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Ashley Hefnawy | EMPT YouTube

There’s that infamous scene in Style Wars, any Hip Hop or New York head immediately knows what I’m talking about. The scene where Iz The Wiz and Kid 167 are watching the top to bottom they did drive by and Iz keeps saying..

This is it, this is it, THIS IS IT!

That’s how I feel right now, this is it. Getting EMPT back to this point hasn’t been easy, I’ve made some mistake on the management side but that’s all in the past and today we’re showing not telling. Let’s get right to it.

Today I’m proud to announce that our long time writer, EMPT ambassador and overall awesome person Ashley Hefnawy is stepping in as our new Editor In Chief. For the longest time, this site has been boutique to death. No one tells us what to do, when or how to do it. That’s what gives EMPT it’s charm but it’s also what limits it. We want to improve every single aspect of the process, we want to reach new platforms, reach more people and live out the name – and music for all. Our name is our mission statement. Ashley is going to help us elevate on all fronts to bring you guys more at an even higher level.

Monster’s back and flex drop a bomb to that…”

The second announcement today relates to that beautiful girl you see up there. On top of the Ashley bomb we’re stoked to announce the new EMPT YouTube Channel! We want to reach people through new platforms and create unique content usually not seen in our arena and this is a huge step forward in that regard. We’re just getting started but make sure and subscribe, there will be new content uploaded daily, exclusives and originals on the horizon. We want to be the kings, we want to make an impact and in order to do that we’re going to have to work harder, do more and step it way up. Challenge accepted.

You got to do everything. lf you specialize in one thing, you really can’t call yourself an all-out king.”

This is a proud moment for me, I was listening/watching the channel on my TV this morning and almost shed a tear man. I really love EMPT, it’s a love that’s real man but like I said earlier, I’ve made some mistakes a long the way that have in turn hurt the growth of EMPT and consequently hurt me. I had to evaluate everything. My friends are supportive, but no one knows my story, and “I” had to make some really hard decisions because no matter what, it was up to me to lead…

You’ve been talking like life is rushing pass and we’re just sitting tight,
But nothings gonna change until you look inside…

When I started EMPT it was my therapy, it was the first time in my life where I let others into my mind and I didn’t hold anything back. You guys embraced it and for that I’m thankful. But in recent yearsI haven’t felt like I could be myself. Certain people can suppress your disposition, EMPT has always been a direct expression of who I am, who my friends are, some people have indirectly tried to take that away…

They’ve been talking, even plotting of a way they can steal you from me,
There’s no way they can steal you from me, there’s no way they can steal you from me…”

That’s the honest to god truth man. I realize that when I’m running high so is EMPT and in order to take this away from me you’d have to take me first because we’re one in the same. At the same time, EMPT has grown to be much bigger than me and that’s why bringing in Ashley is the move. This has all been in the works for weeks now but today it’s official. Ashley, thank you for years of love, I’ve envisioned you in this position for a long time and it’s a dream come true. Let’s get it.

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Pet Shop Boys – Axis


Not many industry watchdogs in 1984 would have predicted that Pet Shop Boys would still be releasing albums selling out tours in 2014. And yet, 12 albums in, the alternative dance music pioneers are still going strong. Their most recent release, 2013’s “Electric” scored 84/100 on leading ratings site Metacritic, a score that represents “universal acclaim.”

Many American EMPT readers may be scratching their heads. Pet Shop who? Maybe it’s because the band’s biggest hit, “West End Girls,” came out in the mid-80s, or that the duo has purposefully eschewed the spotlight (or at least attempted to…they remain a major commercial force worldwide), but they’ve been largely overlooked by a new generation of stateside dance music fans.

This isn’t your brother’s dance music. It’s your crazy uncle’s. You know, the guy your mom tells you to steer clear of because he still raves it up, and who your grandmother shuns because he’s gay.  But you know he isn’t crazy. He’s the one with the right idea. He gave you your first Suicidal Tendencies record and condoms for your 16th birthday.

Just ask the brits, who are apparently always ahead of the game when it comes to music. Pet Shop Boys are a major force across the pond, with over 20 top 10 singles during the span of their career. The guys started out producing Hi-NRG (a subgenre of disco quickly succeeded by house and new wave) tracks, before shifting into a recognizable tech-ed out new-wave sound. First known for their stoic stage demeanor and legendary status in the LGBT community, the band has continued developing into new sounds and styles, and are now a true standard bearer of their era.

“Axis” is the lead single off “Electric.” It is a perfect summation of Pet Shop Boys in 2014. You can still hear the new wave bass line and synth stabs, but now the soft crooning is replaced a Kraftwerkian bark. This is new wave for the festival era

Pet Shop Boys – Axis

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Just Friends – Don’t Tell Me

“I took her out to lunch, not dinner. I held her hand and kissed her cheek. Picked up the tab, then had tea at her parents house. We got dirty in the guest bathroom while her dad was in the next room. She knows my middle name and the way I drink my coffee. She likes Volfpeck and the funk too. Hand to heart though, we’re just friends.” – imaginary scenes of the obscene.

Just Friends – Don’t Tell Me

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Marvin Gaye – Grapevine (Autograf Remix)


This is the musical equivalent of a finely aged bottle of wine. Fine as wine. And oh so sexy. Staying true to the nature of the timeless Marvin Gaye classic, this Autograf refix is pure magic. The glitchy, airy, chill-house-Nicolas Jaar-eque vibes resonate so well with the original vocal track and the combination makes for a sort of eerily blissful landscape.

Perfect for such a sultry day as this one, this track is a great example of the undeniable allure of an extremely potent bass line– especially one so sonorously commanding from the start.  This track hits the sweet spot you forgot you had… ufff. All about the low end and its ruthless capacity for seduction.

Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I’m just about to lose my mind.
Honey, honey yeah.

Marvin Gaye – Grapevine (Autograf Remix)

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Raleigh Ritchie – Stay Inside


This is a track I listened to once, then put on repeat for another few turns. The voice of Raleigh Ritchie is absolutely captivating. This young R&B stunner comes from Bristol, UK and exudes a calmness in sadness in this song. But once you have a watch at his recently released video you will read all of this as seductive.

The whole of his 3-track album gives the listener a taste of his soulful vocals and rhythm. His ability to create a  current sound for the R&B genre is clear. Not since Frank Ocean have I been this excited about a solid, profound artist. See below to download the whole Middle Child EP. He will be one to watch in the coming months.

Raleigh Ritchie – Stay Inside

BONUS: Have a look at his video for Stay Inside. Lovers, you’re welcome for the eye candy. Here is a link to his site where you can download his 3-song EP, Middle Child,  for free.

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EMBRZ — Make Your Way

On rainy days, I love losing myself in endless daydreams of the alternate realities of my life that could exist somewhere out there, and, endless trances of reflection of the life I do find myself in. When a song can instantly put me into that mood I begin to appreciate music as my drug of choice.

Whenever a song can make me feel anything at all, I tend to immediately gravitate right towards it. Whenever a song can make me feel somehow at peace about my life, I tend to adore it right away instantly falling in love with it, and this is exactly what EMBRZ‘s “Make Your Way” makes me feel.

Now, I’m not saying that this peace that I feel in those moments about my life can’t be somber in tone, in fact, sometimes I don’t even know what their mood is, but nevertheless I feel an overwhelmingly peaceful vibe about everything, as my ears and entire body take it all in and soak it all up. I guess this is why they do refer to this type of sound as chillwave because of its natural tendency to make us just chill, but it’s that feeling of uncertainty about what to feel that keeps me listening to it on repeat for hours at a time—lost in its entirely too beautiful chord progressions and the ethereal synths that play them out more like the smooth ripples of a lake caused by a light summer wind than rough ocean waves breaking on the coastline.

Have you ever had a day where you just feel like crying, but completely uncertain as to why? You’re not sure if your sad, or mad, or mourning a recent loss of some sorts. You’re not even sure if there is anything that you should feel any of this stuff about, but with almost overwhelming certainty you are positive that the tears you feel swelling up in your soul should be pouring out of even shut eyelids. Maybe it’s the weather outside that helps to create this uncertainty in emotion, or maybe it is just a defense mechanism in you that has allowed your heart to forget whatever it is you feel you should be crying about, leaving an empty space in it where a song like this can fill itself into, and so “Make Your Way” does exactly that, fitting itself seamlessly into that emptiness inside of you, mellowing you out and leaving you to daydream and reflect about all of those things that once were, could have been, are here right now, and will come tomorrow.

they make your way to me.”

We just ride.

EMBRZ — Make Your Way

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EMPT Exclusive: The New York Groove Mix by Barry Poppins & Falcon Punch

I’m not guilty
You’re the one who’s guilty
The lawmakers and politicians
The Colombian druglords
All you who lobby against making drugs legal
Just like you did with alcohol during the prohibition
You’re the one who’s guilty 
-Nino Brown, New Jack City (1991)

There are several things that I realize and think about every day. They’re all mostly spurred by the fact that I reside in and remain prideful of New York City, but they have to do with all facets of life. Today, I thought for a long time about the history of Ancient Egyptians. Many find the idea of Ancient Egypt extremely fascinating. It’s not even just Ancient Egyptians that have a rich history, but any culture that dates back to ancient times. When we really think about it, any culture that exists successfully today, is because of a struggle in the past. And while that is true for many, only some rise above to further expand on that name that their ancestors fought for.

When I think of societies that have conquered all to rise above, I can’t help but think of New York City. I could say that I’m biased, but even if I didn’t live here and even if I wasn’t such a proud born and practically raised New Yorker, I would still look at this city in awe as so many people do from other parts of the country and world. The city itself is built on precarious grounds, both physically and metaphorically. Everything about its history is evident in the way it carries itself every single day. No matter how many skyscrapers go up, no matter how many condos replace artist lofts, and no matter how many expensive urban organic markets try to weasel their way into my food loving heart, there’s always that organic flavor that seeps up through the cracks of the slightly slanted sidewalks, that remind us that we are walking on greatness. Every single day that I walk out of my apartment and onto my charming little block in Brooklyn, into the subway and onto the island of Manhattan, I remember that this city is also inevitably going to sink. And that makes me feel very real. Because that sinking, the fact that the end is always in sight even if it’s not exactly clear when, is a constant reality check. Maybe that’s just one reason for why we are such a rare and strange breed of human, here in New York.

This exclusive mix from our friends over at Weedmaps, speaks to all of these special little quirks that I’ve highlighted. It’s a beautifully real combination of human beings doing incredible things, and a classic style that is what so many have come to think of when they think of New York’s scene. It’s a unique and emotional roller coaster of the struggles, the joys, the beauty, and the ugliness, all at once. And those qualities, too, are what make this city so difficult and yet, so right, for so many people. Nearly every single one of us who lives here can emotionally relate to the fact that there ain’t no love in the heart of the city, and that it ain’t all good, and that’s the truth. 

You can stream below if you’re at work, and download here if you want to dance and love on this for the rest of your days.


1. Woody Allen – Manhattan
2. Gil Scott Heron – New York City
3. Roy Ayres – We Live In Brooklyn Baby
4. Walt Clyde Frazier – Acrobatic
5. Odyssey – Hang Together
6. Rayko – Broadway
7. Nino Brown – Aint No Uzis Made in Harlem
8. Bobby Womack – Across 110th Street
9. Digable Planets – Graffiti
10. NAS – NY State of Mind
11. De La Soul – All Good
12. Bobby ‘Blue’Band – Ain’t No Love (RollerRadio Edit)
13. Susanne Vega – Tom’s Diner
14. Boney M – New York City
15. Bill Withers – Harlem
16. Lou Reed – Take a Walk on the Wild Side
17. Stevie Wonder – Living for the City
18. Kiss – Back in the New York Groove

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Souls of Mischief – 93 Till Infinity (Remix)


The week has begun. Two days down, too many to go. The commute was hell, rubberneckers held up traffic and a baby cried on the train. Finally home.

You’re just trying to chill.

Here in Southern California, we don’t just say chill, we live it. We kick back by the pool in the middle of February, because its 80 degrees out yo! We do yoga literally every day. We drink wheat grass smoothies. And we occasionally smoke that bomb bud, though I personally gave that aspect up some time ago.

Though NorCal may shit on us, we embrace them as our brothers and sisters. Got beef? Chill. See, NorCal wasn’t always jacked up on tech wealth an insecurity. There was a time, back in, oh, ’93, when all of Cali chilled as one.

I was but a babe then, so don’t take it from me. Souls of Mischief were chillin in the bay, and spreading the gospel from coast to coast. “’93 Til Infinity,” the group’s all-time rap classic, has but one message: “This is how we chill, from ’93 til”

Til the sun consumes itself and swallows the earth. Til the universe collapses. Til infinity.

This remix came to me unlabled, and no amount of Shazamming has turned up any info about it. All I can say is that Souls over a liquid beat is so chill its frozen. And not like Adele Nazim frozen. I’m talking glazed in ice crystals frozen, diamonds dripping from the chain, that real Arctic shit. Hop in the ride with A-Plus, Phesto, Tajai and the best of the bunch, Opio, and take this Sunday slow and easy with a fresh beat and an eternal, five letter message.

Souls of Mischief – 93 Til Infinity (Remix)

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Le Miel du Mois by Steph Lund: Mars 2014

I can’t waste any more time doing things I don’t want to do…” – La Grande Belleza

I haven’t seen that movie but that didn’t stop me from being taken by such profound words. Since the day you’re born, your parents have an idea of who they want you to be. Marketers know how they want you to think so you buy, bankers want you to spend so you’re in debt, politicians want to influence your beliefs to vote, lovers want  to see you in their own image and on and on. We come into this world trying to find ourselves in the face of such powerful external influences that you can’t help but wonder when you’re truly being yourself. You can waste a lifetime trying to find purpose in someone else’s story…

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” – WarGames

Are you willing to disappoint, are you willing to be selfish, are you prepared to be an individual, perhaps even an outcast? It seems the path to the self is full of negative connotations but are you willing to do what it takes, are you willing to be Howard Roark to make your name?

For me it’s music. Some people call it an escape but to me it’s more like tuning in, it’s not fading away it’s more real than our commonly accepted reality…

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” – Lennon 

I’ve been listening to LMDM Mars while writing this and that’s what it makes me feel, it makes me want to make a greater effort to be me. It makes me want to be around people who are themselves, express themselves without inhibition and not in the childish loud phony way either.

And it took so long to be on my own, when the morning comes I hope your ready for it… – RAC

This version of LMDM moves like a seasoned marathon runner, pacing him/herself with masterful precision. Like a kid who read The Tortoise and The Hare and decided you could be both and win. LMDM break all the rules, follows no guidelines and sets no precedents. No two tapes have ever been the same and the adventure will be an evolving, ever-growing limitless form of expression that inspires me and so many to create in the same way. We’re going to be making a big push here, with some new things coming in the near future but today we’re saying thanks again to Steph for continuing to put together one of the most consistently dope and unique mixtapes out, we’re grateful to bring it to ya’ll, enjoy.

UPDATE: LMDM Mars is streaming live @ Tune in quick fast.



  1. Millionyoung – Hammock
  2. Deorro – Five Hours
  3. RAC – Ready For It (Feat. St. Lucia)
  4. Black Atlass – Blossom
  5. Faul – Happy Endings
  6. Ricoshëi – Perfect Like You (Stereotronique Bootleg Remix)
  7. Yacht – Psychic City (Clasixx Remix)
  8. Roosevelt – Around You
  9. We Were Evergreen – Daughters
  10. London Grammar – Hey Now (Tensnake Remix)
  11. Black Atlass – Paris
  12. Still Corners – The Trip

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Sky Ferreira – Everything Is Embarrassing (Unknown Mortal Orchestra Remix)


Sky Ferreira is a promising artist still searching for a voice that will separate her from the pack. Unknown Mortal Orchestra have found their voice, but it’s unclear where they go from here. Their confluence on this remix offers a glimpse of possible futures for both.

Ferreira, the latest indie-ish pop chanteuse to bubble up has been grinding since her early teens. Her earliest public work was posted to MySpace, where she was “discovered” and ushered into the studio. Since then, she’s worked with notable producer Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Best Coast) and Garbage front woman Shirley Mason, and attracted media attention for a drug possession arrest. It’s been an upward climb to an opening slot (along with Icona Pop) on Miley Cyrus’ world tour.

Really, Sky? I get the appeal ($$$$) but somehow I don’t think that’s where your fan base lies. Her future just isn’t as a tween-facing pop star.

Rather, it’s as an indie darling with mainstream vocal abilities. The original “Everything Is Embarrassing” is cowritten and produced by Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange (formerly Lightspeed Champion). Basically, it’s a Blood Orange song, in construction and lyrical progression, sung by Ferreira, who could have easily been swapped out for Solange without missing a beat. And it’s her most popular song to date. Coincidence? I think not.

Enter Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the intensely weird future lo-fi project from multi-instrumentalist Reuben Nielson. Their albums and remixes are tied together by a sense of a detached intensity and intricate lyricism. Their sound is unmistakable: ambling guitar plucks and fuzzed-out cymbals and muted bass.

This remix is the best of all worlds. Ferreira sings in Hynes’ nu-R&B repetitive styling over a classically meandering UMO instrumental, which almost sounds like it’s broadcasting through an old radio from miles away. Nielson’s voice is unique, surely, and well suited to UMO’s sound, but, as a huge fan, I hope to hear some feature vocals on new material. The production is so good that it can elevate any singer, pushing him or her out of their natural habitat and into the woozy world of UMO.


Sky Ferreira – Everything Is Embarrassing (Unknown Mortal Orchestra Remix) 

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