On the heels of their surprisingly lean triple-album, SR3MM, hip-hop’s biggest duo of the moment, Rae Sremmurd, sat down with GQ to talk artistic growth and their biggest inspirations. On the topic of idols and advice, Swae Lee revealed that a grip of his confidence comes from Kendrick Lamar, who taught him to “fuck shit up,” as he says.
“The man just got a Pulitzer Prize,” Lee continues. “It lets me know that they owe me a fucking Grammy. I need a Nobel Peace Prize for 'Black Beatles,' making the world freeze, making all the violence freeze, making everything freeze for a moment in time.”
Droves of articles have been written discussing the impact of Lamar’s Pulitzer win on hip-hop, the public perception of the culture, Lamar’s own music, and asking if institutional awards still matter in 2018. Lee’s reaction to the award is definitive proof that, in the right context, a trophy can hold a lot of weight.
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Whereas hip-hop was—and on the whole continues to be—maligned by the gatekeepers of high art, securing a Pulitzer is seen as a moment of validation. Swae Lee’s glee and fresh aspirations to also become a Nobel Peace Prize winner speak to how freeing it must be to see hip-hop’s reach extend beyond off-camera awards at the GRAMMYs and token performances at major award shows.
As the sound of hip-hop continues to evolve in time with the genre’s growth and major recognition, Lee’s remarks are a reminder that when creatives realize they have no limits, we are likely to get some of their best work.