Swizz Beatz Interview

Swizz Beatz
Artist:Swizz Beatz
Label:Monster Music Group
Next Project:One Man Band Man
Twitter:Swizz Beatz on Twitter
Website:Swizz Beatz's Website

On June the 5th its game time and the only thing Swizz Beatz will be dropping is his new album, One Man Band Man.  Responsible for the success of artists such as DMX, Cassidy, and the new look Bone Thugs N Harmony, the A-list producer/rapper is excited about once again allowing himself the opportunity to shine in the spotlight.  During an interview with DJBooth.net’s DJZ,” Swizzy talks about his choice to released “Its Me Snitches,” as the lead single off One Man Band Man, why he rejected Lil’ Wayne first guest verse offering for a remix and what two obsessions he spends all of his money on purchasing.

Listen to the Interview

    Download Download Interview (MP3)
    iTunes Subscribe to the iTunes Podcast

Swizz Beatz Interview Transcription

DJ Booth:  What’s goin’ on ya’ll?  It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big on DJ Booth.net, and on the phone with me is a Bronx native, Super Producer/MC, a man who helped to put DMX and Cassidy on the scene, and is personally responsible for bringing back Bone Thugs N Harmony,  please welcome the multi-talented monster—Swizz Beatz!  What’s goin’ on?

Swizz Beatz:  What’s goin’ on—what’s goin’ on—YAW’ KNOW WHO IT IS!

DJ Booth:  I love it!  Right now it’s game time—right?

Swizz Beatz:  Yeah, it’s show time!

DJ Booth:  With “One Man Band Man” due out June 5th, how excited are you about this album?

Swizz Beatz:  Ma-a-a-n—I’m very excited to put my heart into somethin’ that’s 100% Swizz Beatz.  I usually work behind the scenes, and I did that for 10 years, and now I’m ready for the forefront… and [to] really get the legacy moving to another level.

DJ Booth:  Did you contact The Guinness Book of World Records, because the high speed rapid-cuts in the video for “Its Me Snitches” is crazy?! 

Swizz Beatz:  Ha! We need to do that—we need to contact the Guinness Book of World Records – because we need to see if that new video is the fastest one.  Man, I need to do that—you’re right.

DJ Booth:  Were you personally responsible for the madness behind the creation of the video for “Its Me Snitches”?

Swizz Beatz:  I’m a very creative person, and you know when I hooked up with Benny Boom, I said I want it to be a different kind of video.  I want it to be crisp, and I want it to relate, [and] not to be so far over people’s heads.  And that’s when we came up with the p-t-d-d-d-d-d (camera flashes.)  You know with the picture changing, and that’s it.

DJ Booth:  Well, at any point were you worried that this might be seizure inducing or no?

Swizz Beatz:  Um… I didn’t care.  I just wanted to do something different.  The song is under 3 minutes.  You know, the hook is different, the beat is different. I’m bringing back the first verse at the end.  Who’s sayin’ the way things are supposed to be?  Hip-Hop is somethin’ that started from people doin’ what they want to do, instead of focusing on everything that’s already been done.  My album is not done that way.  I also know that my album is not what everyone’s expecting.

DJ Booth:  Something that I wasn’t expecting was Weezy rapping his verse for the remix of “Its Me Snitches,” in French.  Was that his idea or yours?

Swizz Beatz:  Let me tell you, he gave me one verse which I was a fan of, but I said ‘You know you have a lot of remixes out there, and I want you to do something that you never did. You’re a creative person.’  And just like that, he came back with the French. 

DJ Booth:  On a different tip, you also decided to work with Coldplay on your new album, on the cut “Part of the Plan.”  What made you decide to sample their music?

Swizz Beatz:  I’ve dealt with the Rock world before.  I wrote for Marilyn Manson, and Limp Bizkit.  I just wanted to add that in there, because this is my album.  Failing in this world is part of the plan, so if you make it, you overcame the plan of failing.

DJ Booth:  Certainly. I heard that the video for this song is going to parallel the Academy Award winning movie, “Crash.”  The movie shows a different kind of logic, and how decisions affect strangers.  Through your music, through the many years you’ve been in the music industry, you’ve affected strangers as well.  How were you able to juggle everything going on in your life, music and entrepreneurially?

Swizz Beatz:  I’ve been doin’ this for a long time, and now that people are seeing my face more in the videos and commercials, it’s more of a focus.  It’s not like it just started.  I didn’t just start all at once.  Sometimes it gets hectic, but I just go with the flow of it.  Sometimes I’m late, sometimes I’m early.

DJ Booth:  At any point, did you have to turn away offers to collaborate, with other artists, because you needed to put your project ahead of everyone else’s?

Swizz Beatz:  I did my project on an individual basis!

DJ Booth:  Let’s talk about some of the other projects you have coming up besides your own.  Two of the larger projects are with Eve and Cassidy.  What can we expect in terms of your style? When people hear them are they still going to say: “Okay, that’s Swizzy”?

Swizz Beatz:  They really identify with the “Swizzy” sound.  I try to trick them, but the real fans are not gonna [get tricked].  As far as being creative, with Eve, we have a new song called “Tambourine.”  I got a song with Bone Thugs, with Akon, and it’s more of a pop sound (I Tried), because pop songs have always been a big part of their albums.  Not everybody knows [that.]  Then we gonna move it up, we got Cassidy.  It’s his turn, and we’re full surface!

DJ Booth:  On Timbaland’s new album, every verse he spits in a song, he drops how much money he makes compared to the competition.  Two part question Swizzy: With all your success and longevity, do you feel like the marketplace is real competitive right now? And, do you think this affects your work as a producer?

Swizz Beatz:  You know, I think that it’s a business, and I respect the competition, and I’m so much of a creator and believer in changing things, so I don’t think they going to try [it] with me. “Its Me Snitches”?  Nobody would go with that as their first single, who’s gonna call somethin’ “It’s Me Snitches, The Dirty Version”?  Whose gonna really do that?  What A & R gonna support it?  “I guess it’s somethin’ he has to get off his chest.”

DJ Booth:  So what do you tell the corporate white guy who tells you what direction your music should go in?

Swizz Beatz:  You know what I would tell them?  Nothing at all, because it’s not even a conversation.  Primarily because of the way I test my records.  I’m very hands-on with the people.  I go to the clubs myself, and get my responses.  I know I’m not perfect.  There’s room for mistakes.  So now I can say, “You can call this DJ or that DJ and they will tell you what’s hot right now.”

DJ Booth:  I understand you drop loads of money on both watches and pieces of artwork?

Swizz Beatz:  Yes.

DJ Booth:  What is your favorite watch, favorite piece of artwork, and how much did you pay for both?

Swizz Beatz:  Right now my favorite watch is…. let me see.  The names change.  I’m not going to make it complicated.  It changes every time…

DJ Booth:  It changes every time you get a new watch?

Swizz Beatz:  I’d say like uhmmmmm (what is my favorite watch?).  It’s a Cartier.

DJ Booth:  Okay, and how much did you drop for it?

Swizz Beatz:  Uhm…I don’t know.  It’s my favorite, and it was a gift.

DJ Booth:  Okay, how much was spent by whoever got it for you?

Swizz Beatz:  Oh, about $60 or $70 thou.

DJ Booth:  That’s a special gift right there!

Swizz Beatz:  Yes, it is…major people-maaajor people.

DJ Booth:  What about your favorite piece of artwork?

Swizz Beatz:  Uhm…San Francis 1970, original watercolor on paper.

DJ Booth:  No regenerations or reprints, just originals?  That’s all Swizzy messing’ with?

Swizz Beatz:  Yeah, originals.  could do a limited edition sign and number print for the studio.  It’s cool, but you gotta have your standout pieces.

DJ Booth:  Couldn’t agree more.  Well, “One Man Band Man” is out June the 5th.  Go ahead and tell everybody about your website, so my listeners and your fans can find out more about the release.

Swizz Beatz:  You can go to www.myspace.com/swizzbeatz and see everything that’s goin’ down.  It’s just goin’ down major!

DJ Booth:  Well continue to be that Monster, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck in the year 2007!

Swizz Beatz:  Thank you!

Best of DJBooth