It’s well-documented that David Samuels can command an audience with Rakim. The annals will forever show that Eli Lake can spit hot fire. Legend has it Jeffrey Goldberg has met MC Ren at underground shows with Supernatural. It’s also true that I can still perform every single word to the Dr. Dre classic “Forgot About Dre” with enough alcohol and goading.
Have we all–and I really shouldn’t include myself here–been bested by the likes of 12-year-old Nathan Schwartz, a Miami middle schooler, who numbers more rappers among his friends than most record execs?
More importantly, should we cower in fear because Schwartz seems to have struck up bonds with the likes of superstars Rick Ross, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, and others, not because of access, but seemingly because Schwartz is just himself?
On the surface, he’s just a kid with new Lebrons who likes the Baltimore Ravens and plays drums in school because “it was the only good elective.” Deep down, Nathan is pursuing the American dream through apparently just heart and effort. He doesn’t have a social media team. He doesn’t have a marketing strategy. I’m not even sure if he has armpit hair. But he does have a bodyguard and a rolodex with tons of rappers’ phone numbers in it because he probably just texted DMX to go play mini golf.
It was batted about on some undernet forums that he’s the son of Peter Schwartz, a vice president at a bigwig talent representation company called The Agency Group. But the Schwartzes—both Nathan and Peter—confirmed to me this is untrue. “Who? No.” was all Peter—who reps people like Juicy J, Big Boi, Method Man, Trinidad Jame$, Wiz Khalifa and many others—wrote to me. The two are, by all accounts, not related. “Erryone asks bout Peter idk him,” Nathan wrote to me.
Forget all those cute bar-mitzvah videos filmed in all the gated communities in the Diaspora. If you can strike up a friendship with Schwartz in the next year, you might find yourself drinking Tattinger with Chris Brown while Nathan chants from the bimah.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.