File this one under "way too good to make up." According to CNN, the DEA is actively recruiting translators to help them police drug activity in America's inner cities.
...the agency is serious about needing nine people to translate conversations picked up on wiretaps during investigations, Special Agent Michael Sanders said Tuesday. A solicitation was sent to contractors as part of a request to companies to provide hundreds of translators in 114 languages.
Ebonics is no longer spoken only by African-Americans, Sanders said, referring to it as "urban language" or "street language." He said he is aware of investigations in recent years in which it was spoken by African-Americans, Latinos and white people. "It crosses over geographic, racial and ethnic backgrounds," he said.
Indeed, it does cross racial and ethnic backgrounds. Having spent the bulk of my youth listening to rap music, I feel safe calling myself moderately fluent. Plus, like any good white person, I've watched The Wire.
Need help, DEA? In the whitest language possible... A G-PACK is a hundred units of cocaine or heroin. A BURNER is either a gun or a cell phone, depending on context. TOAST is also a gun. A RE-UP refers to the act of retrieving drugs for purposes of distribution. WITNESSIN' refers to witnesses who may be prone to cooperate with authorities. CHEESE refers to money. PAPER? Ibid. A HUMBLE refers to either a low-grade felony or a misdemeanor, presuming neither would call for much jail time. CHESS is a game ready-made for profound analogies to street life, to be recited at a later date by pretentious white intellectuals. HOPPER or HOPPAH refers to—okay, okay, okay OKAY. I'll stop.
After the jump, Big L breaks it down further.