Khalif Malik Ibn Shaman Brown (born June 7, 1993),[1][2] known professionally as Swae Lee, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Known for his wide vocal range and genre-bending, Swae Lee is one half of the hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd with his brother Slim Jxmmi. As a member of Rae Sremmurd, he achieved success with the singles "No Flex Zone", "No Type" and "Black Beatles", the last of which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2017, he was featured French Montana's single "Unforgettable", which earned him his first top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 as a soloist, and was later certified 9× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Swae Lee
Swae Lee in 2019
Swae Lee in 2019
Background information
Birth nameKhalif Malik Ibn Shaman Brown
Also known as
  • Kid Krunk
  • Kid the Great
  • iHipster Lee
Born (1993-06-07) June 7, 1993 (age 29)
Inglewood, California, U.S.
OriginTupelo, Mississippi, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2008–present
Member ofRae Sremmurd

He was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 2017 for co-writing Beyoncé's single "Formation". In 2018, Swae Lee released his debut solo studio album Swaecation as part of Rae Sremmurd's third album, SR3MM (2018), which was a triple album. In the same year, his single "Sunflower" (with Post Malone) was promotional and lead single to the soundtrack for the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). The song peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100, was nominated for two Grammy Awards,[3] and reached Diamond status, being certified 17× Platinum by the RIAA.[4] He was also featured on the single "Close to Me" by Ellie Goulding and Diplo, which reached number one on the US Adult Top 40 airplay chart. In 2020, he released the single "Be Like That" with Kane Brown and Khalid, which reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Early lifeEdit

Brown was born in Inglewood, California, to a single mother who worked on tanks in the United States Army.[5][1][6] Brown was raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, and began to make music in high school with his brother Slim Jxmmi and local rapper Lil Pantz as "Dem Outta St8 Boyz".[7] After graduating high school, Brown, alongside his brother had a period of homelessness in which they squatted in an abandoned house.[8][9]


In 2013, he and Slim Jxmmi signed to Mike Will Made It's label EarDrummers Entertainment as Rae Sremmurd. They have since released three studio albums under EarDrummers, SremmLife, SremmLife 2, and SR3MM.

Swae Lee in 2015

In March 2015, Swae Lee was featured on Mike Will Made It's "Drinks on Us", which also featured artists Future and The Weeknd, and became his first single as solo artist.[10] In September 2015, he was featured on Wiz Khalifa's "Burn Slow",[11] which peaked at number 83 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Swae Lee's first solo entry on the chart.[12]

In April 2017, Swae Lee was featured on French Montana's "Unforgettable".[13] The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Swae Lee's first top ten single on the chart as a solo artist.[14] In September 2018, Jhené Aiko featured Swae Lee on her track "Sativa".[15] Two months later, Swae Lee released a song titled "TR666" alongside Trippie Redd.[16] On May 4, 2018, almost two years after its initial announcement in August 2016, Swae Lee released his debut solo album, Swaecation as a part of a triple album set, which also contained Rae Sremmurd's third studio album, SR3MM and Slim Jxmmi's debut studio album as a solo artist, Jxmtro.[17][18] In October 2018, he featured on the song "Close to Me" by Ellie Goulding and Diplo.[19] Swae Lee also collaborated on XXXTentacion's song "Arms Around You" after his death, along with Lil Pump and Maluma.[20] On October 18, 2018, Swae Lee featured on Post Malone's song "Sunflower" for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,[21] which became Post Malone's third and Swae Lee's first song as a soloist to top the Billboard Hot 100.[22] He appeared on Nicki Minaj’s 2018 album Queen.[23]

In May 2019, he collaborated on the song "Crave" with Madonna on her album Madame X.[24] In August 2019, Swae Lee released "Won't Be Late" featuring Canadian rapper and singer Drake, produced by Tekno and Mike Will Made It. In October 2019, he was featured on 88rising's "Walking", alongside Joji, Jackson Wang, and Major Lazer. As of 2020, he released the single "Someone Said", a reworked version of Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode". He also collaborated with Chloe x Halle on the Mike Will Made It-produced "Catch Up", from the former's album Ungodly Hour. He was featured on the remix to Arizona Zervas' hit song "Roxanne". On June 18, 2020, Swae Lee released the single, "Reality Check".[25]

Swae Lee invested in esports organization XSET in October 2020.[26] Swae Lee has been working on his upcoming album Human Nature since 2020. In the same year, he appeared on Pop Smoke’s posthumous album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.[27] In 2021, he collaborated with Alicia Keys on the single "Lala (Unlocked)" at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards.[28]


Swae Lee has become known for his hooks and melodies, as demonstrated in collaborations with the likes of Madonna, Ellie Goulding, Anitta, French Montana, and Post Malone, among other artists. He has been described as 'the songbird of our generation',[29] with several of his peers and critics praising his vocal ability. According to a 2017 interview with A Polaroid Story, Swae Lee describes himself more as a singer than a rapper.[30]

Personal lifeEdit

Brown has a daughter with Brazilian model Aline Martins, who was born in 2020. In 2022, he filed for joint custody.[31]


Awards and nominationsEdit

Grammy AwardsEdit

The Grammy Awards are annual awards presented by The Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the mainly English-language music industry.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2017 "Formation" (as songwriter) Song of the Year Nominated [32]
2019 "Sicko Mode" (with Travis Scott and Big Hawk) Best Rap Performance Nominated [33]
Best Rap Song Nominated
2020 "Sunflower" (with Post Malone) Record of the Year Nominated [34]
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Nominated

MTVU Woodie AwardsEdit

The MTVU Woodie Awards are semi-annual awards presented by MTVU which it states recognizes "the music voted best by college students".

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2017 Swae Lee Songwriter of the Year Nominated [35]

Soul Train Music AwardsEdit

The Soul Train Music Awards are annual awards to honor the best in Black music and entertainment.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2016 "Formation" (as songwriter) The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter's Award Nominated [36]

Teen Choice AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2019 "Sunflower" Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song Nominated [37]


  1. ^ a b Bemrose, Bekki. "Swae Lee". allmusic. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "Swae Lee, 1993-". Library of Congress. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  3. ^ "Halsey's 'Without Me' Tops Billboard Hot 100, Becoming Her First No. 1 as a Lead Artist". Billboard. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  4. ^ Jarvis, Briana YoungerShaniqwa. "Rae Sremmurd Never Broke Up, They Just Grew Up". GQ. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  5. ^ "What Happens in Vegas With Rae Sremmurd". Complex. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "Swae Lee". Universal Music France. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  7. ^ "Rae Sremmurd Behind The Scenes with Shorty Da Prince". WENZ. July 2, 2014.
  8. ^ Weiner, Jonah (April 3, 2018). "High Times With the Black Beatles: Inside Rae Sremmurd's Wild Third Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  9. ^ "Interview: Rae Sremmurd". ACCLAIM. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Drinks On Us (feat. The Weeknd, Swae Lee & Future) – Single by Mike WiLL Made-It on Apple Music, March 6, 2015, retrieved February 8, 2018
  11. ^ Burn Slow (feat. Rae Sremmurd) – Single by Wiz Khalifa on Apple Music, September 3, 2015, retrieved February 8, 2018
  12. ^ "Rae Sremmurd Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  13. ^ "French Montana Earns First No. 1 on Hot Rap Songs Chart With 'Unforgettable'". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  14. ^ "French Montana Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  15. ^ Leight, Elias (December 22, 2018). "Swae Lee Made Enough Hits in 2018 to Last Him a Lifetime". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  16. ^ "Trippie Redd and Swae Lee Drop New Song TR666 – XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  17. ^ Morris, Jessie. "Swae Lee Announces Debut Solo Album 'Swaecation'". Complex.
  18. ^ "Rae Sremmurd Announce Release Date For "SR3MM" Triple Album". HotNewHipHop. April 27, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  19. ^ Bein, Kat. "Ellie Goulding Shines With Diplo & Swae Lee on 'Close to Me': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "NEW MUSIC: XXXTENTACION & LIL PUMP FEAT. MALUMA & SWAE LEE – 'ARMS AROUND YOU'". Rap-Up. October 25, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  21. ^ "Early Release! Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 November 3rd, 2018 Countdown". Billboard.
  22. ^ Trust, Gary (January 14, 2019). "Post Malone & Swae Lee's 'Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)' Hits No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  23. ^ "Swae Lee Steals the Show (Again) on Nicki Minaj's 'Chun Swae'". Rolling Stone.
  24. ^ Zemler, Emily (May 10, 2019). "Hear Madonna and Swae Lee Team Up for 'Crave'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  25. ^ "Swae Lee Drops New Single 'Reality Check'". Rap Up. June 18, 2020. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  26. ^ Millman, Ethan (October 28, 2020). "Swae Lee Is the First Artist to Invest in XSET, an Esports Company Rebuilding Gaming Culture". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  27. ^ "Swae Lee on Upcoming 'Human Nature' Album: 'I'm Breaking all the Rules'". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Swae Lee is the songbird of our generation and his latest single proves it". March 1, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  30. ^ A POLAROID STORY x RAE SREMMURD: SWAE LEE INTERVIEW, retrieved September 17, 2019
  31. ^
  32. ^ "59th Annual Grammy Awards Winners & Nominees". Grammy.
  33. ^ "61st Annual Grammy Awards Winners & Nominees". Grammy. December 6, 2018.
  34. ^ "62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards (2019)". Grammy. May 19, 2020.
  35. ^ "Winners by Category – 2017 Woodies". MTV.
  36. ^ "2016 Soul Train Awards: See the Full Winners List". Billboard.
  37. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2019: See the full list of winners and nominees". Entertainment Weekly.