Swagger: if you don’t have it, rhyme it.

What do Ke$ha, the Black Eyed Peas, and Maroon 5 have in common?*

No, the answer is not “bad music.”  Though that might be partially true, I would argue otherwise for Maroon 5, ‘cos you know, Adam Levine:


Ok, I digress. 

The answer is they’ve got swagger.  And not just any old swagger – no, they’ve got Mick Jagger’s swagger.  Say that five times fast. 

“And now the dudes are lining up ‘cuz they hear we got swagger, but we kick ‘em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger.”   ~Ke$ha, “Tik Tok”

Oh.  Ok.  Clearly she really did brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack

“All these girls they like my swagger, they callin’ me Mick Jagger.”  ~Black Eyed Peas, “The Time”

I don’t see the resemblance.

And Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera decided to dedicate an entire song to Mr. Jagger’s swagger:  “Moves Like Jagger,” features lyrically genius lines like this: 

“Kiss me ‘til you’re drunk and I’ll show you all the moves like Jagger;  I got the moves like Jagger… I got the moooOOOooves like Jagger.”

Mmm.  Yes.  That is some satisfying lyricism right there.  (But I can’t really get that upset because again, Adam Levine could sing about hemmorhoids and I’d still think he’s hot).

To be serious though, what’s up with these artists?  Are they so entranced with their swagger, someone else’s swagger, or needing to see some swagger that they must mention it in their songs?  And how in the world, in just a short 2 years, did all these songs mentioning Mick Jagger and swagger get on the radio?  

I recently read a very brief article that mentions this trend, and after reading it I agree:  “swagger” is an overused word and stylistic concept in today’s music, and the artists writing these songs are getting just a little lazy.  

That’s my unprofessional opinion and I’m sticking with it.   

And to be fair to good ol’ Mick, who did (and maybe still does) in fact have quite a bit of swagger, along with the other guys in the Rolling Stones (not to mention almost a hundred singles, more than two dozen albums, and millions of fans, one of which is me), here is a much better picture of him when he was younger:

 Yep.  That’s swagger. 

And for you youngins who want a quick education on the musical importance of Mr. Jagger and the Rolling Stones… just click here.  And do yourself a favor, download a few of their songs from iTunes.  You’ll get it.

*Yes, the other answer is: they are in my iTunes library.  As well as quite a few from the Rolling Stones, and I will unabashedly play them at my next party.  Because a good beat is a good beat, and no one cares about the lyrics if there’s a keg.

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