Swizz Beatz

Swizz Beatz Talks Painting, Michael Jackson, and Basquiat

Last week Wednesday (Aug. 29) Pepsi celebrated the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album with a special tribute event at New York City’s Gotham Hall featuring DJ sets by Swizz Beatz and performances by Ne-Yo and Melanie Fiona.

Before Swizz took to the turntables, Mass Appeal spoke to the producer, businessman, and art aficionado about Michael Jackson, painting and his own love for the work of Jean-Michel Basquat.

Mass Appeal: You collaborate with artists like Jay-Z and Kanye West and with brands like Reebok and Lotus and, on top of that, you’re a father and a husband, when do you find time to paint?

Swizz Beatz: It’s just like finding time to go to the bathroom, you just gotta do it when it’s that time! The thing that’s cool is that I go in and I work on 20 pieces and then I’ll pull back for three months. Then I’ll go back and look at those 20 pieces, and they are different than I remembered. Then I’ll realize,“Wow, that moment left already.” That’s why art and music is so good; because you can trace moments in a way that’s [more] tangible than somebody saying something to you. It’s just different. It makes you wonder why [you do the things you do]. When I go back and look at the other paintings, I look at the life changing experiences. I identify my life through my paintings which makes it hard for me to sell my paintings. It feels like I’m giving away one of my moments.

But you’ve given some away to charity –

Yes! I have no problems with that. As far as selling my moments [for charity] I have to. The equal exchange for me is to take some of my moments to help someone else’s moments.

Can you tell us what it was like to be with Team USA Basketball in London this summer?

You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t part of the team! [Laughs] You know, I was part of the team that night and we won! I felt like I was part of the team. I thought it was amazing to be out there with a bunch of friends ‘cause I know 90% of the team. We partied like we were in New York!

What’s your favorite Michael Jackson song?

Aw, man! That’s hard! You know how hard that is? I give you “Beat It,” “Human Nature,” I give you so many! I give you “Bad,” which we’re celebrating tonight. I give you “Thriller,” a game changer from a fashion standpoint, an art direction standpoint, a musical standpoint— an all across the board game-changer. So was “Bad” on a theatrical side. “Smooth Criminal” was basically [a course on making movies] that tied in all the threads.

 

 

 

 

Related Articles

Art
Art

Spike Lee Plugs Red Hook Summer Release, Mike Tyson, and Bad 25

Art
Art

Artists Pol & Sakiroo Choi Draw Some of Music’s Best Collabs

Art
Art

Kenny Scharf Arrested For Graffiti in Bushwick

Art
Art

Basquiat Sues Christie’s for $1M

Art
Art

Swizz Beatz to Open Artists Club in NYC’s Meatpacking District

Art
Art

Did Swizz Beatz’s “No Commission” Art Fair Benefit the Bronx?

Ad

Latest News

lamar odom's lawyer writes espn a letter after stephen a. smith's "crack" comments Sports

Lamar Odom’s Lawyer Pens Letter to ESPN Over Stephen A. Smith’s “Crack” Comments

Stephen A. clowned Odom’s addiction on ESPN this week in a clip that’s now viral
Meek Mill's crew apparently attacks Safaree in Los Angeles. News

Safaree Gets Jumped, Calls Meek Mill “Biggest Pussy On This Planet”

Meek remains unfazed
Music

With ‘Project E.T.,’ DJ Esco and Future Gave Listeners “Too Much Sauce”

"Yeah, all of my diamonds they shine, Haters like knock that off"
Metro Boomin drops a new song with Drake and Offset Music

Metro Boomin Drops Surprise Drake, Offset Collab, “No Complaints”—Is Album Next?

The Atlanta producer's got everybody lookin'
Zola News

Viral Dancing Gorilla Sad Reminder Of What Harambe Could Have Been

Impressive moves but... damn
tupac filmmakers sued by former vibe writer Film

‘All Eyez On Me’ Filmmakers Sued for Using Fictional Characters in Tupac Biopic

Former ‘VIBE’ writer claims the movie steals his intellectual property
Call of Duty 4 Screencap Remastered Tech/Games

‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered’ Standalone Release Coming Soon

COD fans who skipped the $80 'Infinite Warfare' bundle are psyched
memesmahnegguh, coco mango cherry Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! @memesMahNegguh

Adult Swim, holler at your boy!
Banksy News

Goldie Refers to Banksy as “Rob,” People Freak Out

You do realize how many Robs there are in the world, right?
Music

New Music From Vince Staples, dvsn, Heems and More

The Listening Room (June 23, 2017)
2017 Draft Class Sports

The Major Takeaways from the 2017 NBA Draft

Last night we watched men both younger and way more talented than us become way richer than us. Welp
Sizzla-DJ-Khaled News

The Untold Story Behind DJ Khaled and Sizzla’s “I’m So Grateful”

Khaled and Kalonji go way back
Eric B. & Rakim will reunite to celebrate 30th anniversary of Paid In Full. Music

Eric B. & Rakim Announce First Show Together in Over 20 Years

Finally let the rhythm hit 'em
essex-market-featured Art

‘Market Surplus’ Gives a Building on the L.E.S. One Last Jolt Before Demolition

Mural art show features Faust, Lamour Supreme, ELLE and more
Silicon Valley: The Soundtrack is available now. Music

Stream ‘Silicon Valley: The Soundtrack,’ Featuring Nas, Run the Jewels, Wu-Tang ...

A Mass Appeal and HBO collaboration, streaming now
Jay 305 talks about Suga Free's 'Street Gospel' album. Music

Jay 305 Preaches on Suga Free’s Classic ‘Street Gospel’

Chuuch!