Editors’ Notes If you assumed Staten Island rapper CJ was speaking another language on “Whoopty” when he says, “Smokin' the zaza/It goes straight to the māthā/Then I'm uppin' the choppa/I’m hittin' the cha-cha, open his lata/Then he dancin' bachata,” you’d have been half right. There’s the Spanish that he gets from his Puerto Rican roots, but there’s also the NYC slang, something that made the song a runaway smash in the five boroughs, just before an influx of TikTok videos launched it worldwide. Listen to the linguistic flex called “Whoopty” on Rap Life, the playlist at the forefront of hip-hop culture today, and if you hear something you like, add it to your library.

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