Did Kochie Just Kill Swag?

What will we do with swag? Not to be confused with the free stuff you get at fashion shows or camping bedroll, swag is the hip hop catch-all for “good” uttered by people who download mixtapes and covet Supreme. Thanks to the lyrics and social media accounts of rappers like Lil B, Soulja Boy and Odd Future the term has enjoyed rampant (some might say insufferable) usage throughout the internets and is poised to enter the Oxford English Dictionary in years to come. Some of that has to do with its malleability. It can be a verb (leather pants swag my shit out), a noun (these leather pants give me so much swag), an adjective (check out my swag leather pants) or a lazy way for people who aren’t black to prove they listen to hip hop. It’s a truncation of swagger basically and almost identical in usage to the skate term “steez” which means carriage, style or charisma.

Sounds awesome right? Roll it around in your mouth and try it out in a sentence! Use it to hash tag an awesome twitpic of yourself. See how it punctuates every word? Now forget it. Going the way of “da bomb” and izzle anything, swag has reached its cultural tipping thanks in part to rapper P Diddy who adopted it as his latest moniker (so it’s a proper noun now too!). On a video posted to the most unintentionally hilarious channel on Youtube, the human formerly known as Sean Combs attributed the name change to his recovery from the flu (???) and even changed his twitter handle to @iamswag.

Closer to home meanwhile Sydney street press mag The Brag co-opted the term when it renamed itself “The Swag” in honour of Australia-bound cover stars, Odd Future. Across town in a giant calculator somewhere the embodiment of “terrible Dad joke” David Koch deployed swag in a tweet referring to Aussie dance troupe, Justice Crew. Kochie then offered the following definition to a confused follower: “”swag” is a term hip hoppers have claimed to describe someone or something.”

Stop that now.


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