Multi-hyphenates seem to be a dime a dozen in 2018, but Swizz Beatz is the real deal. Starting out as a DJ in The Bronx, he soon ascended in the music industry as an in-demand producer, with Kanye West calling him “the best rap producer of all time.” Nowadays, he’s doing everything from curating a contemporary art auction for Sotheby’s to releasing a new album called POISON, with J. Cole serving as executive producer and Lil Wayne featuring on the project’s lead single “Pistol On My Side (P.O.M.S.).”
Swizz Beatz recently chatted with The FADER about his upcoming sophomore album and graduating from Harvard’s OPN program, in addition to another major milestone – turning 40. Check out the highlights below.
On his new chapter in life since turning 40:
“To outperform my previous chapter. I don’t compare myself to other people — I’m my own opponent. My new self is better than my old self, and I have to feel that way to raise the ceiling to the place I want to be. I love challenging myself, which is the reason I didn’t take the easy way out with my record. I could have had a whole different record, but for what? Everything that I’d be going to get I have, so let me go and get something that will add to something at a time I feel it’s needed.”
On how J. Cole came to executive produce his album:
“He played the role of young mentor to me. I’m not too cool where I can’t have a young mentor, being as I’m a young OG. We were playing each other music, and then we started talking about things other than our projects, books, different things. One time, I was playing him songs from the album — before I had all these different sonic elements to the album, before separating them into four boxes. What I played you guys, where it stopped, he was like, ‘That’s the record. The other records you’re playing me, they’re huge, but I don’t think you need it.’ And I’m like, ‘Are you crazy?’”
On graduating from Harvard’s OPM program:
“The program changed my life because it gave me structure. Most creatives don’t understand the business, which is why we’re still talking about artists getting royalties in 2018. But if we had more [business] educated artists understanding beyond the craft, the institutions would have a harder time with them settling for anything.”
Be sure to read the full interview over at The FADER.
Revisit Swizz Beatz’ “Pistol On My Side (P.O.M.S.) ft. Lil Wayne below.