard the rapper E-40 say it. That was the first person I heard, used the word "slanguage". And it's just a mixture of the words, "slang" and "language", you know? You'll find that natives we...we play with the language a lot and say things that don't make literal sense, but they make perfect sense, you know, to us. Anyway...anyway, let's get into the song, man. Let's not waste no more time. I'm going to play it now.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:01:43] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:02:19] Look, my mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right. 'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white. If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life. Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:02:41] Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside. Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside. Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside. Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:03:01] I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. Ch'yeah. They say we probably die slangin', bangin', pressin' the line."

[00:03:25] Alright, ladies and gents, do not feel bad if you could not understand everything that was being said, there was a lot of slang going on and maybe the audio wasn't so clear. There might be a bunch of reasons you couldn't understand everything. But now, we're gonna go back and analyze the chorus and the first verse line by line to make sure you understand every single letter of every single word. So let's start with the chorus.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:03:51] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:04:04] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town." So, "I don't give a fuck". It's just a very, you know, strong and rude way of saying, "I don't care". It's a very strong, intense...some people would say, vulgar way of saying that, "I just don't care". "I don't give a fuck", right? Now, to "ride with my burner". In this case, the word "ride" just means to travel around in your car. So if you're riding in your car, you're just in the car or traveling somewhere, or you're riding your bike or you're riding your motorcycle or riding your skateboard, you're just riding. It means you're on this vehicle or in this vehicle and traveling somewhere. Okay?

[00:04:49] Now, "burner" is a word...it's like slang for "gun". So he's saying, "I'm riding with my gun and my beat turned up." And that's the last thing I wanted to explain from that line is 'turned up". In this case, it just means "loud" because when we're talking about music, he said, "my beat turned up". He means "my music", the "music in my car". So if it's "turned up", he's referring to the volume of the music. So we would say, "turn the music down" or "turn the volume down" to reduce the level of sound to make it less loud, more quiet, you get the idea. And we turn the volume up to make the music louder. So if "my beat turned up when I'm riding around town", the picture he's trying to paint for you is he's in his car riding around the city. He's got his gun in his car and his music is loud. That's what you should understand.

[00:05:36] And the next line is "AC blowin' and my window down". So AC is air conditioner. It's that machine in our cars and houses that makes it cooler in the room. So "blowin'" just refers to the air that literally blows out of the vent in the car. So "my AC is blowing and my window down", which literally just means the window in my car is rolled down. It's open. You see what I'm saying?

[00:06:02] Last is "chuckin' up my hood when I hit your town". Now "chucking", to chuck something is like another way of saying to throw something. You throw it really hard, a far distance. Just, you just chuck it. But when he says, "Chuckin' up my hood", how can I explain it to you? You could also say, "throw up my hood". Maybe this will help you understand. And this is referring to things that...it's a part of gang culture. I'm not sure if you're familiar with what gangs are, but they're like, I guess it depends on how you wanna look at it, the definition changes. But think of it as a community or a neighborhood organization that's typically involved in some type of crime. I guess in the past they existed to protect their communities, but now they've become synonymous with like, organized crime, drug dealing, violent attacks, violent crimes, and things of that nature...armed robbery, you know.

[00:06:57] They have rivals. So you might have like, the Bloods on one side of the city, one gang might call themselves the "Bloods". On the other side of the city, the other gang might call themselves the "Crips". And these two gangs are rivals. They're always fighting with each other, killing each other, robbing each other. I mean, they're just enemies. Enemies. So that's what he's referring to. So in gang culture, to throw up your hood or to...to chuck up your hood, you literally lift your hands in the air and you make signs with your fingers. Particular signs that represent your gang that let people know what gang you claim, what neighborhood you're from, who you represent. You see what I'm saying?

[00:07:33] So if he's "chucking up his hood when when he hits your town", which is the rest of the line, he's saying, "When I arrive in your city...", so if "I hit your town", that means "I just arrived in your city". And when I arrive in your city, I'm chucking up my hood. I'm letting everybody here know where I'm from. That's the idea. He's trying to paint you a picture and describe, like, his lifestyle. So I don't give a fuck about nothing. I'm riding around in the city. My gun, in my car, my music is loud, the AC is blowing, the windows are down and I'm chucking up my hood when I hit your town, let you know where I'm from, who I am, and what I represent. That's what he's saying. That's what I understand at least, okay? So let's hear it one more time.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:08:14] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:08:27] Alright, my friend. Now it's time to take a look at verse one. We're gonna go through...and I'll do probably two or three lines at a time just because of the way the song is written. It's easier to explain the ideas that way, alright? So let's start with the first couple of lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:08:43] "My mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right."

[00:08:51] So the first line, what he's saying is "my mother wants to know why I'm involved in violent and illegal gang activity", because to "gangbang" means "to participate in gang activity". A lot of times it's selling drugs, violent crimes, armed robbery, all types of wild stuff, right? So his mother is like, "Why are you doing this?" "My mom wants to know why I'm involved in this type of activity and she's telling me I'm gonna lose my life", which is another way of saying, "She's telling me I'm gonna get killed if I keep involving myself in these illegal and violent criminal activities".

[00:09:25] Alright, next line. "I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right". Alright, the first thing. "I ain't trippin'" so "I ain't trippin'", it's just a really informal way of saying "I'm not worried about it". So if I say, "I ain't trippin about that", it means "I'm not worried about that. It doesn't bother me. I'm not thinking about it. It is what it is." So when he says "I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right", he's saying, "This is the gang I represent. I am a Crip, I represent the Rollin' 60s Crip gang, and I'ma do it right", which means "I'm going to respect the code of my organization" because gangs, they typically have codes and rules and regulations, things that you can do and you cannot do, you know, they just have their way of doing things, right?

[00:10:07] So he's saying, "I've chosen this life for myself, it is what it is. I'm a Crip. I joined the gang, I'ma represent and do it right. I'm gonna follow the code," or "respect the code", I should say. So "whatever my gang calls on me to do, whatever responsibilities I have as a Crip gang member, I'm going to, you know, take care of my responsibilities." That's basically what he's communicating, at least to me. You see? Alright, next line.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:10:33] "'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white"

[00:10:40] So in the next line, he says, "'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight." And apostrophe f-o-r-e is just a really informal way of shortening the word "before". So when he says, "'Fore I run from a nigga", he's saying, "Before I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight." And what he's communicating is like, "I would never run away from someone who wants to fight me or hurt me. I will lose a fight before that happens." You see what I'm saying? "I would rather lose the fight than run away like a coward." That's the idea.

[00:11:11] In the next line, he says, "I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white." So to "hustle" is like, to make money fast, to work really hard to make money really fast. So he's saying, "I've got to find a way to make money quickly." And he's talking to his mom. He's saying, "Mama, I'ma move the white" and that's like slang for selling cocaine. You see what I'm saying? So "I got to hustle, Mama, I'ma move the white." "I got to make money quick. So I'ma sell this cocaine. That's what I'ma do." That's the idea. Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:11:44] "If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life."

[00:11:50] "If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life." So that first line, when he says, "if I died and came back", that's just a natural way of saying "if I died and was born again," basically, "if I had to do all of this over again, I would do it the exact same way." That's what he means when I...when he says, "if I died and came back, I'd do it twice." Then he says, "brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life." So what he's communicating is he was, you know, kind of brainwashed by the other thugs and gang members in his neighborhood and he became this militant soldier ready to do whatever for his gang, no matter how violent or horrific or anything like that. He was just brainwashed. He wasn't thinking for himself anymore and he allowed that lifestyle to consume him. It became his whole world, you know what I'm saying? Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:12:45] "Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night."

[00:12:51] "Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night." Now when he says "cool nigga", what he's really saying is "I'm a...I'm normally a calm, cool, and relaxed person, but I'm ready to take someone's life at any given moment." That's really what he's saying. Like in general, "I'm a cool nigga. I'm a cool guy." It's probably what you should say. "I'm a cool dude. I'm a cool guy, but still a killer. I'm still ready to kill..." you know "if the circumstances call for that at any given moment", you know, "if it's the right moment for that to happen, then I'm ready to make that happen." That's what he's saying, you know.

[00:13:29] And then he continues that by saying, "the bullets have the dogs howling at the moon at night." And this is just, you know, more poetic, a more illustrative way of speaking because he's saying the bullets from the gun, pop, pop, pop, that sound, it scares the dogs. And they start barking and howling at the moon and making noise. Right? That's what happens. You know, dogs are gonna start barking and making noise. You get the idea, right? Alright, cool. Let's go on to the next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:13:55] "Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside."

[00:14:02] "Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside." So that first line, when he says "it's cold outside", what he's saying is like the streets are cold and heartless. There's no empathy or, or love or help for anybody. It's just every man for himself. And there's no hope outside. Everyone in...you know, when you leave the house and you see everyone outside, everybody's hopeless. They...they don't see any way of this...they don't see this situation getting any better. They don't see anybody coming to fix things. This is just the way it is where we live and it's just the way it's always gonna be.

[00:14:39] These streets are cold. Nobody cares about anybody else. And you just got to fend for yourself and survive. That's the mentality, you know? And then he says "a couple niggas getting money, but most is broke outside." So a couple of people is on the block. They're on the street making money, however they can make money. But most people in the neighborhood are broke as fuck. They have no money. Everybody's poor. You see what I'm saying? So everybody's hopeless. And that's the idea. Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:15:09] "Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside."

[00:15:16] "Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside" So "rocks" is slang for "crack rocks". You see what I'm saying? So when you take the cocaine and you cook it up and it forms a solid, you know, rock-like object, then you chop it up into tiny, little smaller rocks. And that's what we call "crack rocks". So when he says "rocks in the house", he's basically painting the picture, you can imagine somebody in their kitchen cooking crack literally on the stove, and then they go outside and they sell it. And that's what he means when he says "selling dope outside". So "dope" is slang for "drugs", you see. So "we cook the crack in the house, we make the crack rocks, and we go outside and sell it." That's the idea.

[00:16:00] And the next line, he says, "reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside." So to "reminisce" just means "to sit and think about some time or person from the past." So he's sitting and thinking about his friends that got murdered outside. That's what he means when he says "got smoked" because to "get smoked" is like slang for to "get killed or to get murdered". To smoke someone means to shoot them or kill them, you know? So he's saying, "I'm reminiscing, I'm sitting, thinking about my friends, about my homies that got murdered outside in the street" due to gang violence, most likely. You see what I'm saying? Alright, next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:16:37] "Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside."

[00:16:43] "Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside." So the word "sucker", it's kind of hard to explain, but it's like...It's like an older word that's slang for a loser or a punk or a coward, or just somebody who can't take care of themselves. They can't defend themselves. They can't, you know, a sucker is like a loser, like a punk, a coward, a weak man, a weak person. That's what you can think of when you hear "sucker". But it's like an old...it's an older word, you know, like from the 90s, I think, or the early 2000s, you know. So "suckas in the house when them locs outside" and "loc", l-o-c-s.

[00:17:24] To be honest, I can't really tell you exactly what "loc" means because I'm not involved in gang activities so if like a real Crip gang member could probably give you the exact meaning. But when I hear "loc", what I think of is, it's another way of referring to a Crip. So somebody from the Crip gang and they are a crip. Another word for Crip is "loc" and they call each other that. They say, "What's up, loc? What's happenin', loc?" You know "what's crackin', loc?" And again, don't quote me on this because I am not a Crip gang member, so I'm not like, certified to really be teaching you about the way they speak or exactly what the words they use mean but I'm familiar enough to get the idea and that's what I'm explaining to you.

[00:18:03] So when he says "locs", you can hear that and understand "Crips", the members of the Crip Gang, okay? So when the Crips in the street, when these gang members are in the street doing their activities, the suckers in the house, they know to stay in the house because it's dangerous when gang members are in the street doing what they do. That's the idea that you can understand. So the next line, he says "hustla got to eat when them folks outside." Now I don't...it's kinda hard because this one can be interpreted in a couple of ways. But the idea that I understand when I hear this line is a hustler, which is somebody who hustles, somebody who works really hard to make, you know, good money. You know, he's got to make his money as long as he's got paying customers. You see what I'm saying? He has to take advantage of every opportunity to get paid. There's people in the street willing to buy what he's selling. And he's got to eat. He's got to get paid.

[00:18:53] And that's, that's the...I guess now that I hear myself saying it, you can think of it as slang or just this figurative way of speaking, you know? And I don't know if this is a universal thing in the US, but like, at least in urban culture, definitely in like black urban culture, we use the term or the word "eat" to refer to "getting paid good money". You know what I'm saying? Being well-compensated for whatever work it is you're doing. So you might hear somebody say something like, "If you don't work, you don't eat." And that's literally like "eat food", but it generally just means "survive". If you don't work, you won't get paid, which means you can't survive. You know, if somebody says, "We're eating good over here." What that means is literally you have enough money to buy good and healthy and quality food, but it just means you're doing well in life. You're getting paid a lot of money. You're not just surviving, you're thriving. You're eating good. You know, that's the idea. So "a hustler got to eat with them folks outside." "If there's people outside that's willing to buy what I'm selling, I got to eat, bro, I got to get paid. I'm a hustler." That's the idea. Alright? Cool. Next lines.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:19:57] "Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it."

[00:20:04] "Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it." So that first line, "got a burner on my lap." Now you know what that is. It's just slang for "gun". So he's riding around in his car with a gun sitting on his lap, which is like your lap is that area of your legs, like the...where your thighs are. So imagine you're sitting down like, for example, Santa Claus. A lot of times I don't know if you guys do this in your country, but at the mall around Christmastime, at least in the past, there would be this person who dressed up like Santa Claus and he would sit in the big chair next to the Christmas tree, and the kids could go sit on Santa's lap and take a picture with Santa. So that area of his body where they sit, which is like his thigh, that part of his leg, that's your lap. And that's why we call laptop computers "laptops", because it literally used to...use to put it on your lap and type.

[00:20:56] But anyway, anyway, he's saying he's riding around in his car and he's got his gun on his lap. Ready for anything. Cause that's really what you gotta understand. So "I got my burner on my lap, and I'm dipping in my bucket." So to "dip". It depends on the context, man. But in this case, it's like slang. And what it means is ummm, ummm...It's just like slang for "driving around in my car". That's what you can understand. If I'm dipping and he completes the sentence by saying, "dippin' in my bucket" and "bucket" is slang for "car". But a "bucket" is like a...not a...it's not a fancy car. Typically, it's an older kind of beat up car. It's not the nicest thing to look at. It's just just a regular car. Typically an older one that's not in the best condition.

[00:21:44] And then the last line, he says, "Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it." And "life's a bitch", it's just an expression that we have that means "sometimes, life sucks". "It is what it is," like, "whatever," you know, "life is shit". Tragic stuff happens, you know, it's hard, but it is what it is. And that's what he means when he says, "Fuck it", somebody says, "Ah, fuck it." It's just like, "Whatever, man. It is what it is. There's nothing I can do about it. I accept it. Fuck it. I'm not going to try and change the situation or get stressed out about it. I don't care. Whatever. Fuck it." Just know it's a very aggressive way of speaking. It's a vulgar thing to say. So you probably shouldn't say that at work or in an interview or somebody that you don't know very well just because some people might take it as offensive. You know? I don't, personally. But you get the idea, you know, like in certain situations, you're more formal, you're more buttoned up, let's say, and in other situations you're less formal. And "fuck it" is definitely an expression reserved for less formal situations, but I'm sure you know that.

[00:22:43] But that's the end of verse one, my friend. So after that, it's just the chorus again, and then verse two and so on and so forth. So now I'm going to go back and play the chorus and the first verse again, and hopefully with the context and the explanations, you can understand each line much better. So let's play it now and find out.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:02] "I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:24] Look, my mama wanna know why I'm bangin'. She told me I'ma lose my life. I ain't trippin', I'm a Crip and I'ma do it right. 'Fore I run from a nigga, I'll lose the fight. I gotta hustle, mama, I'ma move the white. If I died and came back, I'd do it twice. Brainwashed by the block, it consumed my life. Cool nigga but a killa when the mood is right. Bullets have the dogs howlin' at the moon at night.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:23:46] Mama, it's cold outside, ain't no hope outside. Couple niggas gettin' money, most is broke outside. Rocks in the house, sellin' dope outside. Reminiscin' on my niggas that got smoked outside. Suckas in the house when them locs outside. Hustla gotta eat when them folks outside. Got a burner on my lap and I'm dippin' in my bucket. Life's a bitch, nigga, fuck it.

Nipsey Hussle: [00:24:07] I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town. I don't give a fuck. Ridin' with my burner and my beat turned up. AC blowin' and my window down. Chuckin' up my hood when I hit yo town."

[00:24:26] And there you have it, my friends, I hope you enjoyed this episode and this legendary piece of hip-hop culture. The effect that Nipsey has had on us simply cannot be overstated, man, so I really encourage you to listen to more of his music and learn about his story. And I'll definitely be featuring him and his work on the podcast again in the future. But for now, that is all, my friend. This is the Life in English podcast. I am Tony Kaizen and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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