“Everyone’s always talking about how they support the artists, but when you really dive deep into it, they’re always taking something from the artist’s side pocket, the artist’s front pocket,” legendary producer, Swizz Beatz, tells The Source. “They’re always taking something from us.”
Swizz decided to channel that common frustration into motivation, and supplemented it with his undying love for fine art to create “No Commission”. With tremendous help from BACARDÍ, the partners behind this concept, Swizz Beatz created an art exhibition and concert series that prioritizes artists being able to keep 100% of the profits. Swizz’s concept aims to simply celebrate artists and give them a well-deserved platform, stripping the experience from the unnecessary money talk so the art and artist are given the chance to truly shine.
“It’s free for the artists and it’s free for the people to enter. You don’t need thousands of dollars to be a part of the conversation. If we’re gonna celebrate the artists, then we’re gonna celebrate the artists for real.” As a Bronx native who was often teased by his peers for his early passion for fine art, Swizz is on a journey to change the culture for good.
Although he says he can’t change the world overnight, his movement is undoubtedly gaining momentum, and Swizz and BACARDÍ planned their global mission to bridge the gap between art and hip-hop once again. Since its debut last year, “No Commission” has seen success so far in Miami, London, The Bronx and even made international stops in Berlin, Germany and Shanghai, China. However, the true reward does not lie within the number of RSVP’s or the social media impressions, but rather in the artists’ journeys following the event. Swizz says he has watched artists from The Bronx sell out art shows in Europe and Russia after “No Commision” exposure. With Swizz’s hip-hop peers, BACARDÍ, and art lovers everywhere backing each showcase through and through, “No Commission” is set to support emerging artists to receive the recognition they deserve, and on a global scale.
Swizz’s most recent stop was in Art Basel in Miami just this past weekend (12/7-12/9). With a surplus of amazing artists proudly showcasing their artwork, over 3,000 attendees, and a concert featuring powerhouse names like 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, DJ Khaled and Busta Rhymes to seal the celebration, calling the weekend a success would be an absolute understatement. If you missed out on Miami, don’t worry, because he already has his next stop for “No Commision” planned out: Los Angeles. If you’re not in the United States, there’s still bound to be a stop near you. “We didn’t even start yet, by the way. You guys have seen nothing yet,” he assures us. “We’ve got big, big plans.”
All photos courtesy of Getty Images for BACARDÍ.