Sunday, November 24, 2002

FO SHIZZLE? Am I the only one weirded out by the name of the extremely promoted Bridgestone winter weather tire, the Blizzak? While it looks like the tire first hit the U.S. in 1993, the term clearly seems derived from Snoop Doggy Dogg and the SoCal gangsta rap scene of the early 1990s. From Dr. Dre's 1992 multiplatinum smash The Chronic, I give you Snoop's intro of Dre on "Deeez Nuuuts":

But did you raise up all this nuts?
Cause Dr. Drizzay's about to rizzip sh*t up

Or on "Rat-A-Tat-Tat", Mr. Dogg introduced his mentor by noting:

it's 9-Deuce, Dr. Drizzay, is sittin on Tizzart! It don't stop
Treatin' busters like a punk ass kizzart!

The use of the superfluous" "izz" isn't just a West Coast thing. After all the first two lines of Jay Z's 2001 anthem "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" are:

H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
Fo' shizzle my nizzle used to dribble down in VA

[Translation: Jay-Z, originally born Shawn Carter, often refers to himself as "J-Hova" to emphasize his sense of self. He's therefore introducing himself here, but since he's Brooklyn born and raised, I'm not quite sure what the VA reference is to.]

The earliest use of the term "blizzak" itself I can find is from the Notorious B.I.G.'s posthumous #1 single "Mo Money, Mo Problems" from 1997:

B.I.G. be flossin' -- jig on the cover of Fortune
Five double oh, here's my phone number
Your man ain't got to know, I got the dough
Got the flow down pizzat, platinum plus
Like thizzat, dangerous
On trizzack, leave your ass blizzack

So, should Bridgestone sue the estate of The Notorious B.I.G. for stealing their intellectual prizzoperty? Probably not. They've got enough to deal with right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment