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RZA Not Ready to Give Up on “Bong-Bong” Just Yet

By a Gossiping Bitch on November 3rd, 2005

Those familiar with the print interviews and television appearances of Wu-tang Clan’s RZA in recent years have noticed his penchant for punctuating his comments with the catchphrase “bong-bong!” Usually the peculiar phrase is met with indifference by the interviewer, without a plea for explanation. RZA says that is just the problem.

“Son yo, I been trying to get bong-bong off the ground for mad long, nahmean,” the producer/ rapper/ mathematician complained. “It just hasn’t caught on with the seeds yet, and I’m not sure why. Wu-Wear got the silkscreens and everything lined up. Bong-bong t-shirts, bong-bong coffee mugs, bong-bong bongs—we got it sewn, know I’m sayin. Like bong-bong.”

Just how hip-hop slang catches on with mainstream America is a delicate process, dependent on varying factors. For every “bling bling” that makes it to the dictionary, there are scores of “no diggety”‘s that never go beyond a few months of relevance. It invariably starts with a popular rap song, but sometimes takes more effort on the part of the artist to raise awareness of the slang in order to get it into the lexicon. For example, it is because of Ja Rule’s incessant efforts on behalf of “holla” in the late 90’s that Gwen Stefani and her white pre-teen fanbase can today pretend to be from the ghetto.

Of course, a hip-hop catchphrase cannot truly be deemed entrenched in the modern vocabulary until your mom starts using it 5 years after you and your friends have stopped. Thanks to movie trailers, Access Hollywood, and Michael Eric Dyson, she has been able to keep up with all the latest slang — long after its popular use has passed. “I was chilling with my peeps at the supermarket the other day when I had to bounce to the ATM to get some cheddar,” recalled your mom. “As the lucci was coming out, I asked Pam if she was going to the book reading later and she said, ‘Fo’ shizzle!’ I thought that was so funny! Apparently that’s what Snoop Doggy Dogg says all the time. I like him much more now than when he was doing all that gangsta rap. So anyway, that was how that happened. It was nice talking to you. You’re a nice young man. Pretty cute too. What do you say we go back to my Explorer and knock the boots?”

Fo’ shizzle.

As for RZA, while he remains unwilling to give up on his catchphrase, he suspects the reason bong-bong hasn’t caught on yet has to do with how broadly he uses it. “It’s like bong-bong,” he said, “people don’t seem to understand when it’s appropriate to say it because I say it all the time, bong-bong. But I’m gonna narrow it down to certain situations, like when I found out I got a part in the next Wes Anderson movie. Bong-bong! After all, it was Lao Tzu who once said, ‘To use the same word too often is to create chaos where there was none before.’ Actually, I may have gotten that from a comic book.”

When reached for comment, E-40 wouldn’t shut the fuck up.

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2 thoughts on “RZA Not Ready to Give Up on “Bong-Bong” Just Yet”

  1. ejf says:

    crazy. i was wondering why i’ve heard him say bong-bong so much. like in this interview

  2. Lee Harvey says:

    On lockdown i enjoyed reading that lets all get this saying bong bong of the ground

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