Swizz Beatz Talks Business Empire, Ruff Ryders Reunion

Swizz Beatz Talks Business Empire, Ruff Ryders Reunion

Eclectic super-producer discusses his role in Reebok revival, Megaupload scandal and more.

Published May 2, 2012

Swizz Beatz is without a doubt one of rap's illest renaissance men. The beatmaker has exploited his multiplatinum success in the music biz to a massive web of business ventures that seems to expand daily. In a recent interview with New York radio station Power 105's The Breakfast Club, Swizzie spoke about his ever-growing portfolio of projects, from Reebok to Lotus to the Ruff Ryders reunion. 

Last year, Swizz signed on as creative director of Reebok Classics, and he seemed particularly proud of his impact on the resurgent brand, who recently upped their growing profile even further by signing an endorsement with Rick Ross.

"I'd rather rock with Reebok than the other companies, 'cause if I could bring Reebok back that’s like making history," Swizz said. "And everything I do I try to make history with. I knew it was going to be a hard battle to get people to put those on their feet, but now it’s paying off. I’m graduating with the brand. I raised the company by 30 percent last year, and we're trying to double that this year."

Swizz also discussed his recent partnership with car company Lotus, who unveiled a special edition Evora GTE co-designed by the producer-turned-mogul last December. The car featured a ruby-red chrome exterior, which Swizz says was his brainchild.

"I own the rights to the chrome colors," Swizz noted. When asked by co-host Charlemagne tha God if other companies would have to pay to use the tints in the future, Swizz replied, "They gonna have to."

One collabo that almost didn't work out so swimmingly was Swizz' partnership with Megaupload. He was rumored to be its chief executive after he headed a star-studded YouTube video extolling the file-sharing company the last December. But just a month later Megaupload was shut down by the feds for copyright infringement and other charges, and seven of the company's shareholders were indicted. Swizz was thought to be in legal hot water as well, until it was revealed that his deal to head up the company was never finalized.

"It’s a real touchy situation," Swizz said. "I'm not scared to talk about it because I wasn’t doing nothing wrong. No one was doing nothing wrong, but the miscommunication part made it look like everybody's doing something wrong, and that wasn’t the case. I'm the last person that wants to give away music for free. Are you crazy?" 

With an impressive slate of upcoming musical collaborations, why would he? Swizz said he's linked recently with Nas and Ludacris, and has also been working to make the much-discussed Ruff Ryders reunion tour a reality. “You always gotta remember where you came from," Swizz said of connecting with his old crew. "It feels good to have the people you started with around you.”

To check the rest of the interview, in which Swizz Beatz also discusses his upcoming solo album, Rick Ross and his charity work, head over to Power 105.

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(Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Written by Alex Gale


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