With the gimmicky rap lyrics and dance fads penetrating the rap game, Swag has risen to the occasion to be the representative for what the block wants. With his urban bravado and authentic style, Swag has created nothing short of a following in his native West Covina, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Now the time has come to present the world with his take on the good, the bad and the ugly on the lifestyle of a true street soldier.
To say Swag created his own diagram is a serious understatement: he’s been rapping since the age of 13.
At 18, under the name Goldberg Slim, he generated an underground buzz with mixtape “D-Boy Music: The Mixtape”. The streets responded by snatching his album and mixtapes out of the mom and pop record stores and car trunks in loads. By 19, he signed a record deal at with Sony and released “The Afterparty” under his newly- founded record label, Paper Route Records.
Skillful at not only his lyrical deliverance but in overcoming his discouraging adolescent and young adult years, Swag made the transition from nothing to something look relatively easy. However, the journey was anything but troublesome. Raised in the heart of South Central Los Angeles and later West Covina, California, Swag gravitated towards rap’s late 80’s era. Legends such as Big Daddy Kane and Easy-E were some of his early inspirations. Actually, Swag’s most nostalgic memory was listening to K-Day.
Unfortunately for Swag, the golden era of rap coexisted with the crack epidemic in America’s urban communities. Music was unable to guard him from the effects of the plague. Barely a teenager, Swag was forced to fend for himself after the death of his mother, a single parent. By the early 90’s Swag found himself completely immersed in the gang life and what came along with it.
“When I came into my manhood and I had to make real decisions,” Swag remembers. “When my mom passed away, that’s when I fell real heavily into the banging and the hustling and the streets, and was doing everything under the sun. That’s when I said, ‘Forget the music.’”
Able to overcome a prison sentence, Swag relocated to the Pacific Northwest where he had relatives, with an even greater appreciation for hip hop. “Hip hop is what kept me alive while I was locked up. I would be in the hole for twenty three hours a day. I was rapping constantly as something to do.”
It was in the Pacific Northwest that Swag garnered a swell of attention via live performances in the Seattle and Portland areas. Unfortunately, however, that wasn’t enough at the time to get recognized as a rap artist on the West Coast with southern artists dominating the rap game. But with a drive as aggressive as his music and a vital ally in childhood friend and producer, Khrys Hollywood, Swag quickly inked another record deal, this time, with Warner Music Group and released “The Blueprint of a Hustler” this past February (2009).
“Sony and Warner were on-the-job training,” says Swag. “I appreciated the opportunities, but now that I’m doing things my way. I know what lane I want to go in.”
Continuing to channel his pure hustler’s ambition music, Swag is set to release his latest mixtape “The Corner” this fall. His latest singles “Swag’N” Ft Jim Jones and “Ice On Me”, are proof that Swag is here to stay. Slated to feature the likes of Jim Jones, Gucci Mane, Juvenile, Kokane and Swag’s own artists Ambush and E. Moe, “The Corner” is a healthy dose of honesty, reality and life from an authentic perspective.
Before Swag gets the opportunity to ascend to hip hop’s elite echelon, “The Corner” is going to have to acquaint him with the masses that might not be familiar with the hard work he put in under the radar. With his current single “Swag’n” gaining momentum on the airwaves, it won’t be long before his goal is achieved.
“Nothin’ can compare to what I’ve been through,” says Swag. “I’ve always been a go-getter, by all means. It’s been good thing and it’s been a bad thing. I’m sharing my story by doing what I love. I hope that by doing so, what we hear on the radio won’t be more of the same. It’ll be real talk that we all can relate to.”
1. Get In & Get Right
2. Getting My Paper Ft Hollywood & Goody Bag Band
3. The W
4. La La La La Ft Hollywood
5. Do You Mind Ft Jon B
6. Im Up Ft Hollywood
7. Tonight Ft Tiffany Wilson
8. You Aint Met Real
9. Help You
10. All To You Ft Hollywood
11. When I Rep
12. From Nothin To Somethin Ft Hollywood
13. I Don’t Care Ft Hollywood
14. Chone Chone
15. Soul Supplier Ft Hollywood & Ambush
16. Tryna Get On
17. Extras Ft Ambush
Swag – Get In & Get Right
Swag – The W
Swag – Im Up
Swag – Tonight Ft Tiffany Wilson
Swag – Help You
Swag – Tryna Get On