Week3 Discussion Board

In Stinging Like Tabasco, Imani Perry lays out eight features of signification taken from Geneva Smitherman (via Henry Louis Gates):

1. Indirection, circumlocution
2. Metaphorical-imagistic
3. Humorous, ironic
4. Rhythmic fluence and sound
5. Teachy but not preachy
6. Directed at person or persons usually present in the situational context
7. Punning, play on words
8. Introduction of the semantically or logically unexpected

Perry explains, These elements are present within the universe of the hip hop narrative, but also in the construction of the music, through deejaying, and as part of a musical canon (Perry 62). In other words, we can find elements of signifyin(g) within the lyrics as well as the samples and beats of a hip hop song. To get a better understanding of how some of these elements might play out in a rap, check out this VIDEO:


Although the video focuses primarily on rhythm and rhyme (perhaps reductively), it sheds light on some of the above elements, such as MF DOOMs use of indirection/circumlocution (i.e. the analysis of his glitchestwitches___booze lyrics).

Choose one song from:













Discuss 2 or more elements of signifyin(g) present in

1.The voice (lyrics, speech rhythms, rhymes, accents, etc.)

2. The production (samples, beats, instruments, etc. You may use https://www.whosampled.com/ (Links to an external site.) to discover samples)

Then elaborate on the importance of signifyin(g) in this song. In other words, why use roundabout/metaphorical language as opposed to more literal forms of expression?

Cite 2 examples from the song by using time points. For example:

In Public Enemys Fight The Power, Chuck D references the sample of James Browns Funky Drummer when he says sound of a funky drummer (0:26).

Cite 1 example from either the Imani Perry or Tricia Rose readings to support your discussion on the importance of signifyin(g).

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