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Obsessions

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Obsession is the reason we master certain things. Sports, video games, the stock markets, and even our bodies. Obsession is the reason we find new loves, sometimes. It is through obsession that determination is developed, and as we all know—determination is one of the several keys needed for success.

The beginning of “So Sick So Cool” by Snow Angel sounds like the start of some tribal flick. (think: Apocalypto the film). You hear a woodwind instrument playing along with what sounds like two sticks rubbing together chanting a melody. Fifteen seconds in, a group of gum-chewing teenage girls begin chanting: “So obsessed, so into it, so sick, so cooool”. Soon after, the Misun style drums kick in and the song never stops moving.

Some obsessions can be really good for us, and some can be really bad. It is up to us to figure out, right away, what the bad ones are in order for us to continue on the path to true happiness. An obsession that keeps your mind progressively busy in all aspects of your life is one that you can count as a positive obsession. The more positive obsessions that we have in our lives along with the proper time management of and between these obsessions, then the more happiness in life we achieve. Life should be more about achievements than successes. Essentially they are the same thing, but equivalent to seeing the glass half-full rather than half-empty.

Every game that we play tells a story
Clever things that you say to and for me”

It’s easy: ‘find only positive obsessions in life and then hit go—chasing right after them’.

So obsessed so into it
so sick so cool  (2x)

So obsessed so into it
so sick so cool  (2x)

So obsessed so into it
so sick so cool  (2x)

So obsessed so into it
so sick so cool  (2x)


Find Yourself.

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Sometimes, it is only through the darkness of one’s mind that the light becomes inevitably visible. Sometimes we go so far down that even the bottom is above us, and then when we realize it, is when we realize that after that there is only one way left to go: up. 

Curious minds wander the earth aimless in search of things they don’t yet know of, and in search of things that are undefined. Too many times I have heard people foolishly tell themselves and others around them that they need to go out and “find themselves”, but, what has never “been” cannot be found, so what is it exactly that they are looking for? Some intellectuals would say that they are also looking for themselves, but the truth is that they have simply been misguided in life, and that they have reached a point to where they realize that they have no real purpose in it. Harsh, but the reality isn’t always beautiful, right?

None of us are born knowing what we are supposed to do here. It is only through the guidance of elders that we start choosing or gravitating towards specific paths in life. But when those paths are limited, then how can you find the things that you don’t know exist unless you go out and see what else is in the world. That right there is what I think those people are essentially telling themselves. That they are bored by the world they know, and that nothing in that current world interests them enough to want to do it forever, therefore, they need to get out and find something that will.

We should teach the younger generations to never stop discovering new things and to wander the earth until they find a place and a hobby that they will want to be in and do forever. We should stop misdirecting them into believing that success means becoming millionaires because how many lives have been destroyed by that fallacy already? Boys suffering brain injuries in the name of succeeding in football, hemorrhaging the one human tool that can save the universes problems. No more! And that’s just one of numerous examples. Success is being able to find what you love, and being able to do it forever, until death do you apart.

“Burn Into Night” by ISTILLFEELIT is a four minute and twenty-five second moment of reflection. It’s the chance to leave that temp job you have right now and go deep into thought about what you truly love most in life. Maybe you realize that what you don’t love most in life is where you currently are and the job that you are currently in, or maybe this moment of reflection brings up all the images of the people and places in your life now, and it makes you realize that having everything you need has more to do with them than it does with the material.

If you already know what you love, but do not yet have the ability to get to it, then maybe this moment of reflection is just a much needed escape into a daydream that will soon become your reality. Or at least we all hope that it will.

Dream. Love. Whisper.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light…”


What is Hip Hop in 2015?

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Hip Hop used to be the voice of the ghettos around America. When radio was only playing polished Rock & Roll or what the executives controlled, the ghetto had no voice around the country where it could be heard. Politicians ignored them, and the mainstream media only reported on the crimes and negative aspects to these melting pots pitted against one another with no way to communicate peace.

In NYC, the ghettos represented a plethora of cultures that somehow all landed in one concentrated area. In these neighborhoods the kids all went to school together and shared styles, music, language and unknowingly gained invaluable perspective about other cultures they would have never known to exist otherwise. Hip Hop became a mesh of these things. It became a way to express the new societies that had been created within these neighborhoods. It became the voice of the poor and forgotten.

Today, after the mainstream appeal of Hip Hop across the globe, Hip Hop has become a way to get rich by doing the most obscene or ignorant things in order to be seen instead of heard. Rather than being the expression of  new societies that people have become a part of, they are selfishly just creating the most ridiculous things they can. Lyrical messages are left to the older breed between the Nases and Fabolouses of the rap world, and very seldom do we get to hear a Kendrick Lamar come out of the woodwork. For this reason today is why whenever we hear some good Hip Hop sounds we like to pass it along to your ears.

Roll Up by Young Troubled Minds is a touch of modern day Hip Hop with some sonic soul to it. Sure, it doesn’t have a strong message for the masses the way Kendrick’s latest album does, but the sounds and composition do form a very similar feel to what you would find on that album. Not to mention that their entire set is something I would not mind experiencing as a live show because that is the type of sound that it carries. It’s a nice tune to rock to on a sunny chill day while taking a pull or two of a nicely rolled j.

Let’s just finish up this Riesling and roll another J.” —fabolous


Active Child – 1999

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This song came on the other day and I started crying for no real reason. Then I started thinking: it was because I was genuinely happy for the first time in a really long time, and it took hearing this song to awaken that emotion and kind of realize that my life is actually pretty good.

The power of music to awaken such emotions never ceases to astound me, and while I typically utilize music for its healing and energizing power, this experience was more like a revelation.

I’m the type of person that has notoriously bad luck and a notorious negative outlook on life. People call me a hater, but my job, as a critic, is to call it like I see it.

One of my favorite books ever is “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me“, a modern Odysseus tale infused with much drugs and realizations on a college campus (it’s about Cornell in the 60’s and worth so long).

For the last nearly five years since graduating college, I’ve been very lost at times. The identity that I clung to for four years and my friendships that soon dissipated (the real ones lasted) threw me into the shitter. And then, towards the end of last year (‘and I can thank real friends like Hec for this’), a trigger went off in me. Less talk, more walk. Meet anyone you can, soak every bit of knowledge you can, and immerse yourself in life.

I was crying because for the first time in my life I genuinely feel like I’ve reached a modicum of success, and, through my own will. Success is a weird feeling, and one I was unfamiliar with for so long. I forget what it feels like for everything to feel “right”.

I’m not a millionaire. I’m by no means a made man. But for the first time in my life, everything looks up.

When life throws endless curveballs and a stream of seemingly endless negative vibes your way, you start to forget about the little things in life. Music brings me back to that.


Love Because You Want To

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Most of you can relate to meeting that one person in recent memory whose love was a beautiful whirlwind. You know the kind, right? The sky seems bluer than normal and the birds sing beautiful melodies every morning right outside your window in HiFi sound. The sun seems brighter and the winds become whispers from angels, and as for this love of yours that you have just made, well they seem to have come right out of a book that you yourself wrote; literary perfection in human form.

High by SIVIK is exactly that moment. It’s the moment you realize that you are deeply head-over-heels in love with someone even though you just met this person all of three seconds ago. Time, as they say, does not matter because what does time know about matters of the heart anyway? Instead, every keen sense in your mind and practical bone in your body reject the ideas they have know all their lifetime in order to justify that love has no minimal time requirements or prerequisites; the heart wants what the heart wants and nothing will get in its way once it sets sight on what it wants more than anything in this universe. That’s what High is.

You keep me from crashing down,
stay a little longer,
stay a little longer, with me”

If life is about living in-the-moment then why don’t we do more of the things that we want to, including falling in love. What exactly are we waiting for, tomorrow? That doesn’t make any sense now, does it?

Stop going to others for advice on the things you want. Just fucking do them and if it goes bad then learn from it and move on. Other people have no fucking idea what the right answer is because everyone on this planet is still trying to get their own shit together. I mean, for the most part, every single human being dies still trying to get their shit together, and by shit I’m not talking about money, cars, insurance, etc. I’m talking about their minds and hearts. The truth is that no one has any idea about how we are supposed to love. We only have ideas on how we are supposed to love.

Anyway, press play; you’re going to love this one.


La Primvera

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Spring signifies a new beginning in some places around the world. It signifies a clean new slate for the earth as much as it does for various cultures. Spring is a time when you start fresh. Sure, just a few months ago we were all swearing by our New Year’s Resolutions and going hard for a few weeks shortly after, but today and now signify an even better beginning because yesterday is so irrelevant.

This Wednesday Mix is simply a super chill and sunny medley of Springy sounds to make the work day and week run just a little bit smoother.

Here in NYC we have been patiently waiting for the Winter to end, and although it did in fact snow a bit yesterday evening, today is a new bright and sunny day with temperatures that represent the Spring just a little better than the past week since it officially began.

The Wednesday Mix begins with some smoother and more mellow tunes and then progresses in BPM and vibe while still remaining cohesive to its Spring-like feel.

Enjoy and share.


People Should Be Performing for Each Other More

We don’t perform for each other enough.

Think about that for a second, we go out to be entertained, we turn on a television to share someone else’s expression yet when was the last time you put on a show for someone close to you, someone you love? Over the holiday I went to visit my family in the Dominican Republic and that’s literally what our parties were about. My brother suddenly opened up and became the life of the show, my sister up and dancing, cousins singing karaoke serenading each other, all performing for the people they love. I’ve been a performer my whole life but mostly for strangers and it never dawned upon me how little people perform for each other in their personal lives but what a crime against creation that is. To clarify, performance can be anything and it doesn’t have to be on a stage. It can be walking a certain way, dressing up, just doing something to enhance the norm.

93% of all day communication is non verbal. Studies have shown how difficult it is to lie to a deaf person simply because of how attuned they are to people’s body language. What does that really mean? We’re taught to think presentation and looks are superficial but how can that be true if an overwhelming majority of our communication has nothing to do with what we say? For example, I think of a beautiful women, I think of great posture, attention to detail, elegance, style and a non-verbal level of communication that let’s me know her mind and ability to create is as strong as her illusion. Let’s get one thing straight, all matter is nothing but an illusion, the world you see is obsolete, it’s a lie so why not make it the most beautiful illusion it can be?

Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” – Albert Einstein

Close your eyes for a second and think about what you see. Nothing. Open your eyes again and in front of you is an illusion so beautiful, manifested solely from the vibrations of you and people just like you over history. Don’t knock the illusion off as superficial because reality is but a concept or rather a child of our creative power. So perform, dance, sing, be erotic, jump around, turn up and express every ounce of your creativity and paint the perfect picture. Don’t wait to see a street performer to get inspired, don’t let her watch a romantic movie to feel love, don’t let him watch porn to suppress his deep sexuality, put on your own show! Not only will you make your life better but you’ll create this exciting world for those around you and that give and take is what it’s all about. Enjoy.

Song: “Perfect Picture” by I Know Leopard


SoHo Blond

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We shared a cigarette somewhere.”

I walked into Mercer Kitchen at about 8:15PM on a cold winter night. I was meeting Jordan and Alberto downstairs for drinks, but of course I was the first one to arrive. At the bar there was only one seat open, so I squeezed my way in and the bartender instantly tossed me a menu. I ordered an Old Fashioned and tossed him back a twenty. On my left there was a slim blond with a white fur vest who I didn’t know was also alone and waiting for friends. As I reached for a paper napkin that was over towards her side and in front of her she grabbed my hand, smacked it lightly and said: “Here, let me get that for you”. Taken aback, I looked over at her as she smiled cheekily at me and said: “Here you go, love.” As you can imagine, I was already in love and her gorgeous smile sealed the deal for me right away.

About 20 minutes later after some witty banter between us, a ton of laughter and some slight flirty touching, Jordan arrived. Of course, he immediately fell in love with her too, I mean, who wouldn’t? She was a stunner. As her friends arrived and Alberto joined us she asked me to join her outside for a cigarette, so I went. No, I don’t smoke, but when a pretty girl asks you to go outside for a cigarette you just go, right? There, we shared a kiss that she initiated, and suddenly that cold Winter night turned into a steamy Summer escape that I will never forget.

Rome by Phoenix is about the fascination that French boys have with Rome and love. Lead singer, Thomas Mars compares it to how Americans feel about Paris. Anyway, remixer Zee does an incredible job of taking the original and Space Aging it with some super cool sounds. He speeds up the vibe, adds a powerfully thumping bassline underneath some spacey synths, and reworks the verses in his own order placing the second verse first. The remix actually feels much more tropical than the original and it all works perfectly to bless us with a touch of that Breakbot-esque sound we all love vibin’ to.

Always and forevermore
I call to say I’m on the way”

As for the blond and her friends? We joined them for dinner that night, and we all laughed our asses off, smiled a lot, kissed some and ended up partying until the early morning all over Chinatown, Williamsburg and then back at some loft in SoHo til the sun came up. A few weeks later she took off for Australia and we never kept in touch after that.

That’s N.Y.C. for ya. Anyone up for a dance?


And #TIDALforALL?

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No disrespect we just on different sides of the wave
I’m providing the wave you just riding the wave, bounce” —fabolous

About two weeks ago I decided to sign up for a free trial of the new HiFi streaming service that Jay Z is pushing today known as Tidal. The service does what Spotify has nearly perfected and nothing more, but it also offers a premium package for double the price in which you are supposed to hear music played back in Lossless form. Lossless is audio that does not lose quality. The issue that I have with Tidal is that unless you have an audiophile setup at home and in your car then the difference between Spotify’s $9.99 and Tidal’s $19.99 is not noticeable considering that most people are listening to music through their laptops these days, or through headphones connected to their mobile devices.

How did I test this? Using Jay Z’s own hit record Hard Knock Life because that song itself has an incredible sound to it; from the hard-knocking (no pun intended) bottom ends mixed by Duro, to the crisp, in-your-face vocals by Hovito himself. I also tested it out with several other songs spanning several other genres, using several pairs of headphones, and what I found was that the headphones also mattered in the songs that you actually could hear any difference in. Was it all enough music to get me to pay more for something the average ear could really appreciate? No. At $240 a year plus the cost of an excellent pair of headphones, I find Jay Z to be a little bit out of touch with the 99%.

Digressing now to smoother sailing oceans, I came across a really lovely tune today by a DJ named Attom. The title: “Cruise” is exactly what this medley of sounds becomes as you listen along. It’s a smooth cruise down a beautiful body of water on a perfectly sunny day; bikinied beauties being sun-kissed as they lay nearly motionless on this space aged yacht only moving to sip champagne with nothing but the sounds of the ocean for hundreds of miles all around.

Look, I respect Jay Z as a businessman and have nothing against one of my favorite rappers of all time embodying the American Dream. I just feel that for all of the influence a man like him has, that he could use it to hype up the sheep in more productive ways towards helping mankind instead of  continuing to assist in separating the haves and the have nots in our country. By all means, if you have the money for Tidal then go for it, I mean, I’m not here to tell you how to spend you dollars. But for me, the answer is clear because neither Spotify nor Tidal help struggling artists get found and listened to; artists with incredible music that will sound just as incredible, if not more incredible, than any of the greatest albums in history. It’s really Jay Z and his industry friends using their influence by bullying the masses to promote their products for free.

The real value isn’t in the ventures of these music magnates, it’s in the masses that can help to change things when we unite.

Y es que en el mundo traidor
nada es verdad ni mentira:
‘todo es según el color
del cristal con que se mira”—Ramón de Campoamor


Our Country Tis of Thee, Most Irresponsible Media in the World

It’s unfortunate that when we feel a storm
We can roll ourselves over ’cause we’re uncomfortable”

More and more the media in The States has been allowed to run wild with the way they report “news”. They no longer wait for the facts to report just that, but instead, like a scorned guy or girl who has a feeling of being cheated on by their lover, they run amuck and speculate and assume the wildest theories even before tragedies have settled.

Take the recent Germanwings tragedy in which it is now believed that the copilot deliberately crashed the plane. Just hours after the crash CNN had all sorts of analysts breaking down what could have happened, and at one point even blaming a brokenhearted copilot who just split with his girlfriend for crashing the plane. I mean, we don’t yet know the reasons, and that could very well be it, but why drag out a story for 5 days for just the ratings?

Dear American Media,

We can see what you are doing and aside from it being despicable it is simply irresponsible. There are other more humane and locally significant newsworthy issues happening that some of the airtime used to speculate on a tragedy should be used on. There are news stories that have still yet to be uncovered like: how is it that just a decade or so ago the MTA reported a surplus, and ever since then they have not, and fare hikes keep happening? Or, Why is it that more than a million homeless kids in this country have been discounted from official homeless estimates and we still have an all time high of child homelessness in the U.S. without them? 

We’re too busy worrying about a depressed lunatic across the world that killed 149 people because tragedies make for better news than a bunch of starving babies on our own lawns…

Wake up everybody. Start holding your local news stations, and especially the National ones (CNN, FOX) accountable for underreporting the real tragedies that America is still dealing with.

Someone told me yesterday that there are only two kinds of people on Wall Street: the criminals that get caught, and the criminals that get away with it. Why don’t we do some more reporting on the failed science of Economics in this country, or, the origins of all financial thievery since the beginning of this grand nation that have led to the highest levels of inequality ever seen in history?

Zeds Dead remix of Massive Attack’s Paradice Circus has very little to do with the subject matter at hand, and just a lot to do with the visceral affect it has on me. It’s me just watching the world around me die slowly while the media created hype and chaos happen around it. The foundation is stripped and a bunch of polished tumultuous imagery is presented to us on a silver platter that the older generations still eat up because the younger generations know much better.

At the core, the song relates to the private hell we seem to be stuck in with a media system that can not accomplish anything real or of change on their own, yet we are confined to continue watching.

Change must come.