How Chicago Brought ‘Clout’ To The Mainstream | Genius News

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[HOST] In today’s era of hype fueled
stardom, ‘clout’ is everything – from being used to call out the hollow actions
of an icon… [HOST] …to being a personal commodity in a sphere of influence. [HOST] Genius data shows that ‘clout’
has been appearing in rap lyrics since as early as 1988 on Bay Area legend Too $hort’s
track “City of Dope.” [HOST] As well as Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock’s
1988 jam, “It Takes Two.” [HOST] But what exactly is ‘clout’ and
where did the word come from? [ROBERT] Clout means power and influence. You’re wielding power at city hall or in
politics. [HOST] That’s freelance journalist Robert
Loerzel. He traced the origins of ‘clout’ to Chicago
in the 1940s. [ROBERT] A hundred years ago, people in Chicago talked
about having political pull. That was the word. But then as time went on around the 1940s
or so, if you’re looking at old newspaper stories, the word became clout. [HOST] This is how it was used in dozens of
rap mentions throughout the 90s like Nas’ 92 classic “Halftime.” [HOST] As well as the late Hussein Fatal from
The Outlawz on 2Pac’s ‘96 scathing diss track for Biggie Smalls, “Hit Em Up.” [HOST] But in the last few years, mentions
of the term has exploded into the hundreds – picking up in 2013 and 2014 with a number
of lyrical mentions from beefing Chicago drill rappers. [HOST] Robert tells us this is because of
how closely linked ‘clout’ is to Chicago. [ROBERT] Rappers growing up in Chicago would hear this word on the news all the time…then when they’re making music on their own,
it makes perfect sense that they would want to talk about their own clout. [HOST] And today, clout is tied to social
media metrics – most likely due to the now defunct influence tracking service Klout,
with a ‘k,’ founded in 2009. [WSJ] It measures not just how big your social audience
is, but more importantly, how many people retweet and like your tweets and status updates
and actively engage with them. [HOST] And an artist’s success is married
to social media metrics, for better or for worse. Likes and retweets can lead to business deals,
and the lack thereof, can lead to obscurity – which makes the slur ‘clout chasing,’
or trolling for likes, a common insult. [HOST] Florida rapper Denzel Curry even critiqued
the general idea of ‘doing it for the clout’ on his song, “CLOUT COBAIN.” [DENZEL] I’m not going to name it Kurt Cobain, let’s
name it “CLOUT COBAIN.” Because most people want clout for the dumbest
reasons. [HOST] You either have clout or you don’t,
but what are you willing to sacrifice to get it? [HOST] I’m Jacques Morel with Genius News,
bringing you the meaning and the knowledge behind the music. Peace!


  1. CLOUT does not mean attention. Clout means influence

    Jimmy had clout, when he got to the club he didn't have to wait in line. He got pull up on here.

  2. My older primo who is 54, used that word constantly. There's a wide variety of words out there to be used, just like the word "clout".
    It's interesting though because I heard that word thrown around more from this generation because of the rappers bringing into light more.

  3. bunch of dick riding lames always late as always …..PAC been talking about clout for the longest…..EVEN FAUNI AND UNO AND CARTI WERE SAYING CLOUT IN 14-16 LONG BEFORE THESE DICK RIDING CORNBALLS THE TRUTH….


  5. My man be dressing like he walked threw the goodwill…. but on another note why isn't any black people knowning where the words come from but they look to a white man or woman to explain our culture

  6. Why are people acting like this wasn't an actual word until just recently ??‍♀️. What is going to happen to you when you don't even know the basics of the only language that you speak?

  7. This goes out to Manhattan, the island of Staten
    Brooklyn, Queens is living fat and
    The Boogie Down, enough props, enough clout
    Ill will, rest in peace Yo Im out

  8. I was about to say yo if Genius didn’t give The Og chiraq rappers their credit they straight culture vultures, youngings don’t even know what got it poppen, Young kids in NYC are calling all white Uptowns (Air force 1s) G fazo and they don’t even know who it is ??

  9. I’m willing to sacrifice my lungs liver pancreas heart brain every vital organ and my soul for clout… I’ll do anything for clout

  10. This whole 'Clout' movement was started by King Lil Jay from Chicago. Don't get shit confused. That nigga started alot of shit that industry niggas stole from him, while black balling him at the same time. Free King Lil Jay man he comming home soon. End of 2020. Mfers know the real. BIP JOJO, SMYLEZ, LIL MISTER, FREE KILLA KELLZ FREE LIL JAY FREE BILLY BLACK. Them niggas started a whole lot of shit that these industry niggas stole.

  11. This video doesn’t explain how Chicago made the “clout” word popular? obviously you can see NYC always been using that word way before and that word always been around. FBG Duck didn’t even have clout like that for the whole country to watch them. He was really and for the most part only still is a Chicago thing. Not everybody was watching Chicago when it first got on the map.

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