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Swizz Beatz Poses for Portrait Created by Kehinde Wiley

Swizz Beatz and Kehinde Wiley
Pascal Le Segretain / Mireya Acierto, Getty Images

Swizz Beatz is known for his love of art but now the entertainer has become the muse. The producer, musician and visual artist is serving as inspiration for a Kehinde Wiley portrait.

Alcohol giant Grey Goose commissioned Wiley for ‘Modern Kings of Culture,’ a series celebrating modern royalty. Wiley’s portrayal of Swizz will be revealed on June 27 in Los Angeles and later auctioned for charity at Art Basel in Miami in December.

“It’s about celebrating contemporary royals, the sense of nobility that exists in all of us,” Wiley tells Billboard. “This is an opportunity for me to pay homage to hip-hop. It transformed the way the world sees itself, the way that young people communicate about their dreams, their freedom, their hopes. There are thought leaders at its vanguard — the gatekeepers — and Kasseem is one of them.”

“The key is being in character,” says Beatz about his portrait session, which includes a Great Dane and top hat. “It looks like I’m really there.”

In the past, Wiley has commemorated rappers like LL Cool J and Ice-T and was also hired by Michael Jackson to do his portrait before his death.

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