Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 10:25 AM

Get To The Money

In the middle of a shopping center in College Park, MD, Paul “Young Swagger” Baker spits more bars than “a million pair of Adidas” -the same amount Canibus proclaimed to have spit in 1998. The Washington, D.C. native raps and uses his body language long enough to spark excitement, smirks and serious head-nods from a crowd of hip-hop lovers and The Famous Firm C.E.O. and past director of A&R at Atlantic Records, Sickamore.

After the job is done, Sickamore smiles and says with confirmation, “I never heard somebody go that hard.” After years and years of practice, a craft that seems so simple to display, has only come easy after hard work and dedication. Short days and long nights were dedicated to his love for music and semblance of Tupac Shakur, Shawn Carter and Christopher Wallace would become staples of what to look for in an emcee. After studying their sound, deliveries and rhyme schemes, Young Swagger created the perfect formula for becoming the world’s greatest emcee. He would use drugs called, “conviction” and “truth,” to grab the attention of hip- hop addicts and create a base that would boil into hardcore, honest music. His product would speak for itself. It would sell and create a buzz.

At 21-years-old, Swagger’s story is similar to a lot of faces on CNN’s Special “Black in America”; he grew up in the inner-city, has only memories of his biological father to make reference to and a had a dream to play in the NBA. It's noteworthy that Swagg's stepfather however, was there along the way to guide him. When reality set in, the emcee from a place known for Go-go music and popular rappers like Wale and Tabi Bonney, Swagger would use his drug as a mental escape from his poverty-stricken environment. As a financial get-a-way, his single parent mother was not aware of her son’s illegal hustle, but her distraction was her son’s commitment to education. At 14-years-old in high school, new shoes and materialistic possessions became reason to sell illegal substances.

From the distribution of illegal drugs into his complete transition to musical treatments, his optimistic perspectives and knowledge of opportunity lead him to Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama. He would later admit that music would give him this “all time high” and a line from Jay-Z’s 2003 song “Allure” would be a verbal depiction of what he would come to know. And I can’t explain why, I just love to get high/ drink life, smoke the blueberry sky, blink twice. With those lyrics and his memories of Tupac’s “Ambitionz as a Ridah,” the hard- spitting emcee would make the Presidential Honor Roll, but decided to leave school and chase his dream of making a full-time commitment to music.

These experiences would lead him to his affiliation with The Famous Firm and a life altering testimonial from Sickamore, in which the 23-year-old ex-DJ would call Swagger “The best free-styler that he’s ever seen in person” and that would give Paul Baker the ambition to follow his dreams. “That’s where my music comes from. The things that I’ve seen, things that I’ve been involved in, things I’ve witnessed and different experiences,” says Swagger. “It wasn’t all rough, I love where I’ve come from. It’s a horrible, beautiful place.” South East Washington D.C. never looked so beautiful.

Despite his moniker, there's nothing young about him. I've had the opportunity to witness his lyrical genius, & I must say, I'm rather impressed. Folks definitely be on the lookout for this dude, he's hungry & he's taking no prisoners. Respect his hustle, respect his grind to the top, because he's definitely going to make it!

1 Comment

  1. Aye, Mel You're on point with this blog 'bout "Young Swagger"...the guy's got skills. Seen em for myself, I am a believer

    Posted on September 6, 2008 at 2:32 AM


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