A while back at a frat party I surprised a drunken crowd with a special kind of table dance. No, I did not strip down to my Calvins to “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” Instead, I stood on this rickety table, which has probably seen more than its fair share of Beirut and flip cup, and proceeded to entertain them by screaming at the top of my lungs verse after verse of rap music.

Paul Wong
One turntable and a microphone<br><br>Rebecca Isenberg

This was not your average frat party rap. This wasn”t Ja Rule”s “Put it on me” or DMX”s “Party Up,” staple songs of a Greek system disc jockey. I was singing obscure Ice Cube songs, The Roots, De La Soul, Method Man, Eminem”s underground tracks. I stood on this table and wowed the crowd with my incredible knowledge of lyrics. They stared at me with a look like, how does this little white girl know all these words? And I simply have to answer because I, Becca Isenberg, am a true player in: The Rap Game.

If you saw me eating lunch at Mr. Greek”s Coney Island you might classify me as a Backstreet Boys type of girl. I have that teenybopper, trendy look to me. I”m not gonna lie. That look that somehow says to an outsider, hey I bet that girl loves a good episode of Total Request Live. But what you would soon find out is I really don”t want it that way. I like it like a true gangsta. I consider myself a thug. I like to think that if I met Dre on the street he would know that I keep it real and let me ride. Or if Biggie were still here (RIP) he would probably give me one more chance. Hell, just like the Cash Money Millionaires, my entourage and I roll deep up in the club and drink crystal. Well, maybe we just drink Boones but still. The point is I”m one of those classic cases of why you shouldn”t judge a book by its cover. Or a rap artist by his mainstream fan base.

The problem with my misunderstood persona is that its often difficult to convince people that I truly could be the next member of Roc La Familia (Jay Z”s crew). Other wannabes often challenge how true to the Rap Game I really am. Back when I was a young g, my freshman year in high school, I was often asked to prove my thug-like nature by naming all the members of the Wu-Tang Clan. Name them? Name them? Hey, I wouldn”t just name them I would proceed to engage in a freestyle battle with these boys who question my gangstaness. Of course they would win, because I have to admit I really can”t freestyle. But hey, I still know all the Wu Tang members names.

You might be saying to yourself, So? I know all the Wu Tang Members names too. And this may be true. Except I bet you are kidding yourself. But if you are not you have to understand that this is not the only reason that I claim myself to be so hard core. You see the rap game really is a lifestyle. You gotta live it all day, every day, every damn day as the Great MC TQ once said. You have to have the heart of a thug. You have to have the mind of a thug. And of course you gotta have the clothes. The Rap Game isn”t all about the music. Its about personality. True.

Rule number one to being a successful thug like myself is to have a sidekick. I enlisted my best friend to be Puff Daddy to my Biggie, the Snoop to my Dre, the Jermaine DuPri to my little bow wow, the Beanie Siegal to my Jay Z. In order for her to maintain true sidekick status I of course will have to add an intro verse to the remix of her first single. The second rule is to make sure your living quarters are suitable for MTV”s special edition of cribs entitled “How to Live Large.” I know you all know what I”m talking about. In order to make sure of this you must put pictures of your rap idols all over your room and make sure you have a set of turntables out for all to see. Turntables are essential for a thug image. And last but not least make sure that you drive a car that looks to the average passerby like your rollin” down the street in your 6-4. Even if it”s really a “93 Honda Civic.

You may think that this is a joke. But hey I”m more serious than Big Pun”s heart attack. The University will eventually see who I”m rolling with and how we do it. And I don”t mean Montell Jordan style. So the next time you see a skinny, white girl like myself walking through the Diag don”t assume she”s rushing off to watch Dawson”s Creek. If she”s like me she”s rushing home to perfect her beats. I come from the streets. You better recognize.

Rebecca Isenberg can be reached via e-mail at risenber@umich.edu.

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