Well thanks to the Washington City Paper, now you know!
Thanks to the hard work of both hip-hop pioneers and young upstarts throughout D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, the DMV is now officially on the map. It’s also in the dictionary. The Urban Dictionary—but still.
Most regions with thriving hip-hop scenes have catchy nicknames, but before the whole DMV acronym caught on in the mid-aughts, the greater nation’s capital lacked one. Chocolate City, popularized decades ago, was starting to get a little moldy, and it ignores both the all-important suburbs and the fact that D.C. is becoming more cream-filled by the day. There have been valiant efforts to make “The Middle East” (for middle East Coast, get it?) stick, but it didn’t happen. Ditto for “Tri-State,” which failed not only because it’s already taken but because, technically, only two states are involved.
So where’d the acronym come from? In an informal poll of area hip-hop luminaries—from Judah to Kokayi, Head-Roc to Overok—the same three names came up over and over: Wale, DJ Rob AKA Mista DMV, and 20Bello.
Actually, there was one other contender, too: MC-turntablist-producer DJ Eurok maintains the first use of the DMV to mean D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (rather than a certain dysfunctional city agency), was on local corner store phone cards emblazoned with phrases such as “Excellent DMV local access.” He may be right, but in terms of making the term hot, credit definitely goes to the hip-hop community.
Read the link here!