This week's cover story, "Word," recounts the creation of The Anthology of Rap, the scholarly catalogue of rap lyrics co-edited by CU-Boulder professor Adam Bradley. The story details the challenge of figuring what, exactly, all those rappers are saying. A few of the quarter-of-a-million words included in the book were so tricky, in fact, that Bradley and his co-editor Andrew DuBois never figured them out. Here's your chance to fill in the holes: If you can help solve any of the hip-hop mysteries below, we'll reward you with possibly the ultimate prize. That's right: vintage, unopened packs of Yo! MTV Raps collector cards.
There are four lyrical puzzles in particular with which Bradley could use a hand. Can you decipher the missing parts to these lines?
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"I'm Bad," LL Cool J, 4:00-4:06: "You're a novice, I'm noble, and I dissect with my tongue Not Attila the Hun, but ________________________"
"Elements I'm Among," Queen Latifah, 0:19-0:26: "I flip a flow like Divine be turnin tricks And my clique and I cut ya like _____________________________"
"Zen," The Clipse/The Re-Up Gang, 1:12-1:17: "Every episode, the TEC exposed, Gotti bodies Tsunami __________, that's gotta be why they watch me"
"Queen Bitch," Lil' Kim, 2:17-2:23: "Check my pitch, or _________________________ And I'll still stick your moms for her stocks and bonds"
To help you out, here's a video mash-up of the confounding rhymes. Think of it as a speed round of "Guess the Lyrics."
Think you know the answers? Throw down in the comments section below, and folks with the best solutions (and failing that, those with the most creative answers) win big. In other words, if you've got the skills, there's a vintage MC Hammer collector card with your name on it.