Commonplace #10: “Pink Beetle” by Rejjie Snow

I’ve been listening to a lot of hip hop with beautiful beats lately. This week, I choose to discuss the hook from Rejjie Snow’s song “Pink Beetle.”

“Got my chariot waitin’

You know I’m stayin’ alive

Be it Heaven or Hades

You know I gotta survive

Swing low, swing low

Swing low, swing low

Keep my feet above everything

Yea, you know that I’m crazy

Got my angels in full swing

Yea, nothin’ can phase me

Swing low, swing low

Swing low, swing low

And I-oooooh-yea

And I-oooooh-yea”

This passage stuck out to me due to the catchy beat and biblical references. His language is casual and relies on slang because he’s rapping, which helps keep your attention. His tone is somewhat aggressive and hard hitting. The lyric “Be it Heaven or Hades, You know I gotta survive, Swing low, swing low” refers to heaven and hell, while creating an alliteration and referring to the coded song regarding the Underground Railroad. Rejjie Snow takes inspiration from a lot of spiritual ideas in his music and this passage is a prime example. Grammatically speaking, this passage isn’t perfect because of the slang he uses. I think the overall message of this song is how life is short and dealing with that fact through his perspective of being an African & Irish man living in the U.S.

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