Swizz Beatz
Still On It

swizz-2.jpgSwizz Beatz has sort of renewed himself in the past few years. But before the DJ turned producer was chopping up Jay-Z’s vocals for the likes of T.I. (“Bring Em Out”) and Cassidy (“I’m a Hustla”) and helping Busta Rhymes bring New York back (“New York Shit”), he was laying the sonic groundwork for the Ruff Ryder movement at the turn of the century. Now that he’s made himself a valuable commodity, Swizz is focused on developing the Full Surface imprint he formed roughly three years ago. Next up are projects by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Eve and Cassidy, who’ll return with his third album following an eight-month stint in prison and a near-fatal car accident. In between producing, Swizz is also prepping his solo debut, One Man Band Man, due in June via Universal Motown and led by the party starter “It’s Me Bitches.” In addition, he’s working on upcoming projects by the LOX, Usher, Chris Brown, Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige, among others. The producer tells xxlmag.com about his Full Surface invasion, his album and its potential skeptics, and speaks on behalf of Cass.

So this new album has been kept hush-hush.
The One-Man Band project came about from me just fiending to do my thing without having to collaborate with any other people. [I wanted] to just put some real hip-hop out there. I been working on the album for a long time. [It’s] not a guest-featured album. It’s not a self-produced album. I think people are just so used to that. Those are the boring selling points to me. Nowadays, I think we gotta get creative and just do different things. That’s why I did the song [“It’s Me Bitches”] how I did it. That’s a perfect example of just putting out hot shit. I didn’t try to oversell it. I didn’t go out there like, “Oh, I got my new single coming out!” I just put it out and let it do what it do.

Why did you decide that’d be the best way to go about it?
Because everybody puts so much hype on they shit. So even if they did have something that was super crazy, they killed it by just putting so much extra hype on it. Let the people decide if it’s hot. I’m a DJ first, so I took [the single] to the clubs first. I went to the local DJs, and I was like, “Take this record. Don’t even tell nobody that it’s me rapping. Just play it when the hottest shit is playing.”

What kind of response have you gotten?
It’s ridiculous. Right now, it’s outrageous. New York is in a frenzy. L.A. is in a frenzy. My spins is crazy. The demand is crazy, and the response is just way crazier than I expected. And I think people gon’ criticize, but it’s cool, though, because at the end of the day, I stand behind everything I did on my album. And that’s why I didn’t want too many features. I didn’t want too many crutches. I didn’t want people saying, “Oh, that’s hot, because this person is on it.” I’m not putting out a compilation—this is my album. This is me.

You and your beats?
Nope, not all my beats. I did the single. I did a couple of joints, but I [used] a lot of new producers that would never get they chance to shine with a hot track without somebody stealing it from them and putting they name on it. I don’t play those games. These new producers that’s on my album, they gettin’ they credit, they gettin’ they points, they gettin’ they publishing—how things should be.

The last couple of years, you had sort of a revival. Do you feel any pressure to continue that or to keep your name out there?
I work great under pressure. The time that I took off, I needed to take off, just to do other things to set me up now to where I have a clear path. And when people talk to me, it’s not just about beats. We can talk about art, we can talk about my Kid Robot clothing line, we can talk about the car dealerships, the clubs, you know. I took time off to set myself up as a businessman, because these fans out here, they not really loyal like that. One minute you hot, one minute you not, so I try not to depend on that, being that I have a son and I just had another son. Now I don’t have no pressure on me [to make] beats [or] do an album. I can make a hundred percent clear decisions that [are] creative. I’m not scared if it don’t hit. That’s why I can do a song, like the one I got out right now, that’s no longer than three minutes.

How is it to get to make music for yourself now, instead of just doing ad-libs?
It took a long time for me to just accept my vocals on a track all the way through. It was definitely a work in progress for a long time, ’cause I was just giving all my songs away because I didn’t want the pressure on me. Being a producer and trying to change the sound and create new sounds, you sometimes get stuck, because the artists wanna do what they wanna do. Which is cool, but sometimes I be wantin’ the artist to push it to the limits a little more. Their attention span for doing that is sometimes short. Sometimes less is more, and I think that’s what hip-hop needs. I’m not saying that I’m changing the whole entire thing of hip-hop, but even if I can change one percent and loosen it up a little bit so people can trust they own judgment and get they freedom back, then it’s cool.

Are there any new production elements or techniques you experimented with this time?
I got a song called “Take a Picture.” It’s a build of the sample “Lovely Day.” But the way I flipped it is just crazy. I wouldn’t [normally] mess with a sample like that, but sometimes you gotta step out the box, ’cause an album is a mixture of different things, and people don’t understand you can’t have the same sounding shit. Because the attention span of the people that’s listening to your album is so short that it gotta be like, “Okay, what is that.” [Also] I got this song called “Part of the Plan,” which is stories, like the Crash movie.

You write all your own stuff?
Yep.

Did you find that difficult?
No, because I’m just full of ideas. I just let it flow. I don’t put too much pressure on myself to be—I don’t try to make it too extra. I just like to do what I feel. People always say they doin’ something different, and they come with the same shit, and it’s like the people that’s buying the record and the fans period, they know all these things already. That’s why I didn’t wanna come with all these features and, “Yeah, we know he produced the whole album.” It’s giving people something different that they can do they homework to.

How’s Cassidy’s album coming along?

Cassidy is recovering well. The album was already damn near done before the incident, and we gon’ go back in and do like two, three more tracks. So he’s lined up. He’s focused.

Was it hard for him to get back into recording?
Nah, this kid—he was ready to do that ASAP. I didn’t pressure him with it, because he really needed to get better, because the accident was very, very serious—way worse than Kanye’s accident. There’s a lot of different experiences that he recently went through, and he got a lot to talk about on this album, but we not basing the album on his car crash and him beating the case. Hip-hop gotta stop doing the obvious. We [also] got Eve coming out. Her first single gettin’ ready to drop. Trust me, everybody’s gonna dance, go crazy in the club when “Tamborine” drops. And we got Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. We ’bout to gear them up. They ready for the launch.

Why’d you want to bring Bone Thugs in?
I wanted to get with some vets. Because with the new artists, you have to do artist development—this, that and the third—and it’s a lotta work. I wanna get the new artists that I’m developing right now off and running before I get [newer] artists. In the meantime, I still need to put out product, so I get a group like Bone that works hard, got melody, know hooks, got a fan base, never really got they just due, except for Bone and Biggie and “Crossroads.” If you was a fan, you knew what “First of Tha Month” was. Everybody took they style and ran with it. So I tested out a couple records with “Spit Ya Game” and the Mariah remix [“Don’t Forget About Us”] and [Chamillionaire’s] “Ridin’ Dirty”—and they still got the fan base.

So you think they can still come out and be relevant?
Hell yeah, ’cause that’s my job. And that was the important thing that I stressed to them and why we did like 50 songs to pick 12. I think it’s important that Bone comes out like new artists, just new songs, new sound, new feel, new look, but still representin’ the struggle that they represent, still having the substance, still representin’ the harmony. You know, they was doin’ big records.

Is there any production work that you’re doing right now that people would be surprised about?
I don’t think people are surprised by what I do anymore, as far as new things. I think they’re surprised when the song comes out. A lot of the Beyoncé stuff, I didn’t talk [about]. A lot of people didn’t even know that I produced half the album, and I like it like that sometimes. So that element of surprise is cool, but the only thing I don’t like about that is I don’t get the respect that’s needed.

What are your thoughts on [the DJ Drama] mixtape raid? Do you think it’ll have any effect on hip-hop?
Yeah, for five minutes. Hip-hop, we bounce back. I’m all for the mixtapes. They gotta point the finger at somebody, so they go down there and they mess with Drama and them. Y’all gon’ mess with these dudes ’cause they provide a service that get people unsigned music out there and signed? It’s not like they downloading people’s albums and putting them out on the mixtapes. They hookin’ up with the labels, settin’ up the plan and doin’ a whole promotional situation with this music. They just wanna mess with us however they can. But hip-hop is gravy.

  • BIG

    first? who cares ?

  • CHIZAMP

    first

  • EReal

    I smell a FLOP.
    Who the fucks gonna buy a Swizz Beats rap album.
    Damn homie, just do what you do. Get your overcharge for half assed beats on like Scott Storch.
    Fuckin producer turned rapper, pssht..
    You aint Timbo, you aint Dre, you’re Swizz Beats homie.

    sad shit.

    1 hunned.

  • http://360.yahoo.com/deshawn772004 Anton aka Ranga 22

    Swizz keepin it real. I thought Eve was with Aftermath? What’s going on here? Is she Ruff Rydin again? Bone Thugs?.. I’on know Swizz… Cass… hurry up wit dat, homey.

    P.S. Don’t come wit dat 1st shit.

  • Avenger

    swizz needs to go find himself some better indie talent rather than waste all of our time with this ish. lame ass

  • Magic Don Juan

    Real Talk From Swizzie…His Album should be kinda hot

  • http://www.myspace.com/arkaplanmusic - OZ -

    I DONT LIKE WHEN HE RAPS…

    BUT IF P.DIDDY,B.G.,HOT ROD,JAE HOOD

    AND OTHERZ DO THIS RAP SHIT…

    WHY DONT SWIZZY DO ????

    KEEP IT REAL HIP-HOP SWIZZ !!!

    PEACE!!!

    http://www.myspace.com/arkaplanmusic

  • Flip

    First of all, I could give a fuck about a Swizz Beats, but yall just some hatin ass mawfuckas. You woulda thought this nigga fucked yall wife the way yall carry on…and we only like 5 comments in! Anyway, “Its me Bitches” kills it in the clubs, straight murders the whole scene.

  • jacquez
  • h-d

    “and helping Busta Rhymes bring New York back (“New York Shit”),”

    ^
    swizz didnt produce ny shit dumbass dj scratch did

  • tranier22

    swiss doing his thang, but why would you wanna rap dont you have enough cake to sit on just keep making hot beats

  • ru

    bone thugz all day! 1st

  • http://www.myspace.com/16kingz da’realestwritin’

    1ST CUZ I’LL BEAT THE BLOOD OUT ANYBODY WHO DIFFER!!(YEAH THORO INTERNET TALK!! RRRRR!)

    ONTO BUSINESS..SWIZZY JUS’ MIGHT DROP SOME PROPANE ON YA’LL YOU NEVER KNOW, CATS WHO GET TO SIT-BACK AND SOAK UP GAME (NO “WOULDN’S GET FAR)TEND TTO BE THE ILLEST YA DIG!? LOOK AT NAS, NEVA SOLD DRUGS OR BUST A HAMMER BUT CAN COMPEL A RHYME SCHEME VIVID ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE HE DID. NOT THAT I’M COMPARIN’ THESE TWO I’M JUS’ SAYIN’

    OUT.>>>>>

  • Atl’s own

    flop

  • XTC

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!! SOMEONES PUTTING AN EFFORT IN BRINGING NEW YORK/EASTCOAST RAP BACK AND SHUTTING DOWN the DIRTY SOUTH LIKE WE DID TO THE WEST COAST IN THE 90s but dont get me wrong i love west coast rap

  • 11kap

    damn, hip hop has no loyal fans, does it. everybody is always talking trash about all the veterans. i guess they think only new acts deserve respect, and most of them will only make one or two hits, nothing historic. swizz has put in work, so he should at least get ’nuff respect for that alone.

  • derfla the hus’la

    bring back the ruff rydaz

  • Stax On Deck

    His Rap career is already dead. Stick to making beats and producing Swizz…

  • NYG

    “It’s me bitches” is hot but whats with that extra sound that keeps looping that ping pong shit its mad annoying lol and why are you all hating on Swizz he brought so many hits to Hip Hop and hes still bringin’ it

  • http://xxlmag.com VERSEital

    Yo, Da Realest Writin, Swizz came up with DMX and did hella robberies with dude. And X even said Swizz had to carry a gun to strong arm because he was so skinny. Read X’s book. Swizz done did dirt.

  • john cochran

    Swizz is always hot in the clubs, but can he do other stuff is the question. If you notice with cass’ albums, he did the singles and brought other folks in for the rest. He been top 5 for years, so I dont know how some of yall can hate. As for him rapping, I dont know. I’ll give it a listen but I hope he don’t pull a Pharrell on us.

  • Mr.Killadelphia(philly)

    Cassidy album cummin soon………enuff said 215 till i die nuccas!!!!

  • SouthSider

    07 is the year of the BONE!!!

  • D

    Stay a G Swizz!

  • HIJOKKA

    Swizz caughyt ya’ll sleepn’ before. Don’t bet the house his shit gonna FLOP. It might be the best album of da year — ya neva know.

  • ThoseBeatz

    Stop hating on Swizz Beatz, yeah you dudes say his beats sound the same well look at Lil Jon…I don’t care if wants to be a rapper too but at least he sounds better than Lil Jon. I think his album is going to be crazy. His track “Come & Get Me” is crazy. I’m buying this album when it hits stores & Cassidy too. FULL SURFACE!!

  • madenigga

    yo peep that new bone album form what i have heard its SICK

  • Rodjilius

    i thought swizzy was white

  • JUNIOR

    SWIZZ BEATZ IS THE MUTHAFUCKIN MAN NEXT TO DR DRE AND DJ PREMIER

  • Dr Flav

    Cosign Flip. Swizz cool, I skeptical about the rappin but I aint gonna throw blind criticism.

  • crackavelli

    fuck uptop yanks who region hate. swiss is gonna put down some good muzik.

  • Jesse K.

    The single is wack, He can produce but rap is falling short here.

  • http://www.lunetz.com Lunetz

    I’ts Lunetz bitches!!!

  • Sincere

    Yo Swizz that new song is fun & hot homie! I think cats are thinking he’s trying to be a crazy lyricist, but Swizz is just having fun with it & I support that!

  • http://NONE KILLA BLACK

    See thats what these cats do, insted of going out and loking for new cats to give the game a fresh buzz, these same scared ass niggers want to turn into rappers or bring back shit that dont work, thats why when my peoples get in they will be looking for real HIPHOP, SEE FOR YOURSELF
    (myspace.com/Blu-Black)
    (myspace.com/ATLAS)

  • CREEPA 101

    fuck swizz

  • http://www.blaterecords.tk julian

    What the F is he talkin about Changing Bone Thugs like they were new, Man They Own his Ass! if he gets Green its b cuz of Bone, it means he dont evene know how to produce rappers with their own style, he needs to do it his style…pfff
    what a waste.

  • 11kap

    niggas just hating as usual these days, never supporting one another, or are these crackas making all these snide ass comments? I can’t tell. y’all all the same to me, a bunch of jerks.

  • stack-a-million ent

    fuck hatin…Swizz doin his thing

    if y’all don’t like it…ehhhh…suck a dick bitches !

    NY comin back…wait till tha nigga drop first….to say he gonna flop awready issa hatement…so fuck u

    LOL niggaz is on that bullshit
    Brooklyn stand up…we inn hea

    1

  • real life

    that nigga is wack

  • locoboy

    If Diddy’s rapping,jim jones or Cam’ron,why swizzy can’t?FUCK y’all haters.Do Yo Thang Swizz,The Monster’s here…

  • matt 2

    Swizzy has shock up the world before and will do it again. when it comes to producing he is the best,# 1. his raping is decent to . its the year of ruff ryders, and Full Surface. and to all ya hating motherfuckers stop sucking his dick, yall gon only motivate him to do better. and ya dont want that do ya. Show some love and stop critisizing

  • Ted

    Um, H-D, the article didn’t say he PRODUCED New York Shit just that he helped Busta on that joint. And considering he performs – and wrote – the hook I guess that counts. Dontcha think? Dumbass.

  • VONNIE bEE bEE

    ALL YALL STOP HATTING
    BLACK FOLKS NEED TO LOOK DEEP AND GO LONG
    WAY UP, SWITZZ, GO WAY UP
    WE ARE WITH YOU
    TAKE IT TO THE WHOLE WORLD
    DON’T LISTEN TO NO NEGS

  • Chuck Norris

    Chuck’s coppin it, i was kinda feelin some joints from G.Stories,but this is somethin different he said..

    and wit the state of hip-hop right now…ill take all the different i can get..(if that makes sense)

    Its Chuck Bitches!!!

  • Jaymillz

    BONE THUGS N HARMONY will rise to the top! i heard the tracks…its fuckin RAW….harmonious and hardcore shit together in one album…

    STRENGTH AND LOYALTY is the name of it….comes out APRIL 17, MARK YOUR CALENDARS…cuz this is the album of the year! chuch!

  • RUI

    To the uy that said Swizz beatz didnt produce NY shit. Yes he didnt produce it but that whole track was originally swizz’s the song/concept etc but he gave the song to Busta since his album was coming out when it was. Busta just tossed two verses on it riding on what swizz already laid out. Hope that answers your confusion.

  • http://www.myspace/djzappout Dj Zappout

    Swizz has done some hot Joints . I didnt know he did “ridin Dirty” with Cham. Not a bad day work for the boy!he is almost as fresh as Im is! http://www.myspace.com/djzappout

  • http://www.myspace.com/zeeprod Zee Productions

    Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal ZeeMix

    Tupac, Biggie, Big L – Deadly Combination ZeeMix

    The Game – One Blood ZeeMix

    Nas – Hope ZeeMix

    Prod. By Zee…Hottest Beats Comin from the UK, and from a 16 year old!
    feel free 2 add the tracks to your profiles.

    http://www.myspace.com/zeeprod

  • Dysmay

    I’m tired of all these producers trying to turn into so called Rappers!Just about every producer that has tried to thier CD flops. There is very few producers that can actually make the transition. So my advice is to stick to what your good at and stop trying to spit those corny ass raps. Swizz you got enough cake under you just keep them fire ass beats comin out and keep makin that bread homie

    ~1 Hun~

  • http://XXL BRICE

    YEAH IF DIDDY , TIMBALAND AND MAGOO(TOO WACK)RAPS WHY NOT SWIZZY , THEY ARE ALL WACK RAPPERS. BUT IN THE END THERE IS SOME ONES THAT GONNA BUY THERE ALBUM , AND HELP THEM MAKE MONEY WITH THERE WACK MUSIC

  • Cleve

    Bone bone bone bone bone, in the trunk !!!

    Bone are back… Can’t wait to get the album. Let them real Rappers turn the page…

  • http://myspace.com/jaefatal Jae Fatal

    Honestly…I think Swizz Beats Is Top 5 as far as producers go nowadays, he has a signature sound and he keeps that consistent without being corny…what more can u ask for? The dude has an ear for good music…and his rap sheet is good as far as producing DMX and alot of the Ruff Ryders Volumes…Leave This Guy Alone…he’s fire!

  • Clammy Claude

    i honestly cant fucking believe anybody who posted hate against swizzie. i mean this dude just said some real ass shit. his beats are hott and u cnt deny that.. he signed cassidy, hes bringin bone thugs back..and what fuckin label doesnt have a female..who cares if eve was on aftermath or if shes ” ruff ridin ” again..who cares..shes talented she hasnt ben around for a while and shes gonna bring money to FS and im sure there are thousands of ppl believe it or not who would nt mind hearing her again. i mean come on yall r gonna deny that she wsnt one of the best female mcs at teh time…and as far as the hate on swizz…OMG U CNT BE SERIOUS! re read that article . please…he just said some of the realest shit possible..he said he brought his single to th clubs and told the dj to play it after the hottest shit he had , dnt tell everyone it was him, and see how they react..he mentioned alot of things that are wrong about rap these days. hes makin money hes doin what he does and he should be respected….and wait…(not that i do not like jeezy) but he mentioned ummmm that maybe rappers should start doing some new shit…he said that albums are supposed to be a variety a collection if u wil ..likethe doctors advocate..dnt get ne wrong..jeezys shit is bumbin and all beats r tight adlibs hooks punchlines all down..but its the same shit we heard in summer 05 from the man…..back to the point…stop hatin on swizzz…please

  • A-KILLAH

    SWIZZ HAS WORKED HIS ASS OFF, AND IF HE WANTS TO RAP, WELL LET HIM. HE HAS EARNED IT. HE HAS BEEN IN THE GAME FOR A LONG ASS TIME. MAKING MANY HITS. YOU CANT TELL ME THAT THE ITS ME BITCHES BEAT ITSN’T SICK. IF YOUR A HATER OF HIM, U DAM WELL KNOW U STILL NOD YOUR HEAD TO HIS BEATS. NO MATTER IF YOU’RE A DMX FAN, EVE, THE LOX, OR ANYONE ELSE HIS HAS PRODUCED, YOU CAN GET A FEEL OF HIS ENERGY AND HIS EFFORT THAT HE PUTS IN THE SONG. SO WHAT IF HE AD-LIBS IN SOME SONGS, AND WHAT NOT, LETS SEE HIM, NOT FLOP AND BE SUCCESSFUL. TOO MANY PEOPLE WANNA SEE PEOPLE FAIL, AND THAT IS JUST PLAIN IGNORANCE RIGHT THERE. I HATE COUNTRY MUSIC TO HEART, BUT I WOULD WANT A COUNTRY MUSIC ARTIST TO BE SUCCESS IN WHAT THEY DO. GIVE HIM CREDIT, LET HIM BE CREATIVE, WHETHER HIS ALBUM SELLS A Y……IT’S ME BITCHES…..END OF STORY

  • CASHE

    Fuck A Hater ! . Swizz Has Been My Fav Producer Since ’98 . He’s Better Than The Neptunes, Scott Storch , Timbaland and Dre Even Though I Love Dr.Dre .. Timbaland or The Neptunes Aint No Better A Rapper Than Swizz Is . So If You Can Tolerate Those Two Mediocre Producers You Can Tolerate Swizz Rapping And You Know The Beats Are Gonna Be Fire And The Songs Creative ..

  • DatDude

    swizzy shouldnt b gettin into tha rappin buisness….even tho its me bitches is a fire track….he should stick to his high priced beatmakin n only b on tha mic to go “YEAH YEAH SWIZZY”!

  • yung1

    yo fuck ya’ll, swizz beats is the shit…he bring it hard to the studio and bangs it in the clubs…quit hatin’ on him…if u dont wanna listen, then ya’ll ass gotta go

  • NA-Tive

    All you haters, keep up the good work, you are just adding to the FIRE that Swizz Beats is supplying the game with, ya’ll are just mad cause you aint doing nothing wit ya own lives ! NYC SNITCHES

  • Byron

    Swizzy is the best PRODUCER of all time, He drops club bangerer’s like no other producer can.

  • http://xxlmag.com DARK

    swizz stick to makin beatz cuase you suck ass niigga