“Real live, n*ggas don’t be hip. I be guh,” laments D.C. Native Jaron Coleman,
Brooklyn Native Tyrod Forrester laughingly adds, “up top it be same s**t
type s**t, you heard….facts.”
That should soon change.
The two Howard University Computer Science majors
recently created the “Type Sh#t” app,
a phone and tablet application that translates the slang heavy and
oft cryptic language of Black vernacular into mainstream, more widely
Coleman says an incident at his former Wendy’s job made him desire to create the app.
“My manager hit me like, ‘I need you to be on time unlike your friend Darrell.’ He had just got fired for loafin’,” Coleman recalls. “Whole time she took my text that said ‘i’m gon 2’ for ‘I’m gone too,’ like ‘I quit.’”
An example of the App at work
After the discrepancy cost Coleman his job, he wished there was a way he
could more easily communicate without “code switchin’ type s**t.” After discussing his issue with Forrester, they resolved that it wasn’t up to them to conform their language to the
constraints of Academia. The friends of three years agreed that their
resolution was “n*ggas was gon’ have to catch up to us type s**t,”
as Forrester says.
The two then put their knowledge to use and began development on the App.
The Type Sh#t app reads a text (that a user has to manually select), then uses a regionally programmed algorithm to decipher a translated version for the unfamiliar. One glitch in the App hurts people who take slang from different regions that hasn’t yet become widely known.
“The other day my bro Will text me and said ‘bob dead a goofy like s**t.’“ Forrester recalls. “The App crashed. We gotta get better at mix and match type s**t.”
Aside from patching the existing version of Type Sh#t, the two are working with English
majors to develop a Microsoft Word extension for n*ggas who “dead
ass don’t feel like sicin’ s**t up on some Einstein type s**t.”