Swizz Beatz is the nucleus of the Ruff Ryders. In sports, you would call him the "glue guy." Besides being the producer who produced most of the signature hits for his family's label, Swizz has gone on to become the most visible of the faction the past ten years with his high profile marriage to Alicia Keys, various business dealings with high end companies and his art world success.
Last night (April 21) in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, Swizz, DMX, The Lox, Eve and Drag-On came "together" for the "Ruff Ryder Reunion" show. Although the one glaring thing missing from the show was the entire team on stage together all at once, each act dished out the hits that made us fall in love them collectively and individually.
Like the nucleus, Swizz came on in the middle, after Eve and Drag-On and before The Lox and DMX. Swizz didn't DJ, but he came to the stage as more of his own hype man/maestro. Swizz went through a myriad of songs he produced. He started with his own "Big Business" and went to Lloyd Banks "Start it Up" and Jay Z's "On to the Next One" T.I.'s "Gucci Rag," The Throne's "Welcome to the Jungle" and Drake's "Fancy."
That was just a warmup. It was time to really start rapping. The superproducer turned it over to Fat Joe for "Lean Back." After his first verse, Remy Ma came out and was greeted with raucous cheers. Keeping it Bronx, French Montana joined the tandem for "All The Way Up." That song never gets old.
"Get em Rem!" Fat Joe yelled. "Get em. Get em!"
Some fans were calling for "ShEther" and Remy just smiled. Instead she rapped her verse from "Spaghetti" with no beat.
Fat Joe then told French he wanted to dance play his new song. Soon come. First French went into verses from "Hot Nigga," "Pop That," and "Ain't Worried Bout Nothin." He then closed with "Unforgettable" and gave his friend Joe a tune to dance to.
"We just warming up. That's the cool part about it," Swizz said. "I wanna get off the stage so I can see the Dog."
Philadelphia' Cassidy came out as another surprise with "Drink And My 2 Step," "I'm A Hustla," and "Hotel" before going into his unabashed battle rap mode. Class hit a freestyle and sprayed a few shots.
"Who the best MCs me, J. Cole or Kendrick?" Cass rapped. "I miss the days when Jay took over the business/ I witnessed Hova change the world, I’m a Jehovah’s Witness/ I never chose to listen to Yachty and Lil Uzi/ Let’s take it back to Jeezy, Weezy, and Boosie/ I might listen to Tip, Ross, and a little Gucci/ But these little newbies be making me feel a little woozy. I usually be wanting to earl./ Cause Young M.A. The only one punching and she still punch like a girl."
Swizz ended his set with music from the Caribbean making the people jump before exiting.