Producer Swizz Beatz recently talked about his run with Ruff Ryders and why the famed crew, consisting of The LOX, Eve, DMX and Drag-On, never received enough props for their contributions.
Speaking with radio personality Tim Westwood, Beatz reflected on RR’s late 90’s run.
“I just feel like the whole Ruff Ryders thing wasn’t given its proper props,” Swizz said. “It was a great time for Hip Hop; we was very unique at the time. Nobody really brought in a culture within another culture–the bike culture–extreme sports mixed with the street. We had something really unique that happened and blew up real fast. People forget we were breaking all kinds of records, and I think we was going so strong and so powerful that the industry couldn’t deal with it no more.” (“Tim Westwood TV”)
A few months ago, rapper Drag-On talked about breaking away from Ruff Ryders.
“I finally got my release from Ruff Ryders,” Drag informed SOHH. “And now I got my own record label, Hood Environment. We’re getting it popping. I have my own artists and we’re putting out our own videos and sh*t like that. We’re just working man. Word. Right now I’m feeling really good. A lot of people welcomed me back with open arms so at the end of the day, I’m just excited that the streets are excited [to hear new music from me]. A lot of people are really starting to catch on to my Hood Environment record label movement. Everything is gravy. I definitely cannot complain right now.” (SOHH)
In February, Eve discussed moving past her former Ruff Ryders image.
“I hate it when people say, ‘The old Eve, the old Eve.’ No! I can’t pretend to be that girl anymore. If I did, people would see that and be like, Why is she trying to be that same person? … When I went to take label meetings and they would listen to the music, a lot of them would be like, ‘Yeah, that’s good, but what’s up with the Ruff Ryders sh*t?’ I’m like, ‘Yo, I was 21 then.’ It’s been years now. I’ve done a million different things. ‘Tambourine’ isn’t Ruff Ryders. The records I did with Gwen [Stefani] weren’t Ruff Ryders. I trust my audience enough to think they’ve grown, just like me — I’m hoping for that, but we’ll see.” (Ink Magazine)
Since the 1990’s, Ruff Ryders has seen multiple rap stars come and go from the label.
Ruff Ryders’ founders were initially famous for managing rappers DMX, Mase and The Lox who became multi-platinum stars for Def Jam Recordings and Bad Boy Entertainment in the late-1990s. After DMX’s success, the management company started its own label imprint throughInterscope Records, and had success with releases from female rapper Eve, former Bad Boy Records group The L.O.X. and its main rapper Jadakiss, Drag-On, and newcomer Jin, winner of BET’s 106 & Park freestyle MC battle competition. The Deans’ nephew Swizz Beatz is the main producer for most of the acts on the roster. In 2001 Cassidy was signed to the label through Swizz Beatz along with Full Surface labelmate Yung Wun. (Wikipedia)
Check out Swizz Beatz’s interview below: