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Swizz Pictures

It's almost impossible to listen to many of Swizz Beatz's tracks without putting on your F*** Face. Oh you know the f*** face--the delightful grimace you get on your grill during your most intense moments of passion. At 21 years old, Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean has worked himself into a purveyor of urban rhapsody. Go to any club and witness what happens when the controller of the 1's and 2's throw on one of his Trinity Keyboard concoctions. Busta Rhymes' "Tear Da Roof Off," Jay-Z's "Jigga My N*gg*" and Drag-On's "Down Bottom" all cause bodies to bounce and sweat by the gallons. Then there's the chant of those elementary hooks (many of which Swizz devises himself) at deafening decibels. Although croons of "Jigga my nigga" score low on the scale of profoundness, we love it. While waiting for one of hip-hop's most storied storytellers, Kool. G. Rap, inside lower Manhattan's Chung King studios, Swizz is envisioning another classic tune to add to his resume. Tonight the beatmaking wiz kid is set to play the Queens raised MC a bevy of adrenaline-filled tracks for possible use on his comeback album. But coming up with the right beat for one of hardcore hip-hop's founding fathers is no sweat Swizz insists. "I work like I don't have nothing. Everyday, whether I'm in the studio or in the crib, I make 15 beats. I could put in a dat with like 200 beats and let you pick what you want for the album." In just two years, Swizz has supplied hits for his Ruff Ryder family as well as Mya, Foxy Brown, Big Pun, and Memphis Bleek. He's graduated from obscurity to Chairman of the Controlboard faster than you can say "Shut em down, open up shop." "I got a lot of accomplishments for 21. Whether this ends today or tomorrow I'm blessed," says Swizz. "I made 87 songs last year. Everything went platinum and gold. I don't have to make any more beats, but I do it for the love." Swizz's love of music is almost a Dean family birthright. His uncles Dee and Wah, and aunt Chivon comprise the heads of Ruff Ryders Entertainment. In fact, it was his uncles that encouraged him to stear clear of the dope game and make dope beats in the rap game instead. But unfortunately, trouble found a young Kasseem as he got caught up in the middle of a turf war between his native Boston Rd, in the Bronx and rival blocks. The blocks got so hot that Swizz started carrying a gun with him to Truman highschool everyday as a freshman. But after a few months of packing heat Swizz was snitched out after a classmate discovered him putting the gun in the locker. "I was in the lunchroom and the security came in, slammed me on the table and pulled their guns out, he remembers. It was a big situation." Swizz's father was already set to move his family to Atlanta's more suburban life. And with his mother being good friends with the school's Principal, a deal was worked out so no charges were pressed against Swizz on the promise that he would leave New York and never return to Truman. From there, Swizz started getting his positive hustle on and earned a rep by DJing his school's functions. Then he elevated his game and status by hitting the club circuit and making mixtapes. "I was like the first one to play New York and Atlanta music (down there)," he says. "They use to hate New York DJs because all they did was play New York stuff like Mobb Deep all day." These are the reason why Swizzo is able to create New York state of mind tracks ("Money Cash Hoes") or Dirty South bounce beats ("Down Bottom") with the same level of effectiveness. Then as his family started seeing their seemingly life-long struggles to make it in the music come to fruition, Swizz wanted in. It wasn't too long that the young Dean would get his piece of the humble pie. "The Lox, DMX, everybody use to diss me," Swizz reflects right before G-Rap enters the studio. "But they respected me because I kept bangin' them." But it wasn't until Swizz started supplying-non camp members wtih hits that the Double R realized they had a crown jewel under their noses. "I was one of the first artists to use Swizz outside the Ruff Ryder camp," says Noreaga. "I always thought he was extremely talented." Today, not only is a Ruff Ryders album not complete without a Swizz beat, but they also look to him to supervise the labels other in house producers P. Killer, Teflon and DJ Shock when they lay tracks. Most notably, their newest project, Ryde or Die Vol. 2. Featuring a bevy of guest appearances ranging from Snoop Dogg to Trick Daddy, as well as the imprint's acts, Ryde or Die is everything you would expect. The album features a bunch of boisterous hardcore posturing of maniacal tracks, notably Swizz's frenzied speaker pooping production offerings "WWII" and "Twisted heat." Judging by the f*** face on G-Rap's face as Swizz lets him get a sneak peak of some selection, Swizz and company has another winner on their hands. "Hooking up with Swizz is an honor," G Rap says in his signature lisp." He did what Dre did, bring a new sound to the industry." Despite the criticism he sometimes receives, all Swizz wants to do is enhance the culture. "I ain't taking the world over, he says." I just want to add a lot of years to hip-hop."