Video Review: Rae Sremmurd "Swang"

Grainy, handheld camera footage captures the tops of the trees lining the golf course. Three women take some clubs out of the bag and pose with them. A young man hits the ball. He takes a cup, spilling over with beer, and tries to catch the fuzz in his mouth. Another man fills his cup from the keg. They drive their cast to the next hole.

Three young women ride in the golf cart as the colors became pastel and soften. Slim Jximmi tears through the grass, making a hard left. Swa Lee stands in his court,  motioning sweeping with his hands.

The three young men, standing by their golf carts, watch them with sour faces as they hold their beers. Swa Lee mimes hitting the golf ball while Slim Jximmi swings his club. Swa Lee tosses his club in the air. The Waspy women dance, exhibiting a progressive slant. The men toast with their beers. One of the women films them.

Swa Lee drives up to the hole, where the young men and women are milling about, drinking. He introduces himself and takes a swing. He smokes a joint. One of the young men is appalled at Lee while he drives in circles around a tree.

Lee offers one of the young men the joint. At another hole, Lee once again introduces himself and puts his money down on the hole. He swings his money.

One of the young man stands up on the keg stand, drinking. His friends cheer.

In the golf cart, Slim Jximmi rolls joints. Smoke swells from behind one of their golf carts.

At night, Slim Jximmi offers a joint to an older woman with a diamond studded visor. She takes it and exhales. Slim Jximmi puts his hands up in victory. Later, they dance on the course and drink. The older lady, stoned and smiling, dances a little before walking away.

Rating: 4.5/5

At the country club Rae Sremmurd joined,  a hierarchy has evolved. Young, mostly white males (the sons of executives from the well-off community in the area)  meet with their friends, having a moving fraternity party as they drive from hole to hole. The young black male featured with the men seems to be included as a way to show the club isn’t discriminatory. Nonetheless, the young black male has taken on the same ideals of his friends as he looks down upon Rae Sremmurd riding around the course.

Their girlfriends aren’t included in the game. They are off on their own. When they are with the men, they are given jobs to do: filming and picking up the golf balls. However, it’s the women who are accepting of Swa Lee and Slim Jximmi first.

After joining the country club, Rae Sremmurd have to prove they belong there. It’s Swa Lee who reminds them they do not own each hole, taking other people’s time for their own benefit. He realizes he has to jump through hoops for the people to accept him.  To the older men, he lays out his money. For the young men, he gives them drugs.

At the late night party, the inclusion of Rae Sremmurd is bittersweet. Acceptance has come at the cost of acting on stereotypes (offering drugs) and flaunting their money. Meanwhile, Rae Sremmurd knows the rules haven’t changed. Any small infraction or caught by the wrong person will mean being kicked out while the young men continue to do what they want.

Director: Max Hilva   Year: 2017

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