Today’s terms: hit / slam / bang / rock / hit me up / give a ring, buzz / shoot a message
No, I’m trying to get you to meet my buddy. He’s a producer.
Jonah was trying enthusiastically to calm Charles down on their way to the music studio.
—Come on, man. You know I don’t like to be around these kinds of people. I get nervous.
Jonah reassured him; —Yeah, Mike is a real scary kind of guy. A real gangster off the streets! Come on, bro. There’s nothing to worry about. I’ll hold your hand.
Charles tapped Jonah’s hand away as he reached for it.
—Nobody likes sarcasm, bro, Charles protested.
Eventually, they drove up to the studio parking lot. There were a group of teenagers smoking in the front, maybe add the smell of spilled liquor on the floor. Everyone looked calm but suspicious. Although, when they saw it is Jonah, they all smiled and signaled “hello” to him.
—What’s up everybody! Are y’all rocking today?
Everyone nodded, made mumble sounds, and they turned back to their joints. Charles gave them a shy nod. Then the two friends strolled inside.
Once inside the studio, there were strong musical beats coming from all over the place. Smooth instrumentals blended with fast rhythms. The noise was chaotic but artful, all the same. Jonah saw one of his colleagues coming towards them.
—Yo, my brotha! What’s happening with ya? Y’all just got all the beats banging today.
—Well, you know how I rock, Jonah. Who’s your friend?
Charles felt a quick pain in his belly.
—Oh, my name’s Charles. What’s up?
The man reached out his hand and gave Charles a mixed handshake and hug in a friendly manner.
—Classic Mike. Gotta show them love. This is my buddy, Charles. He comes from another country, but he knows a lot of English.
—He seems like he can handle his business, isn’t that right, Charles!
They all laughed for a few seconds. Charles then spoke up.
—Yeah, I get by pretty well out here. I just didn’t understand when you said “banging” and “rock.” I didn’t really get it.
—No prob, man. Banging is what I say when something is really good, especially when it comes to music. I can say, “This song bangs.” It’s the same with Hit or Slam for something that’s really good, like a piece of music, some good food, or even a cute girl, for example. All my music slams and hits.
Charles was reminded.
—Oh, right. You are the producer!
—Correct-o! But that’s different from banging, like to be a part of a gang. I don’t bang. But, those kids outside, I don’t know. All of them look like they bang. Now, Rock is basically the same thing. If something rocks, that means it’s really good, amazing. And what’s cool is you can rock something, like a song, a test, or a sport. It all means that you do really good in it.
—Yeah, my buddy Mike here rocks as a producer, by the way, Jonah added in.
As they talked, a young lady appeared from one of the recording booths and made her way towards the exit.
She turned around. Yep, it was the same Sheila that Charles had been out with.
—Charles! Woah, I didn’t know you were into music.
Charles puffed up his chest.
—Oh, yeah. I’m really into music. Recording, he coughs, Really into recording. What do you do here?
—I’m a singer, remember? I thought I told you when we were texting a few days back.
Charles scratched his head.
—Anyway, I gotta go. Nice seeing you here! Exciting, am I right? Hit me up tonight, okay?
In a hurry, Sheila left from the studio and into her busy life. Charles looked confused.
—Why did she want me to hit her up? Is that, like, sexual?
Jonah and Mike stormed with laughter.
Jonah then explained.
—Hit me up, man! It means the same as “send me a message,” or “give me a call.” It’s not sexual at all. Well, I guess not.
Mike added, —Yeah, it’s the same as saying give me a ring, shoot me a message, or give me a buzz. It all means “call me” or “message me.”
—Oh, I guess that makes sense.
—Charlie’s got a girlfriend!
All three of them laughed and pushed each other around playfully. Oh, guys.
—So, are you gonna hit her up tonight? Jonah asked Charles.
—You know I will!
Despite his outward confidence, Charles still felt pretty nervous. Not to mention guilty, having forgotten so quickly that Sheila was a singer. He dug for a little more information.
—So, Mike. Sheila records her songs here?
—Yeah. Just a few samples for SoundCloud. Why?
—Is she any good?
—For sure, bro! Sheila slams in the recording booth!
Saying that something slams, hits, or bangs is saying it’s really good to the senses (That food looks slamming! That rhythm hits hard! This song is banging!) These are more colloquial slang, so not all communities across the country use them. Otherwise, “hit me up,” “give me a buzz/ring,” and “shoot me a message” are all pretty common nationwide to tell someone to send you a message or to call, though these terms are very informal. Using “bang” to talk about being in a gang can be a problematic word, so I underlined it. It’s best not to use it unless you really know what you’re saying, and most people don’t even have to use it. Do you know why the other terms are underlined? Can you use today’s terms in your own sentences? Share with me down below!
*The language used in this dialogue is meant to reflect how different Americans might express themselves. Significant incorrect grammar or sensitive words will be underlined for reference. Did you recognize the mistakes in this story?