Swizz Beatz isn’t afraid to take cues from younger artists.
As he prepares to release his long-awaited Poison album, the rapper/producer sat down with The Fader to discuss the effort as well as his decision to name J. Cole executive producer. Swizz claimed the album was headed in a completely different direction; however, he decided to change course after receiving some much-needed encouragement from the KOD artist.
“He played the role of young mentor to me," Swizz told The Fader. "I'm not too cool where I can't have a young mentor, being as I'm a young OG. One time, I was playing him songs from the album—before I had all these different sonic elements to the album, before separating them into four boxes.”
Swizz recalled Cole saying, "'That’s the record. The other records you're playing me, they're huge, but I don't think you need it.’ And I'm like, ‘Are you crazy?’"
“I was caught up in the wrong things, and even though I would feel it wasn't the right time when I was playing those other records, it didn't matter because I was coming back,” Swizz continued. “He assured me I didn’t have to do that. Even with not shooting expensive videos: They’re well done, and I came up with the concept of no treatments, up-close-and-personal, with the artists in their elements. I ran that past him, and he was like, ‘Yes!’ Why shouldn’t he get that credit when he brought so many gems to the table? My generation needs to learn how to get along with the new generation anyways.”
Swizz Beatz’s Poison will drop Nov. 2, more than 11 years after his shared his one and only solo album, One Man Band Man. The project will include guest appearances by Lil Wayne (“Pistol on My Side”), Kendrick Lamar (“Something Dirty/Pic Got Us”), Young Thug (“25 Soldiers”), and Pusha-T (“Cold Blooded”).
Poison is the first release in a four-part series. “The next one is going to be R&B. See how Poison is curated? Everything is going to be curated like that,” he told The Fader. “Beauty and the Beats, Return of the Showtime, Global Mindset—with all the international artists, I want everything to feel seamless and flow into each other like conversations.”