Swizz Beatz Cooks Up Special Tracks for ‘ABDC’
Super producer Swizz Beatz leant his skills to the top three dance crews of MTV's 'America's Best Dance Crew,' creating special beats for the dancers to perform to on an upcoming episode. A fan of the show himself, the 31-year-old jumped at the opportunity to create some original music for the three crews -- Blueprint Cru, Hype 5-0 and Poroetix.
"I [got] a phone call saying 'You know, we may have some involvement that needs to be done with you and the show," Swizz told The BoomBox from the Los Angles studio where he met with the dance crews. "It was to the point where I didn't even discuss money. I really catch myself sitting there [watching the show] with my son. He's trying to do all the moves. It's a great show and I love to see kids doing positive things."
For the tracks Swizz first worked solo before collaborating with each group in the studio to pull inspiration from their dance styles. The results were beats that play to each group's signature style which includes Canadian hip-hop, tech-y video game sounds, and Hawaiian music. "The tracks that I'm putting together are kind of tailor-made tracks. It's [just] like me working with an artist. I was telling one of the dancers, that the dancers are now the artists. It's not like I'm just doing the track saying, 'Ok, well this is my track, you guys dance to it.' It's really a collaboration where we have dialogue and they tell me what they want and I try my best to tailor-make it to fit the situation because [with] dancing you have to be on point. It's very technical. As far as putting together the music it took a couple of days because I scrapped a lot of ideas to try to make it is as perfect as possible."
Swizzy's connection to music goes way back. Growing up in the Bronx, New York before he became known for producing tracks for some of the biggest names in music, he fed his creativity by joining a break dancing crew. "I was with G2R, Guaranteed to Rock, the first break dancing crew on my block. Right in the park where [hip-hop pioneer] KRS-One used to perform, so it's fun for me. The creativity draws me to the show more than anything. I'm an artist [so I like] to see all of those different groups coming from different parts of the world, having different struggles and having different backgrounds to all share one stage and build something creatively that stands out to the world. That's the best thing and sitting back watching that it's like, 'Wow, all this stuff started from hip-hop!' So looking at it from all angles I get excited."
Now in its fifth season, 'America's Best Dance Crew' is executive produced by 'American Idol' Judge Randy Jackson and airs Thursdays at 10PM EST. The top three crews will perform their routines April 1.