Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Tiger, Not Taiga

Posted by evankessler on November 23, 2010

Tiger, Tiger, Burning bright....

That Kind of Tyga– (Image by law_keven via Flickr)

I’ve always prided myself on having a wealth of pop culture knowledge, but I can’t pretend to know everything about the current lay of the music industry land. Every few days I hear the name of a new artist and am either intrigued or confused  as to how and when they got popular beneath my ever-so-perceptive nose. Furthering my confusion is the pronunciation of some of these artist monikers that revel in misspellings and nicknamery. Not that I have an issue with what they call themselves, but rather just that they fail to elicit any sort of linguistic base for me to even consider their name. Such was the case while working for OneRiot and reading that someone named Waka Flocka had been shot? Not only did I think “who?” but also what kind of name is Waka Flocka?

The same issue plagues me when people bring up the names of popular new Indie groups and overpronounce their monikers to appear more worldly and in the know. For the last few weeks one of my friends has been talking about the group Das Racist, pronouncing it as if it were a Rammstein song title; but the more I looked at the name, the more I decided it sounded like a slangier incarnation of “That’s racist.” Not that I’m right, it just seemed to make sense.

My powers of moniker interpretation took a bit of a hit today though. At some point I was looking through music articles and came across the name Tyga. While the articulation of the artist’s name wasn’t lost on me, the meaning of it went somewhere completely different in my head. I started to think of elementary social studies and different climate regions. I remembered how below the treeless plain of the frozen tundra lie the Taiga in the northern areas of Canada and Eurasia. It wasn’t ’til later in the evening while waiting for a slice of pizza, I heard a radio DJ announce a song featuring Tyga, where it dawned on me that the rapper in question most certainly named himself after the animal or golfer- like a Tiger.

I don’t mean to sound old and out of touch like Andy Rooney, but I certainly feel like it today.

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