This coming Monday (December 22) will mark the 10-year anniversary of DMX’s Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood, the second multiplatinum LP the dog released back in 1998. Sadly, we’ll be too busy looking back at his troubled year to commemorate the release of his two game-changing LPs.
If X’s rise symbolizes the end of the shiny suit era, Swizz’s production, which makes up the bulk of Flesh Of My Flesh, should be credited for changing hip-hop’s soundscape from samples to synths. Remember how cats only messed with keyboard beats at the turn of the millenium? They were trying to get their Swizzie on. Nevermind that I recently questioned his slot among Timbo and Just Blaze. His legacy is undoubtedly secure. Since he’s been putting it down for ten years, I saw it fit to list Swizzie’s Top Beats Ever…In my opinion of course.
*”All For The Love,” The Lox, Money, Power Respect (1998): This is Swizzie’s first placement if I’m not mistaken. To me it sounds like a skeleton of what his sound was to become over the next few years- meshing melodic and hard elements into one cohesive piece. I don’t think I knew Kiss was that nice until this track.
*”Ruff Ryders Anthem,” DMX, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, (1998): “All For The Love” was one of his first beats, but “Ruff Ryders Anthem” was his first hit- possibly what got his phone ringing off the hook
*”Banned From TV,” Noreaga ft. Jadakiss, Styles, Nature, Cam’Ron & Big Pun, N.O.R.E (1998): I clearly remember my boy Edcredible saying; “This nigga Swizz made a beat that sounds like the creation of the earth” in amazement. This is also the first time I recall hearing the scratches he made his trademark for a bit.
*”Money Cash Hoes,” Jay-Z ft. DMX, Hard Knock Life (1998): The track was just so left at the time, I’m not sure listeners would have accepted it without the game’s two illest MCs hopping on it at the time.
*”Jigga My Nigga,”Ruff Ryders, Ride Or Die Vol.1(1999): Swizz’s production once again bringing out the best out of a superior MC. Hov and Swizzie’s production was so crazy at the time, a full-length could have been deadly.
*”Down Bottom,” Ruff Ryders, Ride Or Die Vol.1(1999): Introducing Drag-On. The energy on this beat just had you wanting to do something real stupid. This beat dropped when the southern takeover was in its infant stages. A lot of East Coast cats weren’t really messing with down south beats. But Swizz flipped something unmistakably southern that still appealed to notherners.
“F*ck You,” The Lox We Are The Streets (2000): Kiss spits arguably one of his best verses to this day and perhaps the best verses ever recorded on a Swizz track. “Funny style niggas, never down with me/type to go to the bathroom, sit down and pee.” Nuff said!
“Good Times,” Styles P, A Gangster And A Gentleman (2002): Don’t call it a comeback. Just when folks counted him out, Swizz made his chart-topping return -providing the Ghost with a sureshot lead single in the process. You haven’t been to Hot 97′s Summer Jam until you hear 60, 000 people sing, “I get, high, high, high” at Giant Stadium.
“Top Down,” Swizz Beatz, One Man Band Man (2007): Here, Swizz takes a break from cooking up futuristic club bangers (“It’s Me Snitches” & “Money In The Bank”) to drop some straight up NYC whip appeal music. Legend has it that Nas was initially supposed to jump on this track. “Top Down” is exactly the type of track Illmatic stans like myself wanna hear Nas spit over.
*”Dr. Carter,” Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III (2008): One of TC3‘s production standouts. Rather than submit his specialty (the club banger), Swizz went left with a conceptual record. Wayne’s attempt at reviving a lifeless MC coincide perfectly with the track’s slow build.
What about you guys? What is your favorite Swizz Beatz and why?-Jackpot