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The Rap-Up 

A Study On The Evolution Of One Five-Letter, Four-Letter Word.

AN EXTENSIVE STUDY of the rap/hip-hop movement has determined that the only positive thing to come out of this two-decade-long rampage of misogynistic, petty, hateful, low-talent, no-talent, derivative, racist crap is that the word "bitch" is no longer aimed predominantly at women. (The only other sorta'-good thing is Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina," which also got a few votes.)

As the language evolves, you get these little bumps in the road. It's like when you read Tom Sawyer to your kids and you find yourself skipping over the word "gay" lest the kids get all confused about the nature of the relationship between Tom and Huck. Some words just don't mean what they used to. And in the case of "bitch," that's definitely a good thing.

I've been known to cuss on occasion, but I'm proud to say that in my entire life, I've never once used the word "bitch" to refer to a woman. I've used the verb form, as in "to complain," but I've always hated the objectification of women. (You don't think that being raised by an Italian mother and having six sisters and no brothers had anything to do with that, do you?)

Anyway, over the past few years in the zany world of hip-hop, "bitch" has come to be used almost exclusively in referring to males who don't measure up to some hyper-macho standard. This is either hypocritical or ironic (I'm not sure which), since rap seems to be turning out male bitches at an alarming rate. There's Sisqo, the dyed-platinum midget who looks and sounds just like the prison sissy in Con Air. Or DMX, the illiterate thug from New York City who probably calls himself DMX because he can't spell out his full name. And then there's Eminem, the Ultimate Bitch for reasons too numerous to mention.

In order to determine whether you're a guy to begin with, you first have to do the thumb test. Take your two (or more) thumbs, put them inside the waistband of your underwear and then pull the underwear away from your abdomen. Look down in there. If there is something external lurking below, you're a guy. ACT ACCORDINGLY!

Unfortunately, there are people out there who think they're ultra-guys when in fact they're just bitches. So, as a public service, we offer this free "How Do I Know If I'm A Bitch?" test. Please answer all the questions honestly. If you lie and try to cheat, you're automatically a bitch, so you might as well tell the truth. When you're done, we'll total up your points on the Bitch Scale.

(NOTE: If you're unable to add up the points, this doesn't automatically mean you're a bitch. It just might mean that you're a graduate of the DMX Charter School. Or, as he would say, "Skoolz.")

1. If you wear Tommy Hilfiger socks, give yourself five (5) points. If you pay more than $1 a pair for white cotton socks, you're not only a bitch, you're an ignorant bitch.

2. If you go to the mall to shop. For clothes. For yourself ... you get 175 points. Guys shopping is serious bitch time. Now, if you go to the mall strictly to look at the womens, get unlimited refills at the Burger King, and/or stand by Mrs. Field's to smell the brownies, you can deduct 10 points. The reason for the point discrepancy is that even if you go for good reasons, there's something inherently creepy about a guy at a mall.

3. If you think Tupac Shakur is still alive, that's 25 points.

4. If you own a cell phone, that's 5 points.

5. If you ever use the cell phone for anything other than an emergency, that's 30 points.

6. If you ever talk on the cell phone while walking in public, that's 70 points.

7. If you talk on the cell phone while driving, that's 250 points. As a matter of fact, we're going to coin a new term right here and now: Phone Bitch. You're guys! You don't need a phone! The difference between not having a cell phone and having one is John Wayne on a horse in Red River and Daniel Stern on a horse in City Slickers. They both do that "Yee-Hah!" scene, but one of them is a guy and the other is a phone bitch.

8. If you drive one of those cars with the wheels that stick way out on the sides, that's 300 points. This may seem out of line, but research shows that people who drive cars like that have a high degree of peripheral bitchiosity.

9. If you use the phrase "'Know what I'm sayin'?" more than three times in one sentence, that's 80 points.

10. If you're a white guy and you turn up the rap crap on your car stereo when you drive by a group of black people in the pathetic hope they might think you're cool, that's 100 points. All I can say is that you're embarrassing yourself. And you're a bitch.

11. If you've ever directed the word "bitch" at a woman, that's 400 points.

12. If you've ever said the phrase "That's not my baby," that's 800 points. Plus, you have to go on The Maury Povich Show.

13. Here's the biggie. If you intentionally look like Eminem, don't even worry about the points. Your bitch status is secure.

RESULTS: Let's not waste time here. If you've got more than 10 points, you're a bitch to one degree or another. But don't fret. Most forms of Bitch-ness are reversible. (If you've ever hit a woman, sorry, but you're a Bitch For Life.)

For the rest of you, there's hope. Throw away all your FUBU stuff. Listen to D'Angelo instead of Nelly. Let your hair's natural color grow out. PUT ... YOUR ... PHONE ... DOWN ... AND ... SLOWLY ... BACK ... AWAY ... FROM ... IT! Watch John Stockton play basketball. Don't put a baseball cap on sideways or backwards and then look in the mirror to make sure that it's exactly 112 degrees from dead center.

And, most importantly, stay out of the malls.

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