Want to know how much ‘street cred’ Richard Zowie has?

If my bank account were dependent on how much “street cred” I had, I would be overdrawn.

I became curious about the subject of street cred after reading the latest legal escapades of Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg). The Urban Dictionary defines street cred in several ways:

* Your “coolness” factor
* Imaginary “points” you get when you do something cool
* Commanding a level of respect in an urban environment due to experience in or knowledge of issues affecting those environments
* Respect from urban communities. Usually something essential for making it big in the rap world.

The Urban Dictionary has a series of points to measure how much street cred you’d have within the 12-30 year age group in the African-American community. The more points, the more respect you’ll have. Being born black and in a single-parent home combined is worth 10 points. Born poor is 10 points. 75 points are for being shot multiple times and surviving, while you get 70 for being a member of the Crips or Bloods. If you’ve been to prison, that’s 65 points and if you are “16 years old and have a baby mama” you get 20.

Then there are the negative points. Minus five for being born white (such as Marshall Bruce Mathers III). Minus 100 for no criminal record. Minus 35 for smiling when someone takes your photo. Minus 2000 points for being born in the following states: Utah, Maine, New Hampshire, Montana or Arizona. I guess that means that horror novelist Stephen King (born in Maine) is out of luck.

I took up the test and tallied up my results. On the street cred scale, I scored a minus 340. I don’t count smiling in pictures (which would give me 375) since I only smile when the picture taker tells me to.

And as for being shot and surviving, I’m guessing immunization shots don’t count.

In short, like “Weird Al” Yankovic, I’m too “White and Nerdy” to be a gangsta. Oh well.

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