Swizz Beatz to Receive ASCAP Voice of the Culture Award

Swizz Beatz is a voice of the future

The 42-year-old half Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur will receive the ASCAP Voice of the Culture award alongside Timbaland and D-Nice to kick off the 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on June 22.

Swizz Beatz

Following the presentation, the music creators will take part in a 2021 ASCAP Experience conversation, “Voices of the Culture: How Swizz Beatz, Timbaland & D-Nice United the World Through Music,” at 12:00 pm ET/ 9:00 am PT.

The virtual conversation will explore how Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s virtual music battle series Verzuz and D-Nice’s Club Quarantine became tools for uplift within the Black music community and touchstones of empowerment during the pandemic.

To join the conversation, participants can RSVP at www.ascapexperience.com/schedule. They can also submit a question for the three creators before June 10.

Verzuz has featured such epic matchups as Gladys Knight vs. Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Earth, Wind & Fire vs. The Isley Brothers, and Snoop Dogg vs. DMX.

Club Quarantine attracted a virtual community of millions to Instagram Live for sets of funk, disco, hip-hop and R&B.

In addition to launching these popular events, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and D-Nice are accomplished music creators in their own right.

Grammy-winning songwriter-producer Swizz Beatz has been in the music and business worlds since he was 16. He began DJing and working at his uncle’s company, Ruff Ryders Entertainment, while still in high school. Within a short time, Swizz produced the company’s first hit, by DMX. More success followed as a producer and artist. As a producer, Swizz has worked with a diverse array of artists, including Jay-Z, Madonna, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Metallica.

The 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards is a virtual celebration that takes place on social media from June 22-24. The event recognizes songwriters, composers and publishers behind the most performed R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel songs of the past year. Friends and fans can join the online festivities as ASCAP shares photos, videos, acceptance speeches and more from some of its top songwriters and publishers, posted with the hashtag #ASCAPAwards to @ASCAPUrban on Instagram and @ASCAP on Twitter and Instagram.

The ASCAP Experience takes place twice a month on Wednesdays through the end of 2021. Songwriters, composers and music business professionals can join the ASCAP Experience community for access to conversations with songwriters and producers from across the musical spectrum, plus panels with top industry executives, song feedback, networking opportunities and more. The virtual sessions are free to attend and take place on a variety of platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and on the ASCAP Experience website.

Swizz Beatz to Face Off Against Timbaland in Verzuz Battle This Memorial Day Weekend

Swizz Beatz is preparing for a showdown…

This Memorial Day weekend, the 42-year-old half Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur and his Verzuz co-creator Timbaland  will show off their producing skills as they face off in a battle once again for their hit web series.

Swizz Beatz

The pair first dueled onstage in 2018 at the Hot 97 Summer Jam in East Rutherford, N.J., as part of a producer clash battle — long before Verzuz premiered virtually in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a post shared on the official Verzuz Instagram on Tuesday (May 25), the showdown was announced. “Did y’all guess who the rematch was going to be!? @THEREALSWIZZZ vs @TIMBALAND THIS SUNDAY ‼️ LIVE from @LIVMIAMI  Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with our new #VERZUZLive .”

Beatz, né Kasseem Dean, 42, commented the post, “Let’s go then .” Timbaland, born Timothy Mosley, 49, wrote, “Alrite [sic] now .”

With Timbaland’s extensive history of producing megahits for fan-favorites including JAY-Z, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, Kanye West, Aaliyah, Cher and Madonna, Beatz — who has produced for Eve, Diddy, Lil’ Wayne, The Weeknd, Drake, the late DMX, among many more — is in for a tough rematch.

Since its inception, Verzuz has featured friendly competitions between Monica and Brandy, Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, Alicia Keys and John Legend, and the late DMX, who faced off against Snoop Dogg in July. DMX, né Earl Simmons, died on April 9.

Tune in on Sunday (May 30) at 8 p.m. ET to catch the Verzuz battle between Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, streaming on Instagram Live via the VerzuzTV account or Triller. It will also air on TV via FITE.

https://twitter.com/verzuzonline/status/1397184322537345026

Swizz Beatz Hosting Three-Day Art & Concert Series at Art Basel Miami Beach

Swizz Beatz is bringing a mix of art and music to Art Basel Miami Beach this year.

The 37-year-old half-Puerto Rican hip-hop artist and record producer is collaborating with Bacardi for a three-day art and concert series at North America’s foremost international modern and contemporary art fair next month to showcase up-and-coming artists — both visual and musical — on a platform that will also feature performances from Alicia Keys, Pusha T, A-Trak, DMX and Wiz Khalifa, among others.

Swizz Beatz

The collaboration, called Casa Bacardi at Wynwood, will be curated by Beatz’s The Dean Collection and encompass two separate yet connected events.

The first, running from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Dec. 3-5, is a No Commission Art Fair, where artists will be allowed to showcase their work for free and take home 100 percent of their proceeds, a departure from the industry standard where galleries both take a percentage of profits and charge for booth space.

The second, running from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. each night, is the Bacardi Untameable House Party, a concert series with both established and emerging musicians and DJs.

“It’s by the artist, for the artist, with the people,” Swizz tells Billboard. “And I think a lot of people forgot the message of why they’re even going down to Basel. You’re going down to Basel because there are amazing, creative artists who took a lot of time out of their lives to put together some masterpieces and hope for entry in a great collection or for somebody to be inspired. And not taking anything away from Basel or from the galleries, but I just chose to do something different. And I think the world needs more powerful collaborations that are willing to push the envelope and not really follow the necessary rules that are laid out.”

Swizz’s connection to the art world goes beyond his own Dean Collection; he also joined the board of the Brooklyn Museum in October and has been curating at Basel for years.

“This is something that just has to happen,” he says. “Because if we’re not pushing the envelope, then who do we expect to do it? I think the most important part of the message is the give back factor. And the other part of the give back factor is having a brand like Bacardi supporting that. There’s no punch line, there’s no catch. This is a genuine thing.”

The No Commission Art Fair will be free and open to the public, while each night’s House Party will be free via RSVP.

“We totally connected on the need to help fuel the hustle and provide artists with a stage to showcase their passions,” says Zara Mirza, head of creative excellence at Bacardi. “Bacardi has a deep heritage in music and the arts, from Prohibition parties in Havana, Cuba in the 1920s to some of our more modern partnerships like the Untameable Artist Series.”

Artists showing at The No Commission Art Fair:
KAWS
BK The Artist
SWOON
Jenks Imaging
Cyrcle
David Choong Lee
D*Face
Wolfbat
Derrick Adams
HOXXOH
Doze Green
Dustin Yellin
Eddie Colla
Gabriel Dawe
Gordon Parks Foundation
Gregory Siff
Hebru Brantley
Hyon Gyon
Jaybo Monk
Jerome Lagarrigue
Jill Greenberg
Kehinde Wiley
Lyle Owerko
Maya Hayuk
Michael Kagan
Michael Vasquez
Mickalene Thomas
Sandra Chevrier
Sanford Biggers
Sean HRT
Shepard Fairey
So Youn Lee
Sue Tsai
Timothy Buwalda
Todd James
Tomokazu Matsuyama
Miss Van
CRYPTIK
Zio Zigler

Ashanti to Perform at Def Jam Recordings’ Special 30th Anniversary Concert

Ashanti is ready to (def) jam out!

Def Jam Recordings is celebrating their 30th birthday with a special concert featuring performances from the label’s past and present artists, including the 33-year-old part-Dominican American R&B singer/actress.

Ashanti

Ashanti will be joined by Rick Ross and 2 Chainz at the event slated to take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 16.

Other artists set to take the stage include DMX, Fabolous, Jeremih, EPMD,Foxy Brown, Jhene Aiko, Method Man, Redmanand Ja Rule. More acts will be announced at a later date.

As part of the celebration, Def Jam will also release a limited-edition LP and CD box set featuring a collection of songs curated by Def Jam’s founder Rick Rubin. It also includes a commemorative T-shirt and booklet.

Tickets for the October 16 concert go on sale on August 22. However, those who pre-order the box set will receive an access code to a special pre-sale on August 20.

“It’s very exciting to be able to be part of such a special announcement that solidifies and continues forward the enduring mark the brand has made on pop culture,” said Steve Bartels, CEO of Def Jam Recordings, in a statement.