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Article Sep 4 2015 Written by

The Depths of “Ether” ~ (Slang Royalty)

What is your favourite Hip Hop slang of all time? Originals or hybrid portmanteaus. I am showcasing my personal favourite, while exploring features and attributes making for great slang terms. Let’s start here – How did I reach my definite favourite?

I asked myself these questions:

  1. Originality of term? (eg. “Thugz Mansion”)
  1. Does the term sound cool? Or feel great to say? (eg.”Gwap/Skrilla”)
  1. Does it describe a scenario/style? (eg. “The Breaks”)
  1. Does the term create awareness or send warning? (eg. “O.P.P”)
  1. How layered is the term? Coded/unexplained to the public? (eg.”Skeet”)
  1. Is it derived from speakeasy lingo? A location? (eg.”Whoadie/Woes” ATL)
  1. Did the term officially become a word in Webster’s Dictionary? (eg. “Bling”)
  1. The longevity of the term? (eg. “Word/Fresh”)
  1. Has the term expanded to other music genres? (eg.”Dollar-dollar bill ya’ll”)
  1. Has the word/phrase been sold on any outsourced merchandise? Meaning product not created or profited by the artist. (eg.”99 Problems; [fill in punchline]”)

My answer:

“Ether” (or past tense; Ethered)

It can be used as a verb, adjective, interjection, idiom, or most importantly (the origin’s format) a noun. It’s a versatile, and translucent term.  It’s part of a classic song, which fueled an unofficial title name, during a historic time in the subject culture. It is a real thing, it is factual towards the definition. It is still used today and instantly showcases knowledge in an individual’s Hip Hop context. “Your boy got Ethered!” You automatically know the speaker is savvy within Hip Hop without conversing personally with them. It gets BIG points (on my scorecard) for the proper definition strengthening the NEW idiom intent.


Ether (ee-ther) noun

  1. A colorless, highly volatile, flammable liquid, C 4 H 10 O, having an aromatic odor and sweet, burning taste, derived from ethyl alcohol by the action of sulfuric acid: used as a solvent and, formerly, as an inhalant anesthetic.
  2. The upper regions of space; the clear sky; the heavens.
  3. The medium supposed by the ancients to fill the upper regions of space.
  4. Physics. a hypothetical substance supposed to occupy all space, postulated to account for the propagation of electromagnetic radiation through space.

Ether is strong, smart and precise. Nas completely reached his goal, more than he ever intended. If you notice the secondary definitions. “Ether” could & SHOULD be recycled as comptemporary Hip Hop grandeur. Writers/Emcees alike have infinite potential to quote “Ether” as progressive, new rhyme schemes/themes. Paying homage to the original, while evolving concept. This is why I feel “Ether” is the most extraordinary slang term in Hip Hop history.

Written by

I done kept it real from the jump. Of course my bio begins with a Drizzy lyric. I am from Toronto, Tdot, 6ixside - whatever they're calling it today. Yes, it seems like a dude who quotes Drake is ignorant, knowing n…

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