“A lot of y’all are still sounding like last year. The game need change and I’m the [ milf-loving ] cashier.” ~ Drake’s Successful
Dear Swaggalicious Coontastic Bojanglers,
I’ve been mulling over your misuse of the word swagger and its derivatives for that past several weeks. You know, since I heard “Swag Surfin” and “Turn My Swag On” played on the radio back to back for the first time.
My first thought as the DJ transitioned from one song to the next was simple: I’d be willing to bet my top penny (y’all ain’t worth my bottom dollar) that less than 20 percent of the MCs rappers who have used some form of “swagger” in a song can accurately define humility, confidence and arrogance.
Thing is this: A man with swagger exudes all three in the appropriate situations (YouTube: Your president). I’m not going to explain it much further. I’ll just tell you that I’m certain that none of you clowns has it. And it’s unfortunate. You’re embarrassing your family name and that thing we call hip hop.
See, swagger has slipped in and out of the hip hop lexicon since the late ’70s. But it’s long been a part of urban/black culture. A few starting points: Satchel Paige, Muhammad Ali and Willie Mays. Each of those men backed their swagger up with results, though.
Now, there are 7-year-old boys hopping out their beds in Underoos dead set on “turning their swag on” before they say their prayers. Make that make sense, please.
Don’t get me wrong. I had no problem with “Swagga Like Us.” The verses were spit by four rappers MCs who know how to toe the blurry boundaries around humility, confidence and arrogance — either because they’ve been put in their place (Kanye, T.I.P.) or because they just get it (Jay, Wayne).
There’s one jackal of a bojangler who has forced me to see this as such more so than any other: Yes, the one and only, Spectacular. No, I have not nor will I watch your foolishness that is making waves around these here Internets. I watched someone else’s live reaction to you a la “2 Girls, 1 Cup.” The response to the former was similar to every reaction to the latter.
Getting your “male striptease on” and challenging Omarion & friends — this is what you think swagger is? You’d be better off making a video of yourself in a straitjacket and a muzzle while strapped to a ball & chain … at the bottom of the Atlantic with recently freed tiger sharks swarming. That’s a devolution that should be televised.
Thanks to you, Soulja Boy, Pleasure P and Co., we have a clearer vision of what Kanye was talking about in Late Registration’s “Crack (Baby) Music.” Seriously, what real man sincerely wants to kiss his girl through the phone knowing that he’s nothing more than Boyfriend No. 2?
Trust me, I love freedom of speech. But the [manure] you peddle off your tongues should classify as randomly yelling “FIRE!” in the middle of a packed auditorium. I’m quite certain that you don’t even understand what I just said, so I’ll just move on. *smh*
Instead of simply assaulting autotune (the song is cool, but doesn’t go that hard), Jay-Z should have taken an ax to this Swagger Devolution. He should have put you clowns in your place and named it “Takeover 2.0” and expounded upon the half-bar at the end of the original “Takeover.”
Maybe the kids who listen to the foolishness you all make would actually see you for the bojanglers you are? Maybe your Mom might go upside your head like Charles Hamilton’s ex-homeyloverfriend did him? Maybe the heads of your labels would rip up your contracts and kick you off the curbs you sit on and in front of a moving bus?
Whatever the case, I just wish that every rapper with a deal under age 25 — save Drake, Cudi, J. Cole and a few select others — would just quit their day jobs, go back to high school freshman English class and learn to define those words before you ever mention swagger again in another hot 16.
Humility. Arrogance. Confidence. I’ll give you a head start: www.m-w.com …
Humbly (if you know what that means),
P.S. Trust me, this is one of those things you do not want to go to UrbanDictionary.com for a proper definition.
P.P.S. “One of Mini-Me’s shoes got more sole/soul than you.” ~ Luda’s “Hip Hop Quotables”