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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Schwarz Talks About Lil B, Social Media and His Protest Song "Hands Up, Don't Shoot"

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 4:03 AM

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This month saw the release of a new track you produced -- "Ima Bitch BASED FREESTYLE" by Lil B. How did that come about?

I've been pretty obsessed with Lil B since I first found out he had like 100 Myspace profiles full of songs in like 2009 -- and beats -- not long after becoming really into his music. We met in 2010 when I helped book him a show in Baltimore, and I've always continued to send him beats here and there. He used a beat that was a collaboration with me and 333 Boyz on his last mixtape "Hoop Life," and this new one that samples Meredith Brooks on his recent tape. I think his process is just that he gets sent a million beats and picks the ones he wants, and the producer doesn't know until it's on the mixtape.

You produced the politically charged track "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" in solidarity with the activism surrounding the death of Michael Brown. How have the protests surrounding Ferguson affected you? Was the protest song an immediate, organic reaction?

Seeing all the news and watching the feeds on what was happening in Ferguson was horrific. I am really upset as anyone should be by what is going on, with the way Mike Brown was murdered, the police reaction to it, and that most of people with power in this country are in some way purposefully upholding a racist system, but to see it happening so literally, it seemed like something really important for everyone to be aware of. All of it really affects me, and so it naturally was in my mind and made its way into my work.

How has Internet culture and the presence of social media informed your production?

Internet culture and social media has just become such a large part of my life. I can spend eight hours at a time in front of a computer like it's a job -- I don't have a day job right now. Of course, again, something that's such a large piece of my life is going to make its way into my work. I'm especially into Vine right now, and its relationship to club music, because it's just all these loops that are three to six seconds long -- the same as club music. And so many club music producers have sampled Vines and now there have been Vines that are really popular that have the club track sampling the Vine in them. It has a really cool, meta, back-and-forth going on.

Schwarz performs with DJ Billy Brown, Kilbourne, and Abdu Ali at the Upstairs Lounge on Friday, October 24th.

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