New York, NY – Swizz Beatz sits comfortable atop hip-hop’s Mount Rushmore of producers and collaborators. But he’s even more comfortable giving a certain Bronx charter school the ultimate gift – his time.


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A recent trip to the Bronx Charter School for the Arts found the South Bronx native interacting with students and sharing his expertise as a musician and artist. followed the Grammy-winning producer and rapper to the school as part of its Living Forward series on celebrities making a difference.

“This is a school that I sponsor, this is a school that I stand behind,” said Swizz, who was recently named chair of the school’s committee of supporters. “I want to just make this the coolest school in the Bronx, period and just encourage kids to do their best.”

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Swizz has given generously to Bronx Arts not only with his money – he donated $50,000 to the school earlier this year – but also with his passion and in-school visits .

“Artists are always holding [out] for the auction side of it and they don’t really know why they’re there,” Swizz said. “I encourage them to go a little deeper and go visit the school or the hospital and learn more and spread the knowledge because I think it’s more effective that way.”

Students in the music class he helped observe kept their composure around Swizz.

Swizz likes it that way, preferring to heap praise on a talented group of fifth graders than receive it himself.

“You see things in kids that’s like ‘Wow, can you believe these kids are doing this already?” Swizz said. “It inspires you creatively.

Click here to watch another installment of theGRIO’s ‘Living Forward’ series with ballerina Misty Copeland

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