Hyphy

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This article is about the slang term. For HyPhy software, see HYPHY (software). For the identically pronounced structures in fungi, see hyphae.
Not to be confused with Hi-fi.
Hyphy
Stylistic origins West Coast hip hop, Miami bass, crunk
Cultural origins Late 1990s, San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States
Typical instruments Sampler, bass, drums, keyboard, turntables, rapping

The word hyphy (/ˈhf/ HY-fee) is San Francisco Bay Area slang meaning "hyperactive."[1] More specifically it is an adjective that describes the music[1][2] and the urban culture associated with that area.[3] It was created by Oakland-based rapper Keak da Sneak[1][3] when he used the term on an album he recorded in 1994. The hyphy culture began to emerge in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a response from Bay Area rappers against commercial hip hop for not acknowledging their region for setting trends in the hip hop industry. It is distinguished by gritty, pounding rhythms, and in this sense can be associated with San Francisco Bay as crunk music is to the Southern United States. An individual is said to "get hyphy" when they dance in an overstated, fast paced and ridiculous manner, or if they get overly loud with other people. The phrase "to get hyphy" is similar to the southern phrase "to get crunk". Those who consider themselves part of the hyphy movement strive for this behavior.[2]

Although the "hyphy movement" has just recently[when?] seen light in mainstream America, it has been a long standing and ever evolving culture in the Bay Area since the early 1990s. Throughout the Bay Area (particularly in East Oakland), there are regularly events called "sideshows", where different people come together and partake in or watch illegal automobile performances. This is where drivers do things such as donuts, ghost-riding and street race while others dance and "go dumb" around them. These events can be very dangerous.[4] From a USA Today article: "Every record label was getting at us at that time, but we fumbled the ball," says E-40, whose My Ghetto Report Card entered the Billboard album chart at No. 3 in March. "I hung on like a hubcap in the fast lane along with a few other rappers, and now it's time again. We had a 10-year drought and they went to other regions and were bypassing us like the sand out here. But we're trendsetters, and the rap game without the Bay Area is like old folks without bingo."[5]

Hyphy artists[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Collins, Hattie (2006-10-21). "Ghostridin' the whip". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-11-12. "Known as Hyphy and hailing from Oakland's Bay Area, the synth-led staccato beats represent a culture that encompasses cars, clothing, slanguage, graffiti and dances like 'going dumb' and 'ghostridin' the whip'... Deriving from the word 'hyperactive,' or referring to the act of 'getting hyped,' getting excited and rowdy, Hyphy is over 10 years old and was first coined on record by Bay legend Keak da Sneak. While it may be far from fledgling, it's new to mainstream music ears and thanks to artists like The Pack, Mistah Fab, E-40, and the late Mac Dre, it's about the most exciting offshoot seen in rap since crunk." 
  2. ^ a b Rosen, Jody (2007-02-13). "Why hyphy is the best hip-hop right now.". Slate. Retrieved 2007-11-12. "... the Bay Area biggest hip-hop genre known as hyphy (pronounced "hi-fee"), in which stewiness, maininess, dumbness are everything: the means and ends, the sun and moon and stars..." 
  3. ^ a b Bennet, Dustin (March 3, 2008). "Livin' the Life, Hyphy Style". Synthesis.net (Synthesis Network). Retrieved 2009-09-05. [dead link]
  4. ^ Burke, Garance (2006-12-29). "Hip-Hop Car Stunt Leaves 2 Dead". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-11-12. "Hyphy was born in the cities of Oakland, Richmond, and Vallejo in the late 1990s... The movement started in the '90s and gained momentum in the early 2000s as a response from Bay Area rappers to commercial hip-hop's ignoring of the Bay's influence." 
  5. ^ According to his comments in the July 2006 issue of Vibe magazine, Keak Da Sneak was the first to use the word "haipy" on record on 3X Crazy's "Stacking Chips" in 1997. On MTV's "My Block: The Bay" he explains how the word evolved from hyper, to super hyper, to hyfee. If someone was hyphy, they were reacting spontaneously to the music. Alternately, it is based heavily around partying and having as much of a good time as possible. In an interview on the Bay Area hip hop station KMEL, the definition of hyphy in the early days meant that something wild was going to go down such as a fight or some other form of violence.