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Meaning of the song ‘Swang’ by ‘Rae Sremmurd’

Released: 2016

“Swang” by Rae Sremmurd is a casual and confident anthem of youthful flamboyancy and ambition, shedding light on their journey and the choices they’ve made in the pursuit of wealth and success. The lyrics chronicle a life of excess and extravagance lived fearlessly yet under the shadow of mortality, appropriating popular tropes of Southern hip-hop swagger.

The phrase “know some young niggas like to swang” that the song opens with is a reference to the Southern hip-hop tradition of “swanging” – driving in an ostentatious way to show off, making wide turns like a pendulum. This establishes swang as the distinctive symbol of the unconstrained and celebratory lifestyle the duo is embracing.

They repeat the line “Big bank take little bank,” a ubiquitous phrase in hip-hop culture, underlining their financial status and the competitiveness that accompanies wealth accumulation in the rap game. “Every day spillin’ up drank” is a nod to the codeine-infused concoction popular in the Southern rap scene, further emphasizing their immersion in the hedonistic pursuits often associated with hip-hop fame.

The line, “When the money talks, what is there to say?” illustrates how money has become the most definitive symbol of success and power, leaving no room for arguments or explanations. The following lines, “blow away, watch it blow away” and “when I die, can’t take it to the grave,” reflect a poignant realization of the impermanence and futility of material possessions, indicating a level of existential consciousness beneath their brash exterior.

The track doesn’t shy away from addressing the duo’s humble beginnings – “I know some young niggas from the bottom” – and the choices they made – “coulda went to school to be a doctor, but I dropped out and chose to be a baller.” These lines emphasize their decision to prioritize their music career full of promise and excitement over conventional paths of success. The closure, “SremmLife,” pays homage to their adopted collective name and the lifestyle it signifies, serving as a forthright assertion of their identity and success.

Essentially, “Swang” by Rae Sremmurd is their braggadocio manifest, embedded with themes of debauchery, splurging, rebellion, and grandiose living, yet tempered by an awareness of the fleeting nature of such a lifestyle and the ultimate inevitability of death.

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