Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV's "Drink Champs," which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly "Drink Champs" episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
Last night, the newest episode of "Drink Champs" aired on REVOLT TV with production extraordinaire Swizz Beatz sitting down with Noreaga and DJ EFN for a few drinks, while taking a trip down memory lane. One of the most iconic and impactful creatives in hip hop over the past two decades, Swizz Beatz has expanded his scope from being a boardsman to becoming a budding mogul by building partnerships with some of the biggest brands in a myriad of industries, serving as a testament to his growth. Laughs were aplenty during the conversation, which included cameos from "The Breakfast Club" co-host Angela Yee, as well as Maino. There were many nuggets of wisdom, as Swizz gave insight into his train of thought and philanthropic mindset. REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the Swizz Beatz episode of "Drink Champs" that the average fan may have never known... until now.
1. Swizz Beatz Stayed In An Actual Dorm While Completing Harvard's Business Program
In November 2017, Swizz Beatz made headlines after it was announced that the producer had earned his certificate from Harvard's Owner/President Management Program, which focuses on growing corporate financial success and developing leadership skills needed for becoming a CEO, COO, President, Managing Director, or Executive Director of a major company. However, what many people don't know is that Swizz actually immersed himself fully in the scholastic experience, even living in a campus dorm room while completing the program. "It was the best three years of my life because when I went in the room, the room was super small," Swizz shares. "The dorm room is small and the same room could've been my jail cell 'cause it's about the same size. But, I'm in here to get educated rather than reprimanded. So, that's when I was just like, 'Nah, I'mma thug this out.'"
2. Timbaland and Pharrell Williams Were Supposed To Compete In A Beat Battle
Swizz Beatz spoke about his producer battle with Timbaland that took place at New York radio station Hot 97's annual Summer Jam concert this past June, sharing how he managed to get a strategic advantage when the two faced off. "Timbaland got the women," Swizz explains. "See, that was his secret weapon, he got the women and I tested his core base in L.A.. We was at a valley event, Timbaland came and sized me up a little bit. He slid to my event and just played the corner. But, what I did was start playing all his records. But, when I did that, it gave me a chance to really take a deep dive into his catalog of how people are gonna move as an audience when he plays certain things, and that's when I was like 'Oh, he got the women.'" The producer also drops the bomb that he proposed a battle between Timbaland and Pharrell. However, that particular clash of the titans never went down. "You know what's ill was, I wanted Pharrell to battle Timbaland. But, they didn't wanna do it," Swizz shares, a moment that surely made every hip hop head's jaw drop.
3. Swizz Beatz Is Open To Battling Other Producers In The Future
One of the more intriguing topics that came up during Swizz Beatz's appearance on "Drink Champs" was him, Noreaga and DJ EFN's conversation about the producers he'd potentially be open to engaging in a battle with, during which Swizz welcomed all challengers. "Pharrell is a problem. Timbaland is a problem, Just Blaze is a problem, they're all problems. But, at the end of the day, this is music and I feel like we came up with challenges. So, to challenge one with music and creativity, it should never be no backing down or being shy about that." When Dr. Dre's name popped up, the mention gave Swizz cause to pause. But, he said that he'd ultimately be up for going toe-to-toe with his west coast counterpart. "I thought about this a long time," Swizz says in reference to a showdown with Dr. Dre. "At the end of the day, I'm in the sport of music and when people used to say this, even recently, I was like 'Nah, nah.' But, running for what? For what reason? He got classics, I got classics. He's a legend, I'm becoming a legend." He later concludes that for him, these battles are a matter of testing his own limits as a creative and being willing to go up against the best in his field. "For me, it's more of an honor to even be mentioned to have a particular battle or situation with these people more than anything," Swizz admits. "But, if I don't feel that I can battle Dre, Premier or anyone, then I'm not on my fucking A-Game. Then, what am I doing this for? If I can't step in a room with those people and strategically come up with a plan to defend myself, then please."
4. Swizz Beatz Is Working Closely With Nas On A Forthcoming Project
During the course of their conversation, Noreaga reveals that Busta Rhymes told him that Swizz Beatz is in possession of "the best Nas verse since Illmatic," a claim that the producer confirmed himself, which is big news in itself. However, when Noreaga attempts to clarify whether Busta was talking about a singular verse or one from an entire project, Swizz revealed, "There's both of those." But, he remained mum about any further details, one of the biggest revelations to come out of Swizz's sit-down with Nore, DJ EFN and company.
5. Just Blaze Held A Grudge Against Swizz Beatz Over The "Money, Cash, Hoes" Beat
Swizz Beatz and Just Blaze may have been two of the greatest producers of their generation. But, unbeknownst to many rap fans, the pair's beat battle with one another was actually spurred by an old beef Just Blaze held against Swizz that dates back to the early aughts. "He confirmed he had a problem with me since 2002," Swizz says of Just Blaze. "He told me about me, and his cousin had a beef with me when I made 'Money, Cash, Hoes.'" While Swizz is aware of the true root of Just Blaze's gripe, he opts to leave it as a mystery, adding "I know the real reason. But, I'm not gonna get into all that 'cause I don't really have a problem with Just [Blaze] like that. But, if I did, I'd get into it." However, Swizz maintains that he and Just Blaze are beyond any issues and voices his respect for the boardsman throughout the interview.
6. There's An Unreleased Version of the "Banned From TV" Beat
"Banned From TV" is arguably Noreaga and Swizz Beatz most renowned collaboration one of the greatest posse-cuts of all time. However, the version that we know and love was not the one Swizz originally intended the world to hear. Noreaga and Swizz revealed that there was actually another part of the beat. But, Noreaga and Nature rapped over the loop on the intro without giving him a chance to upload the beat in its entirety. "When I laid 'I'm Leaving [from The Firm album],' it was Nature's session," Noreaga recalls. "So, Nature could've easily said 'Fuck Nore, take him the fuck off of this shit.' Nature didn't do that. So, what happened was, I wanted to pay Nature back [by putting him on 'Banned From TV']. But, it wasn't 'Banned From TV' [as we know it] at this time. So, we came there and you (Swizz Beatz) played me one of the most amazing beats in the world, and I wrote a whole song to it. But, Nature showed up and I had to pay him back for not hating. Every beat you played, I had a verse for. But, then you played 'Banned From TV.' So, when you did it, Nature, he didn't even say he likes it, [he just started rapping] so you looped the shit. And like you said, we never actually loaded the real beat." Swizz also corroborated Noreaga's story, adding "'Banned From TV' is the intro to the beat that was made, they didn't even wanna get to the beat. I was like, 'Let's get to the other [part of the] beat, they just ignored me the whole time."
7. N.O.R.E. Didn't Like Styles P The First Time They Met
As two of the most hard-body rap artists of the past two decades, you'd believe that Noreaga and Styles P would have hit it off immediately upon meeting one another. However, Noreaga reveals that the pair's friendship got off to a bumpy start. "The first time I met Styles, I wanted to kill him," Noreaga reveals, while talking about the making of his N.O.R.E. track "Banned From TV." "Nigga grabbed my weed, rolled it up, smoked it right in my face and never passed it. It was the most disrespectful shit I ever seen. I'm like, 'Who is this nigga?' I just couldn't understand." However, Noreaga also admits that Styles P eventually reimbursed him for the weed, further evidence that the LOX member is in fact both a gangster and a gentleman.
8. Swizz Beatz Has More Albums Already Planned To Drop After Poison
Today marks the release of Swizz Beatz's Poison, the producer's first album release in over a decade. But according to Swizz, he already has an additional two solo albums in the can and he has plans to release them sooner than later. "Once I drop this album, I got three more coming," Swizz reveals. "My next album is an R&B album, Beauty & The Beats, and my next album after that is Return of the Showtime, which is all energy. So imagine "Party Up" [by DMX] on ten thousand on every song because people look for me for the anthems and the energy. So, what I wanna do is curate all of my works 'cause I can't put all my expressions on one body of work and feel some spiritual shit from it and feel the zone."
9. Swizz Beatz Views On Parenting
During Swizz Beatz's conversation with Noreaga and DJ EFN, he touched on his perspective on parenting, including how he puts his focus on nurturing his children, mentally and spiritually, rather than lavishing them with expensive gifts. "I wanna show my kids things to where when they grow older and people try to entice them with materialistic things, it doesn't mean anything," the boardsman shares. "They been doing that since they was a baby. Let's get to the position where we teach our kids that these materialistic things don't guide their life." When speaking on his eldest son, Swizz Beatz delves even further into the topic, particularly his belief that time has more value than currency.
"He's not rich 'cause my money is my money. He gotta earn his," Swizz explains. "Don't let your kids think they're rich because you earned it. Let them think they're rich spiritually first -- of what they earn -- and then put your work in and then you earn what you earn. My son, he got an old Cadillac that was AK's (Alicia Keys') mother's car. I don't care about his friends riding around in Porsches, those are the same ones that's gonna probably, no disrespect, OD on some bullshit. Let them earn their way. The one thing you can't do, and this is probably the realest thing I'm gonna say tonight, you can't pay for time. There's no exchange with cash for time. Most people, they give this money and think it means something. The time that you put in with your kids is more valuable than a fucking currency. The currency of time, and talking, and education, and father time or mom time with your kid is the most valuable thing you can ever do in life. There's no payoff for that. You can get a Bugatti, they'll crash that shit and you'll still be the deadbeat dad."
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