Written By Archie Fucque
In this week’s Pulse Report the streets are buzzing about Lil’ Wayne joining forces with Jim Jones for a “Swagger Like Us” showdown against Jay-Z, T-Pain’s vocoder receiving a vote of confidence from T.I. on "The Parker Report," Kanye West losing his bid to become an HBO star and Memphis Bleek explaining why he appeared in a shampoo commercial.
[Editor Note: The views of this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH.com]
1. Behind Enemy Lines. The swagger epidemic in hip-hop has grown out of control. Since T.I. teamed up with Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, and Kanye West on the West produced “Swagger Like Us” we’ve seen a rash of remixes. It was all fun and games when Diddy unleashed “Swagger Like Puff”, but now comes word that the craze is about to set off a challenge between some of hip-hop’s biggest names. According to, the always in the know, radio personality Miss Info, Lil’ Wayne has aligned himself with Jim Jones and Juelz Santana to record “Swaggerjack From Us” a rivaling version to the original. Apparently the hook goes: “All these other rappers jack swagger from us.”
This news becomes rather fascinating due to the fact that Jay-Z has already commissioned a "S.L.U 2" featuring Nas, Andre 3000, and Young Jeezy.
SMH. No one is going to be sadder than us if we hear another rendition of this song. Come on people! I’m just recovering from hearing “A Milli” a billi-ion different ways. More importantly, what’s up with Wayne switching sides? Was he not satisfied with his role on the original? We all know Jimmy is probably going to take Hov to task on something, but who could Wayne bring forth issue with on the swaggerjacker version.
I don’t know. Hopefully this is the last one. I certainly don’t want to give any ideas to others to prolong this madness. Like say if LL Cool J, Nelly, DMX and Cam’ron got together for the “No One Used To Have Swagger Like Us” version. Oops, I just gave ‘em an idea. Well since we’re at it ya’ll should come up with some of your own.
2. One Voice. Staying on the topic of things we can’t escape, T-Pain’s vocoder device was the topic of discussion on several outlets this week. First, the good folks over at "The Parker Report" put the wildly popular vocal apparatus on trial for its recent abuse by everyone from Lil’ Wayne to R. Kelly. Host Erik Parker sat with T.I., Alfamega, DJ Drama and Big Kuntry King to come up with a verdict on who should be allowed the vocoder. [Watch here]
Everyone agrees unanimously that T-Pain has ownership to the re-introduction of the vocoder. However T.I. maintains that Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West get a free pass for biting.
I don’t have a problem when T-Pain, Wayne, and Kanye do it…because they do it best. Leave it to the professional. They don’t have to do this. Wayne don’t have to do this. It’s just another sound.
With that said the final verdict came down as such: No biting allowed. If you want to do a vocoder record ask T-Pain.
Also, courtesy of Funnyordie.com peep what happens when T-Pain tries to go it alone without his trusty vocoder. [Watch here]
While I agree with the final decision, I’d like to had a few things to the legislation.
1. If you have not sold a platinum album since 2005 you are not allowed to use the vocorder.
2. If you have not been romantically linked to one or all of the following you don’t qualify to use the vocoder: Kanye West, Karrine “Superhead” Steffens or Ray J’s package.
3. If your name is not Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, or T-Pain you can’t use the vocoder.
And for anyone trying to qualify on options 1 & 2, you have to meet the criteria of all three. Sorry.
3. Not Made For TV. Staying on the topic of Kanye West, with or without any voice assistance his music care has taken off into another stratosphere. However his television career is stuck on the tarmac for now. According to comingsoon.net, writer/director Larry Charles ("Entourage," "Curb Your Enthusiasm") revealed that he shot a pilot for a Kanye show but HBO shelved the project for the moment.
“What Kanye West said to me the first time, he said, ‘I'm the black Larry David.' That's the first thing he said to me. So it's like a Kanye and 'Curb' show, it's kind of improvised about the situations and stuff. It was really good, but again I think it was too hardcore for HBO. Also, HBO's management shifted, but HBO doesn't have a good track record when it comes to black shows and I felt like that may have had something to do with it also. I don't see a lot of shows about that experience at all. This was very entertaining and we showed it to a lot of people. People gave it a very good response and it seems to be on the shelf right now.
That’s really unfortunate. Let me find out HBO don’t care about black people. A Kanye show sounds like it would be more interesting than anything HBO has on right now other than "Entourage." How does Flavor Flav get three shows, New York gets three shows, and Chance & Real get a show on cable TV and Kanye West can’t? Something ain’t right. Only thing left to stay is, give a black man a chance.
4. Bleek Outlook. There used to be a time when being the right hand man to the boss meant something. Folks would lather you up just to get closer to the man in charge. Well things have changed for Memphis Bleek. These days being Jay-Z’s right hand man gets you a washed up role in a shampoo commercial. We all remember the peculiar spot Bleek did for Fructis a while back. Well the Brooklyn MC explained how everything comes back to the money and the bitches.
“They called me," he told SOHH. They contacted somebody at the label, had a big bag of money for me, and said, ‘Yo, you just gotta f*ck with the b*tches.’ Because my whole thing was, like, damn, a shampoo commercial? Man, I don’t got no hair. I rock a du-rag and a baldie all day. I ain’t got no hair, so what they want me for? And they was like, ‘Nah, you just f*cking with the b*tches’ and so I’m like cool.”
Bleek even went on to discuss the status of his relationship with Jay.
“I ain’t seen Jay since we came off the world tour. He came off the world tour and he bought a crib in the city, did a house warming and I ain’t seen him, like I’ve been doing my thing. I don’t be talking to the god, I just got an e-mail the other day, we got two shows coming up. Detroit. Miami. Then in two weeks Australia. We doing New York, Philly, Houston, Boston. I just get e-mails when it’s time to hit the streets.”
True story. I went through the same exact thing as Bleek. Back when my dad told me I wasn’t cutting it in the family business and I had to venture out on my own. My pops ran Fucque Furniture Delivery for 40 years out of a little shop in Brooklyn. We were the number one delivers of Seaman’s Furniture. Anyway, I was Ronald McDonald the summer after I graduated high school. I had to walk around in a 100 degree heat with a f*cked up red afro just to make a buck. But I too found solace in the fact I was doing it for the “b*tches.” Chicks love Ronald McDonald.
That’s all from me folks. Hit me up at email@example.com to chime in on whatever you like. Last week’s Jay-Z/Kanye debate was great. Shoutout to everyone who had a say. This week let’s see who can come up with the freshest remix to “Swagger Like Us." I got tons more in the chamber. Is it time to retire the vocoder? I say its got two more years left before we bury it. What say you?