Swizz Beatz Explains Why The JAY-Z, Nas & DMX Collabo Has Not Come Out (Video)
Yesterday, Swizz Beatz released his POISON album. For the Bronx, New York representative, it is his third retail release over the last 16 years. Rather than bring attention to his catalog, the Grammy Award-winning producer, rapper, DJ, and musician has spotlit so many moments for his peers in Rap, R&B, and Pop.
In early 2017, Swizz Beatz challenged Just Blaze to a battle in his studio. As Swizz tells Drink Champs in his second full-length interview with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, there was real competition at play. Just Blaze had admitted to Swizz that he had felt a competitive urge since 1998’s “Money Cash H*es” by JAY-Z. There had been tweets, some verbal sparring, and more leading up to last year’s battle. While Swizz admits that the rivalry is decorated with respect, there was a score to settle, and the Ruff Ryders’ hit-maker was up for the challenge.
The event was filmed. After nearly two-and-a-half hours of music, Swizz Beatz played an unreleased record by JAY-Z, Nas, DMX, and Jadakiss. The small in-studio crowd went crazy. Just, who frequently plays unreleased recordings from his days with Roc-A-Fella Records and others, took audit.
On Drink Champs, at 26:00, Swizzy tells the hosts about the battle and the song. “I knew [Just Blaze] was gonna play ‘PSA.’ I knew he was waiting too long to play it,” explains Swizz as to why he went in the vaults.
N.O.R.E. admits that he would have leaked such a song. Swizz responds, “I’m not holding it because I want it. You named a bunch of complicated people that’s on that record. Mothaf*ckas is talented, but they’re complicated. I’m not kissing nobody’s ring, so we can forget that part. You just named the most complicated people in Hip-Hop.” Moments later, Swizz clarifies his remark and gives hope to fans. “There’s some respectable reasons [why that song has not released]. But the world’s gonna get more than they asked for.”
N.O.R.E. changes the subject a bit. “Busta Rhymes, one of my closest friends in the world called me and said, ‘Swizz Beatz has the best Nas verse since Illmatic.’ Now let me [be careful], because I don’t [remember] if he said ‘the best Nas verse’ or ‘the best Nas project.’ I don’t remember.”
“It’s both of those,” replies Swizz. DJ EFN interjects, “We’re gonna talk about that project.” Swizz corrects, “Nah, Nas [is] gonna talk about it.”
In July, Nas told Angie Martinez just weeks following the Kanye West-produced NASIR that he had a project with involvement from RZA and Swizz Beatz. The Queens, New York added that half of a full collaborative project with Swizz had been previously recorded. The producer had also told Pitchfork about a 2016 album with Nas that did not surface.
Swizz elaborates on that idea in his response to Noreaga. “I’m not gonna have an iller album than Illmatic; let’s get that cleared up. You’re talkin’ a lot of big talk, but we ain’t gonna talk that big talk. Let’s be all the way 1,000. What we have is a great body of work that I think people will appreciate that love Illmatic. It’s not taking you out of the zone of one great poet that’s in his prime.”
N.O.R.E. listens, then responds. “You’re on Drink Champs. So that answer that you just said sounded like you said that you have the better album than the one he just dropped, [NASIR]. I’m just being honest.” Swizz says, “I feel that I have a different body of work.” N.O.R.E. asks Swizz if he feels his new one is better. “I do,” responds the guest.
As DJ EFN asks Swizz about RZA’s role, the hit-maker corrects, “It’s two different projects. [The work with RZA is] a whole ‘nother project.”
After that part of the discussion, Swizz gets into some of the history surrounding the rivalry leading up to 2017’s Just Blaze beat battle.
POISON features Nas (on “Echo”), as well as appearances by The LOX, Kendrick Lamar, Pusha-T, and Lil Wayne.