Swizz Beatz demands respect in the world of hip-hop.
During a recent chat with Joe Budden on Instagram Live, the 41-year-old producer, born Kasseem Dean, says the rap stars of today should be “paying taxes” to the founders of the genre.
“I want to raise a million dollars for each icon that started hip-hop... [DJ] Kool Herc on down,” Swizz exclaimed.
“The fact we’re not paying taxes on who started hip hop shows we don’t ------- really love hip-hop,” he continued. “The fact we don’t pay taxes as artists to those icons that paved the way, [who] took the lower cut for the music that allowed us to feed our families. We need to be paying taxes to the creatives of hip-hop that gave us freedom of speech to go forward.”
“Melle Mel, Grandmaster Flash, and Sugarhill Gang, minimum a million apiece,” Swizz added, while naming a few more rap legends.
Swizz, who created the “Verzuz” battle series with fellow producer Timbaland, also announced that there might be a piano duel between his wife Alicia Keys and fellow pianist Elton John.
In the meantime, Swizz is gearing up for the Nelly vs. Ludacris battle this Saturday.
Swizz and Timbaland began hosting “Verzuz” — where two artists play their hits on Instagram Live — to entertain fans during the coronavirus quarantine.
“Music has always been around to help and heal,” Swizz told CNN last month. “Me and Tim came together and said, ‘You know what? Let’s start Verzuz on Live and give the people some entertainment, give them some hope and also educate them.’ Because Versuz is an educational celebration.”
“What is the thing the world most needs every day? It’s music,” Timbaland added. “The sound of music always put a joy in my heart. I know music is the key to what’s going on in this darkness, and I just felt this was the perfect time.”
Past battles have included Babyface vs. Teddy Riley, and Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott.