"Rappers Who Spin Vocab Like Shakespeare"

  • "Spin a tale" would be to tell a story with quite a bit of flair. To "spin vocab(ulary)" would be to apply the vocabulary with flair (like Shakey did). – Hot Licks Mar 11 '17 at 23:17
  • Please provide more context. – Lawrence Mar 11 '17 at 23:35
  • It means create lyrics. – michael.hor257k Mar 11 '17 at 23:38

I think the technical answer to the question is that the word "spin" is being used in place of the word "use".

Example: I like rappers who use vocabulary as deftly and poetically as Shakespeare did.

  • Thanks for your input. Pretty much the meaning I expected, just wanted to make sure as I haven't come across it very often. My understanding of it is that if you "spin" something, it portrays you as using it with more skill than if you were to just say "use". – Oskar Mar 12 '17 at 10:06
  • @Oskar To spin something or putting your spin on something has a different and possible negative connotation. As in a political pundit putting a spin an issue or news story to serve their own agenda. Spinning in this context really amounts to lies and propaganda, Fox news and the conservative right have used this to great affect to deceive and manipulate a significant portion of the American public. – Alaska Man Mar 12 '17 at 16:14
  • In this context I believe it means using with skill. I am aware of the phrase "put a spin on something" as it kinda resonated with me after the first few times I heard it, and kinda intrinsically made sense to me. – Oskar Mar 14 '17 at 16:40

The phrase basically means:

"Rappers who are just as talented with their words as Shakespeare was with his."

In essence, that kind of spin means 'to put a spin on', or 'to be creative with'.

If I said, 'I made Chinese food with an American spin', I would mean that I got creative with my cooking, and changed an original Chinese recipe, making it more American.

  • 4
    I suspect that spin derives more from the spinning of yarn and subsequently of tales than it does from “a different take on something” – Jim Mar 11 '17 at 21:06
  • Hmm, that does make sense. However, in the context of what look to be rap lyrics, I would think a more direct/simple use of the word would fit. – user224467 Mar 11 '17 at 21:12
  • Sorry, I should have given more context maybe. To clear the air, this is an extract from an article about the vocabulary of rap artists compared to other well known and spoken authors. And Zach was correct in his first interpretation that the quote means "Rappers who are just as talented with their words as Shakespeare was with his", and I was aware of the meaning just wanted to know the exact purpose of "spin" in that context. Thanks for your input :) – Oskar Mar 12 '17 at 10:00

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