POW Premiere: lojii & Swarvy’s ‘poor git da $$$’ Video

POW premieres the video for lojii and Swarvy's "poor git da $$$," in addition to a q&a with the duo.
By    March 13, 2018
Credit: Theo Jemison

It’s not uncommon to sit in the back of a car, stoned, while restlessly focusing on money. Zipping around city streets under the night’s sky and tapping out an album name on a touch screen can be a welcomed distraction to balancing monetary necessities. It’s been nearly a year since I spoke to lojii & Swarvy about the release of their debut collaborative effort, DUE RENT, but the album’s parables still sound fresh.

As a score to being broke with big dreams, the Fresh Selects-released DUE RENT works to redefine what we truly value, while calling into question what we truly need to achieve freedom. The album is made up of laborious vignettes which are relevant to most millennials or working folks in general who know what it is to labor long hours for little reward. For lojii and Swarvy, both Philadelphia transplants, the album’s title is a very literal manifestation of the summer of 2016, when they were each struggling to avoid eviction.

The video for “poor git da $$$,” directed by Anaka and premiering today on P.O.W., is based off a true story. Weed smoke and relics line a narrow hallway. As the album’s description reads: ‘Anger doesn’t have to be loud.’ These details, like an old issue of L.A. Record that reads “Police Want Us All Dead,” speak directly to the various influences of lojii, who sits across from fellow artist Pink Siifu. Countless blunts rotate before eventually, lojii receives an unexpected call.

If you’ve been under a rock, buy DUE RENT here. —Evan Gabriel


It’s been almost a year since we last spoke about your album, DUE RENT. Tell me a bit about you individual journeys since the album dropped.


lojii: We did a lil marathon of shows and performed the record out west, then I came back home to Philly and found a full-time job, haha. I’ve been balancing that with making music. Just got a home studio set up in the crib, gonna be recording all my own shit now. And I got a new [solo] record ’bout to drop this month


Given Bop, as well as lofeye scheduled to release later this month, each of you have put out solo projects since DUE RENT. What has been the biggest change for you individually since the album dropped last spring?


Swarvy: I quit my side job as an in-home private music teacher and have been stayin’ busy with production and engineering work for a lot of other artists, plus I play bass for Mndsgn’s live band now. So there’s def more money comin’ in from work that I really care about, which I’m really grateful for. I also have a great manager now.

lojii: A lot more listens is what I’m most grateful for. A lot of people have reached out and said how much DUE RENT connected with them and helped them through whatever they were going through. That’s a dream right there. Beyond that, been making consistent bread off music for the first time. I’m grateful, it’s got me more inspired.


Can you tell me a bit about this video? Was the being late for a radio show motif based off real events?


lojii: Haha yeah this jawn based on a true story. It was during the run of shows we did out west. We had a radio interview/performance scheduled. It was a real late night show though, like at 2 AM. When Swarvy reminded me about it I thought he meant it was at 2 PM the next day. I was crashing at the homie Pink Siifu’s that night. I’m thinking I had nothing to do that night so I’m up smokin’ and sippin’ brews when I get a call from Swarvy (who had just got off a flight nonetheless), like, “Yo, where you at? I’m almost at the station.”

I had to figure how to get across town in 15 mins to go do a live set drunk, high, and on the radio. The next morning I was like, “That shit was a movie, we got make a music video out of this.” I told my g Anaka (the director) the idea and she wrote the treatment, then we asked the bro Theo Jemison (who’s an ill ass filmmaker/photographer) if we could borrow some equipment to shoot it. He ended up just shooting the whole thing ’cause it sounded fun and he’s a real one.

So this video’s just a re-enactment of what happened, man. We shot it in one night and we even got the real Uber driver from that night to be in the video to play himself. He hit me in the DMs. Turned out he tuned into the station and listened for my Instagram link ’cause he dug the music so much.


Pink Siifu has a great cameo in this video. How did each of you come to know him?


Swarvy: I met Siifu and lojii around the same time, actually. I saw them together a lot and Siifu was always down to work. After one session, I knew we’d get along. We both operate really fast, creatively. The main reason why he’s not on the DUE RENT record, though, is probably because I used to never let lojii and Siifu be in on the same session together. They talk too much shit when they in the same room [laughs].

lojii:That’s my brother, we been close since like 2013, met him and the homegirl Sudan Archives on the blue line in LA one day and the rest was history. Me & him have lived/been through mad shit together. This was just another episode.


Commerce and creation have an interesting relationship. DUE RENT has this underlying mission statement of always putting money back into your art. Would you say that part has become easier or harder since the album release?


Swarvy: It gets easier all of the time—as long as you work honestly and always seek to refine it. I really believe in that and feel that that mentality is the basis for what initially drove us to do a whole record together in the first place. We do it just to do it, and what’s tight is that the response that it’s been getting is turning out to be more impressive than I think either of us expected. We were livin’ off EBT fish sandwiches when we were finishin’ up the mixing/sequencing, so a lot has leveled out since then.

lojii:

It’s definitely gotten easier which is a blessing. Just been working at finessing that blessing into a bunch of more blessings and keep them coming in. There’s hurdles at every corner my g, just gotta be clever out here, word to Badu.


What do you both have coming up next?


Swarvy: lojii’s on my next record, Anti-Anxiety, droppin’ this summer on Paxico Records. Other than that, I got some records comin’ on Akashik that I produced for my group with Versis called TOKAYO, and some work I did for Asal Hazel and Feeniks that’ll be droppin’ soon too.

lojii: New DUE RENT shit coming. I got an LP lofeye dropping March 23rd on vinyl and digital. Go to http://lofeye.com. Shoutout my momma, shoutout my family, the homies, and shoutout the earth.