Swizz Beatz

Swizz Beatz

Swizz Beatz at the Hot 97 Summer Jam.
Background information
Birth name Kasseem Dean
Born September 13, 1978 (1978-09-13) (age 33)
The Bronx, New York, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Record producer, rapper, record executive, painter,
Instruments Keyboard, sampler
Years active 1998–present
Labels Full Surface, Ruff Ryders, Atlantic
Associated acts DMX, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, T.I., Chris Brown, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, G-Unit,
Website http://swizzbeatzonline.com

Kasseem Dean (born September 13, 1978),[1] better known by his stage name, Swizz Beatz, is an American record producer, DJ, rapper and painter. At the age of 17, he gained attention in the hip-hop world through his friendship with rapper DMX. Grady Spivey and rapper Cassidy helped launch his label Full Surface Records. He is married to Contemporary R&B superstar Alicia Keys and has one child with her, as well as three other children.


Early life

Dean did not see much of his father, a postal worker, due to his parents' separation in his early life. He was raised by his mother in the South Bronx, where he spent most of his childhood. This was where he first encountered Hip hop and began deejaying. He began deejaying after he got some equipment from his stepfather and his uncles. He later relocated to Atlanta as a teenager due to having too many fights at Harry S. Truman High School; there he started to work for his uncles, Joaquin and Darrin Dean, who were co-CEOs of the Ruff Ryders label. Forgoing the practice of using samples, he mostly used the Korg Trinity and Triton Keyboards and tried to accentuate the performance aspect of his music.

Music career

1998–02: Music beginnings

With his uncles (Chivon, Dee, and Waah Dean) involved with the Ruff Ryders label, he began to produce tracks at the age of 16. He sold his first beat at 17 which became DMX's hit single "Ruff Ryders' Anthem". In 2001 at the age of 23 he established his own record label, Full Surface, in a joint venture with Clive Davis of J Records.[2] The first artist signed was Philadelphia-based rapper Cassidy. But it was not until Swizz's first compilation album, 2002's Swizz Beatz Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories, that he started to get notices for his production style and interesting ideas and Cassidy began to get attention. He released two singles "Guilty" and "Bigger Business", both charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and were accompanied by music videos.[3] Swizz Beatz along with being associated with Ruff Ryders & Roc-A-Fella Records, began to produce for artists from labels such as Elektra Records, Atlantic Records, Epic Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Bad Boy Entertainment and his career largely grew from that point.

2006–07: One Man Band Man

In February 2007, the producer mixed the music for design duo Heatherette's Fall 2007 New York Fashion Week runway show.[4] On August 21, 2007, Swizz Beatz released his second solo album, titled One Man Band Man.[5] The album sold 45,000 records in its first week[6] and includes singles "It's Me Bitches" and "Money in the Bank".[5]

On October 19, 2007, Swizz Beatz launched a contest called "Share the Studio", presented by Music Video 2.0 and The Source magazine. The contest was intended to be a continuation of the work from his debut album.[7]

In 2007 Swizz Beatz signed longtime friend Drag-On,[8] legendary Cleveland-based rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony,[9] and former Ruff Ryder member Eve[10] to his label.

2008–present: Haute Living

Undaunted by the disappointing sales of his last album, One Man Band Man, Swizz Beatz is already hard at work on his second album (his second as an artist, however, it will be the third album he has released). In late 2007 Swizz Beatz confirmed it will be called Life After the Party in an interview with Format Magazine saying[11]

The opportunities that I’ve got from doing my album (One Man Band Man) are much bigger than just producing. A lot of things came from me being able to put a voice to my face. It was me just expressing myself and having the opportunity to – it was the one man band. And now I’m doing part two, which is Life After the Party.

April 24, 2009 Swizz Beatz did a promo song for Hennessy Black, entitled "When I Step In The Club". A video was made and was directed by Hype Williams.[12]

In 2010 on his Twitter Swizz Beatz renamed his album three times. He first announced he was calling it King Issues but later on that day settled on The Perception of Greatness,[13] and on August 23 while in a studio session with Mary J. Blige in New York City, Swizz unveiled his new album title Haute Living, stating that it's the perfect phrase to represent what he's all about.[14] Swizz Beatz announced while being interviewed on BBC Radio that he was planning to release it on September 13, to coincide with his birth date.[15] The album will be released under his actual contract with Everest Entertainment/Atlantic/Warner, who signed the rapper in August 2010. Confirmed guest appearances include Bono, Travis Barker, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and John Legend.[16] On February 12, 2010, he and 81 other artists including Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Jamie Foxx, Will.i.am, and Usher, debuted "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" during the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In 2010, inspired by Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Fridays series, Swizz Beatz launched his own series of free weekly mp3s titled Monster Monday. The first song, "DJ Play that Beat" featuring Estelle, was released on October 25. Other Monster Monday tracks include features from Rakim, Pusha T, DMX, Busta Rhymes and Pharrell.[17][18]

In 2011, Swizz Beatz won his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group with American rapper Jay-Z, for the song "On To The Next One". The first single from Haute Living titled Everyday (Coolin') Produced by Joe Lindsay was released through monstermondays.com on March 28, 2011. The song features Eve.[19] During an interview with Paper Mag, Swizz Beatz reveals some of the collaborations that will make their way on Haute Living. One of them is called ‘Skyscrapers’ featuring Kanye West and Bono.

"We got this song–it’s me, Bono and Kanye on this one song called “Skyscrapers.” I recorded with Kanye in the studio and then I recorded with Bono in this actual studio right here. Mary J. Blige is on the album; John Legend is on the album. But they’re on the album in super amazing ways. It’s not like a compilation–it’s a nice mixture of creativity. I had no boundaries with it; I had great partners on the album–Reebok was supporting me.


On May 21, 2011, Swizz Beatz confirmed that Dr. Dre was working on the album with him.[21]

Producing career

Swizz Beatz produced hit songs for many elite rap, hip-hop soul and R&B, such as DMX ("Party Up (Up in Here)"), Beyoncé ("Check on It", "Ring the Alarm"), T.I. ("Bring 'Em Out"), Styles P ("Good Times"), Cassidy ("Hotel", "I'm a Hustla"), Busta Rhymes ("Touch It") and many more.

In 2003 he began to expand his label; Big Tigger, Keith Sweat, Bounty Killer and Yung Wun were all in talks to signing with Full Surface but in the end only Yung Wun was signed. Yung Wun, whom Swizz took under his wing and was executive producer of his album, The Dirtiest Thirstiest and co-produced the lead single "Tear It Up.[22][23][24]

In 2009, Swizz Beatz produced many popular singles including "Nasty Girl" by Ludacris featuring Plies, "Who's Real" by Jadakiss featuring OJ da Juiceman, "Million Bucks" by Maino, "Million Dollar Bill" by Whitney Houston, "I Can Transform Ya" by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and "On to the Next One" by Jay-Z .[2]

Swizz Beatz also was named the first "Producer in Residence" at New York University. This will last from the 2010-2011 academic year.[25]

Other ventures

Fashion designer

In 2006 he became a partner involved in the popular clothing company Kidrobot, a creator and retailer of limited-edition art toys and apparel.[2][26]

Shoe designer

On Twitter in 2010, Swizz Beatz revealed his new sneaker line with Reebok.[27][28]


Swizz Beatz not only collects paintings but also paints on his own free time. He donates the money he earns from his paintings to the Children's Cancer & Blood Foundation; he also donates to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.[29]

Personal life

In 2000, his first son by Nicole Levy, Prince Nasir was born.[citation needed] In 2004, he married Mashonda Tifrere, together they have one child, Kasseem Dean Jr. (born 2006). In April 2008, they announced their plans to divorce after four years of marriage. In May 2008 UK singer and producer Jahna Sebastian gave birth to a daughter Nicole, whom Swizz Beatz fathered.[30] In May 2009, Swizz Beatz admitted to having a relationship with Alicia Keys. In May 2010 Beatz confirmed he was engaged to Alicia Keys, and that she was pregnant with Beatz' fourth, and her first child.[31] During the time of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the couple took part of a union and had the unborn child blessed in a Zulu ceremony, which took place in the Illovo suburb of South Africa.[32] Keys and Swizz Beatz held a wedding celebration on the French island of Corsica on July 31, 2010.[33] Alicia Keys gave birth to their son, Egypt Daoud Ibarr Dean, on October 14, 2010.[34][35]


Studio Albums
Compilation albums
  • Swizz Beatz Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories (2002)

Awards and nominations

  • Grammy Awards
    • 2010, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group "On to the Next One" (won)
    • 2010, Best Rap Song "On to the Next One" [Nominated]
    • 2010, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group "Fancy" [Nominated]


  1. ^ Tweet from Aug. 30, 2011
  2. ^ a b c The Songs of Swizz Beatz
  3. ^ DisCogs entry. Swizz Beatz at Discogs. Discogs. Accessed August 23, 2007.
  4. ^ "FASHIONWEEK Fall 2007: Follow the Heatherette Brick Road for Fall". FashionTribes. February 8, 2007. http://fashiontribes.typepad.com/main/2007/02/fashionweek_fal_26.html. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Official Website of Swizz Beatz". http://swizzbeatzonline.com/default.asp. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ "'High School Musical 2' Hangs On Atop Billboard 200". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003632746#/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003632746. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Swizz Beatz". JPop.com. http://www.jpop.com/Swizz%20Beatz. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  8. ^ Drag-On Signs With Swizz Beatz's Full Surface Records
  9. ^ Swizz Beatz and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony on Strength & Loyalty
  10. ^ Eve Signs Joint Venture With Swizz Beatz And Dr. Dre
  11. ^ Bun B and Swizz Beatz
  12. ^ Hennessy Black Cognac Promotes w/Swizz Beats' When I Step In the Club Video, Up/Down Dance Contest
  13. ^ Swizz Beatz Turns To Fans For Album Title, "I'm Done Trying To Name It"
  14. ^ Swizz Beatz Renames Third Album 'Haute Living'
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ Ryon, Sean (2010-11-29). "Swizz Beatz Previews New Album, Introduces New Artist | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHopDX. http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.13165/title.swizz-beatz-previews-new-album-introduces-new-artist/. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  17. ^ Swizz Beatz Presents Monster Mondays
  18. ^ Swizz Beatz Launches Free MP3 Series Monster Mondays
  19. ^ "Swizz Beatz Presents Monster Mondays". Monstermondays.com. http://www.monstermondays.com/weektwentytwo.php. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  20. ^ "Swizz Beatz Reveals Track With Kanye & Bono On ‘Haute Living’ | HipHop-N-More". Hiphop-n-more.com. 2011-04-21. http://hiphop-n-more.com/2011/04/swizz-beatz-reveals-track-with-kanye-bono-on-haute-living/. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  21. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1664355/swizz-beatz-dr-dre-detox.jhtml
  22. ^ Keith Sweat, Big Tigger & Bounty Killer Join Swizz Beatz's Full Surface Records
  23. ^ BET's Big Tigger Says He Hasn't Joined Swizz Beatz's Label
  24. ^ Super Producer, SWIZZ BEATZ, Unites with J Records for FULL SURFACE
  25. ^ Tanzer, Myles (2010-11-24). "Swizz Beatz Named NYU "Producer in Residence"". NYU Local. http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2010/11/05/swizz-beatz-named-nyu-producer-in-residence/. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  26. ^ Kid Robot by Swizz Beats the Monster
  27. ^ Swizz Beatz Teams Up With Reebok For Line Of Sneakers
  28. ^ Swizz Beatz Collaborates With Reebok For Shoe Design!
  29. ^ Swizz Beatz: Pupil of Paint
  30. ^ Mashonda-Swizz To Divorce
  31. ^ Laudadio, Marisa (May 27, 2010). "Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz Are Engaged – and Expecting!". People. Time. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20389363,00.html. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz Receive Zulu Blessing in Africa". Rap-Up. http://www.rap-up.com/2010/06/22/alicia-keys-and-swizz-beatz-receive-zulu-blessing-in-africa/. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  33. ^ Baertlein, Lisa (August 2, 2010). "Alicia Keys Marries Swizz Beatz". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. http://www.billboard.com/news/alicia-keys-marries-swizz-beatz-in-france-1004107126.story#/news/alicia-keys-marries-swizz-beatz-in-france-1004107126.story. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Pals: Alicia Keys Is Secretly Engaged!". US Magazine. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebritynews/news/pals-alicia-keys-is-secretly-engaged-2010271. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  35. ^ Greer, Carlos (October 15, 2010). "Alicia Keys Has a Baby Boy". People. People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20434638,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Swizz Beatz — (2007) Chartplatzierungen Erklärung der Daten Alben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Swizz Beatz discography — This is the discography of Swizz Beatz, an American hip hop record producer/rapper.Albumstudio*2007: One Man Band Man *2008: Life After the Party Compilations*2002: Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories *2003: The Northise Compilation inglesoloFeatured… …   Wikipedia

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  • Swizz Beats — Swizz Beatz Swizz Beatz Alias Swizzy, The Monster, One Man Band Man, Sandman Nom Kasseem Dean Naissance 30 août 1978 Pays d’origine États Unis Profession(s) Producteur de musique, rappeur, PDG, propriétaire d un club …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beatz — Chartplatzierungen Erklärung der Daten Singles It s Me Snitches   US 83 27.04.2007 (3 Wo.) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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