"People thought I started my career with [T.I.'s 2004 hit] 'Bring Em Out,' " laughed Swizz, who's been throwing his weight around in rap since the late 1990s. " 'Yeah, he first started with "Bring Em Out." ' I'm like 'Bring Em Out?'
"What I'm doing this year, I'm doing a bio on Swizz Beatz. I'm doing a bio on Kasseem Dean," Swizz added, dropping his birth name. "Some people don't know 70 percent of the work I've done. They know the obvious stuff that I've done. I think that me being so anti-press, so anti-publicist, mentally, it kept me cool, but on the music level, it held me back. Simple things I see, like ... for people that think me and Bono hanging out was, like, weird, awkward, I know that's a lack of education of who I am. I've been working with rock and roll since way back when — Limp Bizkit, all these different people from way back when."
Swizz said he's planning to start a Web site about his career. One of Swizz's main focuses this year is to build his birth name into a name brand.
"I still don't get my props like that," he said. "But it's cool. When I get it, it's gonna all make sense. ... But I'm not looking for no props. I'm looking for people to have a great time and recognize real music, and that's it. This year, I'm just graduating the whole Swizz Beatz brand. I'm going more Kasseem Dean, which is my government [name]. Kasseem Dean is the guy that travels all around the world, that deals with art, that does all the philanthropic work, that's scoring movies, that's doing clothes with major designers. All those things fall under the Kasseem Dean category. Swizz Beatz is 'On to the Next One,' 'Transform Ya,' all the stuff you see in the video. From 2009 on backwards is Swizz Beatz. All my tracks, that could still be Swizz Beatz. Anytime it's something outside of beats, it's Kasseem Dean. It's important for me to graduate that brand."
Dean, the producer added, is the guy you see hanging out with foreign dignitaries, top-name fashion designers and Bono. "Kasseem is chill. It's like the better side of Swizz," he said.
It's Hip-Hop and R&B Week at MTV News, and we're saluting some of the biggest names who have earned big-dawg status with their steadfast pursuit of excellence. We're also bringing you some of the acts on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough, so stay locked with us all week!