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Swizz Beatz, Jay-Z, and Basquiat

Producer, rapper Swizz Beatz (born Kasseem Dean) recently announced on Instagram the purchase of one of his art pieces by Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. The piece is a portrait of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on a hood from a Mercedes Benz automobile. He said about the purchase:

“Look who purchased my Basquiat on Benz Hood 2day – what a honor and Blessing I’m so grateful for the support! July 4 its Showtime – ART LIFE!!! I will use proceeds to continue helping kids in need”

Swizz Beatz began his involvement in art as collector, starting with the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat. According to the New York Times, by age 25 he had bought his first original Basquiat piece and now owns six. He says that, as with music, he has no formal training in art. He says that he almost looks at the canvas as an opponent: “It’s challenging me to do something that I have never done before.”  Swizz Beatz uses the proceeds from the sale of his artwork to support charity.

Here’s another art piece he posted to Instagram last week. He says it’s a “dedication to the street Artist around the world.”

Related blog post: Swizz Beatz: Art, Design, and Music (September 4, 2011)

Visit the Pop Life Art celebrity artist list for links to many more musicians that paint.