‘Turn my swag on’ is a song released by the famous American rapper and singer Soulja Boy in 2008, as part of his album iSouljaBoyTellem. It was his third song to sell 1 million or more downloads, after both ‘crank dat Soulja boy’ and ‘kiss me thru the phone’. However, the song title alone proves controversial to some of his closest supporters - considering his omnipotence and interminable ‘swag’, why must he feel the need to turn it ‘on’?


There are multiple potential answers to this controversial issue. To begin, we must consider the context behind this issue: it is inferred that his swag turns out at the beginning of each day, as referenced by the key lyric ‘hopped up out the bed, turned my swag on’. This would suggest that his ‘swag’ follows a typical day and night cycle, and it must be switched on and off accordingly. However, this could be likened to the day and night cycle of the sun: it never in fact ‘turns off’, and is present within our knowledge but not to one’s eye. This argument would suggest that, in fact, Soulja Boy’s swag does not have to be switched off and instead it only appears off to us.


Another argument concerns the deeper history behind the famous American rapper. The lyrics ‘I'm back again, I know a lot of y'all thought I wasn't comin' back, Yeah, yeah’ provide sufficient evidence to suggest that Soulja was potentially only turning his swag back on after a prolonged period of losing it: there was a gap of over a year between his first hit album, SouljaBoyTellEm, and his second containing this hit song. In this gap, people suggested that the rapper would not in fact make a return, potentially due to the chance of him being sufficiently famous off his debut album and not feeling the need to progress (despite this view, to this day, Soulja still continues to produce music for us on a frequent basis). This was swiftly disproven by this album, and this sense of Soulja turning his swag ‘on’ could be seen as him simply showing it to the world yet again rather than him literally ‘switching it on’. 


There are multiple views that are accepted across the Soulja Boy fan base as to what this lyric in fact means; some take it literally, others take it as metaphorically. Personally, I believe that my initial argument is the most likely view: his wordsmanship is not to be frowned upon and this use of a deeper meaning is not unusual for a rapper of his standards. Therefore, the idea of a day-and-night-type cycle for his swag is entirely legitimate and would render the rather discourteous view of his swag needing a break or him not being powerful enough to sustain his levels of swag false.