Swizz Beatz returned to his birthplace in the South Bronx to celebrate the relationship between art and music. He brought along his Dean Collection, Bacardi friends, and a few celebrity performs to help showcase the talents of contemporary artists.
Bacardi—the liquor company that named Swizz the Global Chief Creative for Culture in July—teamed up with producer’s art organization to hold No Commission: Art Performs. The art fair provided a free space for artists to display and sell their masterpieces. The Bronx collaboration is a followup to the original No Commission fair during Miami’s 2015 Art Basel. No Commission NY racked up heavyweights in the music industry and art. According to WWD, DJ Norie, A$AP Rocky, Cardi B, and Dougie Fresh performed as well as rapper Fabolous. A$AP Ferg also surprised attendees and crew member A$AP Rocky with a performance. In addition, about 40 artists contributed their work to fair.
A photo posted by The Dean Collection (@thedeancollection) on Aug 13, 2016 at 10:39am PDT
Swizz unfortunately did receive some backlash for the event, reports NY Daily News. Bronx-native, activist, and blogger Ed Conde Garcia disagreed with the event being held in the South Bronx. He citing that the producer had ties the neighborhood’s gentrification and failed to include hometown artists in the fair—though Bronx-born artists and reality TV personality Cardi B performed. As a result, Swizz, Garcia, and other concerned citizens arranged a meeting to speak more about fostering a Bronx-bred arts scene, fair to those who call it home.
Garcia told NY Daily News, “I was really impressed with the fact that Swizz wanted to talk to people and that he reached out directly. It seemed like a genuine effort, but I am still not happy with the event’s location.” Beatz’ event remained on its planned property, but he reassured natives that he meant no harm. He promised to dedicated another event for Bronx artists and help alleviate the gentrification issue with developers.