Swizz Beatz, a Bronx-born producer, is a busy man. He is the co-founder of an online DJ battle series, Verzuz, and he also owns a race team. His roster doesn't include any cars or motorcycles; however, Beatz owns a camel-racing team.
Alicia Keys' husband revealed the information during a recent interview with Variety. He said that he is the first African-American, as well as the first Westerner, to own a camel-racing team based in the Middle East. His team, Kaseem Abu Nasser, features 12 fast camels and has a home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Beatz has found success early, considering that his team won a race on both Thursday and Friday.
All the way from #USA 🇺🇸October 22, 2020
"The races happen in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi — all over the Middle East," Beatz told Variety. "It was amazing, though, to win the race in Saudi Arabia, because my stables are in Riyadh. To win your first race — your only race so far — in racing’s home is crazy. We were in eighth place for a long time after the race first started.
"Then Nicole — the camel named after my daughter — just went for it. Wow. What are the odds?" Beatz continued. "No team has ever won their own race — forget about me being from America, a Westerner. No Saudi team ever won their first race. What’s funny, though, is that there are Arab and English versions of the race that you can watch, and when the announcer was yelling, 'Nicole, Nicole is showing up. Miracles can happen!' my daughter was freaking out. Talk about screaming and yelling — my voice is gone."
As Beatz explained, he has friends over in the Middle East that served as his gateway into the sport. His friends in Dubai have teams and provided education about picking the camels and finding the best bloodlines and trainers. "I had the heads-up for a while but didn’t push the button until COVID. It sounded big, amazing and a lot of work, but I just wanted to do it. It feels like it came fast, but it was a long process," Beatz said.
As someone that spent a lot of time in the Middle East before officially purchasing his team, Beatz came to recognize the biggest teams by their jackets and camel coverings. He knew which teams had the best reputations. When Beatz purchased his own team, he used an iconic logo to ensure everyone knows the camels on-sight. He put the Ruff Ryder "R" on the jackets and coverings, referencing the label that featured Beatz, DMX and Eve, among others.