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Andrew Luce & Graves – Up to You (feat. Chelsea Cutler)

“Go break a leg…” Those words echo distantly out of the pensive and eerie intro to Andrew Luce and Graves new beauty. Chelsea Cutler’s chilling melodies dance around for a minute before you realize the gravity of them. “It’s all up to you….anyway.”

It’s one of those concepts that we hear throughout our lives, we talk about it, we think about it for a few minutes, but then the concept is forgotten. Most people just don’t really understand what it means. In our moments of confidence and fearlessness, it’s easy to accept the notion that “it’s all up to you.” You’re empowered, excited, looking forward to things in your life, and you grasp it – you realize that it really is all up to you. There’s nothing else in the entire universe that can make your decisions for you or take the controls out of your hands. You’re on top of your shit, you’re making good decisions and all the cliche’s about feeling unstoppable begin to resonate.

But then something happens that shakes your confidence and bursts your bubble. Like ants crawling through a tiny crack in the wall, all of your old fears and worries stream back in, and you buy into every single one of them (again). Those old thoughts tell you that your confidence was just temporary and fleeting. They tell you that your true state of being is one of anxiety, and now you’re back home again. All the momentum is halted, and you sit there feeling defeated and deflated in every area of your life.

Now compare these two extremes – what really is the difference here? Why in one moment do you believe that you can become the greatest version of yourself, and in the next moment feel doomed to shrinking into the worst version of yourself. It’s because you forgot that “it’s all up to you.” It’s that simple, you just forgot for a moment. But some people forget for their whole lives, and those are usually the people who claim that they’re always the victim. “I can’t believe so-and-so did this to me!” “I can’t believe this bitch said this to me!” “I can’t believe that asshole just cut me off!” When you think this way, you’re giving power to everyone else out there but yourself. You’re turning over control of your thoughts and your life to random people you see out in the world. The jerk behind the cash register, the loser who bumped into you at the mall. You’re really going to let them “ruin your day?” Don’t be that weak.

“It’s all up to you…anyway.” When something is left “up to you,” you still have to tend to it. It doesn’t just happen automatically. When your parents leave town and leave the feeding of the cat up to you, you still have to feed the cat. But the point is, YOU CONTROL THE OUTCOME. You can either feed the cat, or you can neglect feeding the cat. We all know the outcome of both scenarios. So when you truly believe you control the outcome, than the little actions that come with controlling the outcome aren’t such a hassle. In fact, those little actions create your life. And soon you realize that you’re controlling all aspects of your life. And when that happens, you realize you’ve morphed into an extremely successful person who attracts awesome people and incredible opportunities.

Why in the world would you pass up that kind of opportunity? It’s a pretty simple choice, but you gotta make the choice. Nobody is gonna force you to do anything, because, it’s all up to you…….anyway. Many thanks to Andrew, Graves and Chelsea for reminding us.


I’ll Never Be Forgiven

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Syd had a baby and treated me different
Erica sued me and opened a business
Wonder if they was here, shit could have been different
Wonder what they’d do put in my position
I wonder, when my shit drop, do they listen?
Wonder if they’re second guessin’ their decisions
I hate the number 2, that shit is unforgiven
Tryna satisfy everybody
It’s like they can’t get enough
Until enough is enough
And that is too much
You tip the scale when I weigh my options
West Palm girls are spoiled rotten
Tiffany on you, you know you poppin’
I’ll kill somebody if they give you problems
Master bedroom’s where we get it poppin’
Just ignore all the skeletons in my closet
I’m a walkin’ come-up, I’m a bank deposit
Sell my secrets and get top dollar
Sell my secrets for a Range Rover
Opportunity and temptation
They would sell my secrets for a tropical vacation
Sell my secrets back to me if I was payin’
Who’s gonna save me when I need savin’?
Since take care, I’ve been caretakin’
At second chances, that ain’t how you livin’
Redemption on your mind, I’ll never be forgiven.

– Redemption


Noisey, Complex, The FADER: It’s All A Bunch of Vapid Click Bait Nonsense

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You lack the minerals and vitamins, irons and the niacin
F&$k who that I offend, rappers sit back I’m bout to begin… – O.C.

Outrageous and often misleading headlines. Fabricated or inaccurate stories. Little to no accountability and rampant sensationalism. Endless streams of “news” where there is none. Gawker, TMZ, legendary media manipulators like Irin Camron and Ryan Holiday come to mind. Yet in the age of microwave content everything from politics to music is on the table. It’s the touch and go business model. The shameless quest for viral where content is nothing but bait for unsuspecting suckers. We’re victims, pimped by the page vie hustlers. And they want one thing and one thing only – the almighty click.

It’s the era success is measured in page views, amount of comments and social media shares. Content, authenticity and quality being somewhere far down the list of priorities. You’re a fool if you think the comments section exist because they care about your opinion. Let me break it down for you one time…

Your sign up – a click
Your email confirmation – a click
Your comment – a click
Everything you do – a click

Every move you make on these sites is nothing but an impression where the goal is not to add value but to get a page view. You don’t like it? Click off mother trucker.

How else can you explain these random headlines from music blogs –

Breaking: The Game Still Has a Penis, Wants You To Know It
Yikes! Here’s Donald Trump Dancing to “Hotline Bling”
Rihanna’s Father Says Kanye West Spent $500 on a Haircut … Every Day
Justin Bieber Flipped a Chair and Quickly Vacated the Premises During Lunch in France
What Your Shitty Music Taste Says About You

Now don’t get me wrong, a business is a business. Tactics help get to the bottom line but that’s not the problem here. The problem is that the content doesn’t even matter, and the readers are the ones paying the price. Why? Because we’re fed journalistic junk food that has no intention of adding any value to our experience.

Here’s the rules: chop it, bag it, stash it, stack it
Get in, get out – that’s a O.G.’s classic – Jay Z (900-Hustler)

Am I getting through here? It’s not about compelling material, it’s about getting you in for the click to meet page view goals. That’s it! There is literally no other intention, you’re just a sucker getting baited. A.D.H.D kicking in? Here’s some pop culture dopamine words to help – Kardashian, Lemonade, Kanye.

Feel better? Retention on some of these huge websites is less than 5 seconds fam…

“Pageview journalism treats people by what they appear to want—from data that is unrepresentative to say the least—and gives them this and only this until they have forgotten that there could be anything else. It takes the audience at their worst and makes them worse. And then, when criticized, publishers throw up their hands as if to say, “We wish people liked better stuff too,” as if they had nothing to do with it.” – Ryan Holiday

In his book Ryan also mentions the famous Henry Ford quote,

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horses.”

The business model is to give people what they want. Not because they actually want it. Because they can’t afford to risk offering anything else. That’s the dumbest crap I’ve ever heard. Sure, I want to eat junk food sometimes, does that mean I should be eating it every time I think about food? They feed us this nonsense like we care about it. Boisterous, bold and outrageous headlines make you think what they’re saying is important. But the truth behind these headlines is just a bunch of people following a trend. Normal doesn’t make you click. They’re not being edgy, they’re playing it safe. I’m not going to pretend to care about Post Malone at a club with Justin to get you a click. Stop treating your readers like morons.

EMPT has broken every single rule these corporate page view slores deem sacred. The Huffington Post says a post should be no longer than 800 words. Gawker says any idea can be expressed in under 200. They say you should break up content into little pieces so users can slowly digest the material. They don’t want you to jump off to watching porn or cat videos. Blogs post hourly, making sure to be on top of every single release or event to be the first to get your view. Stories are misrepresented and outright fabricated to create news where there is none.

The people behind EMPT are fortunate to be self-sustained. Meaning this website is no ones lifeline. That puts us in a unique place in this deteriorating but still dominant click landscape . We’re not slaves to anything. Nothing dictates our decisions besides our own on sensibilities. Our desire to give you something unique has been the modus operandi since day one. We don’t sell out, period.

When they offered this much, I said no.
When they offered that much, I said no.
When they added some more, I said no.
Can’t do it, the money too low. – Wiley

Money is not hydro to me.

Of course we gotta pay rent, so money connects, but uhh
I’d rather be broke and have a whole lot of respect – O.C.

But you look at these big music blogs and they might as well be the music versions of TMZ. Every time I click an article on Noisey I leave feeling like I just ate McDonalds. They live and die by the click. And trust, I don’t hate the game. Some of these headlines are phenomenal. They’ll get me to click and then read something but at the end of the day I learned nothing of value. No perspective, no insight, it’s all vapor info.

Yet industry says we’re doing it all wrong. So I ask you guys, are we missing something here? Is that type of information something you value. It will be a cold day in hell before we engage in Yellow journalism but we’re open to what you think. So to…

Those who pose lyrical but really ain’t true I feel
There time’s limited, hard rocks too…” O.C/Slick Rick


Hydro Begins Mixtape (Best of UK Grime 2015-2016) (EMPT Exclusive)

The last time I saw Travis Scott was right before ‘Antidote’ hit the radio. My lawyer got me balcony tickets next to all the suits and celebrities, the typical hype fair. But just before the madness I got a sick feeling in my stomach that I wasn’t a part of the real show. Sitting there looking cool, sipping drinks and being a bystander?

How you gonna do it if you really don’t wanna dance, by standing on the wall?
Get your back up off the wall!” – Kool & The Gang

That wasn’t my first Rodeo and I knew all the energy at a Travis show was in the in the underground, literally. So I grabbed my friend, we went downstairs and finessed our way into general admission and never went back. These days you have to sneak into the real party, I tell you man we need a new definition of cool. Anyway, it’s that energy that made the show insane. Jumping right in the middle of the mosh pit in my Y-3’s. Singing the lyrics at the top of your lungs. Not caring how you look and getting it all out, whatever it is.

The energy of the underground is the only energy that feeds me these days. That’s why last year, like so many, I fell in love with Grime music. It’s unapologetically British so I can’t understand half of the slang. They rap so you might be think it’s hip hop but it’s something else entirely. But none of that matters. It’s raw, the beats hit hard and best of all the culture behind it leads to an energy I love. It’s not about being fancy, it’s about being the best. They’ve replaced Givenchy and all your brands with black track suits. You can extend that metaphor to all aspects of Grime culture…

Won’t see man in an LV belt it’s a track suit thing till I make that dinner.” – A.J. Tracy

Selling out or being cheesy isn’t cool. And the parties, well ain’t nobody standing around at those.

2015 was a huge year for Grime. Skepta saw worldwide success and recognition and if it wasn’t for his visa problems he would have been on stage at Coachella this year. Stormzy has a show on Apple Music. The Section Boyz have Drake making guest appearances at their shows…

All my nig#@$ on a rise man it’s a sad time for the KKK.” – Skepta

I’ve become a Grime ambassador in the U.S. but every time I tell someone about the first thing they ask is where they can listen to some. The problem is that there’s so much music coming out of the UK right now it’s almost impossible to know about the best stuff without constantly following the scene. That’s why I decided to put together Hydro Begins, the ultimate beginners guide to Grime. It’s 53 minutes of the best Grime from 2015 to current day, strictly the Hydro, no fillers. I highly recommend listening to it at the gym or when you want some energy in your life, this isn’t bystander music. I’m not sure how long it will stay on Soundcloud but download it while you can and you’ll be caught up with the movement, the rest is up to you.

Tracklist:

(Continued)


A R I Z O N A – I Was Wrong (RAMI x Jiinio Remix)

To me, this song sounds like vintage EMPT.

Before I ever wrote for this site, I was listening to it. I would stay up late and scour the internet for trails of music that inspired me. Combing the deep crevasses of the internet, listening to mixed tapes, suggestions from friends, embarking on the never-ending quest for songs that I would have to listen to on repeat. If you are like this, then you know the relief of finding the tracks that would give a brief moment of optimism for the music scenes of the world. I found that on Hec’s site.

The draw of this site is the diversity of the tracks, the love for new artists we try and instil in the ever-hungry readers and for soulful writing, the soul searching we do publicly here.

This one has gotten internet love, but for very good reason. I feel like Saturday needed one of the “vintage EMPT” tracks, reaching for the roots of the site that made me fall in love with it and eager to be apart of it years ago.

Happy Saturday, fam.