Swizz Beats has been behind the boards shaping the musical frame for DMX, the Lox, Jay-z, and others since the 90’s. In a battle of the beats he can smash most producers with a couple hits from his repertoire that keeps clubs and cars rumbling with bass. Already a brand and business, he became an artist not for the need of cash money, but to show people he is a ‘One Man Band.’
Singersroom: Swizz! Your joints are killing the streets and the club right now man. You are holding it down everywhere from your own music that’s smashing to joints you’re producing for others. How you feeling?
Swizz Beats: Ah man, I just feel blessed. I feel that all my hard work is finally paying off and people respect it.
Singersroom: How did you make the decision to go from producer to rapper and do you feel you should have done it sooner?
Swizz Beats: I just went ahead and just did it cause in 2006 I was getting it poppin’ with the Beyonce and all that other stuff I was doing. It was a very successful year and I was like I wanna change it up and in 2007 give them something different to look at. So I was like I’m gonna put a joint out and that was “It’s Me Snitches.” That just turned into a whole other type of situation. I was like, this what they want? I could do that. That’s light work.
Singersroom: Do you think you should have done it sooner?
Swizz Beats: Nah, I think the timing was right. At the time the radio was more open than right now before it would have been harder. There were a lot of albums out, Nas, Jay(-z). I wouldn’t have been able to get the proper shine. Like right now its open season, that’s why it was so easy to control and take over the market because it’s this is easy.
Singersroom: Why did you decide to not produce your whole album?
Swizz Beats: There are a lot of new producers out there that’s hot and they ain’t getting the right exposure. There are big named producers that hold weight like myself and taking all the credit, this, that and the third. I didn’t want to play that game; I just wanted to get it poppin’.
Singersroom: Do you ever use ghost producers?
Swizz Beats: Nah, everyone I use get credit, whether it’s a piano person or whatever. I never took a ghost track from anybody, I don’t believe in that. I gotta touch the MP.
Singersroom: With that said, what’s your process like in the studio. What main equipment do you use when creating beats.
Swizz Beats: I use the same setup…the MP 3000 and any keyboard.
Singersroom: Is any keyboard in particular your favorite?
Swizz Beats: I use the phantom, the triton, the 01W…the virus, any keyboard. Those are just the ones I usually request to have there but if they have ANYTHING there I’ll make something out of it.
Singersroom: Even a Casio keyboard?
Swizz Beats: Anything!
Singersroom: What is it that you look for when working with new producers? Is there a particular style, a particular sound?
Swizz Beats: I pick the producers like [from] a bunch of cds my A&R might get. I just pick them off of there. Like, that sound crazy who did that? Call them up; find out how much he want.
Singersroom: What advice do you have for up and coming producers trying to get into the game?
Swizz Beats: Ah man, make sure you got your own identity. Make sure you know your business. Make sure you know what you competing against. And make sure you have goals.
Singersroom: What about advice as far as making it through the door and making it happen?
Swizz Beats: Same things. The same rules apply for everything. It’s all about your hustle. You want a medium hustle, you gonna do medium work. You do a hard hustle, you gonna study the business. You gonna know what publishing is, you gonna know different things regarding your business. Your gonna know what they represent. Most people want to walk in there, like I got a hot beat, I got the single out, but you ain’t make no money out of it. Why? Cause you sold all your shit over here, and gave all your shit over there.
Singersroom: As a producer/rapper what do you think the east coast needs to make a come back?
Swizz Beats: I think we coming back. I think we got everything we need right now.
Singersroom: Like what?
Swizz Beats: Swizzy, Fab[olous], Fif [50 Cent] and a whole bunch of people on the underground coming up. I like New York radio right now. It’s different, it don’t feel like you in Atlanta anymore. —— By: Interview by DJ Seyedaddy