What’s pop music’s favorite rhyme? Is it fire/desire? Fire/higher? Anything involving “floor”? No! These are the 2000s, and we swagger now. Specifically, we swagger like Mick Jagger. And we’re doing it a lot more in the 2000s than ever before, including when Mick Jagger actually had swagger worth noting. It’s to the point where whenever either one of these words appears in a song or title, you know what’s coming next.
But what’s driving which, the swagger or the Jagger? What precisely does swaggering like Mick Jagger entail? How did this even happen, anyway? Allow us at Popdust to break it down for you with this swaggering, Jaggering timeline.
- Swagger jackers. Sorry, Urban Dictionary, we love you, same for Cam’ron and Lil Wayne, but Mick Jacker is not a rock star.
- Swag. Sorry, all of the following: Soulja Boy, Odd Future, Lil B, Kreayshawn, Cali Swag District, Diddy–actually, no, we’re not sorry, Diddy. Anyway, Mick Jag is not a rock star either.
- Swagger that does not involve Jagger at all, because if we included that, this list would go on forever, swagger being one of the key components of rock, charisma and/or assholery.
- Mick Jagger’s actual supergroup. Sorry, Mick, Joss Stone, A.R. Rahman, and Dave Stewart, but your new single “Miracle Worker” is a clusterfuck. Wild Flag (look them up, kids) could jack all your swagger and your swag.
2008: T.I., JAY-Z, KANYE WEST AND LIL WAYNE, “SWAGGA LIKE US
Watch the Throne is starting to seem synonymous with “wait for Godot” (although it’s got a pre-order site, so one can hope). Why not bide the time with this even starrier and arguably more badass pairing? The sample, M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” swaggers but is nevertheless ineligible for our timeline, containing no Mick Jagger. But it does show up here, in Kanye’s verse: “My swagger is Mick Jagger.” Kanye West would start all this, wouldn’t he?
Does it swagger? And how!
2009: AND SHE WHISPERED, “SWAGGER LIKE MICK JAGGER”
Ugh, let me just let them explain themselves:
Drawing inspiration from bands such as A Day to Remember, Suicide Silence and Taking Back Sunday, And She whispered is Pop as much as it is hardcore.
Thanks to their experience in former bands, the guys of ASW knew how to get ahead in the game: marketing. these days, every band needs to have a Myspace and Twitter — it’s not really even an option.
Unlike many of their peers, however, ASW opted to secure their own website (andshewhispered.com) to further exemplify their professionalism and to push their product: the Music.
See? They have THEIR OWN WEBSITE! They’ve got swagger like GoDaddy, which is no swagger at all! Anyway, this exists.
Does it swagger? No. “Swagger Like Mick Jagger” is fucking dire. It’s even more dire for them boasting in concert that they beat our next artist to the swagger/Jagger rhyme, making them FIRST! No. Go away. Listen to T.I.
2009: KE$HA, “TIK TOK”
Here’s the song that you thought started the swagger/Jagger thing. It certainly popularized it, as Ke$ha almost equals Kanye in meme generation. Did anyone brush their teeth with Jack before “Tik ToK”? Waking up and immediately think “wow, I feel like P. Diddy”? No. So of course “TiK ToK” launched a million snarks about how most twenty-somethings would probably be kicking guys to the curb if they did look like Mick Jagger, even though Ke$ha’s taste in men is supposed to be the joke. (See also: bearded bums.) Ke$ha doesn’t actually swagger like Jagger here, but she nevertheless linked the two for years to come.
Does it swagger? Yes. No, we mean it. Of pop’s queens-in-waiting, only one can really be said to swagger. Get used to it.
2010: THE JONAS BROTHERS – “HEART AND SOUL” FROM CAMP ROCK 2
Disney original movies–sequels to original movies–can swagger too! See, Connect 3, who are definitely not the Jonas Brothers, is led by Shane, who is definitely not Joe Jonas. Over the course of plot twists and rock bits, he falls for Mitchie, who is definitely not Demi Lovato. Anyway, part of this involves the non-Jonas Brothers rocking out and reducing Mick Jagger’s entire career to swagger. It’s not just Jagger, though: David Lee Roth embodies jumping, Bruce Springsteen embodies fist-pumping, Axl Rose embodies screaming and Christina Aguilera embodies singing. There you have it: the history of rock and its instructions.
Do they swagger? To Disney’s target audience, undoubtedly. Why begrudge them their idols?
2010: BLACK EYED PEAS – “THE TIME (DIRTY BIT)”
The BEPs have never encountered a trend they won’t flog, so of course they make the list. Original song, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” is ineligible due to lack of both swaggering and Mick Jagger, but will.i.am and friends manage to slip some in anyway during the self-proclaimed “dirty bit.” We’re skeptical that anyone has ever called any of the Peas “Mick Jagger,” but hey, maybe we’re wrong! If you’re a girl who has ever compared a BEP member to Mick–before this song came out, that is–please get in touch. We really need to talk about your life choices.
Does it swagger? It swaggers as much as a boshing cover of a song Dirty Dancing possibly could, i.e. not much.
2011: MAROON 5 FT. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “MOVES LIKE JAGGER”
Less a song than an extended advertisement for The Voice, Adam Levine’s sexual prowess and the power of a whistled hook (see “I Wanna Go”), “Moves Like Jagger” works better than it should. Technically, this should be disqualified because both artists manage, amazing, never to utter the word “swagger,” but come on: it’s implied. Like a silent E, perhaps, except with swag. In this case, swaggering and/or moving like Jagger seems to have psychic powers, allowing Adam to control you. This is supposed to sound like a good thing.
Does it swagger? Surprisingly, yes! Although more swagger could be had if the video didn’t put “Moves Like Jagger” in the same typeface and color of a Katy Perry album.
2011: CHER LLOYD, “SWAGGER JAGGER”
Again, this should be DQed on a technicality, because Cher Lloyd is clearly talking about being a swagger jacker. But again, come on: it’s spelled “Jagger” to make it 2011-trendy, along with the “tweetin’ about me” lyrics and sing-talk rap and ’80s-explosion video and chorus that acts like it makes complete sense to record a trancey “Oh My Darling Clementine.” This is the sound of 2011. Cher Lloyd hopes you keep talking about it.
Does it swagger? We cave. We have Stockholm Swagger Syndrome. Yes it does. Now somebody please supply us with a new earworm.