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Cage the Elephant – Trouble

He is more scared to see what it’s like to lose me than he is to realise what it takes to keep me.

“Got so much to lose. Got so much to prove. God don’t let me lose my mind.”
It’s been too many hours, man. Too many hours of trying, fighting, loving and crying in to and away from each other.
“My sweet love won’t you pull me through.”

I am even bored of writing about it. Trying to articulate what I want, what is wrong, what’s right and write it down before I forget I came to a conclusion. Written reminders of who was right.

This song has a sort of Beatles/sinister feel to it whilst still being whimsical. It reminds me of the time in the fight you throw your hands up as nothing can be much worse than this. But there is still something that you cannot leave. A dirty sort of love. A love you remember when you couldn’t get enough of each other and our teeth hit through our kisses, our faces pressed intently against one another.

I can’t be in this fight. I am really useless in fights. I am more useless if I actually like you. I am worse when it is love. I recognise that I am a good portion of the blame here. I realise I buckle up. I miss you even though you are still standing in front of me. I am angry at you and still don’t want to move. Move way from you. I’ll move either way. We don’t have a choice. I just keep my mouth shut long enough for you to say something cruel and quick that I can soak in, justify again what we are going to do is right.

There is nothing like love. Like the hard way. It is more addictive than anything on earth. We fight for it. We fight against it. We do things we thought we couldn’t. We thought we wouldn’t. Still somehow at the end of the day and this song, still reaching for each others hands although it is no longer certain who is pulling who down and who will bring the other up.

“My sweet love won’t you pull me through? Everywhere I look I get a glimpse of you.”

Madonna – Secret (Savrsi Remix)

Naomi and Kate in #secretproject #madonna

I would meet her at the Starbucks on 63rd and Broadway, two years ago, during #NYFW. I was working from there for the day because the internet at the office was down. I guess you can imagine that it was packed as all hell with people coming to see the shows that winter. She would ask to share my table with me. I would look up and see one of the most flawless smiles I had ever seen and of course, I would say yes. 

After a while, she would ask me for the time. I’d give it to her and somehow get into some light conversation. She would tell me that she was in town to walk the runway at a show.

Over the next couple of hours, we would laugh, smile a whole lot and talk about our lives. She was staying at the hotel just above us, The Empire Hotel, and she would invite me to see her walk that show in two days. I would invite her out that same night.

We would dance until dawn and drink the entire night through. We would wake up hungover, next to one another, and go out for breakfast that following morning. I would see her again that night and for the next two nights after that. It would be nothing more than another beautiful tornado that touched down on my town, turned shit upside down and disappeared into thin air.

It was magical. It was perfect. I would see her 2 days later on Instagram with her boyfriend.

SY – Paradise

She mentioned the words: We shouldn't do this, and I knew better. As I ran my hands up and down her thighs while our lips locked, lust completely took me over. I wasn't thinking. Her and my boy's friend had broken up months ago, and even though I knew him in passing, I felt no allegiance to him. I barely knew the dude, so when she whispered that maybe we shouldn't do what we were about to do, my heart rolled its eyes and my spirit pulled her in even tighter.

"The way you say my name and let me touch you makes me lose control."

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Days later, while working on a new project in the studio, I received a text from her:

MV: Hey. Thinking of you. x

I remember looking at my phone and feeling like I was doing something wrong. I didn't want to feel that. I mean, since when did I care about some guy's emotions whom I barely knew? But it wasn't that. It wasn't the fact that someone else's heart was being crushed by the same girl that was giving me puppy dog eyes through texts, and playing footsies with me via Instagram. It was the fact that I didn't really know if I wanted anything more than what had already happened with her. That's what was really bugging me.

The night that we made love, everything had been intense. Every touch, every whisper, every drop of sweat throughout that entire night was magnified by that same lust that took me over. Apparently it had taken the both of us over and locked us into one of the most passionate love-making sessions I have had yet. Apparently, it was the exact same experience for her, only that she wanted to extend that moment.

Moments can't be extended. It's taken me a long time to learn that only real deep and profound heartbreak comes from holding on to moments that have already passed; moments that have already gone. I guess knowing that puts me in a position of some sort of an advantage in this scenario because I didn't feel the way she did about holding on to that night her mind was still engulfed in. I mean, I liked her. I liked her a lot, but I've also learned that when it comes to matters involving other people's hearts and minds, that we must take things slow. Well, that I must take things slow. (I don't want to sit here and tell you all what to do because love works in odd ways and sometimes the faster loves work better than the slow-roasted ones.)

So I decided not to lead her on because maybe I would be too embarrassed to admit to my friends that I was involved with a girl we all sort of knew. I decided to not respond to that text message and I never got another one again.

Now, I sit here and listen to "Paradise" by SY and wonder if I was a fool for letting the world's opinions make that decision for me. This song makes me think of her long black hair and her flawlessly caramel skin. It makes me think of her perfect smile and those perfect kisses. It makes me hear her whispers when I close my eyes. It makes me regret not responding to that text from her.

I feel like I could never leave you,
Cause every time I see you, I go numb.
And when I tell you that I need you,
You're struggling to breathe, through your lungs."

If I text her now, months later, will it be too late? Will she even respond?

And I can't go, one single day without you,
You need to show me how to, lose control."

The Small Square – SML

It's not often that I hear great music. I mean, to be quite honest, the last time I heard something great was Adele's 25 over at my boy's place in LA. He's got some really cool monitors that scanned the room for its sweet spot and modified themselves to that room and its dimensions. Needless to say, it sounded like Adele was performing a live concert at his place, and we had center seats in the first row. What an amazing album that turned out to be in terms of sound quality and recording quality.

These days, I go through hundreds of submissions over 2 to 3 platforms a day. It's rare to hear something that sounds perfect, sonically. Something where the strings still feel warm, as if they were all around you the way they would be if you walked in on the band while they were practicing their live set in the middle of an empty warehouse. It's probably the only place I would ever want to hear any band play that I have gone to see live in concert already. Who wouldn't want to walk in on the Stones rehearsing, or even Metallica's rehearsal of their Enter Sandman performance out in Moscow in 1991. The explosion that happens and that sounds that came out of those guitars right after that explosion were phenomenal in terms of sound; in terms of everything, really. The speaker setup at that concert was ridiculous, but that's the kind of show that legends are made from.

To be legendary, it takes a few things. Aside from great sound and placement of sounds on your records. You must also be able to connect with a vast majority of minds, hearts and souls. You must be able to do this with great lyrics and flawless performances that seamlessly convey genuine emotion, through your vocals and with your entire body. Every piece of you must feel what the mind and the tongue are communicating.

It's crazy. Up until this point I didn't know anything about The Small Square. They're the duo that this gem your listening to, or about to listen to, belongs to. I found a brief history on their soundcloud page that you should read really quickly:

Before I knew about the barn, I used the word: warehouse. It’s even better to me now that I know it was actually a barn that this was recorded in.

Take a listen to: “Save My Life” by The Small Square. It’s pretty golden.

THEY. – Motley Crue (AWAY Remix)

The remixer, AWAY, took the They.'s "Motley Crue" track and decompressed its potential by unleashing a furious blow of sounds that instantly improve the overall feel of the original's lyrics and make anyone ready for war.

"Some might say we're armed and dangerous
Pay the price of the life every night but it ain't enough
Pain is the name of the game when they play with us
Say what you say but that lane ain't the same for us"

I had to go back and listen to the original to make sure that I had even heard it before, correctly, after listening to this version. This is the kind of dramatic sequence made for movies.

From the majestic air at the very beginning of the song, and then the introductory lyrics, this remix is officially better than the original, for me. AWAY took the best parts of the original version, and then sequenced to showcase just that, leaving the rap verse for the very end, interrupting the entire vibe with a militant dubstep bridge that only adds to its rebellious chants.

"We all bend the rules, we know what to do

We got nothing to lose, got nothing to prove

We all bend the truth, take a walk in our shoes

We just wanna cruise, nothing to prove”

Definitely something to give a listen to on this Saturday. It is sure to get the creative juices flowing.

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Fuck them other niggas and these bitches
Tell ’em that we winning, we the new religion”

Kyson – You

I am a dirty culprit of reading those lists made for every situation. "Twenty Reminders You Were Born in the '80's", "30 Things That Only Floridians Will Understand". You get it.

I remember reading one on the "Fifteen Things No One Tells You When You Move Out of the Country." Being an ex-pat for nearly two years now, I can say that there were two things accurately noted that hit you (aside from the struggle of banking, always sounding foreign, and getting into situations were I misuse words - alot). A) Your family will hate it and B) You won't get to be around for things that happen back home when you want or need to.

When something happens to someone you care about from across the world, it is like the air gets sucked from your lungs. It is a hopeless feeling. It's a phantom limb sort of feeling like you should be there but are not. The arms are moving, but nothing happens. You swing at whatever is hurting someone you love, but from this distance, it is hopeless. It is air. It is space between you and them. It is a pain you can feel and the source is a world away.

You always hear about those horrible, crazy people. Mean, abusive boys and their words and actions. Girls with their broken hearts and hopeless feelings. Of course it can go the other way as well, but not in this case. This is a case of a mean boy. It is a case of someone so small to make another feel like they have no options. Like they are stuck. Like they have to be nice to you to get away from you.

This shit. That person. Love makes us all do crazy things, sure. There are also those people we meet who seem perfect. Seem nice enough. I sat listening to a sad, scared girl on the phone. Heart broken. Confidence shaken. Asking: "Do I seem like I am weak? Like this is OK to treat me?" I am more bullish. I know how to fake confidence enough to get out of a room and make an enemy or a friend of someone. My job is in reading people quickly and accurately in knowing what they need and reading them. She is kinder. She is softer. She has had her heart on her sleeve.

Air still drawn from lungs. Arrows aimed from across the world in his direction. It is hard being away but in this case, it could be a blessing. What do you do when you confront someone you has hurt someone you love? How much do you really want to be the bigger person? Can you restrain your shaking hands? I suppose it is better to not have to know for now. I can sit and listen. I can give advice. I can remind her how smart she is. How this will be a blurp in her life, something she can laugh at later and learn from today. Something she can grow from. Listen as she calls him names. Just listen.

In this case, it is better there is a world between me and the situation.

You is the first single taken from Kyson's sophomore album "A Book Of Flying". Just unreal vocals and sound. It is the calm in the eye of a storm when you cannot see.

Bhenga Dance

Get with it.

Mura Masa – Are You There (KATARAXXIA Remix)

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You know how one moment, you’ll be checking your snaps, and then someone will text you and you’ll head on over to read that text message. And then, halfway through reading that text, someone will DM you on the gram.

In the meantime, there’s music playing in the background and you’re thinking about what your lunch options are because lunch is in a couple of hours.

Well, that is exactly what this KATARAXXIA Remix you are about to listen to is going to be like, andit’s fucking, dope. 

I’m excited man. I’m excited to get back to the hustle & bustle of the city. New York, that is. I’m excited to hit up: Joe & The Juice, and get some work done from inside of there; zero distractions. I’m excited to hit Lure up, on Prince & Mercer, for some good old-fashioned SoHo Happy-Hour vibes. I’m excited to run across the street for a coconut-watered martini, or two.

I’m excited for late-night cab rides up a desolate Madison Ave on the Upper West Side to Harlem. I’m excited for late-evening studio meetings on Wall Street rooftops. I’m even more excited for late night studio sessions that turn into this summer’s next anthem.

To be frank, I love Cali. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have seen in the world, in both energy and vibe. It has a beautiful heartbeat that loves to skip a couple of steps, here and there. I dig it more than I once thought I would have. But I can’t stay. I have to go where my heart is, and my heart is back in NYC.

I guess this is me breaking up with LA and getting that devastated and sad feeling I tend to get when I know something is officially over. That crushed and defeated sense of being. This is me telling Cali that: ‘It’s over”, and simply just being affected by that decision. That’s pretty normal, no?

This remix brings all of those emotions to it. The excitement, mixed with the sadness, mixed with the constant sense of adventure, mixed with the fun of it all.

Like I said, it’s dope.

Pablo Nouvelle – I Will (feat. Sam Wills)

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When I read her email that said she had given someone else a chance in her life, I was crushed. Somewhere in my head I thought we would go about our ways and then get back together like the end of some romantic comedy. But that wasn’t going to happen here. I’m not even sure that I actually wanted that to happen in the first place.

I had left her because I was partly selfish, and because she just wasn’t as strong mentally as I thought she had once been. People have this funny way of showing you only the layers they want to show you rather than the truths about who they really are. Then they have the nerve to get upset when you call them out on it; out on the fact that they aren’t who they said they were.

I can’t really recall why I felt so crushed, but it hurt. I guess it was probably the realization that the great love affair we once shared would just disappear into the land of myths and legends. It would only continue to exist in my head. It would only have been real to just me. And not that there is anything wrong with that in the first place. I guess it was me realizing that all of it was really over for good.

Somehow, even after all these years, I have never gotten used to the end of any relationship. I love far too much for that shit, but I’ve come to realize that love is built so differently into each and everyone of us.

They say that Ravens can read one another’s minds. That they haven’t had to develop languages because they don’t need to. As high up the food chain as we are, you would think that with all of the languages we have developed to communicate we could get something as simple as clearly communicating our emotions to one another, right.

One would think that we could love with the same intensity and passion and forever, the same. But the ugly truth is that we don’t. So no, I guess because I love profoundly whenever I say those words to someone else, I will never get over the loss of a relationship. Not a lover, not a friend, not a family member. No one.

It will always hurt.

I promised you and you promised me,
That we’d always be,
You and me.

Sweeney – Bottle Talk

As Fashion Week dawns upon us, I'm getting ready to hit court up in LA and then fly back into the city to catch all the beautiful styles and swaggers that will be walking around town in NYC a week from now. There's nothing better than that feeling that comes over me the moment I know I'm just about to get back to my hometown.

I can already feel the cold air and smell the sweet scent of hot toddies on top of cobblestoned streets, in the middle of the night.

This tune by Sweeney titled: "Bottle Talk", has a real New York City-vibe, to me. At least it speaks like that my ears and soul. Its fast-paced production, reminiscent of my very own walking speeds whenever I'm bobbing & weaving in and out of the city's people-traffic, going from recording studio to record label and back to another recording studio all the way across town, and on the other side of the island.

"Bottle Talk" is a track that I could put my headphones on to and block out all the other noises happening around me in order to focus on what's next. I dig that kind of vibe right there, especially since I just booked my flight back to NYC a few minutes ago. It's preparing me for those moments about to come that I know all too well. (and you, if you've been reading here all these years.)

Waste time? Never babe I hardly get to sleep. I've been starvin' myself cause I been stuck up on a beat.

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See you soon NYC. In the meantime, bop your big heads to this cool ass jam right here: