1. The Same Guy Who Produced DMX Went On To Bang Out Hits For Jay-Z, Beyonce, And Whitney Houston
Tell the truth. You were taken aback by the revelation that the man who hammered out tracks for some of Dark Man X’s most menacing street-rhyme assaults also fashioned Beyonce’s 2007 dance-floor rave-up “Get Me Bodied.” Or that the dude who supplied the dark 808 bounce for Jay-Z’s 2009 “On To The Next One” earlier that same year shared studio time with comeback diva Whitney Houston on the throwback ‘70s disco track “Million Dollar Bill.” Given Swizz’s past straight-ahead ‘hood rap credentials, such a drastic stylistic shift seemed almost unimaginable during his early days.
“It was kind of weird, but cool to hear him do a disco song for Whitney,” says Shepherd. “Think about it, Swizz has gone from DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem” to a song with one of the greatest vocalist of our time. That shows you he’s a true student of music, which most good producers are.” Shepherd says you don’t have to go back a decade to see Swizz Beatz’ expansive musical prowess. “He has even improved from 2007. I remember going to a party where Swizz was Djing and he played “It’s Me Bitches” 400 times. Now that was a dope party song, but a song like Drake’s “Fancy” is light years ahead. You just think, ‘Damn, Swizz.’ He keeps mining these great songs from the far known reaches of his brain.”