Turntablist Rob Swift was born Robert Aguilar in Jackson Heights, a neighborhood of Queens NY. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by cutting-edge jazz artist Herbie Hancock as well as the more typical DJ heroes like Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, and DJ Premier. After graduating from Baruch College with a degree in psychology, Swift joined one of the top scratching groups of the '90s, the X-Men (later known as the X-Ecutioners). In 1992, he won the DMC East Coast Turn Table Championship and DJed with rapper Akinyele on his cross-country tour. A mixtape favorite, after one album with the X-Ecutioners Swift released his own widely praised debut, Soulful Fruit, in 1997 on Asphodel, followed by The Ablist in 1999. Thereafter, he released a succession of mixes for Triple Threat (Airwave Invasion), Tableturns (Sound Event), and Six Degrees (Under the Influence). In 2004, Swift left the X-Ecutioners with a very public slanging match between each other after the release of the album Revolutions and went on to record OuMuPo, Vol. 2, a remix of artists from the Ici d'Ailleurs label, and 2005's War Games, a soundtrack to the world after September 11.
A new album, The Architect, is due on Mike Patton's Ipecac label in January 2010. (Swift has previously collaborated with Patton on the General Patton Vs The X-Ecutioners album, also on Ipecac.)