Artists: Philly Swain, Tim Armstrong
Song: “I’m Ready”
Genre: Rap, Punk
Label: Cleopatra Records
Though they often have very different fan bases, there are many similarities to the histories and cultures of rap and punk music. Both have a background as protest music, as well as party music. Both lead to the creation of strong underground cultures and subcultures, which eventually bubbled up to the mainstream. Both have had heavy influences on fashion, film, and other art forms.
So why is it we hear so few punk/rap collaborations?
Rancid‘s Tim Armstrong has made some very noteworthy collaborations with rappers over the years; first with his side project Transplants (featuring another noteworthy musician who crosses both worlds often – Travis Barker), as well as collaborations with Cypress Hill, Yelawolf, and on this 2016 piece with Philadelphia rapper Philly Swain.
Swain has made a big name for himself as a hip hop songwriter and producer, working with Nicki Minaj, Christina Milian and Tyga, but he’s also a talented rapper in his own right. And his song with Armstrong is a pure banger. Riding Armstrong’s hammering guitars and blasting drums, Swain delivers spitfire verses about changing his life for the better (“All the fellas scream “Swain, you the man. I remember you was broke, locked in the can”) the build to a lively chorus.