Swizz Beatz Sets Off VMA Weekend


By Rahman J. Dukes

It's showtime! Last night Swizz Beatz officially kicked off the 2011 Video Music Awards weekend with a performance at Los Angeles' Music Box along with Chiddy Bang and Wallpaper. The rapper/producer was the headliner on a bill as part of Taco Bell's "Feed The Beat."

A few hours before his performance we caught up with Swizzie who explained his motivation to continue to participate in events similar to last night.

"At the end of the day I always want to stay in tune with the culture and this is fun" Swizz told MTV News. "The day that it stops being fun I wouldn't be at these events. I'm very busy but I can never be too busy to givr back to our culture on the musical side, on the educational side, philanthropic side, so I try to make myself available and keep pressing the envelope on what I do."

Last year Swizz was a performer for the VMAs alongside Drake and Mary J. Blige. According to Swizz, performing at the show is an accolade not many artists have the luxury of experiencing.

"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."

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.