Swae Lee’s ‘Swaecation’ Solo Debut Is Coming Very Soon

It may still be winter, but it looks like it's time for a Swaecation.

Swae Lee is breaking out from his brotherly duo Rae Sremmurd momentarily to give fans his first solo project. On Twitter the 24-year-old rapper/singer announced that 2018 will be the year of Swae Lee with Swaecation Vol. 1, alongside Rae Sremmurd’s highly-anticipated next album SremmLife 3.When a fan asked how soon we could expect a project full of melodic hooks and R&B flavors, Swae responded “definitely in like less than a month confirmed.”

Of course Swae is no stranger to working without his brother Slim Jxmmi. The singer has lent his melodious vocals to many collaborators including French Montana, Ty Dolla Sign, and Trippie Redd.

This new project, however, does not signal steps toward the end of one of the most successful sibling duos of all time. On the contrary, it looks like they're just getting started. SremmLife 3 is on the way, and in a new documentary about the group, Mike WiLL Made-It said “Sremm, they're ready to be in movies, they're ready to be in commercials, they're ready to be models.” 

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There's no word yet on what collabs, if any, will be on Swae's upcoming project or what kind of sounds we can expect, but we'll take this little piece of advice from the artist himself and stay optimistic that good things are coming our way. 

 

Stay optimistic , what’s yours will come your way

A post shared by Swae Lee (@swaelee) on Jan 8, 2018 at 2:01pm PST

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MLK Wasn’t Very Popular When He Was Alive—Why That Should Give You Hope

The very name “Martin Luther King, Jr.” conjures up uniformly positive associations in most people. He's a national hero, a fighter for equality. Someone so beloved that he has his very own national holiday, an honor only given to the likes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. There are movies about him, songs about him, statues of him. His name is synonymous with freedom and justice.

At least, it is now. But when the civil rights leader was alive—and his movement was in full swing—that was far from the case. In fact, a majority of white people disliked King and the civil rights movement.

Public opinion polls from the 1960s show that large numbers of people disapproved of the Freedom Riders (61%), sit-ins (57%), demonstrations (73%), the March on Washington (60%), and King himself (50%). That is, large numbers of white people. African-Americans were on the side of King and the movement in overwhelming numbers.

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Image via Getty/Bettmann

King's deification happened very slowly. As recently as the 1980s, during the struggle to make his birthday a national holiday (a practice that wasn't accepted by all 50 states until 2000!), Senator Jesse Helms was against the idea because he said King was an advocate of “action-oriented Marxism,” whatever that is. To this day, several Southern states give a middle finger (or, more properly, a white power hand sign) to King by celebrating his birthday alongside Robert E. Lee's.

The fact that public opinion on King changed after historic goals were accomplished should not be discouraging, though. If anything, it should provide inspiration to people invested in the success of current movements for racial justice. The Black Lives Matter movement has popularity levels similar to, if not better than, the civil rights movement in its heyday. A 2017 survey showed that 57% of voters surveyed had an “unfavorable view” of BLM. A 2016 Pew survey of Americans (not just voters) showed the movement faring even better: 43% support, almost identical to the 2017 poll. However, in this sample, only 22% of people were in opposition. In a marker of how big a constituency is still in play, about 30% of people either were unfamiliar with the movement or had no opinion.

So this incarnation of the movement for racial justice is actually starting from a comparable, if not better, position in terms of public support than the fight to end segregation and ensure African-Americans the right to vote. It seems likely that the Movement for Black Lives can make similar strides in today's fights against racist police violence and incarceration policies and for economic justice.

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Image via Getty/Michael B. Thomas

The dirty little secret about popular movements is that you don't actually have to be that popular to get things done. When victories begin to happen in earnest, plenty of people will join the winning side—often with no acknowledgement that they were ever missing.

This is true even of wars. When the American revolution started, only a third of the people in the colonies were in favor of it. The rest were evenly split between being against it and being indifferent. Many of those people (at least those who didn't move to Canada) were patriots by war's end. It is easy to imagine a similar quiet opinion shift over time on, say, the Michael Brown or Sandra Bland cases. 

There’s certain to be a day when “Black Lives Matter” becomes as iconic—and uncontroversial—a statement as “I Have a Dream.” Let’s hope we get there soon.

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The Best of Everything in 2017

For a number of reasons, 2017 was a trying year. From a total shift in the White House to the continued national anthem protests to thousands of women speaking out about the sexual misconduct and harassment they've faced for years, we'd totally get if you kept your head under a rock for the year. If you did that, though, you totally missed out on the best movies, songs, TV shows, and memes of the year.

From the rise of Cardi B and HBO's dominance on TV to Jordan Peele's frighteningly accurate social commentary helping make 2017 the biggest year for horror at the box office ever, 2017 featured loads of amazing content, most of which helped us make it through the depressing batch of headlines and breaking news reports. Here's your look at the best of, well, everything from 2017.

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The Best 2017 Horror Movies You Missed (In Under 90 Seconds)

Some of the year’s best horror movies have been sitting right under your nose.