One of the most prolific producers in Hip-Hop, Swizz Beatz's influence is as long as his massive catalog.
Armed with a unique sound, the Bronx-raised DJ launched his career in Yonkers after spending time in Atlanta, helping to push the east coast's street sound to the Billboard charts, especially through his work with the Ruff Ryders. Since then, he's crafted hits for everyone from Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z, to Eminem, Raekwon, and more.
Swizz, who's set to perform at the 2023 Rock The Bells Festival in Queens on Aug. 5 during a special set, is celebrated as one of the most talented production talents of a generation. Here are 11 of his best tracks (in no order).
1. "Untitled 07: Levitate" - Kendrick Lamar
Arguably one of Kendrick's best songs, and certainly among the most notable on Untitled, Swizz musically "levitated" with his experimental sound. His son, Egypt, received a production credit on the song at just five-years-old.
“He and Kendrick were talking for, like, 40 minutes,” Swizz said of his son's encounter with Kendrick at a Super Bowl game. “I went over and said to Kendrick, ‘Is he bothering you? Should I move him? Are you enjoying yourself?’ He said, ‘No, Swizz, I had writer’s block and what Egypt is telling me is helping me deal with something. I was like, ‘Man, he’s five years old.’ To this day, I still don’t know what he was helping him deal with. I let it happen.”
2. "On To The Next One" - Jay-Z
A standout on Jay's Blueprint 3, the unique sound of this track made it an influential a radio favorite.
3. "Fancy" – Drake featuring T.I.
Featured on 2010's Thank Me Later, the sample-heavy, soulful track from Swizz is one of the earlier offerings in Drake's career that helped solidify his eventual dominance.
4. "Party Up" – DMX
A standout production in DMX and Swizz's musical union, the high-energy production matched DMX's animated delivery.
5. "Roman’s Revenge" – Nicki Minaj featuring Eminem
Swizz's frantic, energetic production was the perfect bed for Nicki Minaj and Eminem to showcase their multiple personalities and rhyme skills to boot.
6. "Ruff Ryders Anthem" - DMX
A pivotal production for Swizz, not just in terms of helping to kickstart his career, but in defining his avant-garde sound, "Ruff Ryders Anthem" remains perhaps his most recognizable production.
7. "Touch It" – Busta Rhymes
In the vein of Pharrell's and Snoop's "Drop It Like It's Hot," Busta shows up over Swizz's sparse, drum heavy production for a jam that dares you not to dance along.
8. "Whuteva" – Remy Ma
Swizz dropped off a wobbly, synth-heavy dance ditty for Remy's project, There's Something About Remy- Based On a True Story.
9. "Science Class" Westside Gunn featuring Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Ghostface, Stove God Cooks
In what turned out to not only be the best track on the album but one of the illest productions of 2022, Swizz continued his gritty, street winning streak with the bass-heavy posse track that showed up on Westside Gunn's 10.
10. "Tambourine" – Eve
Swizz flipped The Soul Searchers to provide Eve with a dance-friendly single.
11. "Good Times (I Get High)" - Styles P
One of the best weed anthems of all-time and a standout in Styles' catalog, Swizz further showcased his diversity with this sample-heavy track.