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Da YoungFellaz — Still Representin’ (Nas/DJ Premiere Tribute)

Da YoungFellaz - Still Representin Artwork

This song is too good not to write about.

I guess Summer in NYC reminds me of Hip Hop. To me, the sounds that the trains make as they’re racing by above you when they are overground on the rails is Hip Hop. For me, Hip Hop is the sound that the fire hydrants make when the water rushes out of it and hits these steamy New York City streets. It’s the sound of kids chasing one another playing Manhunt and laughing while escaping the person who is “it”. Summer and all of its sounds are just the right time when Hip Hop gets good.

“Still Representin’ “  by Da YoungFellaz  is what great NYC Hip-Hop sounded like, sounds like, and what everyone else in the country has tried to redefine, remaster, and reproduce with very little success. It contains hardcore Hip Hop drums, the classic sample that you will all instantly recognize, and a mix by HitMakerDot (producer) to go with it all, that would probably make DJ Premiere proud. Even the bonus instrumental section we get to hear towards the end of the song leaves you wanting much more.

The song has a very NYC feel to it and this duo is the reason why. Jay Storm represents The Bronx and his partner Sho-Biz represents Brooklyn, and both of these guys have been reppin’ NYC hard for years now on the underground scene. What I like most about these guys is their consistency in releasing great sounding music; the progression of their sound is constantly evolving and they pay a lot of attention to the quality of their mixes, which to me shows that they truly care about giving the listener the best sonic experience. Their visuals are also all very clean. They always keep it simple and minimalist in a way that represents Hip Hop’s humble roots, perfectly.

Fuck getting a deal, my niggas need appeals”

watch:

or just listen:

 


Creation vs. Inspiration

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Listening to South Pacific by Yonas Michael earlier this morning during breakfast, Rayda (pronounced Rider) mentioned that it sounded a lot like Kendrick Lamar’s Poetic Justice. I hadn’t really thought of or considered that particular song when I first heard South Pacific, but I instantly understood where she was coming from, and could definitely agree. What I had first heard, immediately, was a hint of Outkast, and then while listening through one-time-around I could hear several other influences, including some Frank Ocean towards the end of the song. We then got into a conversation about inspiration..

Most inspiration comes from past works of art, whether that art happens to be in music or on a canvas or even in fashion, the truth of the matter is that no ideas are completely original these days because if you go far back enough in time you will always find a basis for just about anything. So then we discussed if it was a bad thing that Yonas Michael‘s “South Pacific” sounded a bit like Poetic Justice, and we both decided: no. 

Sometimes we see things or hear things or read things that inspire us. As creators, we are constantly admiring the works of other creators because we can appreciate the work put into these creations in order to give the world a taste of something new. Sure, that newness derives from the oldness, but once it is all said and done the creation is indeed—different. It is that difference, no matter how slight, that makes the creation unique, and it is our appreciation of that uniqueness, no matter how minuscule, as fellow creators that makes it a success, because rather than hate on the single creation, we instead celebrate it with dance and through word-of-mouth passage. This is how good music like South Pacific thrives in an era of saturated sounds curated by spotify algorithms..

Earlier today, I read an article on how Guns N’ Roses completely jacked a 1981 hit Australian Crawl single titled “Unpublished Critics” for their legendary 1987 hit single Sweet Child O’ Mine. The best part of that entire article came at the very end when it mentioned that the co-writers of the Australian Crawl tune have no plans to sue because they appreciate GNR’s creation, a lot. It was that attitude that made me remember that having people who inspire us is a blessing—especially to a creator.

Only a real risk can test the reality of a belief.” —C.S. Lewis


Unfamiliar

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I found myself walking the alleys of Napoli all alone. There was a companion with me during that trip that stayed back in our room, and for some reason, she just didn’t seem to matter much to me throughout all of those gorgeously unexplored streets. I had purposely left my mobile back at the telly so that there was no way that anyone in the world could contact me, and no way to randomly be bothered by anyone whatsoever. As the sun was setting and I was walking near the coastline, I decided to trek into the unfamiliar hills and neighborhoods of the beautiful Italian city. Tiny cars and Vespas of every color you could imagine zoomed by. People dressed to the nines, most likely heading out into the night to celebrate the darkness. Everyone moving about their business without a single care or stare about the foreigner roaming their lands. It was one of the most peaceful moments I have lived to date.

As the night took over, I could see clearly inside people’s homes and I would wonder what their lives must be like. People watching TV, getting dressed, running around looking for their heels, doing their hair, eating at the dinner table, laughing, sipping on vino—it was as if I had entered another dimension where my life had existed as it is here, but somehow in an exotic language with exotic brands of everything: water, sneakers, cars, eggs and milk, cereals and just about every single thing else that exists in my world now, but with a peculiar twist. I got lost in the night sky that evening, and after some time I managed to hail a cab back to the Grand Hotel Parker’s.

I lingered in the lobby wondering if I should go back up to the room, but a nauseous feeling in my stomach took over me, so I decided just to head up to the roof of the hotel which hosted a restaurant/bar. A few glasses of wine later, staring out at the sea and over the rooftops of Naples, I realized that the unease I was feeling was due to an unfamiliar heart and soul that had taken over a love I once knew, in detail, more than anything else I had ever known, or anything else in this world. I would recognize, on that roof, that the only thing waiting for me back in that room was sadness, pain, and darkness, and I knew that I wanted no parts of any of it.

Sure, maybe looking back at that moment I can see how it could all seem so selfish, but isn’t that what a life of happiness is?—The ability to choose the paths and roads that will assure us of that very happiness over the ones that won’t?

It was through that unfamiliar town, with that unfamiliar heart and soul, on that unfamiliar rooftop that I would come to learn that happiness is a decision to be made at the very start of our days. Happiness is a choice to make at the very point when a decision needs to be made. It was then that I knew that I would never be near any energy that could affect my happiness, simply because I do not need to be.

“Unfamiliar” by Alyssa Veniece feat. Emerson Brooks is hypnotic taste of Space Age R&B. I call it “Space Age R&B” because the vocals sit in more of the Pop realm than traditional Rhythm & Blues vocals do, but also because of the eery synths that sit tucked into the upper background of the soundscape, giving it a trippy time-travelling vibe; whether it takes you to the future or the past is up to you, but trippy nevertheless.

Crispy and clear vocals, an easy to remember chorus, and a good balance of sounds and tones throughout the duration of this sonic stroll allow for a tune that should be played on repeat and added to all your chill-day playlists.

Show me something you can’t put in words,
Saying something I ain’t never heard.
Take me to another Earth.”


If I Could Go Back In Time

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Have you ever wished that you could go back in time and tell the younger version of you a few tricks of the trade for a brighter future? I have.

If I could go back in time and tell the younger me a few things, I would tell him that searching for who you are is an idea, but that building who you wish to be is a much better one. I would tell myself that everything and anything in life is possible, and, I would remind myself that one of the most powerful tools we have as human beings is our imaginations, and that within imagination comes limitless possibilities and capabilities to life. I would tell myself to steer clear of people who say they need to go out into the world and “find themselves”, because something that has never existed cannot be found, only created; those people will only add confusion to a mind that exists positively in a world that has no shape until we give it one, anyway.

If I could go back in time and tell this younger version of me a few things, I would tell him to stay away from consuming the flesh of the dead. I would tell him that a flower taken from the ground and consumed will sprout another flower in its place, but an animal taken from life to be consumed will not sprout another to take its place. The cycle of life is followed by life, whereas the cycle of death is followed by more death.

If I could back in time and give my adolescent self a few pointers, I would tell myself to love every person that comes in and out of my life with the same passion. I would explain that whenever we feel pain from a broken relationship we are simply selfishly pouting, and that not understanding how beautiful the connection we have made with that person who will no longer be there is worth every irregular heartbeat and tear because later on in life we will realize that the most beautiful and perfect parts of them live within us through the smallest nuances of daily habits.

Sometimes I think about the body lotion I use and remember who influenced that habit in me, and I smile because I remember the most beautiful parts of her through something so simple. Moments when I’m folding bath towels and laugh at the technique picked up through another beautiful love now very long gone. I would tell myself that it is within these things that we should see the need to embrace every love with the same intense passion, because whether they are here or not tomorrow they will show us something that will help us build who we wish to become.

“Swan Song” by Sloes is a gorgeous medley of beautiful sounds entrancingly fused together. The tantalizing violin is pure magic, and the overlaying vocals somehow feel like the perfect companion to it, as the song becomes more of a duet between that violin & Jerome (lead vocals). The rest of the tune is filled with graceful string progressions, enchanting harmonies and a killer percussion that moves us through the interweaving sound waves never letting us go. Swan Song is a good jam to find inspiration in. It’s one of those things that defies the norm by not going with what everyone else perceives to be the traditional idea, and goes against the grain by integrating sounds that most others probably wouldn’t.

Sloes are the path built rather than the used one found.

“just one song left inside of me and then I’m done.”


My Gripe With “Modern Love”

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I have a modern day gripe for the modern day girls of this world. Lately I’ve been seeing articles and opinion pieces on the current state of love affairs between and ♀ . Mainly, what I’ve been reading is how non-committing men seem to be when it comes to defining relationship statuses. Anyway, my gripe it this: ‘In a modern world where male and females are equal, why is it that it still must be left up to the man to take hold and decide on where they want the relationship to go?’.

Throughout my life I have been attracted to strong women. I have ended relationships because the girls in them were weaker than what I craved, or simply indecisive about every aspect of their own lives. I’ve always appreciated a woman who can come up to me on the street and throw me a comment. I’ve always gravitated to the girls that can grab my hand and start up a random conversation out of the blue. So why is it that it seems to me that more and more girls complain about finding themselves in relationships that can only be defined as extended one-night stands? 

To all the girls that feel this way, I say this: take charge and go after what you want because the worse thing that will happen is that the guy or boy involved will simply say “no”. At least then you can make a conscious decision about how you want that relationship to progress, but at least then you won’t be stuck complaining or bickering to your girlfriends about how guys in NYC just won’t commit.

Things happen to each and every one of us that determine how we approach the next relationships that we will be in, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t all looking for love. Because love is defined so differently by everyone, it is important to start being more direct and more upfront about what you want and expect out of it. The days of waiting for Prince Charming to roll up on you on his stallion are long gone. Instead, you should focus on what exactly it is that you want, and then approach the situation accordingly and without being selfish or childish about it. That means that if you see a handsome guy that makes your palms sweat and all you want to do is fuck his brains out, then approach it that way, without any expectations. However, if you see someone and immediately picture having babies with them and moving to Park Slope, well then understand that what you are seeing will take time and commitment, and that NOT sleeping with them right away might be the only route to take in order to make it there.

Anyhow, life is too short to sit on one side of the gym floor while everyone else is dancing. Get up, go up to the person you want to tango with and ask for the dance. The rest will be up to both of you.

SongRecovery +++ by KUČKA


A Foreign Affair

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A five second love affair lasts for no more than a few months. At the very best, it will last for six months up to a year, but even then one or both parties recognize that it is over long before the cute messages cease and the butterflies in your belly are fully digested.

But who are we to say that these loves don’t hold any value? Who are we to stop the people we call friends from making the very same mistakes of the heart that we did? ‘No one’, because when it was all said and done we could never say that we really regretted any of it, and, in all actuality, we ended up learning so many valuable lessons because of it.

So, are these brief affairs of the heart worth it all? If you ask me, I say: yes.

Life sure is like a box of chocolates in that there are always the ones that we have never tried. We see them all the time, but have no idea what they taste like. We don’t know if they will have a cherry in the middle, or almonds, or honey, but we tend to leave them right where they pop up because of how they look to us on the outside. Even knowing that we should never judge a book by its cover we still do. That’s where these five second loves fall into place. They are the ones that we one day decide to take a chance on and just close our eyes and bite. And they are the exact ones that once we bite we instantly fall in love with. Mainly, we fall in love with them because they give us something we need at that moment; they’re unfazed by public displays of affection, and not scared of dancing wildly in front of strangers.

Dinner dates turn into late nights dancing until the sun comes up. Restaurant to bar to lounge to nightclub to after-hours to diner to the bed, the days seem like months at a time, and a month can seem like an entire year. Yes, these loves are awesome because they make us forget time, allowing us to live strictly in-the-moment, but just as quickly as they begin and occur, is just as quickly as they tend to vanish—sometimes leaving us wondering if the entire time we were stuck in a dream, or, daydreaming at our desks.

all I’m bound to tell you.
You said you’d wait here for me
but I’ve been looking elsewhere.”

The older I get the more hip to these love affairs I have become, each time connecting them fully, purposely, with all the pieces of me, but making sure to remember that the expiration dates are right around the corner somewhere in the shuffle of it all.

This is what Trails and Ways latest jam: Say You Will reminds me of. A short musical story about those sporadicly lustful whirlwinds that are so rampant in my dearest NYC. They exist on every corner of every block of every borough in this town, but they exist more for the fairy tales that will be told than any actual love that takes place.

Don’t be afraid of the brief love affairs that knock on your door. Sometimes, those are more beautiful than all the long-term relationships you have been and will be in, combined.

Say you will.”


The Weekend Mix — May 2015

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I guess I’m preparing myself for my next move back to the left coast. That’s right—I‘m going, going, back, back, to Cali, Cali.

Living the bicoastal life between NYC and LA from 2008-2011 I learned a lot about the world. Having been born and raised my entire life in NYC, there were things that I could never have imagined about the world and its inhabitants had I never been to that other side of America. I mainly learned that there is no place in the world with the fast-paced energy and drive that engulfs NYC and its residents. I also learned that there is no place in or around New York that has the magical feel, Hollywoodesque sunsets, or naturally invigorating radiation that emanates from a combination of stunning skies and fruitful lands such as Cali.

Of course my world will never be the same again, as this time I am making the move permanently to the sunshine state, but that’s what I’m looking forward to the most. This time, I’m trading in the Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood streets for the beach, and I think that this is where my soul has somehow always yearned to be. That’s not to say that I won’t miss the concrete jungle I grew up in and learned so much about life through, but a complete change of the world in front of my eyes will bring out the parts of me that are still inside and that I have no idea exist, and that’s what I can’t wait to see and experience.

This Weekend’s Playlist is a simple mental preparation for me in anticipation of this move. It’s a few songs and lyrics that give me more excitement for what is to come, and help me say goodbye to what has been.

I hope you enjoy it and share it if so.

Well, now
If little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you
Little by little
If suddenly you forget me
Do not look for me
For I shall already have forgotten you

If you think it long and mad the wind of banners that passes through my life
And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots
Remember
That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off to seek another land” ― Pablo Neruda


Because It’s Friday…

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So much is going on in the world today that I don’t know where to begin or where to end. More police killing innocent civilians, more media focusing on what’s not important, more violence, less equality, more poverty, less housing—the world is a very screwy place. For this reason is why I needed something quirky today; if not to fill up on good energy, then at least to somehow, abstractly, make sense of all the world as it is happening in front of my eyes.

Our Last Shot by Groenland played through my headphones, and somehow it made sense of all the things I was looking at outside from inside of this particularly beautiful wine bar that I adore coming to. The tune has this harsh and very in-your-face production to it that reflects the fast-paced vibe of everything happening in front of me in NYC right now. As I stare at our notorious traffic, I see people racing each other across crosswalks in order to catch cabs, and cabs crisscrossing aggressively across the avenue to pick up patrons. There are city buses flying down their dedicated “Bus Lanes”, and bicyclists bobbing and weaving through an obstacle course worthy of frogger.

And then there is the calm.  Sabrina Halde’s vocals chime in like a jazzy vixen from the 30’s with that hint of Swing that swags the entire song out in the most pleasantly soothing ways, exactly the same way that the calmer parts of this city do, even though most of the time we fail to recognize that those calm parts even exist. Kids walking home from school aimlessly with zero worries, senior citizens enjoying every breath, and the bare stillness of our beautiful blue sky…

There are days when you’ve had enough of the news, enough of work and maybe even your friends, enough of your family or that significant other, enough of random people looking you up and down on the streets for no reason other than to judge you even though they have never seen you before, and, will never see you again. There are days where you wake up so tired from the routine that you don’t go for that jog or hike, skip the gym, and rebelliously refuse to follow those alternate side parking rules because once in a while you just fucking feel like it. This is what “Our Last Shot” feels like to me. It’s that: ‘I don’t give a fuck about the world today and I’m just going to do me’ type of tune that we all need every once in a blue, simply because it makes life a bit more fun.

…and then nobody can tell, what really went wrong.
But we will never really care, cause, cause I’m already gone.”


Peace Changes Nothing

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of etmusiquepourtous.com”

And I dream a little harder for those who bleed.”

Historically, peace has never changed a damn thing. The same people that want us to believe that we can change shit peacefully in this country are the same exact people who run off to war every three years with someone who disagrees with their beliefs or threatens their corporate pipelines of financial gains. It’s a complete joke, and we have been the ones getting pranked.

Imagine a world where Che and Fidel rallied peacefully across sidewalks instead of doing what they accomplished. A world where Cuba’s literacy rate would not be the highest and where their medical system would not be the best. Did you all forget that Castro was a lawyer, and Guevara was a doctor? (infant mortality in Cuba is 5.3 per thousand? In Canada this is 5.5 per thousand and in the USA it is 8.26 per thousand births.) It’s a health care system designed to emphasize on primary and preventive care rather than reactive care, of which we all realize now that in a capitalist society there is no long-term ability to continue sucking out its citizens money with actual cures. For a country who tells its citizens that it is for the people, isn’t it weird that a vaccine for meningitis developed in Cuba in the 1980’s is still not offered here?

Our government’s history books would have you believe that what Che & Fidel did was ant-democratic, but in reality what they did was precisely for the people because the Cuban people at that time were a product of inequality that was at the highest levels in history; something like what we are seeing with inequality levels now in the United States. All they wanted was for all Cubans to have the same chance, and making sure that everyone was educated and in good health was one way of assuring that. That’s not to say that socialists societies are not without faults because no system in history has ever been; just like no real and significant changes in history have ever come through peaceful rallying or meditating in a circle.

The world is different. It feels different, it reads things differently and it is responding much more differently than just a decade ago. The world is learning quickly that everything we have been told has always had an agenda behind it, and that these agendas have rarely ever been about uplifting the 99%.

They want us to still believe that their comfortable system cannot be changed. When I say “they”, I’m not referring to just the government or just one particular race, I am referring to the “Haves”  because the haves come in all races, shapes, sizes and political beliefs. They want us to look at the handful of black and latino celebrities and believe that we too can strive if we box each other to death or shoot a rubber bladder through a hoop, but the reality is that those percentages are dismally minuscule and virtually impossible in a system set up for only the 1%.

Without music, stories do not become cinematic. For this reason is why “London” by Samuel Ford plays today because something in its execution adds a hint of drama to the words above, and, because the feel of its lyrics are essentially what the overall agenda to our revolution is: a world driven by the love of humanity instead of gains for one’s self. It is through that kind of world that every human born can have a fair chance at living a long and beautiful life.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one” — John Lennon

 


Aline – Je bois et puis je danse

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