ac·ro·nym [ak-ruh-nim] –noun
1. a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words, as Wac from Women’s army Corps, OPEC from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or loran from long-range navigation.
2. an acrostic.
–verb (used with object)
3. to make an acronym of: The committee’s name has been acronymed MIKE.
Thinking up acronyms is good fun but it’s also very difficult. You need to explain something using the letters that spell it out and in their correct order of course. Rappers have always been attracted to good acronyms, but few can pull it off. The Wu Tang Clan (Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game) were masters of the acronym and managed to create entirely new words to the lexicon of street life; a technique immortalized in their hit single C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rulez Everything Around Me) which designated the hunger for greenbacks. But the Wu weren’t the only lyricists spelling out their name in acronyms, the late great Keith Elam of Gangstarr was best known as Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal), LL Cool J let the world know that Ladies Love Cool James and Bronx legend Fat Joe placed the warning out to other rappers with his self-titled album Jealous One’s Envy. An honourable mention goes to Boogie Down Productions frontman KRS-One who, whilst cleverly using his real first name Chris, proclaimed himself as Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone (?). I think that last understatement is fairly humble for a rapper of his stature. Ha!
So, to follow in suit with these skilled wordsmiths, I thought I would see what my initials RLD could stand for:
- Real Life Drama: Luckily my life is not like Jack Bauer’s, but rappers do like to recite tales that sound like scripts for The Wire.
- Reign Like Drops: Clever play on words, not that it means much.
- Ralph Loves Danger: To some extent yes, but if I can make it to the corner store hassle-free then I’m happy.
- Rhymes Like Diamonds: A clever metaphor to describe the value of my words. I also like the subtle repetition on the “Rhy / Li / Di” sound.
- Rebel Lyric Disciple: In tune with the Wu Tang monikers I train my skills of mixing and matching words.
- RadicaL Dude: This is me in surf shorts and flip-flops.