The Epidemic of Swag

July 10th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

I originally made this article for ChiGround.com

Every few years in hip hop a new trend takes over the industry. This new style, phrase, or ideology starts out as fresh and refreshing. Then after all of the cool people use it, it gets prostituted out by the “Mr. Me Too” crowd. After that, the new trend goes Hollywood all the way to the point that old people use it to try to look hip. Think I’m lying? Whatever happened to the Crunk Movement? (Sorry Lil John Crunk is dead) If you walk around with a throwback jersey now you will look lamer than someone who rocks P. Miller gear from Wal-Mart. What is hot one minute usually get stale the next. Sadly the new problem in hip hop is the term “Swag” and everything that goes with it.

Now before I go in on this I want to note it is nothing wrong with having a swagger in what you do. The Dictionary defines swagger as strutting around in a proud way or to brag boastfully about personal accomplishments. I think swagger is a mixture of charisma and the ability to trend set. Going by those two definitions Jay-Z has swagger. Bill Gates has swagger. Honestly even George Jefferson has swagger, I mean he did have the meanest strut on television. Those people are examples of people how made their own path. Swagger should be about how you stand out from everyone else. Swagger is the ability to make things cool when no one is doing it. It should not matter if other people think you got swag or not. Swagger is natural. If you have to tell somebody that you have swag then you probably don’t. Telling yourself that you have swag in the mirror five times does not mean you will have swag. This is not Candy Man. Swagger when used right should display your uniqueness. It should not mean look and act exactly like your favorite rapper on TV.

What is worse than that is all of the people that now judge Rap Artist by how much “Swag” they have instead of how good their music is. As Grade A of the Cartel (TMC) says, Swag is not a talent! I was at one show recently where the artists had a swag competition. How can you have a swagger competition? This movement has gotten so bad that people connect swagger with a person’s outfit. The next time you compliment a man’s swagger ask yourself this question. “Am I really judging another grown man by the way he is wearing his clothes?” I like most of Kanye West’s music but that does not mean I’m about to wear extra medium shirts and jeans because of it. That looks suspect in my book. You should not be worried about how another man dress. Not even the term “No Homo” can protect you from that “Pro Homo” activity.

Now please don’t get it twisted, I am not saying don’t use the word swag. Just know what it means when you use the phrase. If you do you will realize it is getting played out like people saying “getting Jiggy with it.” I know plenty of artists who use the phrase swagger and are good friends of mines. I just think that it is getting over used. You can have swag without having to say the word. Let the phrase breath. Think of it this way, if everyone in the world says they have swag wouldn’t that make your swag watered down?

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