Rapper and producer Swizz Beatz is taking his passion for the arts to schools to empower the next generation of leaders and creators.
While at the Samsung #Hope4Children gala, which raised over $1.5 million Monday night at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, he spoke about his own work with the Bronx Charter School for the Arts: "First and foremost, I'm from the Bronx... when I went there, I got so inspired their talent, their energy."
Since making his way out and building his own life and career, he continues to return to his roots but is saddened by the change:
It changed for the worse... the parks I used to play at were gated because of a crime scene or something. And I said to myself, 'I have to rebuild this stuff.' Kids don't even have the opportunities to play.
He's also using social media to get the word out about the causes he supports and his own passions.
Social media has been a blessing for me because through Instagram and Twitter I'm able to bring people into spaces that they might not be able to go into. I'm able to take up and coming new artists and show the world their paintings and photography. Without going through a big publicist -- no disrespect to the publicists -- but it's a hand to hand exchange which I think the fans respect more.
As for Twitter etiquette at home with his newborn and beautiful wife Alicia Keys? "You can't tweet a picture with your shirt off from the gym... and for our kid if we know he's going to get his photo taken anyway, we'll take a better picture."
Follow Shira Lazar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/shiralazar