Hip-Hop Wisdom: When the Stars Come Out on “Swagger Like Us” … T.I. Shines?!

King or not, T.I. essentially gets bottom billing on his single “Swagger Like Us,” which also features Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z. Ridiculous, right? And yet Mr. Candle Guy still steals the scene.

Kanye sports a memorable line or two, with: “I know I got it first / I’m Christopher Columbus, y’all just the pilgrims.” But with the mixtape-style beat he jacked from M.I.A., the producer still comes off a bit lackluster. Meanwhile Jay-Z just raps about stacks of money (“Can’t wear skinny jeans ’cause my knots don’t fit”), and Lil Wayne is still using that effing autotune effect. Enter T.I.:

You go see Weezy for the wordplay
Jeezy for the birdplay
Kanyeezy for diversity
And me for controversy

Though more compliment than kiss-off, T.I.’s opening salvo establishes him as the ace in this star-studded deck. His three colleagues have their uses, he’s saying, but by distilling each to a couple words he cuts them down to size while aggrandizing himself. If nothing else, T.I. puts himself on the same level as Jay-Z, Kanye, and Wayne — an impressive feat in itself.

MP3: T.I. – “Swagger Like Us” (feat. Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne)

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2 responses to “Hip-Hop Wisdom: When the Stars Come Out on “Swagger Like Us” … T.I. Shines?!

  1. T.I.’s opening is brilliant but the rest of the song still annoys me

  2. The Whole F'n Show

    The snip you quoted is actually even more relevant when you consider that the ‘Jeezy’ being referred to is Young Jeezy and not Jay-Z; Jeezy and T.I. go way back (as a tandem calling themselves ‘Hustle and Blow’, with Jeezy in the role of the latter), and the respects paid to Wayne and Kanye echo sentiments that have appeared on records put out by all four of them over the last year.

    With Jay-Z and Nas getting older, 50 Cent concentrating on making billions off kool-aid, and Eminem someplace doing oxy, ‘Ye TIP Wayne and Jeezy have gone out of their way to acknowledge each other as the new gen…look at Wayne acknowledging ‘Dr. Kanye as one of the brightest…and Dr. Jeezy can fix you up the tightest’ (on ‘Dr. Carter) and Jeezy going ‘got a phone call from ‘Ye, put my ad-libs on his song/sold 3 million records DAMN I put him on’ (on the ‘Put On’ remix with Jay-Z, and referencing Jeezy’s ad-lib of ‘ha-ha’ and ‘cheeeea’ on the Kanye single ‘Cant Tell Me Nothing’)

    Also significant, because Wayne and T.I. have long had subliminal disses rumored to be at each other–Wayne: ‘If you the King then where your castle at?’ ‘Another rapper make a song about me, I’m throwin shots back at em’ T.I.: ‘Wearin a white t on your album cover dont make you no dope dealer boy’ (on the track ‘I’m Talkin to You’ where he gives props to basically every rapper in the game EXCEPT Wayne)

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