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Swizz Beatz wants to raise a million dollars in “taxes” for each of hip hop’s founders

“We need to be paying taxes to the creatives of hip hop that gave us freedom of speech to move forward,” he said.

Swizz Beatz Getty

Swizz Beatz believes today’s rap stars who have made successful careers in hip hop should be paying their dues to the genre’s pioneering founders. Speaking with Joe Budden during an Instagram Live session for Beatz’s Zone Radio, Swizz revealed he’d like to raise a million dollars in “taxes” for each founding member of hip hop.

“We can’t mix the hype with the reality of what this all started from,” Swizz said to Budden, after discussing his idea to host a Verzuz between Rakim and Big Daddy Kane. “I want to raise a million dollars for each icon that started hip hop — [from] Kool Herc on down.”

“The fact that we’re not paying taxes on who started hip hop shows we don’t fu*king really love hip hop,” he continued. “The fact we don’t pay taxes, as artists, to those icons that paved the way, took the lower cut for the music that allows us to feed our families and live in a house where you can see New York City. We need to be paying — fu*k the government — we need to be paying taxes to the creatives of hip hop that gave us freedom of speech to move forward.”

Swizz named hip hop acts like Melle Mel, Grandmaster Flash and The Sugarhill Gang as a few of the originators who should receive “a minimum [of] a million a piece.”

Budden agreed with Swizz’s idea and pointed to other potential sources of revenue for what he coined as “rapper reparations.”

Elsewhere in the Live, Swizz also confirmed that a piano-driven battle between his wife Alicia Keys and John Legend is currently in the works.

Most recently, Swizz and Timbaland’s Verzuz series saw its first female-fronted event, with queens of neo-soul Erykah Badu and Jill Scott taking over last Saturday (May 9). This upcoming weekend, Nelly and Ludacris are set to showdown for the virtual series’ next installment.

Watch Budden and Swizz’s full conversation below.

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