Culture Crush: Swizz Beatz – The Journey Back to the Bronx

For some, success and fame can take you far away from your hometown. Your talents, career or circumstances can afford you the opportunity to see new places, meet new people and experience new things you may not have otherwise. But the beauty of it all is the pride and excitement some tend to feel when they return back home – renewed, enlighten and forever changed. Kaseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean is an example of that journey.  As an international artist with many commas in his name including music producer, rapper, creative director, record executive, fashion designer, DJ, songwriter, and visual artist, Swizz Beatz has landed back on our radar and in our hearts as he brings his talents back home – the Bronx, NY!

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Swizz Beatz is our #CultureCrush this month (and always) because of his ability to expose us to the world of contemporary art and artist who are, for lack of a better term, unrepresented. Swizz is the curator and creative mind behind The Dean Collection and its art fair “No Commission” (sponsored by Bacardi). We were first introduced to The Dean Collection back in 2014, during our first experience at Art Basel Miami, where we reported on our experience as beginners of the international art exhibition.

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Photo Courtesy of Artnet

In a world where the elite artists (those with lots of money and/or lots of privilege) are often the creatives who can afford gallery spaces and the numerous expenses to promote their art, Swizz Beatz has created a space By Artist, For Artists…commission free!

Video Courtesy of Youtube

Swizz is a Bronx native and during the four-day art event that started on August 11, 2016, he brought a massively vibrant energy back home – the No Commission Art Fair, South Bronx edition. Tickets were free to all especially for those who are born and bred right in the Bronx. This art fair and music appreciation event (each night ended with an epic concert) exposed thousands of people, whether art newbies or enthusiast, to the artistry of current times.

It was clear that Swizz is forever eager to get his fellow Bronxites involved which he showed by walking the neighborhood, talking to the people and vibing with local artists. Demanding that this event be held in the borough of the Bronx versus the new favorite borough of Brooklyn, shows that Swizz wants to represent something authentic to him. He says: “I wanted to bring something special for the people of The Bronx which is why the event is free, something that anyone can enjoy and have asked for.”

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Photo Courtesy of Vibe

Being a Global Citizen and Cultural Icon in both arts and music, Swizz has helped us widen our understanding of whats “hot.” Contemporary art is a genre that lends itself to the interests and the pulse of our generation and Swizz is the leader with his ability to be authentic, cool, fresh and innovative. We respect his insight, his choices in art and his decision to give power back to the artist.

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Swizz Beatz is our #CultureCrush because he is #TheArtist that is curating opportunities for ‘culture to connect people.’ The Bronx is no stranger to art, music and culture. The birthplace of Hip Hop and the leader of the graffiti era is the perfect backdrop to this art fair.

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Photo Courtesy of RapRadar

Contemporary art is layered in the sense that various forms of art can be expressed. With Swizz Beatz curating the new wave of artists, we are looking forward to witnessing what he has in store next and how he will carry the traditions created here in the Bronx.

Author: Tiffanee E. Thompson

Tiffanee is the co-founder and editor in chief of The Culture Bazaar. She lives in NYC...for now :)

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