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Why Swizz Beatz is the most influential art collector in hip-hop

We seem to create some of the world’s most beautiful art yet forget to invest in it.

This is why we need more idols like producer/rapper, Swizz Beatz, to set an example for the youth and people of color everywhere. Thru Swizz we can learn how to invest our dollars into the booming art industry.

Peep Swizz roller skating through his giant wooden Kaws sculpture and promise to remember these Jay- Z lyrics throughout this post:

“I bought some artwork for one million
Two years later, that shit worth two million
Few years later, that shit worth eight million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children”

Swizz has been an art provocateur for some time now.

It was at the age of 19 when he bought his first pricy piece which was a black and white photograph of the Swiss Alps taken by Ansel Adams.

That was 20 years ago. Now Swizz’s art collection holds works by the likes of Michael VasquezLyle OwerkoJonathan MannionDustin YellinZio Ziegler, Hebru BrantleyJean-Michel Basquiat, and many more. That’s a lot of cheddar, especially with the Basquiat piece, but fuck the bread — that’s not why the “Money in the Bank” artist collects art.

Swizz collects to set an example for other collectors. In an interview with Billboard, he expressed the need to purchase works from artists that are still alive. He explained,

“I collect all living artists right now. That’s my thing. I’d like artists to be able to smell their roses while they are here, use their money to invest back into themselves and then give the world more greatness. I’ve been encouraging people to support living artists so they can enjoy this now. It shouldn’t be like oh when that person is not here we want to be into the person. That’s backwards as hell!”

This is probably the same passion that inspired Swizz to create No Commission.

No Commission was conceptualized three years ago while Swizz was attending Harvard. He wanted to create a platform that celebrated artists by cutting out the middleman. “To date, the venture has put a cool three million dollars directly in artists’ pockets,” said Swizz in an interview with GQ.

His idea was brought to life with the help of BACARDI Rum and No Commission held their first show a Miami’s Art Basel which would set the precedence for a global tour. Since then No Commission has hosted events in Berlin, Shanghai, London, and the Bronx.

Ned Duggan, VP of BACARDÍ Rum, told GQ how much No Commission has accomplished since its creation three years ago. Duggan said,

“As we started taking No Commission around the world, we could see that it was more than an event. It started becoming a movement… Our ambition was to make a genuine impact on culture. We don’t just bring the music and the cocktails, we have helped to create a platform that is genuinely changing lives, attitudes, and opinions.”

Not only does No Commision aim to ensure that artists are getting what they deserve for their work but also looks to involve women and people of color into the art community.  According to Swizz,

“Diversity brings people together and there is no better way to do that than thru music and art. If you free the artists you free the world.”

Awesome tings de ghwan pon Swizz’s side and the best part is that his art collecting bug is spreading to a few of his cronies. Swizz and his lovely wife, Alicia Keys, just copped Tanda Francis’ 12-foot African goddess sculpture by way of The Dean Collection.

Besides his wife, others that have also caught Swizz’s art bug are Nas, Beyonce and Jay, Erykah Badu, and Carmelo Anthony. Swizz reminisced to Billboard about the days before art collecting was thought to be “hip.” He said,

“People used to laugh at me for collecting art and now it’s the thing to do. It’s like “Man I got this piece” or “What’s the next piece?” It’s a conversation topic. It’s right where it needs to be. And I love that more of the culture is looking at this now…”

Check out Francis Tanda de-installing her “Take Me With You,” sculpture and getting it ready for the move to its new home – Swizz and Alicia’s garden of their New Jersey crib.

Swizz looks to inspire the next generation of artists and art-buyers.

The first rule in Swizz’s quick guide to buying art – “Buy from your heart. Only buy what you love, what you feel, what you want to live with.”

If you buy from the heart you will never lose. Now get out there, go to a gallery or something, and quit playing games.

Your first art investment could only be a couple footsteps out your door. Who knows? Art might take you around the globe.

Sidenote: Never forget that Swizz Beatz is always working on some damn fire. 

It’s that damn time again!!!! Mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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