It’s an easy city name to rhyme. Certainly more versatile lyrically than words like Washington or the District. Hell, it rhymes with any word that contains a hard “E” sound. It’s also a big city with a lot of hip-hop heads. These factors combine to make D.C. a mandatory shout out for rappers doing one of those bridges, choruses or intros where they just big-up random large American cities.
Classic example, Lil’ King’s “Lighters Up”:
Now put your lighters up (Bed-Stuy)
Put your lighters up (New-York)
Put your lighters up (D.C.)
Keep putting your lighters up (Philadelphia)
Right after New York! That is quite an honor. Jeezy gets a little more specific, highlighting our local soundtrack on “Circulate“:
See I’ma start off so slow, yeah I said so slow/They love me out in D.C. just like go-go
Ditto Bun B’s “I Git Down For Mine” (off the excellent newish “Trill O.G.”, an album that should be named after the even more excellent T-pain dripping single, “Trillionaire”):
Poppin’ like the po-po/word to my D.C. &$*#@$ on go-go
Biggie’s “Warning” gets even more granular, shouting out a neighborhood better-known for Not Being All It’s Cracked Up To Be, not crack rock:
They heard about the pounds you got down in Georgetown/And they heard you got half of Virginia locked down
Of course, Jay-Z basically goes out of his way to avoid saying D.C. on “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”
Fo shizzle my nizzle used to dribble down in VA/Was hurtin’ in ’em in the home of Terrapins/
What, no big ups to Bethesda?
Like most things, we can agree that natives do it best. I leave you with Whitefolkz’s “I Heart DMV,” which is too underground to even have a Youtube video (but here’s a link to the mixtape):
And R.I.P. Ben Ali/I never ate a chili dog but I’m so D.C.