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I been listening to Playaz Club by Rappin 4-Tay. In the lyrics at one point he mentions this:

I got a hoe named Real de Real She got a buddy named SP 12, now, you know the deal We getz freaky in the studio late night That's why the beats that you hear are comin' real tight

But I don't understand what SP 12 means. Urban Dictionary was not much help. So what does it mean?

  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it about interpretation of song lyrics. – Chenmunka Jun 29 '15 at 17:59
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    @Chenmunka: It's a reference to a piece of recording/sampling/percussion equipment. No lyrical interpretation is required to answer the question beyond knowing what an SP-12 is. – Sven Yargs Jun 29 '15 at 18:03
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The reference is almost certainly to an E-mu SP-12—which Wikipedia refers to as a "sampling drum computer." As the Wikipedia article on the SP-12 notes,

The name SP-12 stands for sampling percussion at twelve bits, demonstrating the power of the sampler. The E-mu SP-12 is credited with helping usher in the era of digital sampling by being one of the first digital samplers in production, and allowing musicians to take digital sampling in a completely different direction.

Drum samples provide the backing percussion and beats for many songs—rap and otherwise. Rappin 4-Tay credits the SP-12—a vintage machine from 1985–1986—for making "the beats that you hear [come] real tight."

I also suspect that the "hoe named Real de Real" is actually named "Reel-to-Reel," a reference to old-school reel-to-reel audiotape used in recording and sampling.


Followup: The Wikipedia article confirms my surmises above in a comment in the "Trivia" section of the entry for "E-mu SP-12":

The Beastie Boys reference the SP-12 in their song "Putting Shame In Your Game" from their 1998 album Hello Nasty with the line, "Well I'm the Benihana chef on the SP12." Rappin 4 Tay in Players Club (1994) says "I gotta ho named reel-to-reel, she got a buddy named SP-12, now you know the deal." Young MC raps in the song Album Filler (1991) "It's just me, a mic, and an SP-12."

  • This is a good catch! – Canis Lupus Jun 29 '15 at 18:51
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Here's the lyrics:

I got a ho named Reel-to-Reel
She got a buddy named SP 12, now you know the deal
We gets freaky in the studio late night
That's why the beats that you hear are coming real tight

Note his ho is named "Reel-to-Reel", not "Real de Real". Rap Genius explains:

4-Tay talks about the physical act of making a record. Reel-to-reel is the old fashioned large reel cassette recording style, and the SP-12 was a 1980s drum machine.

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I expect her buddy's named after the SPAS-12 Shotgun, sometimes called SP12:

enter image description here

(Image courtesy of wikipedia)

  • If that is the case why would he be named SPAS 12 is there some logic behind it ?? or it just sounds cool ? – Levan Jun 29 '15 at 16:51
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    @Levan I'm guessing this is gangsta rap. I'm not going to listen to find out. I expect this character has been known to wield one, perhaps exclusively. Like calling your buddy Uzi because he's never without one. – Avon Jun 29 '15 at 16:53
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    It cloud be the case and thank you so much for the information but there might be another reason I updated the lyrics a bit so it will be more clear. thank you again for the help. – Levan Jun 29 '15 at 16:57
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    @Levan You're welcome. Indeed there could. I can't pretend I'm an expert on this particular genre. – Avon Jun 29 '15 at 16:59
  • I am going to wait a little while, if it is ok with you, and after that I am going to marks this question as solved. – Levan Jun 29 '15 at 17:00

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