Swizz Beatz is under fire after being publicized as the CEO of Megaupload, the popular file-sharing site that was suddenly shut down on Thursday. Now some of his peers in the hip-hop community are expressing their support for the super-producer.
Megaupload was taken offline by the FBI following charges against its operators for violating piracy laws, including their refusal to remove copyrighted material from the site in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Seven of Megaupload’s operators were indicted and four were arrested in New Zealand on Thursday in what the Department of Justice calls a “Mega conspiracy.” Swizz was not included on the list and has not addressed his involvement with the site (His name and title appeared on the “About Us” page).
The Grammy-winning hitmaker recruited his celebrity friends including Kanye West, will.i.am, Kim Kardashian, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, and wife Alicia Keys to appear in an online video endorsing the file-sharing service. Will.i.am subsequently requested that the video be removed and Universal Music Group flagged it for copyright abuse.
While most remained silent following the allegations, some of Swizz’ pals were vocal with their support including Diddy and Busta Rhymes.
“@THEREALSWIZZZ call me anytime and I will do anything for you !!!! I love You! Your a fuckin genius!!!!” tweeted Diddy. “@THEREALSWIZZZ your a bad motherfucker!!!! I’m so proud of you!!!!! Never stop!!! EVER!!!!! Let’s Gooo!!!!”
Busta Rhymes also stood by his friend’s side. “1st of all I am soooo proud of my brother @THEREALSWIZZZ 4 being apart of creating something (MEGAUPLOAD) that could create the most powerful way 4 artist 2 get 90% off of every dollar despite the music being downloaded 4 free,” he wrote.
“I am proud 2 stand next 2 my brother @THEREALSWIZZZ and fight the good fight…Our freedom is truly being fucked with in a very significant way and I strongly suggest 2 all artist especially the 1’s Swizz repped 4 comes out & reps 4 him!!!”
He continued, “With labels and companies doin’ deals with Spotify and many other companies like it who doesn’t give us shit continue 2 do what they do and blatantly show us how much they value the artist with doing deals of such disrespect and lack of value 4 our content.”
Megaupload was the 13th largest site in the world at one point, accounting for four percent of total online traffic. The indictment is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.