A Wayward Word's Worth

October 21, 2011

Hip-hop slang in a thick English brogue

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 2:50 am

Arctic Monkeys bring U.K. street lingo to the masses.  By Kyle Mullin for Calgary’s FFWD Magazine, Sept. 29, 2011

It’s a story of grisly mob mentality — young slummers strung out on a toxically flimsy economy, flaunting their law-breaking. “I do like the appeal of really over-the-top gangsta rap. I suppose it’s kinda exotic in a way,” says Matt Helders, drummer for British indie darlings the Arctic Monkeys, of the glorified gun-toting poets that inspired his band before they broke big. Instead of witnessing that kind of street brutality, Helders has always listened to gritty street testimonials with cushy hi-fi headphones in the cozy U.K. suburb of Sheffield.

“We always related to people listening to our music who don’t really know our accents or what certain lyrics are. That’s the same as us listening to gangsta rap, you kind of find out how things are. And that’s the interesting bit, when you find out what a 404 is or a 187 means,” he says, referring to rap slang for missing and murder respectively.

Helders and his fellow Monkeys spat their own unique urban, or at least suburban, vernacular on everything from the title of their latest album, Suck it and See (U.K. slang for “give it a try,”) to early deep cuts like “Mardy Bum.”






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