Music producer Swizz Beatz wants people to celebrate co-parenting with the same energy they give failed pubic relationships.
Swizz, his wife, Alicia Keys, and ex-wife Mashonda Tifrere kept the rumor mill abuzz with their messy fallout in years past, but he says their positive image of co-parenting has not seen that same attention.
For his episode of “Unsung,” the producer addressed the public backlash he and Keys endured more than a decade ago as he and Tifrere were in the thick of a very public divorce.
“The heat was definitely hot because a lot of people like to gravitate towards negativity,” he said. The year was 2009 and rumors of Swizz cheating on Tifrere with Keys had become common banter among his and Key’s fans and critics.
He continued by saying he felt the public found a good time in relishing in the family’s turmoil. “Anytime people feel that they can get away from their pain and make fun of your pain, that’s gon’ always be a hell of a celebration.” The “Verzuz” co-creator even revealed his acquaintance with the pianist dated back to high school where they first met when he was just 15.
However, it was an open letter written by Tifrere that fanned the fire on new levels. On Twitter, she insinuated Keys and Swizz had been intimately involved with each other — though both initially denied the affair — and that the “Superwoman” had been the final straw in destroying her marriage.
“If you are reading this Alicia, let me start by saying, you know what you did. You know the role you played and you know how you contribute to the ending of my marriage,” wrote Tifrere. “You know that I asked you to step back and let me handle my family issues. Issues you helped to create.”
Swizz and the “King” songstress were married for six years and share one son, Kasseem Dean Jr. Their divorce was finalized in 2010, but peace was not publicly found until years later. Circa 2016 the former couple, Keys and their children were all spotted vacationing together, leaving many to wonder how they’d smoothed over all the tension that was once brewing.
Those answers were revealed in the 2018 book “Blend: The Secret to Co-parenting and Creating a Balanced Family,” written by Tifrere, Swizz and Keys. The book, though a hot topic for a media second, did not make waves the way public allegations of cheating had. “But everybody want to throw a party when they thinking that they wanna kill each other and we wanna be all negative and violent and we got kids involved in this,” Swizz said.
Instead of giving the public more to talk about, he said they each instead have found their footing when it comes to making the best public decisions for their children; Swizz and Keys have two sons together. “We had to take the timeout and go back to that word communicate and understand that everybody has their right to react, everybody has their right to their emotions, and everybody has their right to figure out how to move forward as adults,” he said.
“It’s not easy because you know at the end of the day it’s soft spots with all of these different things. I think the way that we made it easy is was just saying, ‘you know what; it’s about the kid involved.’ ”
Online, reactions to Swizz’ candid take on how they all moved forward was met with mixed reactios.
“I’m glad they patched it up. Still can’t rock with AK like I use to.”
“You can NOT put roses on top of shit and say it smells good…I’m kinda shaky on this.”
“Glad time healed those wounds and that they moved into a healthier way of showing their best.”