Swizz Beatz: Ol’ Dog, New Tricks

Admit it; you didn’t think Swizz Beatz could do it. After taking the industry by storm in the late 90’s with his unique production, you expected Swizz to fizzle out like every other hot producer of the moment. However, to Swizz’s credit, he overcame the odds and now in 2005 he is back on top. […]

Admit it; you didn’t think Swizz Beatz could do it. After taking the industry by storm in the late 90’s with his unique production, you expected Swizz to fizzle out like every other hot producer of the moment. However, to Swizz’s credit, he overcame the odds and now in 2005 he is back on top. Swizz’s resurgence all started with T.I.’s smash hit “Bring Em Out,” which opened the floodgates. Now Swizz has a lead single for almost every artist dropping this year, from Memphis Bleek, to Cassidy, and the Young Gunz. In a candid interview with AllHipHop.com, Swizz discusses his rise to the top, as well as his second wave of production, which he calls phase two. With this second phase, Swizz looks to reinvent himself again, so haters watch out, because Swizz is ready to prove you wrong once again.

AllHipHop.com: As you know, you are the hottest producer in the game right now, but what do you attribute to your newfound resurgence and being back on top?

Swizz Beatz: I attribute it to taking risks, like I did with the Jay-Z sample. Just bringing conversational pieces back to the industry. You can’t wait too long, and they already counted me out. For all that time, I wasn’t even making beats; I was just chillin’, running Full Surface Records, and getting Cassidy and Mashonda going. But in 2005, I told myself it was time to set it off.

AllHipHop.com: Was there a specific point you can look back on?

Swizz Beatz: On New Years, I felt like a completely new person. I felt that creative energy just filling my body up. I then put the open sign outside of the store, and my customers came back in and they were happy I was open again.

AllHipHop.com: Who was the first artist you worked with once that door was open again?

Swizz Beatz: It was definitely Cassidy, but the first one to come out was probably T.I. That song pretty much set things off, then a lot of other stuff starting falling into place.

AllHipHop.com: How do you think you have evolved and progressed from your earlier work in like ’98 to now?

Swizz Beatz: I use different drum sounds and patterns now. I’m putting out songs that you wouldn’t know I did, if I didn’t put my name on it. But back then, people would be like, “Yo, that’s a Swizz track.”

AllHipHop.com: Yeah, like that track you did on the new Young Gunz album “Beef.” If you weren’t on the hook, people probably wouldn’t have thought you did it.

Swizz Beatz: You would probably have to read the credits to know I did that beat. But I just wanted to swamp the industry with the Swizzy s**t. I’m tired of being quiet! You don’t get the proper respect when you are quiet and cool. You have to be loud and obnoxious sometimes! So I’m doing all my videos, stamping my records – all the singles, then when I get to a certain point, I’m gonna chill out again.

AllHipHop.com: I was going to ask you about chillin’ out again. Because a lot of producers get real hot and start to oversaturated the market, and eventually fans get tired of them. For example, people love Lil Jon, but after awhile cats are like, “Man, I’m tired of hearing him on every track”. So are you aware of that, and that’s why you have plans to chill out again?

Swizz Beatz: I’m not new to this, I have been in this game for ten years, and I know about those things. This is phase one right now, “Swizzy, Swizzy,” all the singles and videos, this and that. Phase two is a whole new Swizz. This time, I worked with the artists that weren’t selling as many records as a lot of people. I worked with them first, like the Young Gunz, Memphis Bleek, Remy Martin, Smitty, even Cassidy. I just wanted to start from the ground up. Now my next phase, you will see Fat Joe, Dmx, Eve, Nas, Busta, Mary J., Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Erkyah Badu, and LL. You are going to see a whole new type of thing!

AllHipHop.com: You have already laid tracks with all of those artists you just mentioned?

Swizz Beatz: Yeah, I did about 80 songs already since January. So I could stop right now, you know what I’m saying?

AllHipHop.com: Let’s move onto the new Cassidy album. I have been reading some of the reviews so far, and XXL gave it an L, Scratch gave it a six out of ten. So have you been keeping up on the reactions it has been getting so far?

Swizz Beatz: I don’t count the XXL because there is a lot of s**t to do with that.

AllHipHop.com: Why, what’s going on with XXL?

Swizz Beatz: I don’t know, I just didn’t feel they were being truthful. From the way that they wrote the review, it should have gotten a Small. If everybody on the album outshined him, and the beats were this, and his lyrics were that, then it should have got a S. There was nothing positive, so why was it even a Large? What made it a Large? Nothing? It should have been a Small then, the way that it was written. Then I look at the editorial, I see little comments. I look at the “Step Your Rap Game Up,” and I see that. I just know that the whole issue was on some personal s**t from a whole other source that we are dealing with. Ain’t nobody stupid! From the editorial in the beginning, to the back of the magazine, its just an ass whoopin’ for no reason. And I was there when the writer was all on Cassidy’s d**k for the album. When the writer was in the studio going crazy, I was there for all of that. I was there for the article they put out before that, when they were talking s**t. They were even taking cheap shots, talking about what people had on. What does that have to do with the album?

AllHipHop.com: Since we are on the topic, word is Cassidy is going to poke fun at 50 Cent in his new video?

Swizz Beatz: It is what it is. What ever he does, I support. He is an artist too. What, is Cassidy not supposed to say anything because that is 50? 50 poked fun at him, and did a whole skit on his mixtape talking about, “Aren’t you tired of songs like this,” with the “Hotel” song in the background. He did a whole fake award show about that s**t. He pokes fun about people all day. He had Ja Rule in the “Wanksta” video as a doll. Then you get on the radio and talk about “Cats want problems.” Cats aint’ even thinking about him! Then I’m looking at the magazines, and I’m adding it all up. I could tell Cass to chill, but he has his manhood too. He has fans he has to answer to as well. It ain’t no beef, or all of that, because beef is something we don’t even talk about. Beef is something you handle, and its not in no songs, on the radio, or anything like that. It is what it is. It’s a lyrical thing, its competition, and Cassidy is ready for whatever. We came into the game like this, so why back down now? Why, just because he sold millions of records? We are not going to sit back and let n***as bully and throw cheap shots. Like come on, enough is enough already!

AllHipHop.com: With the new album, how do you think Cassidy has elevated his game from Split Personality?

Swizz Beatz: I think his game has been the same, but he is able to express more of what he wants to express with this album. The typical thing for the people to say is, “Oh, now he’s a hustla. He is changing.” But that is what the game is missing, that change. You have to do the unpredictable. People expected us to come with another “Hotel,” but n***a we coming with “I’m A Hustla.” We coming with “A.M. To P.M.,” we coming with “B-Boy Stance,” then maybe we’ll come with a f**king top 40 Record. Maybe, if we feel like it! F**k the sales! Look at the artists that came out with that top 40 record and sold millions of records. You don’t even want to look at him in the video no more because they never stamped themselves as serious artists. So I felt like, “F**k it! We will risk everything!” You have to remember, I came into the game with DMX. We didn’t know about no top 40 records. We knew about motherf**kin’ “Get At Me Dog,” “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” “Stop Being Greedy,” and then we took it to “What These B*tches Want.” That was candy as it got!

AllHipHop.com: Okay, lets talk about another hot issue. Are you looking to sign Bone Thugs~N~Harmony to Full Surface Records?

Swizz Beatz: Bone Thugs is definitely family, and it’s definitely up in the air, as we are working things out right now. I just want to make sure the deal is good for us and them. We are not rushing into it, and we wanna take our time with it. But it looks good.

AllHipHop.com: You guys have done like ten tracks together already, correct?

Swizz Beatz: Yeah, we got some bangers in the stash!

AllHipHop.com: How did those sessions come out?

Swizz Beatz: Them n***as work like f**king maniacs! They work seriously! They work better than damn near any artist I have ever worked with.

AllHipHop.com: What do you see in them now, that makes you interested in signing them?

Swizz Beatz: Being in the studio with them, seeing their drive, and saying, “Damn, these people were selling tens of millions of records. With the right producer behind them, and the guidance, we can pull it off again.” And I saw how they worked in the studio. Their melodies, and lyrics are still f**king crazy! They are still rapping about the struggle, so they are still a serious group, trust me! I don’t give a f**k what nobody says, they are serious.

AllHipHop.com: What do you think about the whole Bizzy Bone situation then, with him going off on the radio?

Swizz Beatz: That is one thing I am waiting on. We are trying to make a decision on that, because I kind of want everybody. Because that’s what people are missing, and I want to bring that back to the game. So they have some work to do, but I’m here.

AllHipHop.com: Because when I spoke to Krayzie about the situation for AllHipHop, he basically told me that Bizzy is out of the group, its them three, and that’s how its going to be from now on.

Swizz Beatz: Yeah, that’s right now, but they go off and on. One minute it’s this, the next its that, so we’ll see.

AllHipHop.com: I also see you are working with DMX again for his new album. So what was it like getting back in the studio with X?

Swizz Beatz: Working with X was definitely dope. Because he wanted it this time, and we collaborated on some dope ass songs. He was focused, and we had fun doing it. It wasn’t like, “Yo dog, we gotta do this.” Instead, X was like, “Yo Swizz, let’s get it poppin’, move these fake ass n***as out of here.”

AllHipHop.com: Do you think X still has it in him to be back on top, because most fans weren’t feeling his last two albums?

Swizz Beatz: Nah, I wasn’t really feeling them either. And you saw my participation on them, which was very light. And I think that was because he really didn’t want to do those albums. That’s why this time when he wanted to do it, I was excited. It’s like how I’m doing Eve’s new album, me and Dre. Its very exciting because he’s in there, f**king grinding, like whoa! He’s in the studio with nobody else, just grinding. We got hits already, so it’s for real. I love that!