Coded language is about as hip-hop as the diamond and gold teeth it often spills from. Whether it’s specific to a borough, State or entire region, slang is a vital signifier of an artists roots and point of view. Of the cities to have their special syntax achieve ubiquity through song, Houston Texas sits near the top, if not at the apex. With their unique car and music culture came words to describe it, like “slab,” “thowed,” and “swangin.” While we had access to two of Houston’s native sons, Paul Wall and Slim Thug, we asked them break down the origin of some popular slang from their city.
“‘Slab’ is what we call our cars in Texas when you fix ‘em up a certain way,” says Paul, whose latest album is called The Slab God. “Just any old car you fix up with rims is not a ‘Slab,’ there is a checklist for it.”
“It’s really supposed to be Cadillacs and them type of cars, you gotta have the candy paint, the custom insides, the swingers, the rims, the fifth wheel and the grill. You can’t just put speakers in the trunk and call it a slab.”
Watch the clip hear the breakdowns for more slang like “Thowed” “Hogg” and “Swangin.”