Everett 'Jeopardy' contestant wasn't 'gangsta' enough

Let’s get this straight. Nick Spicher knows all about the heyday of hardcore hip hop, or “gangsta” rap. He was a 16-year-old high school kid in 1995 when the movie “Dangerous Minds” came out. It featured Coolio’s soundtrack song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which became a huge hit.

And Spicher, now 38 and living in downtown Everett, was quick with his answer on a “Jeopardy!” episode that aired recently. He was faced with an often-used category, “Music & Literature Before & After.” Here was the clue: “A song by Coolio from ‘Dangerous Minds’ goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.”

“The idea is giving two answers in one,” said Spicher, recently hired as a program innovations manager at the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett. “The correct answer was ‘Gangsta’s Paradise Lost,'” he said Wednesday.

In the instant after hitting the buzzer, Spicher was sure he had it. He phrased his answer “Jeopardy”-style, in the form of a question, beginning with “What is?”

Here’s the problem: “I pronounced it ‘Gangster’s,'” he said.

That all-too-proper slip of the tongue not only cost Spicher $3,200 in Jan. 2’s game, it made him a media sensation this week. Google “gangsta” and “Jeopardy,” and you’ll find Spicher’s mispronunciation and show host Alex Trebek’s correction of it on YouTube. There are items about the gaffe in The New York Times, on TV news…

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