In addition to parceling out his Haute Living album free once a week, Swizz Beatz is an artist in Residence at NYU, and he is working on projects with Aston Martin, Reebok and Christian Louboutin. In an interview with the Fox Business channel, Swizz said it’s no coincidence that his personal brand is growing at a time when he’s at one of the country’s best-known schools.

“In 2010 I named it my graduation year,” “I started in 1998. I had my first platinum record in 1998, but it comes a time when you have to graduate. In 2010 I wanted to graduate physically, spiritually and mentally and graduate my brand. So it’s very important for people to know when you change as a person…in 2010 I laid out all these forums to where people can see Professor Dean and not just somebody that worked with Jay-Z and all these Rap artists.”

Swizz has previously collaborated with The Gap retailers and Hennessy, and he says he’s turned down a lot of branding partnerships lately due to his preference for working with brands that have room to grow. And while its assumed the partnerships bring in some nice additional income, Swizz says he still has one main priority.

“It’s something about arts and music that helps kids get to the next level,” Swizz added. “It kind of answers their cries and answers their dreams. And to see all these young students intrigued by music hits a warm spot in my heart. Anything I can do to help those kids out—whether they’re in my charter school or NYU—I just want to help them. It’s been fun.”