Hip-Hop Slang 101 — The Meaning Behind Some of Your Favorite Sayings

Hip-hop slang has been around since the early days of the genre, and as the years go by, artists are coining more terms — here are some sayings you should know.


Dec. 13 2023, Published 4:27 p.m. ET

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Popular hip-hop slag is constantly evolving, and staying up to date with the latest terms is essential to understanding the culture.

Words like "FAFO", "Lit", and "Standing on business" are some of the most popular slang words.

Staying on the pulse with these slang terms can help you understand the music and its community. Here is a little guide with some popular terms and how they came to be.


"FAFO" is an acronym for “eff around and find out." It implies a relatively aimless, but bold way to alert a person that if they play with fire, they will get burnt. According to the Urban Dictionary, the term is commonly used by software developers in chats when referring to certain programming techniques they do not know or understand but try to make use of anyway.

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The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) however also reports that "FAFO" is "a slogan used by the Proud Boys to suggest they are always prepared for a fight, and if a person confronts or messes with them, that person will be sorry."

"Having Motion"

The Rap dictionary defines "having motion" as having momentum and accomplishing things. Other people have defined "motion" as having money, clout, always getting new opportunities, and just noise around you.

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"Standing On Business"

Standing on business means taking care of your business, standing your ground, and getting things done, especially under pressure. In the Rap space, Druski began posting skits joking about how bummy men often say that they're standing on business when they aren't and even previewed a song about the phrase.

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Drake later released his album "For All The Dogs," which contained a song with "Standing on Business" as a prominent bar. Druski then posted a video about how Drake ripped him off, starting a joking rivalry between the two.

Soon after that, "standing on business" became a popular TikTok meme.


The slang term “Glizzy” has its roots in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. It was originally used to refer to a handgun, specifically a Glock, due to the similar shapes. The term started being used to describe hotdogs in the 2010s. TikTok would use the term “Glizzy gladiator” to describe those who can fit a large hot dog in their mouth.

  • Glizzy can also be used as a sexual innuendo, usually in a derogatory context.
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    "No Cap"

    "No Cap" simply means No Lie. The term was popularized in 2017 when Atlanta-based rappers Young Thug & Future released the track “No Cap.” It's used when emphasizing that a statement that may sound unbelievable is true.

    Later reports that when someone says "no cap," it means they are not lying or exaggerating.


    Urban Dictionary defines "Munyun" as "Money."

    "Munyun" is reportedly the easier slang pronunciation of the word (money/cash) which is easier understood by deaf people.

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    Jawn reportedly originated in Philadelphia, and it's slang to describe anything. It's used as a term encompassing any person, thing, or place. Social media mostly uses "Jawn" to refer to women.

    Eminem has popularized some terms in his music, including "stan."

    eminem with beard at hollywood walk of fame wearing black capcalifornia
    Source: Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

    Eminem speaks during a ceremony honoring 50 Cent with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 30, 2020 in Hollywood, California.

    The Eminem-inspired use of the word “stan” to describe hyper-devoted fans has been added to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. The casual use of “stan” famously comes from Eminem and Dido’s hit 2000s song of the same name, in which the rapper weaves a harrowing yarn about an obsessive fan trying to get his attention.

    Over the years, “stan” has morphed into a go-to slang term for diehard fans.

    However, E-40 is the king of slang.

    e  wearing lv performs during the bet awards at microsoft theater
    Source: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

    E-40 performs onstage during the BET Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California

    American rapper, Earl Stevens, professionally known as E-40 is recognized as the king of slang. His most important contributions to American culture have arguably been his wondrous slang inventions.

    These include "Bootsee," "Gouda," and "Fetti." We have to admit, some of these are pretty creative!

    The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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