Zachary Schwartz

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Zachary "Zach" Schwartz is a writer for VICE , [1] Playboy ​, [2] and other magazines. He first gained recognition for his writing on Thought Catalog  [3] as well as being one of Rap Genius ​'most popular bloggers ever. He is co-founder of the viral hip-hop app Rapchat and co-founder of LEAP, the nation's first-ever high school

Zachary Schwartz caricature from a Vice article. 

entrepreneurial accelerator program. [4] In 2014, Zach had a well-publicized and controversial internship at Rap Genius, and was criticized, along with his mentor (and founder of Everipedia) Mahbod Moghadam, by Bloomberg Businessweek  and Gawker[5]

Early Life

Zach was born and raised in various neighborhoods throughout Cleveland, Ohio​. [6]​ Growing up his father was a Legal Aid attorney and his mother a judicial assistant. He is of Taiwanese Aborigine and Jewish descent. [7]

He was raised in the Jewish tradition, and in sixth grade, he won the National Bible Contest, which is similar to the Spelling Bee for Jewish people. [8]​ He also went to Israel​ to compete in the International Bible Contest​, where he was discriminated against and told he “wasn’t a real Jew” because his mother is of Asian​ descent. [9]

Youtube Video | campus - Meet Zach. 

After his experience in Judaism​, he never felt comfortable with the religion again and it would take years for Zach to get over the trauma of experiencing racism. [10]​ Due to the experience, he began to adopt a "Me against the world" mentality, and began to see himself as a victim in racial prejudice. [11]​ He eventually found Hip hop​ as an outlet to deal with his angst. [12]

High School

Schwartz has revealed that he went to the same high school as Kid Cudi​. He has recalled his experience in high school as self-segregating and began to view his school's social setting through a race filter. [13] He found that the white male teenagers would often be more popular than him and that they would experience their first kiss a lot sooner than he would. At his high school, The Asian teenagers were consider "nerds", and after mustering enough effort to talk to his crush, she responded with: “Ew, Zach, you’re weird-looking.” [14]

While in high school, he worked tirelessly to get into an Ivy League​ school and in junior year he made his choice of applying for a good school​. [15]​ In order to complete his homework and ensure an adequate GPA to be accepted, he had multiple all-nighters a week and stayed alert by consuming Adderall​, percocet, and lots of Coffee​. [16]​ ​In the end, he was accepted into Columbia University[17]

Zachary Schwartz wearing Virtual reality​ goggles. 


While at Columbia University, Schwartz began to find an outlet through journalistic projects that would allow him to express his opinions about college life as an Asian American student. He wrote an article titled: "Going to an Ivy League School Sucks", in his junior year. [23]​ On Social Media and on other online profiles, the notion of Schwartz college completion is unknown. [24][25]​ It is also unknown if Schwartz transferred to another college that is not an Ivy League, or whether he stayed. [26]

He entered as an Earth science​ major. [27]


While in College, and thereafter, Schwartz has been active as a writer for various publications as a freelancer. Some of the publications he has written for include: New York Times WIRED , and covered by BBC News The Huffington Post , and the Columbia Journalism Review[27][28]

Schwartz has also written articles on topics concerning identity, sexuality, subcultural realms, and Hip hop​. He wrote an article titled, "The Infernal Inner Lives of Incels", in which he's been critiqued for his lack of scope in analyzing the patriarchal side of male supremacism and their radical misogyny. [29][30]


Through his writing projects, Zach has been able to associate with famous people in the Music industry​ and also in Tech​. He has played chess with some members of the Wu-Tang Clan; he's had a steak dinner with G-Unit; he has also associated with software developer John McAfee; he has also written about the Asian men / Black women dating scene; and has spent twenty hours in a strip club as part of his research. [31]

He has also done an AMA on Reddit[32]

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