Behind the Beats: Swizz Beatz
After all these years of producing hits for everybody (and we mean everybody), Swizz Beatz had an epiphany.
"My position is not to give people singles; it's to give people a sound. Back in the day, when I was working with [DMX] or Eve, I would give that sound. Nowadays, [the industry] is about singles. But your little brother in the room could slip up on a hot beat and have it potentially be a single. That doesn't mean that's gonna connect people to the artist's album."
Swizz said he did some contemplating about what separates the elite artists and dissected the situation.
" 'What's the difference between that person and the next person? Why do people still go crazy over Sade and she ain't come out in X amount of years?' " Swizz began to recall. "It's because they can depend on a sound. Nowadays, you can't depend on a sound. You have to go through iTunes and weed out the fat, weed out all the garbage, what could have been the whole-album sound."
Swizz, whose latest work includes the Kanye West-led posse cut "Lord Lord Lord" and Drake's "Fancy," isn't stopping anytime soon. His beats will be plastered all over your inner ear in the coming months. Besides his upcoming Haute Living LP, the Bronx native is working with Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé and has most of the tracks for Snoop's Dogg's Doggystyle sequel.
"I didn't know I signed up to produce that until the end of that night," Swizz said about his and the Dogg's recent session. Swizz played Snoop more than a dozen new instrumentals, and the vibe was so rich, the West Coast icon decided to make it the foundation for his next album.
Next Wave of Flav
On Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé's new solo albums: "With Mary, it's not about one song. We're six songs in. With B, with all the people I'm working with, it's 'What's the sound?' I think it's gonna be an amazing year for sound in 2011. That's when people will notice it."
On Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle 2: The Doggumentary: "We was in there just banging joints. I'm looking at him, he's feeling them like, 'Put that to the side. Put that to side.' But the things I'm picking are from a fan's standpoint. I'm not picking it from a producer's standpoint. I'm like, 'If Snoop is on this, that's his "Gin and Juice" right there.' I think people want Snoop to stay authentic, which he does all the time. But if he focuses on the sound, that brings them back to something familiar, but it's new, it works. I got the first Doggystyle in my brains."
On Lil Wayne's Haute Living cameo: "Off my album, there was a lot of controversy over this before. The Eminem album before [Recovery], Relapse, I submitted a beat to him called 'Stan 2.' When I was doing an interview and they said, 'What you working on?' [Em] was amongst the people in the lineup I submitted things for. I said, 'I did a track for Eminem called "Stan 2." ' So it got out of hand in the media. He didn't want to do 'Stan 2.' But what I have on my album is a song called 'Anne' with Wayne, which is crazy. To connect the story of what we saying with Snoop, taking something that people remember and putting them in that time and taking it to the next level, the way that Wayne tells Anne he's sorry what happened to Stan. The album is crazy."
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