Rap Dictionary:About

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The Rap Dictionary is the oldest and ultimate resource for looking up hip-hop slang.


Let's start at the beginning. The very first dictionary saw the light in september 1992. Every now and then someone would ask "What does XXXXX mean?" in the newsgroup alt.rap. Such a posting would spark off a lot of messages, varying from the real answer to flames about how anyone could be so stupid as to not know the answer to such a question.

In the autumn of 1991, someone from Germany had posted a small list of words and their meanings. Unfortunately, nobody had that posting in september 1992. When the umptieth question on the meaning of a term was posted to alt.rap, Patrick "Tricky" Atoon decided to silence these questions once and for all by keeping and posting a list of words to the group on a regular basis.

Of course Patrick was flamed as well for bothering the newsgroup with his stupid list of stupid words. But positive reactions from other people kept him gathering more and more words to put on the list.

The workload on Patrick got higher, so he asked his good friend Niels "Jax" Janssen to help him out. Jax, being a hip-hop addict liked the idea and together they formed a team.

In 1994 something new emerged... the World Wide Web. Recognizing the potential of this new medium, the Rap Dictionary was converted so it could be approached via WWW. Ever since the dictionary is on WWW, its size has changed radically. Much more questions are asked, and much more new terms are submitted. To keep the size of the dictionary as small as possible, it was split up into different sections. With the help of many people, especially with the list of real names, these sections als grew out to pretty big files.

In 1999 the Rap Dictionary moved to its own Internet domain www.rapdict.org and it also got a complete makeover. Not only did the site get another look, but it was made dynamic as well, allowing for much more flexibility and visitor-friendliness.


But even flexible turned out to be not flexible enough. To allow even more visitor interaction, and to enable the people 'in the know', the Rap Dictionary went Wiki in autumn 2004. Visitors can now edit virtually everything in the Dictionary. This allows them to add new terms as they arise or make improvements to old, outdated descriptions. Hip-hop slang is on the move and it takes a dynamic medium like a Wiki to keep track of it.

To this day, Patrick is devoting his spare time to maintaining the Rap Dictionary.


Where is the Rap Dictionary heading? The aim is to remain the oldest and ultimate resource for looking up hip-hop slang, plain and simple. Thanks to thousands of devoted visitors every day, the Rap Dictionary is heading in the right direction.