Hip-hop Media training

The Rap Pack Brings “Swagga” To Grammy Stage

Hip-Hop Media Training

The Grammy's isn't over yet, but I just watched my favoritepart, the performance of T.I.'s "Swagga Like Us" featuring Kanye West, Jay-Z,Lil' Wayne and the pregnant M.I.A.

"Swagga Like Us" is my favorite song of 2008 and from themoment I heard it I thought it was a great idea to pull the "swagga like us"sample from M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes." M.I.A.'s high-pitched melodic voice, themilitaristic track and rhymes from four of hip-hop's biggest MCs had no chanceof failing.

How appropriate to have the former rapper turnedOscar-nominated actress Queen Latifah introduce the performance and dub themthe Rap Pack, a fitting comparison to the Rat Pack.

Shown through black and white lenses, the set opens with apregnant M.I.A., whose due date is actually today, dressed in arguably the mostinappropriate outfit a performing pregnant mother could ever wear-a black sheerbodysuit with polka dot circles covering her chest, belly and backside. Onegood verse into her hit "Paper Planes" the curtains behind her open to revealthe superstar rappers and the tune switches to "Swagga Like Us."

Building on the their comparison to 50s Hollywoodelite gang of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford andJoey Bishop, the Grammy stage is made up like a big band set, a band housed inan orchestra section and all.

All donning tuxedos, Kanye was up first, exuding enoughconfidence to momentarily take the emphasis off his New Edition-likemullet, semi-Mohawk shag. The hype ensues as Jay-Z, Wayne and T.I. take center stage, spewingtheir verses and owning the Grammy moment.

There was so much energy I would not be surprised if M.I.A. exitedonly to head to the hospital to deliver that baby that had just been a part ofhip-hop history.

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