Swag Rap

Good swag rap, the kind proliferated by Lil B, is an easy target by true school hip hop heads. It’s not subject matter that’s being attacked necessarily since swag rap’s basic tenants (money, hoes, clothes) are 3 of the 4 pillars of hip hop anyways.

What swag rap does is fully bring forth the banalities of accepted rap motifs. Statistically, the argument is:

If swag rap is an exaggerated version of normal rap, this should be evident statistically in word length (the smaller the words, the “simpler” the song) and word dexterity (the less “unique” the word usage the less creative, the more hate).

Three of my favorite tracks in the Lil B catalog, Wonton Soup, Finna it a Lick, and Like a Martian displayed crazy deviation from regular rap:


1.28 Syllables Per Word, 0.90 Unique Words Per Rhyming Pair of Lines


1.38+ Syllables Per Word, 0.90+ Unique Words Per Rhyming Pair of Lines


~1.18 Syllables Per Word, ~0.84 Unique Words Per Rhyming Pair of Lines

       Swag rap is a complete shock to the 20+ year system of accepted rap writing.  It fucks with every single sensibility a listener has developed.  When done right it comes from an interesting absurdist response to the silliness of rap consumerism. Low SPW and word dexterity are something that routinely seems to get the attention of listeners and guys like Lil B are the absurdist reaction to this fact.


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