BROOKLYN.Â Sound E-FEX, a 23-year old rapper whose real name was Leon Diggs,Â had everything going for him; aÂ winning smile, a quick wit and a plan to become a successful music producer.Â All that came to an end with a gunshot from a rival at a Brooklyn social clubÂ last night.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Sound E-FEX wasÂ a member of rap's intelligentsia, slappingÂ "tiles to the table" as he spelled out winning combinations that vaulted him to the forefront of Gangsta Scrabble, which is based onÂ hip-hop culture'sÂ lenient spelling rules.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â His mistake?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Sound E-FEX called his rivalÂ OxxyMoron on an attempt to add a third "z" to "shizzle", hip-hop slang for "sure" or "certain".Â Â OxxyMoron spelled the word "shizzlez", placing the final "z" on a premium word square to double his total score.Â "'Shizzlez's' theÂ third person singular,"Â OxxyMoron said as heÂ pulled his gun.Â "I shizzle, you shizzle, he, she or it shizzlez."
Nowak:Â "Upon further review,Â the spelling of 'shizzlez' is upheld."
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Scrabble experts say Sound E-FEX was within his rights to question OxxyMoron's orthography.Â "While there is noÂ standard reference workÂ for rap terminology, common usage can be settled by oral cultural norms," said Dr. Phillip Nowak, a lexicographer for Merriam-Webster,Â the dictionaryÂ publisher.Â "The developing consensus is that 'shizzle' is spelled with two 'z's', andÂ Sound E-FEX be down wid dat fo' shizzle, dog."
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Sound E-FEX's posse fired retaliatory shots at OxxyMoron, taking the life of a street-smart spelling champ with a rap sheet as long as the word "onomatopoeia".Â His girlfriend Pho' Netique knelt over his body as his blood ran into the gutters. "When will the killing stop?" she said through tears.Â "Why can't we all agree that 'i' comes before 'e' exceptÂ after 'c', or when sounded as 'a' as in 'neighbor' or 'weigh'?"