Teaching Vocabulary: JAY-Z – Izzo (H.O.V.A.)

Ladies and gentlemen, put our hands together for the astonishing…

H to the izz-O…V to the izz-A…

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 8th wonder of the world
The flow o’ the century…oh it’s timeless…HOVE!
Thanks for comin’ out tonight
You coulda been anywhere in the world, but you’re here with me
I appreciate that…uuunnnh…

H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
Fo’ shizzle my nizzle used to dribble down in VA
Was servin’ em in the home of the Terrapins
Got it dirt cheap for them
Plus if they was short wit’ cheese I would work wit’ them
Brought in weed  got rid of that dirt for them
Wasn’t born hustlers I was birthem’ em
H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
Fo’ sheezy my neezy keep my arms so breezy
Can’t leave rap alone the game needs me
Haters want me clapped and chromed it ain’t easy
Cops wanna knock me, D.A. wanna box me in
But somehow, I beat them charges like Rocky
H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
Not guilty, he who does not feel me is not real to me
Therefore he doesn’t exist
So poof…vamoose son of a b***h

H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
Fo’ shizzle my nizzle used to dribble down in VA
H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
That’s the anthem get’cha damn hands up
H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
Not guilty ya’ll got-ta feel me
H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
That’s the anthem get’cha damn hands UP!

I do this for my culture
To let ’em know what a nigga look like…when a nigga in a roadster
Show ’em how to move in a room full ‘o vultures
Industry shady it need to be taken over
Label owners hate me I’m raisin’ the status quo up
I’m overchargin’  for what they did to the Cold Crush
Pay us like you owe us for all the years that you hold us
We can talk, but money talks so talk mo’ bucks


Hove is back, life stories told through rap
Niggaz actin’ like I sold you crack
Like I told you sell drugs…no…
Hove did that so hopefully you won’t have to go through that
I was raised in the pro-jects, roaches and rats
Smokers out back, sellin’ they mama’s sofa
Lookouts on the corner, focused on the ave
Ladies in the window, focused on the kinfolk
Me under a lamp post, why I got my hand closed?
Cracks in my palm, watchin’ the long arm o’ the law
So you know I seen it all before
I seen hoop dreams deflate like a true fiend’s weight
To try and to fail, the two things I hate
Succeed in this rap game, the two things is great
H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A
What else can I say about dude, I gets bu-sy

Vocabulary using Rap Genious and The Urban Dictionary

  1. coulda: Short for “could have”.
  2. fo shizzle : for sure; derived from Snoop Dogg.
  3. my nizzle :another word for “nigga” in the Snoop Dog language.
  4. Cheese:  Slang term for Money.
  5. Fo’ sheezy my neezy:  For sure my Nigga.
  6. dirt :low grade marijuana.
  7. vamoose : to instantly disappear, make as though it never was.
  8. Hustler: Someone that makes money in any way they can/want.
  9. To Clap :  To shoot somebody.
  10. Chromed: used in reference to firearms.
  11. Bucks: slang for money.
  12. Lookouts: Someone who is instructed to keep a watchful eye for  intruders, while someone or a group engages in illicit activity. Whenever a lookout spots intruders they are required to warn others verbally or physically. Lookouts will typically engage in ordinary behavoir, such as pretending to talk on a cell phone or smoke a cigarette to appear to be occupied and allow them to be watchful at the same time.
  13. Kinfolk: family members and close friends
  14. weight : a street term meaning cocaine.
  15. fiend: A man who craves a certain substance, usually a drug.
  16. To knock : To arrest
  17. To box in : To put in Jail
  18. status quo: The way things are right now
  19. Roadster:  A fancy car
  20. Nigga:  from one black man to anothor meaning to say; homie, brotha

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