Nasty C, one of the biggest rappers in South Africa at the moment, and one of my favourite rappers, has a song called “Switched Up”. In this song he describes how he did not change throughout his journey from being an underground rapper to gaining mainstream popularity.
This song is one of many hip hop songs where the artist claims to be original, and uses the fact that they haven’t changed overtime as proof of their originality.
I very much disagree with both the sentiment that not changing overtime proves how original you are and the implied sentiment that we one should not “switch up”. Below are my reasons why. They are also reasons you should consider switching up “on them”.
- People barely do the research required to find out who you are: they meet you, create a box for you, and put you in it in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. From there on everything you do that is not within the confines of their box will equate to you switching up “on them”.
- You learn new things about the world and yourself everyday. What’s fun and funny about the world is that it’s forever changing. Everything is variant, including your physical appearance, your age, your financial status, the opportunities you have in front of you, pop culture, the news, non-pop culture, the definition of alternative, the definition of smart, the definition of “I’m cool”, the definition of “I hate cool kids” etc. . What this means is you would be doing yourself a disservice by not switching up “on them” from time to time.
- People always feel the need to have more agency over your life than you do. By virtue of claiming something’s changed, or switched, you are implying that you knew exactly how it was. People who claim you’ve switched up are people who claim to know “the real you” before the <insert something that they feel corrupted “the real you”>. Statements like “you’ve become fake” come from a place of “I know the original you”. More often than not the people who say such are people who benefited (directly on indirectly) from you being “the real you” and they now want you to give their version of you more agency than your version of yourself.
- By virtue accepting that there might come a time when you switch up “on them” you are effectively accepting growth and choosing it over what others think. This is especially important because by not switching up “on them” you honour the limits that others put on you and your growth.