H∆SHTAG$, Episode 4: Don’t Call It #Beats

For the fourth episode of H∆SHTAG$ – our web series chronicling Internet-based music – we take a deep dive into the fertile beats scene. Flying Lotus, TNGHT, The Gaslamp Killer, Shlohmo and XXYYXX are just a few of the artists that talk about how a small LA club night and circle of friends turned into a truly global phenomenon and transformed both electronic music and hip hop along the way.


From DJ Shadow and DJ Krush to Prefuse 73 and a young Four Tet to Dilla, Madlib and their countless adepts, there’s always been a healthy scene centered squarely around the creation of beats. But until recently it’s all felt a bit nebulous. Enter Los Angeles and the Low End Theory crew, whose pioneering night has given a voice (and some recognizable faces, Flying Lotus and The Gaslamp Killer among them) to a movement that has spread around the world. Beats may be the most nebulous term for a H∆SHTAG$ episode thus far. Yet we’re still willing to bet you know exactly what we mean. FlyLo’s jazz and psych excursions. TNGHT’s hard-hitting proto-trap anthems. Shlohmo’s woozy R&B experiments. Benji B’s weekly show on BBC Radio 1 and London club night, Deviation. It’s all got a certain something that ties it together. But what is this certain something?

In this fourth episode of our H∆SHTAG$ series, we aim to find out with some of the biggest names in beats at the moment. What’s the difference between a beat and a song? What connects artists working in such wildly different BPMs? Why did we care so much about our Top Friends’ List on MySpace once upon a time? Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, Lunice, The Gaslamp Killer, Shlohmo, Dorian Concept and XXYYXX hold court, with additional thoughts from XLR8R editor Shawn Reynaldo and the aforementioned Benji B, amongst others.

Special thanks to East Village Radio for allowing us to film at their studios.

New episodes of H∆SHTAG$ premiere each Wednesday, exclusively here on redbullmusicacademy.com.

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