Swizz Beatz almost called it a wrap a few years ago. He was frustrated with the infrastructure of the music biz. Swizz didn't feel the distribution of power and money between artists and label wasn't as fair as it should be. Couple that with the fact that he'd learned how to endear himself to brands such as Reebok outside of music and earn a fortune that way, the Bronx born hitmaker was going to make a permanent transition from studio life.
"This business is not set up for the artists to win, so you have to understand when it's your time to get off the titty and go and live your own dream. We want to be pacified and rewarded at the same time. It doesn't work like that. I retired from music when I made 'On To The Next One,'" Swizz told hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN while recently a guest on their show "Drink Champs." "I wrote 'On To The Next One,' as my retirement song--which was my last Grammy--because I was mentally on the next platform. I think we have to be mentally ready to take the next step that we feel is life changing to ourselves. I don't care about the fear, the politics, because look man, life is full of politics. Look at who our President is. Look at who we dealing with right now?
"But the truth of the matter, we had to deal with something with every president since Regan," he added. "Since Reganomics. This ain't nothing new. This ain't nothing but a recycling of the system. But how you treat your own system mentally and spiritually is on you. And We're prepared for any war."
The great thing for fans is that Swizz is still here making music today. Busta Rhymes' "Aaahhhh!" and DMX's "Bane Is Back", both produced by Swizz, just dropped recently. Swizz is also in the lab working with Cassidy and he also says he just did some with Jay Z. Not to mention, there's a new Swizz solo LP in the works.
While still may not be in love with the business side of music, he does love how streaming somewhat evens the playing field.
"It gives the independent life," Swizz said of streaming. "Before we were trapped into one way or nothing. Now, if you really got your hustle on, you can go viral and start something."
Tune in to "Drink Champs" every Thursday at 11 PM ET on REVOLT. Be sure to catch the re-air Saturday nights Saturday at 11 PM ET.