BEVERLY HILLS, California — Eve is signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, but she's not leaving behind her favorite Ruff Ryders music maker.
"She's over there with Aftermath, but she's still family and there's still all love and we still gonna make history," hitmaker Swizz Beatz said recently. "Me and Dr. Dre is doing the album — it's classic already. We're about seven songs deep. She's very focused. That's my sister."
Swizz, who has been working with Eve since he was 16, said the rapper-turned-actress is changing up her sound for the follow-up to 2002's Eve-Olution, which is due later this year.
"I told Dre I don't want to do an album that's not believable," Swizz said. "She can't talk about being in the 'hood and this and that when she's got a TV show and she's living the good life. Rap about the good life and how you got there, and give messages out to the young female youth coming out — but [make sure it's] still nice to dance to. She's making a very believable album."
Along with Eve, Swizz has been in the studio with several acts, including Beyoncé, Nas, Kelis, Q-Tip, Mary J. Blige, Twista, Cassidy, Young Gunz, Memphis Bleek and, of course, his longtime collaborator DMX.
"I produced 80 songs from January to now," said Swizz (real name: Kasseem Dean). "I'm just grinding. I got almost every single out right now."
Well, maybe not every single, but with Cassidy's "I'm a Hustla" (see "Swizz, Mary J. Keep Bangin' On Cassidy's 'I'm A Hustla' "), T.I.'s "Bring Em Out" (see "Swizz Beatz Back In The Spotlight Thanks To T.I., Cassidy") and Mashonda's "Blackout" (featuring Nas), he's certainly hot.
"I just want to let the industry know that Swizz Beatz still be doing it 10 years straight," said Swizz, who's also worked with Jay-Z ("Money, Cash, Hoes," "If I Should Die"), Busta Rhymes, Foxy Brown and just about the entire Ruff Ryders roster over the years. "I keep giving away my hits, though. 'Bring Em Out' and 'Hustla' were [supposed to be] on my next album. So I'm gonna take time out to do my album."
First, though, he's wrapping up production duties on DMX's Here We Go Again, due July 19 (see "Mase Advises DMX To Rap Again, Wait For The Lord's Call"). Swizz's contributions include the first single, "Pump Ya Fist."
"It's a Public Enemy track, but I flipped the beat a little bit," Swizz said. "It's got a lot of energy. Public Enemy always had that energy, and when I thought of this next DMX album, he had to come like a rebel without a cause."
Swizz is also behind some tracks on another high-profile July 19 release, Busta Rhymes' The Big Bang. "I don't want to ruin it, but he's got a song with Stevie Wonder," Swizz said. "That's the level he's taking it to."
Finally, the latest Ruff Ryders release, Redemption: Volume 4, due July 26, also features Swizz, along with DMX, Jadakiss, the LOX, Akon and others.