Kasseem Daoud Dean (born September 13, 1978), better known by his
stage name, Swizz Beatz, is an American record producer, DJ, rapper
and painter. At the age of 17, he gained attention in the hip-hop
world through his friendship with rapper DMX. Grady Spivey and
rapper Cassidy helped launch his label Full Surface Records.
Dean did not see much of his father, a postal worker, due to his
parents' separation in his early life. He was raised by his mother
in the South Bronx, where he spent most of his childhood. This was
where he first encountered Hip hop and began deejaying. He began
deejaying after he got some equipment from his stepfather and his
uncles. He later relocated to Atlanta as a teenager due to having
too many fights at Harry S. Truman High School; there he started
to work for his uncles, Joaquin and Darrin Dean, who were co-CEOs
of the Ruff Ryders label. Forgoing the practice of using samples,
he mostly used the Korg Trinity and Triton Keyboards and tried to
accentuate the performance aspect of his music. The next five years
would find him landing spit after spit and becoming more in demand
with each production.
 Music career
 1998-02: Music beginnings
With his uncles (Chivon, Dee, and Waah Dean) involved with the Ruff
Ryders label, he began to produce tracks at the age of 16. He sold
his first beat at 17 which became DMX's hit single "Ruff Ryders'
Anthem". In 2001 at the age of 23 he established his own record
label, Full Surface, in a joint venture with Clive Davis of J Records.
The first artist signed was Philadelphia-based rapper Cassidy. But
it was not until Swizz's first compilation album, 2002's Swizz Beatz
Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories, that he started to get notices for
his production style and interesting ideas and Cassidy began to get
attention. He released two singles "Guilty" and "Bigger
Business", both charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and
were accompanied by music videos. Swizz Beatz along with being
associated with Ruff Ryders & Roc-A-Fella Records, began to produce
for artists from labels such as Elektra Records, Atlantic Records,
Epic Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Bad Boy Entertainment and his
career largely grew from that point.
 2006-07: One Man Band Man
In February 2007, the producer mixed the music for design duo Heatherette's
Fall 2007 New York Fashion Week runway show. On August 21, 2007,
Swizz Beatz released his second solo album, titled One Man Band Man.
The album sold 45,000 records in its first week and includes singles "It's
Me Bitches" and "Money in the Bank".
On October 19, 2007, Swizz Beatz launched a contest called "Share
the Studio", presented by Music Video 2.0 and The Source magazine.
The contest was intended to be a continuation of the work from his
In 2007 Swizz Beatz signed longtime friend Drag-On, legendary
Cleveland-based rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and former Ruff
Ryder member Eve to his label.
 2008-present: Haute Living
Undaunted by the disappointing sales of his last album, One Man
Band Man, Swizz Beatz is already hard at work on his second album
(his second as an artist, however, it will be the third album he
has released). In late 2007 Swizz Beatz confirmed it will be called
Life After the Party in an interview with Format Magazine saying
The opportunities that I’ve got from doing my album (One Man
Band Man) are much bigger than just producing. A lot of things came
from me being able to put a voice to my face. It was me just expressing
myself and having the opportunity to – it was the one man band.
And now I’m doing part two, which is Life After the Party. ”
April 24, 2009 Swizz Beatz did a promo song for Hennessy Black,
entitled "When I Step In The Club". A video was made and
was directed by Hype Williams.
In 2010 on his Twitter Swizz Beatz renamed his album three times.
He first announced he was calling it King Issues but later on that
day settled on The Perception of Greatness, and on August 23
while in a studio session with Mary J. Blige in New York City, Swizz
unveiled his new album title Haute Living, stating that it's the
perfect phrase to represent what he's all about. The album will
be released under his actual contract with Everest Entertainment/Atlantic/Warner,
who signed the rapper in August 2010. Confirmed guest appearances
include Bono, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia
Keys, Mary J. Blige and John Legend. On February 12, 2010, he
and 81 other artists including Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber,
Miley Cyrus, Jamie Foxx, Will.i.am, and Usher, debuted "We Are
the World 25 for Haiti" during the Opening Ceremonies of the
Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In 2010, inspired by Kanye West's G.O.O.D.
Fridays series, Swizz Beatz launched his own series of free weekly
mp3s titled Monster Monday. The first song, "DJ Play that Beat" featuring
Estelle, was released on October 25. Other Monster Monday tracks
include features from Rakim, Pusha T, DMX, Busta Rhymes and Pharrell.
In 2011, Swizz Beatz won his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance
by a Duo or Group with American rapper Jay-Z, for the song "On
To The Next One". The first single from Haute Living titled
Everyday (Coolin') Produced by Joe Lindsay was released through monstermondays.com
on March 28, 2011. The song features Eve. During an interview
with Paper Mag, Swizz Beatz reveals some of the collaborations that
will make their way on Haute Living. One of them is called ‘Skyscrapers’ featuring
Kanye West and Bono.
"We got this song–it’s me, Bono and Kanye on this
one song called “Skyscrapers.” I recorded with Kanye in
the studio and then I recorded with Bono in this actual studio right
here. Mary J. Blige is on the album; John Legend is on the album. But
they’re on the album in super amazing ways. It’s not like
a compilation–it’s a nice mixture of creativity. I had
no boundaries with it; I had great partners on the album–Reebok
was supporting me. ”
On May 21st, 2011, Swizz Beatz confirmed that Dr. Dre was working
on the album with him.
 Producing career
Swizz Beatz produced hit songs for many elite rap, hip-hop soul
and R&B, such as DMX ("Party Up (Up in Here)"), Beyoncé ("Check
on It", "Ring the Alarm"), T.I. ("Bring 'Em Out"),
Styles P ("Good Times"), Cassidy ("Hotel", "I'm
a Hustla"), Busta Rhymes ("Touch It") and many more.
In 2003 he began to expand his label; Big Tigger, Keith Sweat, Bounty
Killer and Yung Wun were all in talks to signing with Full Surface
but in the end only Yung Wun was signed. Yung Wun, whom Swizz took
under his wing and was executive producer of his album, The Dirtiest
Thirstiest and co-produced the lead single "Tear It Up.
In 2009, Swizz Beatz produced many popular singles including "Nasty
Girl" by Ludacris featuring Plies, "Who's Real" by
Jadakiss featuring OJ da Juiceman, "Million Bucks" by Maino, "Million
Dollar Bill" by Whitney Houston, "I Can Transform Ya" by
Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and "On to the Next One" by
Swizz Beatz also was named the first "Producer in Residence" at
New York University. This will last from the 2010-2011 academic year.
 Other ventures
 Fashion designer
In 2006 he became a partner involved in the popular clothing company
Kidrobot, a creator and retailer of limited-edition art toys and
 Shoe designer
On Twitter in 2010, Swizz Beatz revealed his new sneaker line with
Swizz Beatz not only collects paintings but also paints on his own
free time. He donates the money he earns from his paintings to the
Children's Cancer & Blood Foundation; he also donates to the
Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
 Personal life
In 2000, his first son, Prince Nasir was born. In 2004, he married
Mashonda Tifrere, together they have one child, Kassem Dean Jr. (born
2006). In April 2008, they announced their plans to divorce after
four years of marriage. In May 2008 UK singer and producer Jahna
Sebastian gave birth to a daughter Nicole, whom Swizz Beatz fathered.
In May 2009, Swizz Beatz admitted to having a relationship with Alicia
Keys. In May 2010 Beatz confirmed he was engaged to Alicia Keys,
and that she was pregnant with Beatz' fourth, and her first child.
During the time of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the couple took part
of a union and had the unborn child blessed in a Zulu ceremony, which
took place in the Illovo suburb of South Africa. Keys and Swizz
Beatz held a wedding celebration on the French island of Corsica
on July 31, 2010. Alicia Keys gave birth to their son, Egypt
Daoud Ibarr Dean, on October 14, 2010.
Main articles: Swizz Beatz discography and Swizz Beatz production
One Man Band Man (2007)
Haute Living (2011)
Swizz Beatz Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories (2002)
 Awards and nominations
Urban Music Awards
2009, Best Producer (won)
2010, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group "On to the Next One" (won)
2010, Best Rap Song "On to the Next One" [Nominated]
2010, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group "Fancy" [Nominated]