Some fine day, historians will wonder when the world began to come to an end. I believe I have the answer: late October 2002.

I wandered into a shopping mall in Laurel on one of those sniper-clouded days, in search of lunch. Instead, I almost lost my breakfast.

They were playing a rap song on the PA system.

If you're new to this column, you've missed my many rants about this form of musical expression. My major complaint: It isn't music. My second: It isn't expression. My third: It's amazingly vulgar. Not to mention juvenile, sexist and misogynistic.

Rap is a litany of half-formed thoughts, laid over half-formed percussion. You can't hum it or dance to it. Half the time, you can't understand it.

In 20 years, do you think there'll be a radio format called Golden Oldie Rap of the '80s and '90s? No chance, because the stuff isn't singable or memorable. Like movies that trot out the F word every three seconds, rap has tried so hard to shock that it isn't even very shocking anymore.

Why would a mall play rap? Perhaps someone thought rap rhythm might put people in a shopping rhythm. Or the PA system guy just likes the stuff. Maybe he got a rap CD for his birthday. No way to know for sure.

But when you write rap down rather than chant it . . . when you treat rap as a kind of poetry . . . now you've got something approaching art. Gone is the distracting thump of poom-poom-SHEESH. Gone is the deliberate slurring by the vocalist. The words speak for themselves, and once in a while, they speak perceptively and amusingly.

So I began to wonder whether I could write a rap.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the spirit of hipness, the remainder of today's column is brought to you by an artist known as Snoop Bobbie Bobb. His master creation follows:

LIKE, THE BELTWAY, YA SEE WHAT I'M SAYIN'?

I'm halfway 'round the Inner Loop

My squeeze, she waitin' at my coop

I'm chillin' in the passing lane

When right behind, here comes . . . insane.

Big road, uh, uh . . .

Big round road . . .

Dude's close enough to fill my lens

He's on the bumper of my Benz

He clicks his lights, he ticks me off

He beeps his horn, he flicks me off.

Big road, what, what . . .

Big round road . . .

Yo, peeps, I thought, "You'd better move,

"This chump, he's got a nasty groove.

"Might pack some heat, might wanna rumble.

"Don't want my rep to stagger, stumble."

Big road, uh, uh . . .

Big round road . . .

So I jack my speed to Superman's.

The soccer moms, they curb their vans,

The trucks, like, dig, they move aside,

They know that Snoop's got the boss ride!

Big road, uh, uh . . .

Big round road . . .

But up ahead, the fast lane's fadin',

I need a hit of Lisa Baden!

The traffic chick, she says it's rough

Like, better take Route One and stuff.

Big road, uh, uh . . .

Big round road . . .

But, Lisa, she don't get no props.

The back roads? They're for diddy bops.

495, yo, that's my number

Da place for drivers dumb and dumber.

Big road, uh, uh . . .

Big round road . . .

My baby rings me on my cell

She asks me, am I doing well?

I tell her life be one big groove

If all these chumps in front would MOVE!

Big road, yip, yip . . .

Big round road . . .

"But, sugar," says Ms. Little Bo Peep,

"A semi just smacked up a Jeep.

"They say three hours before it's open

"Hope that you can, like, be copin'."

Big road, nyah, nyah . . .

Big round road . . .

I say, "Hey, chick, ain't no big thang

"Just hope I don't get hunger pang

"I'll fire up Puff on my CD

"I'll deal with immobility."

Big road, hunh, hunh . . .

Big round road . . .

My baby thinks for just a sec

My candy girl, she say, "By heck,

"The answer's clear, Snoop Bobbie, pet,

"A six-car train is your best bet."

Big road . . .

Big round road . . .

"A dollar-ten, ain't no big bucks

"You ditch those stupid Beltway clucks

"You ease into a burnt orange seat

"You muse, you nap, it can't be beat."

Big road . . .

Big round road . . .

I know my hon, she don't tell lies.

I don't shed tears; men don't do cries.

Snoop parks at Ballston with a squeal.

He says, "Mercedes, it's been real!"

Big road, bow, wow . . .

Big round road . . .

The train arrives, all spic and neat

I like them gongs; sound rapper sweet

I get downtown a little later

I call my homie from the escalator.

Big road, ya, ya . . .

Big round road . . .

I tell him, like, "You want a car?

"Go pick up mine, it ain't too far.

"It's waitin' in a Virginia spot."

Like, Jack, I'm sayin', one big NOT

To a road, bad road . . .

A big round road . . .