For Swizz Beatz, recording the compilation album G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories was easy. Picking the singles? That's another story.
Ruff Ryders' top producer will send his Metallica/Ja Rule collaboration (see "Metallica/Ja Rule Collaboration Due In May "), now titled "We Did It" and including singer/guitarist James Hetfield, to rock radio, but he has not decided on the first hip-hop salvo.
"It's hard," Beatz said at Clive Davis' Grammy Eve party last week (Click
for photos from the event.)
. "So many hits to choose from."
There's also plenty of talent to choose from. Among the artists Beatz recorded for the album are DMX, Eve, Busta Rhymes, Lil' Kim, Nas and LL Cool J and many of those artists appear alongside other big names on the album, which is expected in June or July.
DMX and Angie Stone collaborated on an as-yet-untitled track, according to Beatz' DreamWorks spokesperson, while Nas worked with Fat Joe, Jadakiss and Cassidy on a remix of "Salute." Beatz boasted that newcomer Cassidy, a Philadelphia native signed to Beatz' J Records imprint, Full Surface (see "Swizz Beatz Starts Label, Preps Star-Packed G.E.T.T.O. LP"), is "the hardest and smoothest rapper you ever heard."
Nas also appears solo on G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories on "Two Seater," as does Eve on "Island Spice."
Beatz himself appears on tracks with Busta ("Endalay"), Lil' Kim ("Gone Delirious") and dancehall favorite Bounty Killer (as-yet-untitled).
Of course, Beatz also plans to use his album to show off other new Full Surface artists, New York City's Mashonda (who has sang on past DMX and Eve albums) and Atlanta's Yung Wun (Ruff Ryders). Mashonda collaborated with LL Cool J on "Ghetto Love" and with Shyne on "Shyne." Yung Wun raps with Big Baby of Big Tymers on "Let Me See You Do Your Thing."
Other artists lined up for G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories, according to DreamWorks, are Noreaga on "N.O.R.E.," Jadakiss and Ron Isley on "Big Business" and the LOX's Styles on "I Get High."
Beatz said he has talked with Hype Williams about directing a split screen video for "We Did It," which should hit outlets in May. "I want to show Metallica got one world going on, Ja got the other," he said.