Swizz Beatz is on to the next. Declaring 2010 his graduation year, the ambassador of cool has put his priorities in place and set out to make history. “I wanted to give people the best of the best,” he told an intimate audience at a super exclusive listening for his second solo album Haute Living last week in Los Angeles. In order to accomplish his goal, he’s assembled his dream team of collaborators including Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Bono, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Eve, and more.
The super-producer’s signature stamp is felt over the feel-good body of work, which ranges from the uplifting “Skyscrapers” to the bottle poppin’ “Chillin'” to the strictly instrumental “Instructions.” He previewed 14 tracks from the star-studded set, due in August/September, and premiered rough cuts of the accompanying visuals, speaking about his collaborations with Reebok, Aston Martin, Christian Louboutin, and most recently Lotus.
Rap-Up.com gives you five reasons why you should be excited for Swizz’ summer blockbuster.
1. “Skyscrapers” featuring Kanye West and Bono
Not what you’d initially expect from a collaboration with two megastars. More Kanye than U2, the drum-heavy, mid-tempo record features empowering lyrics such as, “Blind man’s visions become skyscrapers,” where the trio envisions a world of peace. Bono provides the hook and Mr. West kisses the sky with his words, while Swizz delivers one of his most carefully-crafted verses yet.
2. “Show Off” featuring Alexandra Burke
The beat maestro creates a worthy successor to Drake’s “Fancy” with another showy tune bound to be the anthem for fly folks everywhere. British “X Factor” winner Alexandra Burke sings the snazzy chorus. “You got your red bottoms on, show off,” Swizzy encourages the ladies.
3. “Chillin'” featuring Dr. Dre
Originally for Detox, Dre let Swizz hold onto this one, although he still insists it should be on Detox. An unfinished version of the bouncy, West Coast banger leaked online. “VIP chillin’, chillin’, chillin’/ Club hoppin’ chillin’, chillin’, chillin’/ Fresh to def, I’m chillin’, chillin’, chillin’/ Damn, but who drunk all the liquor though?” he asks. Expect to hear this rattling from sound systems and car speakers this summer.
4. “Dance Like a White Girl”
The catchy dance record, which he debuted at Webster Hall, is bound to get females off their feet when it comes on. Swizz says it’s not intended to offend the dancing impaired, instead encouraging women of all colors to show off their best moves. After seeing the live crowd’s response, he is considering shooting a viral video starring a familiar face. The song was still unfinished when played.
5. The Visuals
Swizz has truly created spectacles to accompany his music. Eve reunites with her fellow Ruff Ryder in the slick black-and-white clip for lead single “Everyday (Coolin’),” while he unleashes his inner rockstar in the edgy video for “Rock ‘N’ Roll” featuring Lil Wayne, Lenny Kravitz, and Travis Barker. Alicia Keys co-stars with her husband in the Reebok-commissioned video for “International Party,” which reportedly cost a whopping $1.4 million. Swizz takes to the sands of Dubai in the gorgeous visuals for the tender “You Stay on My Mind,” for which he got permission from the Sheikh to use the airspace for only $1. Trust us when we tell you that they don’t make videos like this anymore.