Kasseem Dean, known professionally as Swizz Beatz, is an American record producer, DJ, rapper, art collector, and entrepreneur from New York City. Born and raised in The Bronx, Dean began his musical career as a disc jockey. At the age of 18, he gained recognition in the hip hop industry through his friendship and work with East Coast rapper DMX and his family's Ruff Ryders Entertainment record label. Dean later found a protégé in Philadelphia-based rapper Cassidy, whose success helped the launch of his own label imprint, Full Surface Records in 1999. He went on to sign multiple artists to the label, including Eve, Mashonda, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Dean also released two albums under the label; the first was a compilation, titled Swizz Beatz Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories, released in 2002, and later his debut studio album, One Man Band Man in 2007. In November 2018, Dean released his second studio album, Poison, featuring collaborations with a multitude of prominent hip hop artists. He was also responsible, along with Timbaland, for creating the popular webcast series Verzuz in 2020.