Pratt Library applauds 'B*tches in Bookshops'

Pratt Library applauds 'B*tches in Bookshops' (Video screen capture / March 27, 2012)

On Twitter, you have to expect the crude, the occasional swear word, the offensive line.

Just usually not from the Enoch Pratt Free Library

The Pratt let loose an eye-brow raising Tweet Tuesday afternoon, giving a big thumbs up to a rap called "B*tches in Bookshops."

"This is awesome," the Pratt tweeted, linking to the video for the song and noting -- prudish people avert your eyes now -- that it's based on "Jay Z and Kanye West's "N****s in Paris."

Alrighty then!

The other day the Pratt boasted on Twitter that a star from "The Wire" had just been photographed for the institution's "Get Carded" program. Perhaps some "Wire"-ness rubbed off.

The library is only the latest to notice "Bookshops," a rap by Annabelle Quezada that's been circulating online for about a week now, racking up more than 345,000 hits on YouTube and quite a bit of praise. Some are even calling it a "nerd anthem."

In it, two young women rap about how much they love to read and how cool it is. Here are a few lines:

"You ball so hard? OK you're bowling. I read so hard I'm JK Rolling."

And:

Read so hard, I memorize, The Iliad...I know lines
Watch me spit, classic lit, epic poems that don't rhyme
War and Peace, piece of cake, read Tolstoy in 3 days
Straight through, no delays
Didn't miss a word. Not one phrase

Also:

Nerdy boy, he’s so slow
Tuesday we started Foucault
He’s still stuck on the intro? He’s a no go.
It's sad I had to kick him out my house though --
He mispronounced an author - Marcel Proust

Of course the chorus includes the "s" word. A lot of the "s" word. As in "that s*** cray."

The inspiration for the rap,  “N****s in Paris,” also happens to be the inspiration for Terrell Suggs' Ball So Hard University.

When it comes to explicit lyrics, Jay-Z's version makes "Bookshops" look like a nursery rhyme.

Within minutes of the Pratt's endorsement of the rap, a couple of people had re-tweeted it, but no one immediate complained. There was a smattering of concern over the language on YouTube.

Library spokesman Roswell Encina, the man behind the Pratt's Twitter account, admits that he thought twice before hitting send on the Tweet. But he decided it was worth it.

"I did pause there for a second," he told Insider. "But I advocate the joy of reading and if this is the way these two ladies express it, i support it and i'm all for it."

Encina isn't worried about turning anyone off with the salty language either. In fact, he hopes some 20-somethings see the Pratt tweeting about "b*tches" and decide to stop by and check out some books.

"It's part of our way of showing that we're not your stereotypical libarary," he said. "I'd say we're not your grandma's library but she's always welcome too."

Here's the "Bookshops" rap:

jill.rosen@baltsun.com

@BaltInsider