2) He’s The Last Man Standing
Take a look at today’s in-demand beat conductors and you will find that many of Swizz Beatz’ peers from the 90s and early ‘00’s are either making little noise or missing in action. Dirty South production innovator Mannie Fresh is in the studio working on comeback material following his 2005 split from his longtime label home Cash Money. The influential Timbaland is operating on the pop music landscape, all but moving past his R&B and hip-hop roots with the exception of such acts as Drake (“Say Something”) and the mighty Neptunes have turned most of their attention towards their alternative music side group NERD.
That essentially leaves Swizz and Just Blaze, Jay-Z’s longtime collaborator—who has had his own impressive rebirth as of late helming a steady run of stellar tracks and chart hits that include Jay Electronica’s extraordinary boom-bap statement “Exhibit C” and Eminem’s brooding radio hit “No Love. Just says such production longevity shown by Swizz should not be downplayed.
“With the many resources people have between the Internet, and music production software like Protools, Logic, and Fruityloops, dope beats are not as hard to come by as they used to be,” Just says. “But when you can match that evolution of going from making a dope beat to making good songs and capturing a real energy that’s where the longevity comes in. That’s why Swizz is still rocking. He has mastered the concept of capturing energy and making great songs that are credible.”
Lox member and former Ruff Ryders MC Sheek Louch says he is not surprised one bit that his old friend and producer is having success more than a decade into his career. “His sound starting off was very futuristic,” says Sheek of Swizz. It was ahead of its time. He was a hot producer back then. But he has grown as an all-around producer. I remember talking to him when he was first starting off. And he would tell me about all these crazy ideas he had about his music. So I knew he was aiming for something bigger, for something else.”