Hip-Hop hitmaker Swizz Beatz has set a new global record – as the first American to secure a camel racing victory in the Middle East.
The top producer reveals he’s been quietly investing in his 12-strong group of speedy camels for some time. He launched his team, named Kaseem Abu Nasser, during the coronavirus pandemic, and he won his very first race last week in Saudi Arabia.
Swizz Beatz, real name Kaseem Dean, was celebrating again just 24 hours later as another of his camels landed first place in a competition.
Speaking to Variety after his first win, he said, “The race was at 5.15 AM my time, which means that I haven’t been to sleep since yesterday. Once the race was over, the adrenaline started pumping all over again…I’ve been on a cloud of excitement ever since.”
The musician admits he was especially proud because his stable is based in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, and the camel which emerged victorious on Thursday is called Nicole, after his daughter.
Swizz Beatz has named camels after each of his loved ones, including wife Alicia Keys, and his early racing success has won him praise from his rap pals Jay-Z and Nas.
“Jay wrote this morning to congratulate me and said, ‘Godd**n, we’re really global now,'” he shared. “Nas phoned right after him to do likewise.”
And now Swizz Beatz is eager to introduce camel racing to new audiences across the world and educate them on an interesting part of Middle Eastern culture.
“What I like about camel racing is that people could be familiar with the concept from horse racing, but in its purest form, wouldn’t it be nice to make it a goal, to go and see it in its natural setting? Or a bucket list item? Go to a desert, experience it for real…?” he said. “That’s how I got here, and what brought me to a global mindset.”