Talking about swagger in today’s culture is very much a chicken and the egg situation. Swagger started in Miami, with the bravely vulgar and boastful lyrics of the 2 Live Crew right around when the Miami Hurricanes were becoming a microwave dynasty. So which came first? It’s impossible to say whether Miami’s swagger influenced 2 Live Crew and the rest of hip hop or if the early adopters of hip-hop swagger influenced the Canes to play fast and loose during their dominance in the 80’s, early 90’s and early 00’s. Regardless, the tradition between Miami football and all generations of Miami’s hip-hop elite has been long and tightly-knit. So who’s who when comparing Miami football to the city’s hip-hop?
The Original: Michael Irvin and Uncle Luke
Miami had great players before the 80’s, even Hall of Famers like Jim Otto and Ted Hendricks, but it was arguably Michael Irvin who kick started the wave of Miami talent that would begin in the 80’s. Yes, The Playmaker was not apart of the Canes’ first championship but he’s still, rightfully, recognized as one of the father’s of Miami football and creators of it’s undeniable swagger. Uncle Luke did much of the same for the hip-hop scene, helping to start a half-decade long controversy over obscenity in rap music. Luke was also the original Miami hip-hop booster, as depicted in Billy Corben’s “The U,” with the entire Crew decked out in Miami gear during their music videos. Irv and Luke were very much the forefathers for Miami swagger and greatness in their respective fields.
The Next Generation: Jessie Armstead and Trick Daddy
After the originators stepped down, these two stepped up to represent the next era in Miami history. Armstead was one of Miami’s most underrated players during his career, an anchor on a ferocious defense that helped guide the Canes to titles in ‘89 and ‘91. Armstead went on to have a solid NFL career as well, playing in a Super Bowl with the New York Giants during the 2000 season. Trick Daddy needs no introduction. Originally Trick Daddy Dollars, he got his start on a 2 Live Crew track in 1996 and has been repping Miami ever since. Trick Daddy owned the Miami hip-hop scene, alongside Trina, in the late 90’s and early 00’s and is still a living legend among Miami rappers.