Swizz Beatz put himself on the map producing for his uncles’ Ruff Ryders collective, doing tracks for DMX, Eve and Drag-On.

His unique, relatively sample-free production style quickly made him one of hip-hop’s most sought-after producers, and he was soon working with artists ranging from Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes to Limp Bizkit and Marilyn Manson, hauling in millions of dollars and dozens of platinum hits. He even had the privilege of contributing to the score of Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday.”

But apparently all of that wasn’t good enough for Swizz. Maybe he was sick of just seeing his name in liner notes and wanted it on the cover for once. Maybe he wasn’t satisfied with only two multi-million dollar mansions. Whatever the reason, he decided to release his own record, Swizz Beatz Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories.

Despite only rapping on a few of the album’s 17 cuts, Swizz proves himself a competent MC on tracks like “Ghetto Stories” and “Guilty.” Ironically, it’s the production that suffers. After all these years and all those hits, Swizz’s style has become tiresome and repetitive.

He does shake things up by sampling Booker T’s “Sunny Monday” on “Ghetto Love,” but any good that pretty, little acoustic guitar bit does is destroyed by shitmeister LL Cool J and rhymes like “Face me baby / Put your fingers in my mouth / Let me taste the gravy.”

Fortunately for Cool J, his track isn’t the worst on Stories; that honor goes to Metallica and Ja Rule’s “We Did It Again.” If pairing Metallica and Ja Rule sounds like a bad idea, it’s because pairing Metallica and Ja Rule is a bad idea. Over a typical wah-guitar Metallica line, Ja does his best James Hetfield impression, shouting “I’m a rock star, baby!” No, actually you’re a shitty Tupac rip-off who doesn’t deserve a bit of his hopefully fleeting success. How embarrassing.

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