One what?
April 20, 2011 3:38 AM   Subscribe

When rappers say "one time for the .../two times for the ...", what are they referring to? If I'm watching a concert, what am I supposed to do?

Examples:
J.Cole -- Before I'm Gone: "One time for the city... and two times for you."
Big Sean -- My Last: "One time for the baddest chick in the world..." or "One time for the West side"
Rick Ross -- The Transporter: "Two times for the boys that's bubblin' rock."

I'm sure this comes up in other types of music, but I'm the most familiar with hip hop.
posted by the NATURAL to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Creative filler."
posted by iviken at 4:00 AM on April 20, 2011


"Well it's one for the money.
Two for the show.
Three to get ready, now
Go Cat Go!"

It's just filler.
posted by notsnot at 4:12 AM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought it was just an exclamation to signify approval.

There are a few entries for "one time" here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=one%20time&page=2
posted by skylar at 4:16 AM on April 20, 2011


Its an MC thing thats basically filler and meant to entertain an audience.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 4:52 AM on April 20, 2011


It's the equivalent of a plain old shout-out, but assigning increasing importance to the recipient.
posted by amyms at 5:08 AM on April 20, 2011


James Brown used to do that, right?? - and it referred to a hit on the drums or the trumpet or something. I wouldn't be surprised if that had something to do with it.
posted by polly_dactyl at 5:31 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Related: Pour one out for the dead homies. Or taking a toke, or a hit from the pipe. One for them, Two for that fine broad, Three for you and Four for we.

Not a rap fan, but that so reminds me of my homeless days hanging out with bums and thugs and drugs drinking 40's on the railroad tracks.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:48 AM on April 20, 2011


Put your hands together one time for [john smith/our sponsors/the donor in the audience/this church member/]

In my opinion it came from church or just emcee callouts and then just got adopted and shortened.

One time for your mind, your soul, your body.
posted by cashman at 5:50 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really have any knowledge or authority on the subject, but I always figured it was a combination of:

- mic / sound system volume checks during setup - where someone says "mic check 1, 2, 3" etc while the sound board gets adjusted

- counting the number of swigs of liquor one takes (or pours out on to the ground) in honor of a friend or comrade
posted by cmetom at 5:51 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the OP knows it's filler. The question is, as a good audience member, how is s/he supposed to roll along with the shoutout at a concert if the MC says "One time for the Bronx! One time for Brooklyn!"

OP, I think you're good if you just shout "yeah!" and possibly wave your hands in the air like you just don't care.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:02 AM on April 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


The question is, as a good audience member, how is s/he supposed to roll along with the shoutout at a concert if the MC says "One time for the Bronx! One time for Brooklyn!"

You clap!
posted by cashman at 8:06 AM on April 20, 2011


It's (IMO) a modern variation on an ancient theme: counting songs that celebrate the listener and shared heritage.

Green Grow the Rushes is a traditional song in that vein.

It shares some similarities with the "12 Days of Christmas", but that song doesn't celebrate the audience: it isn't personal at all. However, the counting motif adds a familiar, memory-jogging background to the song.

Or, I could be overthinking it.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:21 AM on April 20, 2011


« Older When did the idea of America b...   |  Wife mistrusts me now over a s... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.