Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze: Hip Hop Icon

…or Patrick Swayze: Hip Hop (Lex)icon

The passing of Patrick Wayne Swayze is of significance if not for his role as a successful actor and choreographer, but for the courage of his long-fought battle against an aggressive case of Stage IV pancreatic cancer. He catapulted to stardom with his Golden Globe-nominated performance in Dirty Dancing, and later appeared alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg in the 1990 film Ghost. But Swayze didn’t just make an impact in the world of cinema. His unintended influence on hip hop culture can not be understated and mustn’t be undervalued. The term “Swayze” (and, as a nod to his film, “going ‘Ghost’”) became popular in the early ‘90’s, used as a synonym for “leaving”, “going” or “disappearing”. Like much of the slang to emerge from pop culture of the last twenty years or so, this term originated from the hip hop lexicon, featured within the rhymes of notable emcees. Below I’ve included a selection of some of my favorite “Swayze” quotables. Feel free to contribute in the comments section:
Reach for the pistol and you're crazy/
Try to blast and I'll be swinging that ass like Patrick Swayze/
- Kool G Rap; “The Symphony Part II”
I'm sick, insane crazy, Driving Miss Daisy/
Out her fuckin’ mind now I got mine I'm Swayze/
- Method Man; “Bring the Pain”
You got me strung like I'm young and it's crazy/
You're making me nervous, I don't deserve this, I'm Swayze/
- CL Smooth; “Searching”
The n****s went wild, the hoes went crazy/
We dropped the microphone, then we Swayze/
- E-Swift; “Can’t Tell Me Shit”
I try to stay aware of the drama, it's crazy/
Plus, see I got to tell your mama that I'm Swayze/
- Dres (of Black Sheep); “Who’s Next?”
Then he was Swayze, the shot must’ve dazed me/
Thug's selling drug, busting slugs, but he ain't crazy/
- Big Noyd; “Right Back at You”
But now I'm Swayze, ghost, the rap host/
Who rip shows, from coast to coast/
- PMD; “It’s Going Down”
After it’s all said and done though, Biggie had the best “Swayze” quotes:
Lick your toes, bitch? Fuck no, you must be crazy/
Squirt in your face and then I'm Swayze/
- The Notorious B.I.G.; “Big Booty Hoes” & “Bust a Nut”
Commitments, I'm Swayze, no time for the ill shit/
Rest with the n****s on that real blood-spill shit/
- The Notorious B.I.G.; “Let Me Get Down” & “Living the Life”
That's why I bust back, it don't phase me/
When he drop, take his glock, and I'm Swayze/
- The Notorious B.I.G.; “Runnin’” & “Runnin’ (Dying to Live)”


  1. Respectively, Biggie used all the quotes in the same context.

  2. Then I threw my suit on and I was Swayze cuz Im the superman lover yeah...Redman still wins to me.

  3. First thing I said when I heard he passed was,
    "Oh, I guess he had to go get swayze".
    Good post.

  4. Wrap it up in the club, ya I'm so crazy/
    These other rappers actors like Patrick Swayze

    ... The lyricist of all lyricists. Ha!


  5. this is great! i always thought epmd was the first to use it. at least first i heard.

  6. ^ That's a good question: who was the first? Will we ever know?

  7. The Guardian have just bit your article pretty much wholesale:

    I'm Swayze!

  8. Pls. don't forget NKOTB...ooohh, it's so crazy, i'm like baby, i'm like Swayze....

  9. The mind tricks the body / body thinks the mind's crazy / but when i get the slazy / peep my flow, I'm Swazye
    - Buckshot of Black Moon on "How Many MC's"

  10. "Ghost ride go crazy, who's that driving?
    Patrick Swayze" - Mistah Fab

  11. You missed Oxide and neutrino's "no good for me"

    ...ditry dancing like patrick swayze - zye
    with all the ladys going crazy - zy


  13. @ Ray,I was expecting to see PMD's swayze quote too!!!! Nas used it too on the freestyle- "but the way tommy was raised-he tried to be swayze, ducking downlow"

  14. Shiiit.. The Infamous is full of Swayze namedrops..

  15. I remember him from the movie Ghost. He was a good actor. May his soul rest in peace.

    Please do check this new group called We On It Entertainment. Their songs can be heard on this link -

  16. "Forum Discusses Hip Hop's Rites of Passage." Read it at

  17. Damn, these jerk-offs tryin to sell shit like crazy,
    Usin your great blog - I wish they was out like Swayze!
    - Me

    And you can't front on Point Break - big props for the Nixon mask!

    To me that Buckshot quote is the best!

  18. Hung up the phone
    and got crazy, cause
    the woman I called my lady
    Was playing a role like Patrick Swayze
    da king and I

  19. Pittsburgh’s G-20 story: Take an expressway from town and disappear into desolate ‘hoods and encounter the civilization of menace. Pittsburgh, a dual city! The glass wonder of PPG Place and/or the G-20 Summit is a faded memory. Here in the ‘hood lives lie abandoned as far as the eye can see.

    That is: For the most part, African-American Pittsburgh seems to be invisible, not only to the public relations hucksters who tout Pittsburgh’s successes, but we are equally invisible to the protesters.

    Certainly, black Pittsburgh is as proud as anybody in that the black President we worked so hard to elect has selected Pittsburgh as the host of the G-20 Summit. We even enjoy the re-invention of Pittsburgh from a dirty, smoky steel-churning history to the bright, clean, green financial success that the business leaders and politicians boast about so loudly. Nobody is more proud of the Super Bowl winning African-American coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin. But none of that feel-good stuff erases the pain of the stubbornly high unemployment among African American young adults and the staggering dropout rate for young black males from the public school system.

  20. wow i have been schooled.

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  23. Yo, reach in my pocket, pull out some dough Girl acted like she'd never seen a ten befo'
    It's all about the Hamilton's, baby
    Throw the snacks in the bag
    And I'm a ghost like Swayze
    -Lonely Island: Lazy Sunday
    Funny ass shit for the mind. (E-40 reference)

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  26. Good to know. I've been using Swayze in the wrong context for years now .