Home Featured We Invented The Remix – The 4 Hip-Hop Phrases Most Prevalent In Corporate America

We Invented The Remix – The 4 Hip-Hop Phrases Most Prevalent In Corporate America

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It’s no secret that in the USA, the corporate world is racially represented by the Caucasian majority, which also mirrors the national demographic. When you work in Corporate America, you see the many influences that pop culture has on the world, and in turn, our white brothers and sisters. What used to be a formal and methodical process that was the daily corporate grind, has now been lightened up by popular colloquialisms. As I maneuver through the different facets of corporate America, certain words, phrases, and actions that I have normally associated with the Hip-Hop culture are being used AT WORK! Whether I was at a seminar, a high profile meeting, watching a HGTV infomercial, or just hanging in the office, I saw the hip-hop/black culture effortlessly utilized by the majority! I thought I was bugging at first. But after a few years, I’ve found that following phrases were undeniably embedded into everyday conversation in the working world:

You got jokes

My group had a meeting. The details aren’t important, but we were a cool bunch of people. So as anyone in an office setting can attest to, jokes fly early and often in regular meetings. So of course we joked on our manager for something, and he replies to us “Oh, you got jokes!” In my head I processed it normally, but 5 seconds later I realized WHAT he said. We have jokes? Really? Then I paid attention more often and this phrase was used more frequently than I initially thought.

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You can even make the argument that the phrase is grammatically accurate. When you are a comedian, you are a keeper of hilarious material. If you are in possession of said material, then you “have” it. If you have it, then you get it. It’s yours, you spend it. TRUE!

Big shout out

We had a company wide town hall meeting, and the speaker (our CEO) wanted to show respect to some people on his team that reached a glorious milestone. So he gets up to the microphone and says “I want to give a big shout out to Molly. Excellent job with [details you don’t care about]!” Shout outs?! Who still says that in real life when you aren’t calling into a radio station for free tickets?! I tried my best to remember the last time I used that phrase and came up with blanks. What’s next? Big-ups?!

Don’t hate!

I heard this term used in a training session, after one of the presenters had jokes (lol) on the visual aides. She said it plain like that. Don’t hate! I almost fell out of my chair trying to contain the laughter. Who knew people in corporate America used hating as a tangible term. You would be surprised at where else this turned up. For example, someone may say something like “My manager always has a million comments on my narratives. He’s just hating because I write better than him.” Diddy should be proud because he made that phrase go supernova and now even the white-collared workers agree.

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The many different daps

When the Obamas gave each other dap during the presidential race, America was astonished! They only saw the “fist bump” in sporting events (with athletes who happen to be black also). Well, when in Rome…

Yes the dap has officially gone pop! The minute commissioner Goodell resembled one of the Lost Boyz were shaking hands with newly drafted rookies, I knew we had heard the knocking on the door, and allowed the devil to walk right on through! I still shake hands mostly, but let the scene shift to the obligatory happy hour and you will swear that you left your town and ended up in Dap City.

When I hear and see these colloquialisms utilized in the business world, I see youth and pop culture making its impact. Younger people are prevalent in these companies, and they are changing the (corporate) culture. The tight ass stuffy shirts are being replaced with a cooler, smoother, hipper Corporate America. Communication evolves yearly and so should business models. It’s cool to watch it occur, and funny to hear our White brothers and sisters influenced (in a great way) by the hip-hop culture speak, which Blacks have lived for a lifetime.

What words, phrases, and actions from black culture have you seen entered corporate America? What effect (positive or negative) does it have on the American business model? Any funny stories?

You go girl,

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Streetz

Comment(24)

  1. That Commissioner Goodell dap-up has me in tears!!!! I must've missed that. I've heard all you've heard at my job too. This is extremely weird since, as we've discussed, we work in the same related area and we both know how dorky everyone (but us) in this field is.

    Anyway, Spradz wrote a similar post on this before and it's not really a phrase but the corporate head nod versus the brothers 'what's up' nod. For background, brothers greet each other by frowning and nodding their heads up; whereas, in corporate America, you typically smile and nod your head down. WHERE IT GETS REAL, is when I try to be professional by smiling and nodding my head down and the white guy greets me by frowning and nodding his head up. I'm like yo, "DID THIS WHITE GUY JUST OUT-HOOD ME?!?"

    …it's even worse when it's two black guys in the hallway and I do the hood-nod and he does the corporate nod and now we're looking at each other like "this thug/sell-out" …. so many unspoken colloquialisms to navigate bro…

    1. lmao. If a white dude out-hoods you, out-promotion him and take his job. IJS. You guys can have a stare down and keep your heads level.

      #problemsolved

  2. hilarious and so true. i think one of the biggest examples i see of this phenomenon is through the GSElevator account on twitter. *instant tears*

  3. I can’t be the only one who laughed mad hard at the ‘you got jokes’ second paragraph….and then reburst into giggles at the chicklet tee. C’mon. That was TOO cute.

    Anywho, this is a really cool post. I have to admit, I like the stiff, high-pressure corporate America. I thrive in that sort of environment I feel awkward and unsocialized when things get too relaxed but it IS nice when my superiors crack a joke or they mentor me with understanding. It feels good. I wanna see the Kanye shrug though. have a nonchalant employee get a bit of a check and then hit with the word ‘bitchassness.’ Ay. -shrug- You WERE slacking.

  4. Hahaha this was amazing Streetzie. At my job we always say "keeping it gangsta" (word to Fabolous). If I'm presenting work on paper instead of projecting it onto the screen, that's keeping it gangsta. If we're doing a campaign that's quick and simple and doesn't require months to get off the ground that's keeping it gangsta. It used to be just me saying it but now I've even got my clients asking me if we're going to keep it gangsta. Amazing.
    My recent post Big Fat Secrets

  5. I've had co-workers throw out "word", "yo", "son", and "Ya feel me?". I considered inviting some of these folks to "first Friday" or to a cookout, and then realizing I can't. It's either because they're a little too hood or we're a little too bougie.

    Seriously. We were talking about trouble this young lady was having with a guy. A dude in my office said "I got my piece in the glovebox and I keeps one in the chamber," and said it with zero irony. It was like the spirit of Omar Little possessed Jimmy Buffett.

  6. Another great post. Just yesterday as I was coming back from the cafeteria, I overheard a suited up white woman telling her coworker about a nearby restaurant in Greenwich, CT that was “off the hook”. I thought to myself, either she’s referring to a seafood spot or Hip-Hop got this country in a choke hold.

  7. “why do white people take everything, I only got to say ‘for shizzle’ for a week” -Turk from scrubs

    My job is full of swagger jackers so alot of their slang they get from me. Jst today i’ve heard, “oh word” “im hip” “nah, chlll” and “thirsty”.

  8. At my old job, my boss once came to me (with a straight face), and told me that he'd made a new black friend recently, so he wanted me to teach him how to properly dap….I ended up telling him he'd just be better off, and less pretentious, with an old-fashioned handshake….

    1. *smh* sad

      Our ex CEO (60+, white, male) got clowned repeatedly by a friend of mine that has dubbed himself the fashion police round these parts and is Black. So tell me why CEO is out jean shopping one day trying to appease the fashion police and calls my friend up to see if South Pole is "okay" for him to wear. lol http://bit.ly/M4mWFI

      No. The answer was no.

  9. Went to the mall for lunch…

    A middle-eastern man hands us a coupon flyer going in. As we're leaving, he attempts to give us another one. We tell him we already have one. His response?

    "Oh ok. That's wussup!"

    LMBO! Immediately thought of this post…

  10. I kind of like when this happens… it lets me know that we're getting closer as a people rather than further apart. I got white folks in my office saying, "Two Chainz!" and "Maybach Music!" Those are definitely the best way to break tension in a room. I even know a few Hindi phrases too. We all just a family.

  11. "Holla at me" is used by 60 year old administrative assistants–as well as "kool" on the intranet IM service.

  12. My job is very…unconventional…but it stands out when the Prim and Proper Stepford wife types use the language of those much younger and hipper than them lol. Which they do…regularly. Most common:
    – It is what it is
    – Whad up
    – the bomb (the 90's called…they want that back)
    and a million more that I wish I could remember but can't seem to right now. We work with kids, so we tend to use the lingo of the kids. Still weird though coming from someone's 70-year-old Grandmother that's never been outside of country club life.

    1. For real? 'It is what it is'. I would die. I would pay money to see Betty White go 'it is what it is' with a straight face.

  13. Old white women saying “girlfriennnnnnd” or “hey sistagurl”

    I’m not hood, so I don’t do daps. Shake my hand or give me a pound. Unless you frat, i dont do complex handshakes.

  14. A co-worker of the non-Negro persuasion was telling a funny story. At the end of it, he yelled "NAM-SAYIN….NAM-TALKINBOUT??" in a weird voice and held out his fist for some dab. Talking 'bout "pound it!"
    Lmbo, I couldn't deal!

    I also can't deal with the explosion dab.

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