We take a deeper dive into Swizz’s decision to leave “Just Because” off of his newest project, “POISON”.
You really can’t satisfy everyone. After taking some time to better himself and get a quality education at Harvard, legendary New York producer Swizz Beatz delivered his second studio album POISON, his first album in 11 years. The 10-song project was well-received by fans, acknowledged as being specifically crafted by the 40-year-old to bring the best out of each of its collaborators.
Artists like Nas, Pusha T, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Styles P, Jadakiss and Kendrick Lamar put on some of their best performances over some dynamic sounds and Swizz showed everyone that time away didn’t hinder his abilities or connections in the game. However, one specific piece of information regarding a certain song that didn’t make the cut has been the cause of a lot of hate toward Swizzy.
Naturally, he went on a press run to talk about the album with various publications and outlets. In a specific conversation on Tidal’s Rap Radar, hosts Elliott Wilson and Brian B. Dot Miller brought up an unreleased track titled “Bath Salt” featuring JAY-Z, DMX, Nas and Jadakiss that the One Man Band Man debuted in a 2017 beat battle with Just Blaze. Now titled “Just Because,” the song received a positive reception in the midst of battle which favored Swizz.
His vision for POISON was different. He explained he wanted a “solid foundation” or “discovery,” rather than the “smoke” that comes with big names like those four listed on a song together. He acknowledged that in this generation folks tend to look at track lists for albums prior to listening and skip to the songs with specific artists’ names. He didn’t want the full body of work to go unnoticed, and he admitted it took a lot of discipline to leave off a song that likely would have done numbers.
While a logical rationale coming from him, the people of Twitter were understandably not satisfied with that. Music fans of today live for the big collaborations that seemingly could only happen in their dreams, and these four rappers in particular all together on Swizz Beatz’s production could be unlike anything ever heard before.
Perhaps that’s what he wants us to think and giving us that story will just spark our curiosity even more. However, if Swizz is being genuine in his explanation we support it. Presumably, there’s nothing worse than making an entire album and the only thing being discussed is the one big radio hit when there are some personal tracks on there or just general songs you put a lot of effort into.
He explained this was his return to the game, and he wanted to do it properly. He was already working against the success of “Uproar,” the G-Dep-sampling smash hit that he produced on Weezy’s Tha Carter V. He felt it was going to overshadow “Pistol On My Side,” his first single off POISON which also featured Wayne so another record with big names wouldn’t support the direction he hoped to go.
Being a seasoned vet in the game, he has significant influence. The market right now is very singles-based and everyone is looking for that big track after big track. Swizz choosing to focus in on a succinct, complete work of art can further help to shift the culture and how often other producers put out their own albums. Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, and other producers have already stepped out on their own to do such projects, but Swizz being an elder can further show how relevant these works can be today.
Do we still want to hear the track? Absolutely. The debates it would spark, the nostalgia it would trigger, and just the amount of elite talent together on one song would be for the ages. However, there has to be an emphasis placed on patience nowadays when it comes to music. Artists nowadays tease albums and release them a week later. Some artists put out multiple projects in the same year. Labels put out multiple projects within the same month.
When artists or labels tease things that don’t come out when they were originally said to if at all, we immediately become frustrated as if we are entitled to whatever they’ve created. The overload of content combined with the need for instant gratification causes certain work to quickly its spark and relevance. Listeners’ expectations get too lofty and there’s always something else that needs to be listened to.
We know the song exists. We know Swizz fully intends to put it out at a certain point. We learned that he’s also got three more albums coming. Is that not enough for right now? The man produced one of the biggest songs of the year and then delivered a work of art in POISON. Even if that’s not enough for him, it should be enough for us for now. Some artists produce less, and of far less quality.
Even though artists promote their music for our consumption, we have to let them be themselves sometimes. These people have specific goals for themselves, which can often be compromised by the overwhelming pressure to satisfy us. Let us allow the man who has already put out five videos from his album, and shot Nas’ video in Japan to breathe for just a second. The wait for “Just Because” may just make it that much sweeter.
In the meantime, check out the video for “25 Soldiers” featuring Thugga below.