No one has swagger like Jim Jones

It’s not necessarily my intention to side with Jim Jones in this beef he’s trying to initiate with T.I. I’m just saying. The guy might have a point.

If we’re gonna define swagger as something that’s actually meaningful, in the sense that it’s something you can’t just buy, if you’ve got a lot of money, I don’t know if you can say T.I.’s got a whole lot in the way of swagger.

Allow me to explain.

The difference between a guy like T.I. and a guy like Jim Jones is that T.I. is actually a fairly talented rapper. But who gives a shit if a guy can rap? Probably not very many people in T.I.’s target audience, i.e southerners, young kids, girls, and what have you.

Hence, the new T.I. comes loaded down with songs with Rihanna singing the chorus, songs produced by the guy who ghost produces a lot of Timbaland’s stuff, songs where he brags to girls about how much money he’s willing to spend on them, and so on and so forth.

He pays people to add fruitiness to his music so that people might actually buy it. To me, that’s the opposite of swagger. Swagger to me would be creating something that’s a true reflection of who you are, and having people buy it because they recognize something innate in your being that they find to be worthwhile.

T.I. doesn’t really have swagger. He’s just got a huge budget from the major labels, i.e. the Bush Administration of the entertainment industry, and a country full of people who don’t know any better.

In that sense, he’s got a lot in common with his idol, Jay-Z, the guy who introduced the term swagger to hip-hop, as if it didn’t already exist, along with crap like button down shirts (which he calls button up shirts, because he’s from the projects), and numerous other unfortunate trends over the years.

A man with a mind so warped by consumerism, he once did a song about how his world view is different now that he’s nearing middle age, and it basically consisted of a list of the different features of his watch, and his car, and his stock portfolio and what have you.

Jay-Z might be the ultimate example of a rapper whose entire life is defined by the things that he owns. Yeah, he raps about how, if skills told, he’d kick more knowledge, and about how, if you were from the projects, you’d be celebrating the minute you had money. But you get the idea he just says that because he’s embarrassed about how empty he is on the inside.

He’s not avoiding doing anything worthwhile because he’s waiting until he’s got enough money to take that kind of risk. He’s avoiding doing anything worthwhile because he’s fucking sick in the head.

And that’s where the term swagger, as put forth by the likes of T.I. and Jay-Z, comes from – the idea that, if you can make enough money, usually by finding various ways to subjugate you manliness and degrade your culture, you can reach a point at which your wealth becomes your identity.

T.I. can say he’s got the most swagger in hip-hop, and most people will go right along with it. Whereas, if I made such a claim, people would be like, “What the fuck are you talking about? You live in your mom’s basement.” When the truth of the matter is that neither of us has the most swagger in hip-hop.

Say what you will about Jim Jones, but he actually does seem to possess a certain degree of personal charisma, which he uses to cover up for the fact that he isn’t particularly good at… like, anything. He’s got swagger, in the actual dictionary sense of the term.

That’s why he was able to prevail, to the extent that he did, in his beef with Jay-Z a couple of years ago. Jay-Z, who’s a far superior rapper to Jim Jones, tried to face off with Jim Jones in a silly swagger contest, and he lost. Because he doesn’t have swagger in any way that’s really authentic.

If T.I. makes the same mistake, I wouldn’t be surprised if he suffers a similar fate.

  • LEO

    SWAGGER DON’T WIN BATTLES…RHYMES DO…JIM JONES AINT REALLY GOT ANY OF THOSE…NOT SAYING THAT T.I. GOT THAT MANY BARS, BUT IF I HAD TO BET…I PUT MY MONEY ON T.I. (DONT GOT ANY OF HIS ALBUMS) JIM JONES IS A GLOBETROTTER OF RAP…I FORGOT WHO SAID THAT…BUT YEAH…

  • Bang

    LMAO

    Truth. Too much truth in your article

    Kids, remember this, and remember why everyone says Hip Hop is dead (it just sucks now thats all)

    “the idea that, if you can make enough money, usually by finding various ways to subjugate you manliness and degrade your culture, you can reach a point at which your wealth becomes your identity.”

  • http://xxlmag.com jmill1224

    Damn, u broke that shit down, my nigga. True in every since of the word. I’mma jay fan, and i like t.i. but with out the music, they seem to be dull as hell. anyways, nice article, keep doin your thing.

    I wonder how many times the word “hater” will be used as a response?

  • khalil amani

    The caps suck! Who’s effin’ idea is this? Didn’t y’all learn in Composition 101 that CAPITALIZING every word is bad on the eyes…especially an old man like me? It’s like one big ol’ screaming session, highlighting every EFFIIN’ word!

    Anyhoo… I agree of sorts with this post. SWAGGER is INNATE… niggas born with it. MOney can only enhance what’s already there.

    Khalil Amani “Ya gay friend’s favorite straight friend!” (Hoodgrownonline.com)

  • http://xxlmag.com slim

    swagger nowadays means dressing gay! hahahahahahahahaha oh yeah and swag splash gotta be one of the gayest sayings ever!

  • Meech

    Bol made a damn good point.

  • http://XXL gside

    So Jim Jones is like a host at a good restaurant you know when you go out to eat and it a bad ass bitch that greet you think she likes you but that just her , but the food is what you came for and it’s good but when you see the chef he’s mean as hell and don’t look to clean that Jay. Or better yet like a bikini car wash you know were the girls dam near butt naked it’s a line around the conner but these hoe’s can’t wash a car for shit.Yea I seen that shit for shore mf be around for nothing and make more money than you .

    • AK

      gside – What in the fuck are you talking about? That post made absolutely no sense and was incredibly difficult to read! You must be one of those mentally challenged types.

      Give a proof read next time.

    • Tha Ace

      wow gside……..i don’t even know what to say about your post

      but bol, i think this is the best blog you’ve written….bring up some very good points

  • DV8

    Call me old school but I thought swagger was to be displayed by your music and stage presence. Not running around dressing like a bitch and comparing your “swag”(pause) to someone elses “swag”(pause). I mean really, for those who give a fuck about swag, why would you be comparing someone elses to yours? Thats some female shit. Females are the ones who be comparing themselves to another one, not men. Basically what I’m trying to say is SHUT UP AND RAP OR GET OUT THE GAME!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/thissathekid the-K.I.D

    u smashed the nail in the head (ll) wit that one.i wonder wat u’d come up wit if they actually paid ya enough

  • master cheef

    jim jones just copied his swagger from the biker in the village people.

    • that nigga

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Now that some funny shit. Though true. And BOL, this has to be one of If not the best read I’ve ever read from you. No lie. And this:

      “But you get the idea he just says that because he’s embarrassed about how empty he is on the inside.”

      I’ve ben sayin that for the fuckin longest. Jay Is hollow, shallow and empty like you said.

  • TheCo!!inB

    bol I think Kahlil Amani likes your swagger……
    while I was at work last year a guy told me he loved my swagger and I reported him to HR for sexual harassment…..i don’t want no guys lovin me for shit!

    • that nigga

      HAHA!! ^^ You niggas are crazy, I swear!!

  • ashbee

    LMFAO!!

    Thank God for you Bol. Great breakdown.

  • geico lizard

    jim jones is good at looking like a homeless man who needs a shave and a bath. ti has a style of rap and the way he wears his baseball hats and they look like they will fall off your head if you try it but thats about it jim jones was right nobody can dress like ti but you can look like a fruity member of dipset. jay z is all about rap and women. he has low self esteem just like 50 cent because they both know they are ugly and they were dissed by women growing up so they tried to degrade as many women as possible in their music and the famous women they slept with they tried to treat like trash because like you said bol they are empty inside. jay z took the bait from jim jones over all the other rappers who dissed him that year because jim tapped into jay z insecurity. clinton sparks was trying to promote black on black crime.

  • OG Matt Herbz

    All good points, indeed. You know, I like to think it is the man that makes the shirt, not the shirt that makes the man. Before I walked into the Hugo Boss store and dropped a couple bills on a t-shirt, that shirt had nothing going on but a mannequin’s bird-chest. Now that it’s embraced my torso and serving as a backdrop for my 2cm thick Cuban link chain, it has fulfilled it’s purpose through my intentions and my action. I made that shit look so good, nahmean?! Naw, you niggaz don’t know what I mean…but, fuck it, there’s your knowledge for you right there…

    …peep the intro to American Gangster for Jay-Z’s definition of “Swagger,” though that might just limit the term to describing wannabe kingpins and shit…

    …and if Kanye’s in the song, wouldn’t it be “fagger?”

    –OG Matt Herbz–

    • http://www.prettypancakes.com amar

      @OG Matt Herbz

      if u make the shirt, try making one of those “5 plain tees for $20″ with a mustard stain on the top left and a hole in the bottom right lol. Trust me, it’s hard. But bitches love hard.

      PS
      I’mma slip a “no homo” in here just in case

  • El Tico Loco

    trickin
    bitchassness
    selling out
    bitin
    having no skills
    men in tight clothes
    diva isms
    fakeness
    swagger
    coonin

    that’s the new millenium hip hop
    what part of the game is that?

    • DV8

      co-sign

    • nellz

      lol u guys kill me with the tight clothes…stop actin like u werent wearin tight jeans in the late 80′s/early 90′s. ur clothes got baggy cuz u were following a trend in hip hop. jus like the kids are doing now.

      Then u guys come off like there were never any whack ass rappers until recently..get the fuck outta here.

  • El Tico Loco

    and btw swagger is what used to be called flavor minus the knowledge and skill is like a reverse evolution going on

  • Dub Sac

    He’s not avoiding doing anything worthwhile because he’s waiting until he’s got enough money to take that kind of risk. He’s avoiding doing anything worthwhile because he’s fucking sick in the head.

    Damn, Bol. That was some serious shit. You touched on why I can’t really defend Jay-Z – either you’re saying you’re smart but are really stupid (like you say,) or you’re actually smart and acting stupid, which is pretty disgusting.

    Yeah, he makes money, but you figure he could slip some intelligent shit onto the album tracks, even if he’s keeping the club singles. I really wished he had kept writing shit down – you can really hear the difference between Reasonable Doubt and everything else he’s ever done. You know?

  • Giantsfan

    As a old school hip-hop head who was around the game for years, I can tell you, Jay was a star long before he made records. I used to see the dude on the street and in clubs, the nigga (and his crew) was swagger personified. I get tired of hearing you young niggas talk about selling out the culture and treatin a nigga who made it like he broke some unwritten hip hop rule. The fore-fathers of this shit all tried to (and are still trying) to get PAID. Save that stupid “you paid so you soldout shit”!!!!

  • http://www.prettypancakes.com amar

    lol i never realized that jay-z calls them button ups hahahhaha that’s gold

    i always thought of t.i. as a really cool dude who used extreme cockiness and this constant constipated-like look to portray swagger. I also thought he was well dressed though, until he said recently something about his stylist. But at least he’s not jim jones, who’s voice pretty much sounds like what i imagine a bear’s orgasm sounds like.

    But i’d say both t.i., jones and jay-z just use cockiness and money-talk to portray swagger. I know every example I give is nas, but it’s true-Nas has true swagger, consistantly both in records and in person. I think it’s his perfect combination of a street look with a rich look with a smart look that does it.

    http://www.prettypancakes.com

  • Yayza

    I can understand when you say that T.I. doesn’t have swagger, but Jay? Nigga please. Hov oozes swagger. I’ll admit that he really has no excuse whatsoever as to why he continues to dumb down his music when he’s wiping his ass with $20s alongside Bill Gates, but that’s another matter entirely. He definitely has charisma.

  • http://www.sweeneykovar.wordpress.com sweeneykovar

    powerful posting

  • http://yahoo Ellio

    Bol…..whateva hatin-ass negro.

    Jimmy dresses like a fag and that’s what you call swag. Jim questioning Tip’s swag belongs in the negro please section of the next mag. FUCC him. T.I. stay winning

  • Liam

    “But you get the idea he just says that because he’s embarrassed about how empty he is on the inside.”

    haha, good post

  • Pierzy

    In what way did Jim Jones actually “win” that battle?

  • http://www.myspace.com/uptownempire Trouble

    Thank You Bol, This post was on point. Jim Jones did win over Jay-Z, that shit was unexpected. But Jim do got alotta swag, he did a show down here in Augusta Ga and that shit was crunk !!! (sidebar) Stack Bundles was at that show, and I got to talk to him for a moment, cool dude R.I.P Stacks…

  • El Tico Loco

    We wore tight clothes in the 80′s yes but that’s all we had in the racks. Now we have options so that’s the dif.

  • capcobra

    you talking about the fake ny blood that wanna rap thug life like pac?…correct me if i’m wrong but…wasn’t pac screaming straight ballin a long time ago?….you talkin about the dude that started the tight jeans with the tight thermal shit right?….the bitchassnigga tthat ran out the park and now runs around with long hair a scarf and diamonds?…the forign guy who was the dirty looking sidekick for killa cam right?…that’s what niguz calling swagger huh?….fuck outta here!!…that nigga should be worrying about max b…apologizing to cam or some shit…not fucking with t.i….jimmy try to pull a 50…lol..you know…start shit with a platinum street nigga while the police watching….i think he’d love to ether jones before doing that bid personally.

  • EReal

    BOL IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DETROIT

    Bol, this is some real shit! Keep it up hommie!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com damion

    Bryon Crawford you have a lot of swagger – the fruity kind. You are obviously retarded. NOBODY has swagger like Jay – NOBODY. Jay Swagged (past tense) on Jenny Jones.

    If you don’t like Jay-Z’s and TI’s style of music, that’s no reason to try to take away their accomplishments. I bet your just mad you can’t rap.

    BTW: Brooklyn get paper, tote big thangs
    We chase Ninja’s around, they own ball game (Rucker)
    …..
    Jones’ can’t keep up
    Maybe my Ninja Nas
    But I got stronger after Ether
    WOW!!!!!!!

    • Detroit

      so jim didn’t fuck jay over when he took jay’s verse and put it on his remix? THAT SHIT WAS CLASSIC!

      jim was doin jay’s adlibs….”I’m scared”….lol

      JAY IS NOT A BATTLE RAPPER! Jim killed dude to the point that jay had to sign tru life to fight his battle for him!

      if you don’t thing that’s true, where’s tru life now? remember jay was on his intro?

      Jay is a good rapper, but he’s a corny ass nigga!

      • http://www.xxlmag.com damion

        Detroit, you must really live in Detriot to have gotten your facts so backward.

        Jay is not a battle rapper? “I put Prodigy in his place on that summer jam screen.”

        Jim won? Because he took Jay’s verse and rapped over it??????

        That’s battle rap???????

        How old are you????

        Ninja’s beats is banging, ninja your hooks did it
        Your lyrics didn’t and your gangster look did it
        So I would write it if y’all could get it — Jay-Z, Kingdom Come Prelude ****Get Familiar****

  • http://www.myspace.com/uptownempire trouble

    It was over when Jim did the addlib for Jay-Z !!! LOL

    GO OLD HEAD
    GO OLD HEAD
    GO OLD HEAD
    GO OLD HEAD

    he ethered jay in that battle just with that addlib LOL

  • Moi

    “do you fools listen to music or just skim through it?”

  • BIGNAT

    THAM BOL ONE OF YOUR RANDOM RANTS ACTUALLY MADE SENSE ALL OF IT. ALSO GO BACK TO CALLING JIM JONES DIRT ANGEL THATS WHAT YOU WAS CALLING HIM IN TH PAST

  • http://www.rizzleworld.blogspot.com allnice

    TI’s album, Paper Trail is actually a pretty good album. To tell you the truth it might just be a post 20th Century classic. Only the Game album comes close to topping it. That being said, TI is two people. Remember this is TI vs TIP we are dealing with. He’s definitely schizo. I think TIP made Paper Trail. TIP bought all those guns. When he got caught, TI had to come out and snitch in order to avoid prison. TI is a sucker for love for ugly bitches. TIP can rhyme. TI makes songs like Why You Wanna (extra gay…)
    He explained this shit and niggaz still don’t understand him.

    Jim Jones got swagger but he can’t rhyme. You have to be an artist first. That is what hip hop is all about. You don’t need swag to make a superior hip hop album. Look at the lil homey Nas. He has almost no personal swag, but he is probably the best active rapper alive. Game doesn’t have much swagger either but he is a good rapper. Bigg definitely didn’t have swagger like that. He was pretty much laid back and chill.

    Hip Hop degenerated into a swag contest. Look at me I have more swagger than you! Niggaz that like swag like Pharrel, Kanye, Lupe, Jim Jones, and all them other swag for the image niggaz. The instincts of poetry and rhyme are almost lost. There aren’t many authentic warriors left in the game besides Nas, Game, and Too Short. Everybody else wants to be some fucking swag boss mogul savage. At least real savages were into touch with their instincts.

  • Jerin Diagne

    I am going to agree with this article. Jim may not be hottest lyricist however, he still relevant in hip hop. He is extremely original with rhymes or lack there of, with his style and his mannerism. I believe that swagger does not how much money you obtain. Its all about originality, style and persona. he is not attempting to be like anyone except himself. Thats swagger. On to his lyrical ability, he is not the best by far(or anywhere close), however, he can definitely convey a message thru his music and thats powerful. Half the rappers now can’t even compare to his stature. I bought every jim jones, TI and Jay Z Jim is bottom of my list however, he still holds substance and thats why I would continue to support his music. Lyrical content does not only make the an MC, I want to hear what you have to say.

  • D1

    jim jones is fly he changed button-ups to grown up fitting clothes those oversized jeans are played out especially those tall tees grow up!