Saturday, April 15, 2006

You down wit OPP?

Yeah, you know me!

Yes, readers, it's time for DYY's exegesis of expired-but-hardly-forgotten popular culture.

I was delightfully reminded of OPP when Blu-Tooth invited me to a 90's costume party last weekend. The invitation asked if I was down with OPP?

Well, you know me.

But it got me thinking... on those brisk autumn days walking to the subway station after school, when the boys shouted "Ya down wit OPP?", and the girls responded, "Yeah, you know me!", but without ever really knowing what OPP stood for. I remember being 15 years old and sitting real close to my am/fm clock radio to figure out the lyrics. The song was brillantly ambiguous.

Yet we continued to sing the song. And whenever anyone asked me if I was down with OPP, I knew what they wanted to hear, and I never disappointed. It was like a contagious disease, an addiction that I couldn't shake off... and only enjoyed more and more.

I used to think it meant Other People's Property. Later I realized it must mean Other People's Pussy or Other's People's Penis. Lady Pun recently mentioned it means Other People's Piss. If that's the case, however, no thank you. You can save that for R. Kelly fans.

According to the website, Urban Dictionary, OPP stands for all of these things, except piss...

I also checked out the Song Facts website, and learned that Naughty by Nature's Treach came up with the idea for the lyrics from a drug dealer in his neighborhood who used to move into other dealers' territories, and said he was down with O.P.M (Other People's Money). Treach liked the phrase, but as the lyrical genius that he was, he changed the meaning of the last P to what we know today.

I wonder, when Naughty by Nature made this song, and Hip-Hop Hurray, whether they knew their catchy lyrics would continue to resonate among people in my generation, as we all begin to enter our thirties, purchase homes and have families. And as my generation begins to experience divorces, foreclosures and mid-life crises, OPP will still stand the test of time. For this, I am forever grateful.

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