Swizz Beatz: How About Some Hardcore

You don’t get the nickname “the monster” by sitting around and letting things fall into your lap.

When Swizz Beats burst onto the scene in the ’90s as the main musical force behind the Ruff Ryders, when the sky was the limit for the young super producer. A few years passed, and things cooled off slightly leading to Hip-Hop heads quickly branding him as a producer who came and went with an era.

Unfortunately for the haters, Kaseem Dean wasn’t even close to cementing his legacy and burst back onto the scene stronger then ever. Hits by T.I. and Cassidy put the world on notice that Swizz was back.

Swizz has a creating a library of music that most dream of, but according to the producer, he’s not even close to being done. He’s rounded up Bone Thugs N Harmony and says its a matter of time before they return to the top of the rap game. His Full Surface imprint has Eve and classic Cassidy material ready to go.

While many in his position may take a step back and enjoy his status, Swizz continues to grind harder then ever. With a strong battle plan and a world class army behind him, Swizz is on a mission to prove to the Hip-Hop world he is the biggest monster of them all.

AllHipHop.com: How would you describe Cassidy’s energy, when he was back from jail and in the studio with you for that first little bit?

Swizz Beatz: His energy was perfect. He was just in his zone. His album is finished, it’s crazy. [With the accident], it’s like, “What the hell?”

AllHipHop.com: Where were you when that happened?

Swizz Beatz: I was in L.A. I had a feeling something wasn’t right.

AllHipHop.com: Because you’ve helped so many rappers make comebacks, I wanted to get your opinion on a few comebacks throughout Hip-Hop history. I wanted to start with your thoughts on M.O.P. with G-Unit…

Swizz Beatz: Aw man! Um…I think the comeback of M.O.P. could’ve been a little stronger, being that I’m a fan of M.O.P. [as in] “How About Some Hardcore” and all those records. I just feel that it should’ve been the focus more, to really, really make it an official comeback.

AllHipHop.com: How about Rakim’s days with Dr. Dre and Aftermath?

Swizz Beatz: Um…he never came back. He was supposed to, but it never did. It would’ve been crazy. It’s hard to bring back people that have so many god damned hits. How the hell do you top “Eric B. For President”? How do you top “How About Some Hardcore”? You see what I’m saying?

AllHipHop.com: But you have that challenge in “Crossroads” and bringing Bone Thugs N’ Harmony back. Things seem like they’re rollin’. How did you hook up?

Swizz Beatz: Shoot, we just hooked up through my A&R at the time, which, at the time, [I told], “I want a group. I don’t wanna do too much artist development,” which I’d been doing a lot of at the time. “I wanna just get some writers that’s special.” [He said,] “What about Bone? Shoot, they available.” The next thing I know, Bone’s manager is in my office at four o’clock in the morning. We just embraced the conversation like, “Yo, this s**t can go to the next level.” I think that we’re ready for war.

AllHipHop.com: How have you meshed in the studio? Their sound has always been primarily built upon DJ U-Neek’s work, and a lot of their chords wouldn’t seem to be associated with your sound.

Swizz Beatz: It’s been [more about] Bone gettin’ into they zone. Even with the producers and stuff like that, I let them work with whoever they want to work with. ‘Cause there’s a certain sound people want from them. They work! We’re trying to pick out [an album] from 40 tracks.

AllHipHop.com: Is it true you spoke to Jimmy Iovine about making this a potential double disc?

Swizz Beatz: It’s something I wanted to do, [but there’s] complications. It’s a money thing. It makes costs go up for everybody and everything. I said, “Okay, f**k it.” We wanted to do a “Thugs” side and a “Harmony” side, which I thought was crazy.

AllHipHop.com: Was it a concern that the status of the group is so shifty? Flesh is locked up, Bizzy is gone…

Swizz Beatz: No.

AllHipHop.com: You guys just released “Just Vibe” to a very positive response on the radio and online. Who produced that record?

Swizz: “Just Vibe” is done by Pretty Boy.

AllHipHop.com: Some people, in Bone fan circles, are calling you the new millennium Eazy-E for the group. How does that make you feel?

Swizz Beatz: Man, it’s a blessing. ‘Cause Eazy-E, he did some millions with them. I’m not mad at that. Plus, what Eazy-E was to them, he was guidance. Guidance in a group is something that they need. What you’ve been seeing is a bunch of Bone songs all over the place, and projects all over the place. Nobody really be sayin’, “Hold up, stop one damn second. Let’s make history. Let’s put our minds together and make classics.”

AllHipHop.com: With Koch, the marketing never seemed to be there. Not since Ruthless and Relativity has anybody really stood behind these guys. With Interscope, what’s the plan?

Swizz Beatz: We’re gonna come with a movie. This is a movie. We’re doing a movie with the album. The Bone movement is gonna be crazy, and people gonna have a movie to see. They gonna understand what they been missin’, and [Bone is] gonna get they just due. They’re underrated. Layzie’s spazzing out on tracks. Krayzie be gettin’ on other peoples’ songs, and just killin’ ‘em. Wish can cut through the vocals.

AllHipHop.com: Why do you think they don’t get the respect?

Swizz Beatz: I don’t even know, man. They never went mainstream with it. Wu-Tang, they had a chance to get mainstream exposure. It all happened so fast and so quick for Bone, that a generation missed it. When they’re bringing up the names and asking people [about groups], they’re overlooking Bone because they’re songs are so f**kin’ big. But trust me, after this album, they’re gonna wake up and smell the f**kin’ coffee.

AllHipHop.com: You just released a Tupac and Krayzie Bone track to L.A. radio. You also did the Biggie Duets record. How does that feel, when you sit back and look at working with posthumous projects?

Swizz Beatz: I’m like, “S**t, all that for me?” Then, it’s like if I can do Big’s, why not ‘Pac’s? But it had Bone on it, we tryin’ to work on [our] situation. It was just perfect.

AllHipHop.com: With Bone at Interscope and Cassidy at J, where is Full Surface now?

Swizz Beatz: The official situation is at Interscope. Cassidy, he’s over there at J. Just because they supported him while he was locked up, I didn’t wanna pull the whole thing.

AllHipHop.com: Eve’s next album is a split-venture from you and Dre. How’s that coming about?

Swizz Beatz: It’s crazy. She’s delivering. She’s working hard. She’s looking good.

AllHipHop.com: What about DMX? After doing this last album, how do you feel about it?

Swizz Beatz: I thought it got off to a good start. But then the momentum, the internal conflict with the label, and it kinda threw it off. It fell back.

AllHipHop.com: Where’s he at right now, to do what?

Swizz Beatz: I don’t even know. You never know. He’ll go [away], then come back with like 10 new songs. S**t, it just be like, “What the f**k? I thought it was a wrap.”

AllHipHop.com: How do you manage to do all this work and keep up a car dealership in Las Vegas?

Swizz Beatz: It’s hard. Clubs, dealership, clothing line – all of that. It’s all under the same umbrella, but it’s about having the right team in place.

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