On the day Megaupload was taken down, record producer and rapper Swizz Beatz was listed as company CEO on the site’s homepage.
The 33-year-old had been working with the file-hoster months earlier, having been deeply involved in the creation of the controversial Mega Song promotion.
Following the arrest of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his associates, Beatz initially kept a low profile, leading some to question what his role was within the company. But things are slowly becoming more clear.
Speaking with Al Lindstrom, Swizz Beatz is standing firm on his connections to the now-defunct file-hosting site and seeking to clarify some important points. Beatz says he is pro-artist, through and through, and his work with Megaupload did not run counter to that, it enhanced it.
“I’m a fan of music, i’m a fan of people who work hard and I would never be a part of anything that’s taking from artists when I fight so hard to give so much to the artist,” Beatz explained.
“You know what I was doing – I was giving artists 90% of the shit.”
Beatz was referring to Megabox, a project Kim Dotcom said would put the “dinosaur record labels” out of business. The plan was to give consumers free access to music, financed through the use of an advertising browser plug-in.
The big difference as far as the music industry is concerned is that with the Megabox setup the labels wouldn’t be taking the lion’s share of the revenue as they do now – Megabox would take 10% and the remaining 90% would go to the artists. That leaves 0% for the suited middle men and as the theory goes, they were very unhappy about that.
“You know, sometimes when something is so powerful and people can’t control it, that kind of attack [raiding Megaupload] happens,” adds Beatz. “You see that happen with multiple things in life, you see things that are so powerful they get shut down unexplainably.”
Beatz, real name Kasseem Dean, also points out that despite being labeled the biggest copyright infringement hub on the planet, Megaupload was never sued by the movie companies or record labels.
“There’s other companies doing ten times worse – they ain’t getting touched,” he said.
And he’s right, at least if the IFPI’s own stats are to be believed. As revealed in our article yesterday, a leaked IFPI report shows just how insignificant Megaupload was when it came to carrying infringing links.
“But my thing is like, time will tell everything, you know what i’m saying? People will see what’s what, who’s who,” Beatz predicts.
“My track record speaks for itself. I’m in the business of inspiring, so I can’t be in the business of inspiring if i’m so-called robbing my friends. And my friends know that, that’s why there ain’t nobody saying no clown shit about me because they know my character and they know what it is.”
Kim Dotcom insists that far from being ruined, Megabox will still come to market.
“Some of the world’s top artists have lined up to launch with us and I want to make sure that they have the launch that they deserve,” Dotcom told TorrentFreak.
Will Swizz Beatz be among them? Time will tell….