LOS ANGELES — [artist id="1161216"]Swizz Beatz[/artist] has been to the big show before. The sought-after producer/rapper hit the VMA stage last year to join Drake and Mary J. Blige for a memorable performance of “Fancy,” and on Sunday, he’s amped to watch [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist], [artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] and [artist id="1678002"]Pitbull[/artist] do their thing.
Beatz spoke to MTV News just hours before taking the stage at the Taco Bell Feed the Beat MTV2 VMA concert on Friday (August 26) at the Music Box in Los Angeles on a bill featuring Chiddy Bang and Wallpaper, and he offered some advice to Weezy and Pitbull about making VMA headlines.
“The big stage is a different stage. I think it’s an opportunity to bring out even more of the creative,” he said of the need to bring a different level of game for the VMA broadcast. “Because when you’re on that big stage, you know the whole world is watching you, and people can really see your true talent and your craftsmanship.”
He also recalled looking out on the crowd of his peers last year and remembering that it was all just a haze. “Honestly, when I’m onstage, I can’t really see the crowd,” he said. “The lights and everything shining in your face, it’s like a blur and you’re in your zone … [but] you can feel the crowd and your motivation is to stay focused and know that that tape is rolling and you better not mess up now, because it’s live.”
After VMA performer Chris Brown jumped onstage during one of Swizzy’s recent Las Vegas events to unveil the new Beatz tune “Dance Like a White Girl,” the producer said the reaction was “pandemonium.” That’s why he’s excited about Brown’s VMA slot, warning, “Everybody, get ready. Y’all better get ready.”
Brown’s choreographers, Rich and Tone , seconded that emotion, telling MTV News that we will see Chris in “1,000 percent mode.” Even with his table-hopping 2007 performance still on people’s minds, the pair said Sunday night could be on a whole other level. “We’ve been working with Chris for many years; I’ve never seen him this way on this performance ever,” Tone said. “He’s pulling out all his tricks on this one. He’s definitely gonna show you something fresh and new; something he has never done before.”
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live Sunday from Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following the Selena Gomez-hosted pre-show at 8. See the list of nominees, revisit last year’s highlights and vote for Best New Artist by visiting VMA.MTV.com.