Is Swizz Beatz Actually the CEO of Megaupload?
Following the government shutdown of Megaupload this week, all eyes have been on Swizz Beatz, who was widely reported to be the file sharing service's CEO. However, the release of the 72-page indictment against the company and four of its employees, including founder Kim Dotcom, raised doubts about the degree of Swizz's involvement with the controversial site.
Billboard reveals that while Beatz is listed as CEO on Megaupload's website, the company's attorney, Ira Rothken, disputed the claim that Beatz (real name Kasseem Dean) actually holds the title. "To my knowledge, Swizz Beatz was never involved in any meaningful way," Rothken said. "He was negotiating to become the CEO, but it was never official."
Further fueling Rothken's fire is the fact that Beatz is not even a partial owner of Megaupload. His involvement with the site only became apparent upon the release of a promotional video, featuring a catchy jingle and some of Beatz's artist pals, including will.i.am and Kanye West. Even when the video came under fire from Universal Music Group for allegedly violating copyright laws, Beatz was never listed as any sort of executive for Megaupload. All documents cite that he was merely an artist appearing in the promotional clip, and that he likely just helped to corral his fellow performers to record the tune.
Billboard notes that while it's highly unlikely Beatz worked in a day-to-day capacity for Megaupload, Beatz may have been a "Creative Director" for the company. It would be the same role Beatz also holds for Reebok and Lotus, where he periodically contributes designs.
Beatz and Megaupload each have yet to comment on the rapper/producer's involvement with the company. Considering the firestorm Megaupload is under from the Justice Department, maintaining an air of mystery can only benefit Beatz.