Contributed article by Boo Smith
Songs are known to be powerful memory devices, and through the genre of hip hop, we can discover meanings of idioms and slang, learning about the English language at a deeper level. Music is one of the most entertaining and effective ways to learn a new language because it keeps your communication natural and fluid, but there are plenty of other learning platforms, including language apps for smartphones and tablets. So much learning comes from these gadgets, more than we may believe.
There were an estimated 1 billion Smartphone users at the end of 2012, reported the operators of the recently launched online casino Spin Genie, and the number continues to grow every year as app developers revolutionize the functionality of this device. From exploring new foods, mastering new languages, and simply learning the lyrics of songs, we literally can do anything with our smartphones. You can even educate yourself on rap slang and idioms using the Rap Dictionary on Google Play.
The app is basically a compilation of terms and phrases related to the music and artists in that genre. While Rap Dictionary is more used for entertainment purposes rather than a learning app, this is still a fun resource for your English education. According to customer reviews, some users have even written their own rap songs using this app as a reference.
Another app that could be useful for your language learning is HIPHOP Radio (or any other radio app dedicated to the genre, for that matter). Tuning into this mobile radio station will give you access to new and old tunes, both hip hop and RnB. The great thing about this app is that you can have it playing in the background, so in case you want to look up lyrics of the song, you can do so without stopping the music. Reading the lyrics themselves wont help you figure out the hidden meanings, but listening to the passion and delivery of the songs will give you a better idea of this kind of vernacular.
About the contributor: Boo has been a freelance tech journalist since graduation from university in 2010. However, his true love lies in hip hop. His favorite artists are Biggie Smalls and Lil Kim. He also likes to eat ice cream for breakfast.