He Harvard Coolin': Alicia Keys Husband Swizz Beatz Sits With The Breakfast Club And Dishes On Education
With hits for Beyonce (Check Up On It), serving as Creative Director for both Lotus Cars and Reebok, and having already making millions - Swizz Beatz has just about everything to most people except an education.
Beatz is now enrolled at Harvard University's Business School where the 35-year-old will be taking courses while living on campus in one small dorm room (flashback to my college days).
He sat down with The Breakfast Club Morning Show to talk about his decision to return to college, why a big deal was made about his vacation with both Alicia Keys and ex-wife MaShonda and more.
Now, before some of you who finished college within the traditional four year stint (did mine in three and half) here's what I learned about it. The program is designed for those who actively run a business in that makes a minimum of $10 million in sales annually.
It's divided into three week sessions given the work schedule so that way the students can continue running their business in operable manner as they learn.
Check out some highlights below:
Decision to go back to school
I just felt like you have to keep graduating your brand. A lot of people get complacent with their success and things that they've done before and I just wasn't comfortable with that because I started transitioning from producer to business owner. I would be in these rooms and, no matter how big the deal was or how good it is, people would still look at me like 'Oh, he's the rapper guy. He's the rapper friend.' I'm like, 'We all in this meeting because of what I'm bringing to the table.' But being that I didn't really have any credentials to go with those different things, I didn't feel like I was getting the respect that I deserved. So I said, 'You know what, let me go and sharpen my pencil a little bit and really walk back in these rooms a different person and different man.' Really invest that time into myself because I started when I was like 18. I was gone since then. And a lot of different things I would learn and do just off the cuff, but I really didn't know the language. I didn't feel comfortable with the language of doing business.
Being bout that dorm life:
It was amazing to go from my crib to a dorm room. [Do you have a roommate?] Nah, they didn't do me dirty with a roommate. My room so small, I can't even have a roommate. Twin bed. I got my own shower. It's just a humbling experience because that same small room could've been my jail cell. Coming from where I came from and the things I've been apart of it's like, man I'm in this small room, but I'm here to educate myself and hopefully educate other people. It's never too late because a lot of people say 'Man, why are you going back? You got all this money.' I'm like, 'Money doesn't make you smart!'
I could've definitely lived off campus but I wanted to be apart of the experience. It's Harvard. I just really wanted to make sure I wasn't missing no pieces. I didn't want to come off as the big celebrity; this, that and the third because I'm a small guy in my class by the way. There's people in my class that businesses do a billion dollars a year. To be around all these people; they're staying in dorms too. Just because I have celebrity status I didn't want to separate myself and be some type of way.
They didn't even know I was Swizz Beatz. My tag says Kasseem Dean. This is the hardest class to get into in Harvard. You have to be successful already. So when you send your resume in they have to cross check it with financials and all the different things you've done in the business world. Then people on your staff have to fill out information.
If he'll have a degree post finishing the program
When I finish I will be a Harvard Alumni so I'll have the alumni status. I thought that was pretty cool because having the alumni status, I can always have access to the programs. So if I ever want to do something else or be invited to other things....I just wanted to have it.
Alicia Keys, MaShonda Vacation Photos:
I thought that was a very positive message but even in that, they want the waters to be dark. They want the clouds to be black. They [blogs] were saying all kinds of things. 'Oh, MaShonda stupid. Alicia is stupid.' This and that. I said no, there is kids involved. We got to go to graduations for a long time. We got to go to games for a long time, you understand?
Our personal things that we went through in the past, that's the past. It's going on five years already. They're both great parents. MaShonda didn't fly over there, she happened to be over there already and she wanted to see our son. What are we going to say, no? My wife is not like that. You want to see your son, yeah come, we here, let's go. That's how it is. It's not this big wrestling match like everybody think it is.
Everybody has graduated to a very mature level and I can definitely respect that because even myself. It was a lot of frustrating times for us and to see this thing come together to a positive place I think that's what people should focus on. Okay, it's not how you start, it's how you end it and these two amazing women are coming together for the kids like, you know what, it can be a positive message in this moving forward. Everything don't have to be what you see on TV, this, that and the third. There's other sides to our culture that's pretty cool.
Check out the interview and other pics below: