Guest Star: Rhymefest On "The Death Of Swag"

Monday, Apr 5, 2010 3:00PM

Written by SOHH.com

For this week, Grammy-winning rapper Rhymefest has sat down with SOHH to talk about everything, from what happened to the Chi-Town movement to his thoughts on Little Brother putting out their final album together. In this first exchange, Fest explains why the word "swag" should be demolished from urban slang.

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I hate that word, swag. Like, I hate that word man. I feel like that word is one of the reasons why so many artists today got the style but don't got the substance.

They're so concentrated on swag that they ain't got no lyrics. They can't rap. And they don't care about the culture and of hip-hop. So my thing is, I wanted to use that word in a way, to me, brought it back to the essence of what hip-hop should be, which is confrontational. So when I say 'Swag on one hundred thousand trillion,' it's like I 'dare' you to say something to me. Like I'm gonna say exactly what's on my mind and I dare somebody dressed up in their little whatever, whatever, to debate me on it. And I'm gonna talk my sh*t.

My thing is, I'm just saying what it is to me. I think somebody can say something and it can be misinterpreted by other people. I think people used to say words like "Def" like, "Man that's def!" I think swag is just one of those trendy words like "def" and it don't matter who say it. Run-DMC said "def" and it was applicable during that time but it ran its course. And I think the word swag has run its course because what's a word that people still say that they said from back then? Like, people will still be like "Chill G!" or "Chill out" so adopted by the corporate world as being like "Yo, do you guys chill? Are you chilling out?" And then you got a big old campaign behind it and every artist has a song called "Look At How I'm Chilling." It's just like d*mn G, everybody got swag. It has no value anymore.

It's because it's so overdone. And I'm not saying to make up words. I ain't saying make up new slang. We need new words, I'm not being like a hater. All I'm saying is, while we understand you want to have a certain swagger or certain style, let's add to that from substance not just the swag. --as told to Senior News Writer Cyrus Langhorne

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