A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 14, 2004
Shao-Lin (Staten Island)
"Shaolin" or "Shao-Lin" is "Staten Island" in hip-hop slang. It's no "boogie down Bronx" in my opinion--not that rappers ask for my opinion.

A Google Groups post of August 22, 1997: "I live in staten island, new york (aka shaolin)..."

A Google Groups post in "alt.rap" of March 18, 1994 answers "Also, Shao-lin = Long Island?" with "Nah kid. Its Staten Island."

"Shao-Lin" is Wu-Tang slang for "Staten Island." This is from a web site:


Wikipedia: Wu-Tang Clan
Wu-Tang Clan is an American hip hop collective formed in Staten Island, New York City, in 1992.[4] Its members include RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard until his death in 2004.
(...)
The Wu-Tang Clan's slang has long been a staple of their music, wherein members would blend Five Percenter terms, Kung Fu/oriental words, and comic book and street terms to create their own nicknames for actions, people, places and things (such as the christening of Staten Island as "Shaolin Land" and money as "C.R.E.A.M.").

Wikipedia: Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Kung Fu (Chinese: 少林功夫; pinyin: Shǎolín gōngfū), also called Shaolin Wushu (少林武術; Shǎolín wǔshù), or Shaolin quan (少林拳; Shàolínquán), is one of the oldest, largest, and most famous styles of wushu, or kung fu of Chan Buddhism. It combines Ch'an philosophy and martial arts and originated and was developed in the Shaolin Temple in Henan province, Greater China during its 1500-year history. Popular sayings in Chinese folklore related to this practice include "All martial arts under heaven originated from Shaolin" and "Shaolin kung fu is the best under heaven," indicating the influence of Shaolin kung fu among martial arts. The name Shaolin is also used as a brand for the so-called external styles of kung fu.
(...)
Shaolin has influenced numerous rappers, notably the members of Wu Tang Clan.

Wikipedia: C.R.E.A.M.
"C.R.E.A.M." (an acronym of "Cash Rules Everything Around Me") is a song by the American hardcore hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, released on January 31, 1994 by Loud Records, as the second single from their debut studio album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)

YouTube
Wu-Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M. (Official HD Video)
Wu-Tang Clan
Jan 21, 2014

Genius (lyrics)
C.R.E.A.M.
Wu-Tang Clan
Track 8 on Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Arguably one of the most iconic songs in hip-hop, the underlying idea of “C.R.E.A.M.” is found in its title—cash rules everything. The timeless piano riffs and background… Read More
Produced by RZA
Release Date January 31, 1994

(...)
[Verse 1: Raekwon]
I grew up on the crime side, the New York Times side
Stayin' alive was no jive
Had secondhands, Mom's bounced on old man
So then we moved to Shaolin land

Google Groups: alt.rap
Song ID
K-Mello, SGP '94
Mar 18, 1994, 4:11:44 PM
In article <94075.175...@auvm.american.edu>, Joshua A. Goldstein writes:
>In the NY area I heard this song whose chorus goes, "Puerto Rico - HO!"
>What is that? It's rather phat. Also,Shao-lin = Long Island? (Wu-Tang: "Growin'

Nah kid. Its Staten Island.

> up on the Island, a.k.a. the Shao-lin...") One more thing: is the new Gang
>Starr any good?I like Mass Appeal.
> "Rest in Peace" to John Candy.
>Out.
>JAG

Google Groups: alt.rap
Totally Unofficial Rap-Dictionary (Bi-weekly Posting, part 2/2)
Niels Janssen
May 31, 1995, 3:00:00 AM
(...)
The Shao-Lin
Staten Island.

Wu Tang Corp
MoRZ
February 10th, 2002, 11:17
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE SHAO LIN?
(...)
Before RZA, Raekwon, GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa (see "Wu: who's who") formed Wu-Tang Clan, they were childhood friends who came of age in the rough-and-tumble housing projects of Staten Island. (The group dubbed the borough Shao Lin, a reference to the ancient Buddhist monks who devised complex martial-arts techniques, the most deadly of which utilized the Wu-Tang sword.)

Urban Dictionary
Shaolin
Staten Island
One of New York City's five boroughs
by M-easy July 5, 2003

Urban Dictionary
Shaolin
1. Branch of Kung-Fu martial arts.
2. (nickname) Staten Island, one of New York City's five boroughs. Slang made popular by the Wu-Tang hip-hop group.
(...)
by Ian Nelson-Roehl December 11, 2003

Urban Dictionary
shaolin land
The Wu-Tang clan called Staten Island the shaolin land.
I grew up on the crime side, the New York Times side
Staying alive was no jive
Had secondhands, Mom's bounced on old man
So then we moved to Shaolin land
- C.R.E.A.M by Wu-Tang Clan

by Rafficka June 17, 2014
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • Tuesday, September 14, 2004 • Permalink


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