Don't call it a comeback, but producer Swizz Beatz is once again making the streets nod with his infectious productions.
The beatmaker, who first made a name for himself by cranking out hits for Jay-Z and DMX, is currently responsible for both T.I.'s "Bring Em Out" and Cassidy's "I'm a Hustla." Not bad for a producer who some thought was past his prime.
"I just sat back and watched the critics count me out," said Swizz. "When you chill for a minute, that's when people start to count you out. So now it's time to [be proud] and do my work. We're just not being quiet anymore."
Swizz's Full Surface imprint is having particular success thanks to "I'm a Hustla." The single is so hot right now that they're fast-tracking Cassidy's sophomore set, Personality Change (see "Cassidy Warns Cats Will Have Trouble With His Personality Change").
"I wasn't going to put it out there," Swizz said of "I'm a Hustla." "We had recorded and I was going to hold. Cassidy took it to the clubs in Philly and it just took off. [Funkmaster] Flex wanted it immediately. He called me out on the radio and said that it was the craziest thing he had heard since [Notorious B.I.G.'s] 'Who Shot Ya.' "
While both singles sample verses from Jay-Z, Swizz said it was pure coincidence. In fact, T.I.'s "Bring Em Out" was recorded six months after "I'm a Hustla" (see "Legal Woes Behind Him, T.I. Works And Chills In Puerto Rico").
"A couple of people could have had that track," said Swizz. "Some were scared of it because it sampled Jay. I was getting a response from T.I.'s camp. I thought it was the perfect concept with T.I. coming back out of jail. He wasn't sure about Jay's sample at first either, but he came around. He laid three verses and I laid the ad-libs in one session — it's been one of the biggest records of my career."
With two songs already climbing the charts, Swizz has no plans to chill again anytime soon. The knob turner is busy behind the boards for a host of acts, including Fat Joe, Memphis Bleek, Young Gunz, Mariah Carey, B.G., DMX, Styles, Busta Rhymes, Beyoncé, Shyne and Eve, among others.
"I'm doing three sessions a day now," said the confident producer. "I'm about to have eight songs on the radio in the next two months. It's not about just doing beats — this is a movement.
"The game is real weak right now and I'm taking over," Swizz added. "Producers are too busy out there partying; meanwhile I am working — making history."