Tired of "swagger"

For those of you who got pissed @ MTV's Top 10 MCs in the Game list, you can blame it on "swagger".

This is a term that's come to prominence in the last few years, and the Urban Dictionary basically describes it as someone's style - whether it's their dress, walk, talk, whatever. I can see why people would be so big on it these days - Hip-Hop, and music in general, is very much style over substance, the look before the content. Why do you think guys like Jim Jones can stay prominent in the streets: he wears his style on his sleeve, no matter how ridiculous skull belts look on Harlemites. Lil' Wayne has tatoos in between his eyebrows, and his adlibs sound like someone stuck him in an oxygen-deprived vacuum, then kicked him in the nuts. I love what they do (at times), but this is my thing:

How can you base a Top 10 MCs list on their style, or swagger? Style might bring the people in, but 10 years from now, do you think people will remember Jim Jones for anything other than chants of "Ballin'!" (shit, that's not even THE NAME OF THE SONG!) And even then, who knows the lyrics? T.I. is a hustler, but they rate him on his swagger.

The funniest thing about all of this is when I first heard the word, it was when Cam'ron called Jay-Z a swagger-jacker - then berated dude for wearing sandles and socks. What? You diss him, saying he stole someone's style, then you diss him FOR his style? Cam, you stole your pink-wearing swagger from millions of teen girls! Be forreal.

At the end of the day, I am tired of journalists finding new terms ("swagger") or other trends and acting like it is something entirely new. Who's swagger was iller - Slick Rick's or Weezy's? Biggie's or Jeezy's? And the fucked up part is, once Pac and BIG died, everyone bit off of them! Shit, niggas like Tip and Wayne and Ja Rule and a slew of others are just popular versions of other people's style, anyways. Be forreal...

Basically, I think this quote from Enigmatik says it best: "fuck your swagger".


Anonymous said...

Word. I give a damn about "swagger." Get outta here with that nonsense.

Anonymous said...

swagger is important, but that fake can't even rap ja rule ain't got no swagger. Shoot, mc hammer still could be broke and still have more swagger. Broke ass bitch. get out tha rap game