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BECOME x XYLO – Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

If you haven’t read 1984 by now you’re an asshole.

I was recently watching Tom Ford talk about his artistic relationship with Carine Roitfeld and how well they work together because they’re both highly passionate students of the game who have the same reference points, immediately understand each others inspirations and constantly tap into the well of historical knowledge. That’s beautiful because it allows you to make incredibly informed decisions and have a universal perspective as you tackle something nuanced and culturally complex like art and fashion. Imagine a normal person talking to Carine about fashion and having a strong opinion because they started reading Hypebeast last month. It would never happen but if it did I’d imagine the universe would say something like…

Shut the f&%k up when you talk to me cause I’ll embarrass you.” – Kanye West

Many of you are long-term readers who have grown with me as I’ve grown with you and you have no idea what that means to me but if we’re not all equally hungry for knowledge and learning, constantly seeking expansion and accumulating information we’re going to fall off and turn into old people who only know what they know. That type of shit doesn’t fly in the Space Age. 1984 is a masterpiece, one of the most significant novels of the 20th century and it’s essential reading in this hyper charged BS politically correct climate because it shows you how absolute power works. It frames so much of what we see happening now, you think this is all happening at once because people are suddenly enlightened?

A bill was recently introduced to ban the words “Husband” and “Wife” because they can be considered anti-gay. Jerry Seinfeld’s said something about his daughter that captured it perfectly:

My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’ You know what my daughter says? She says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist'; ‘That’s sexist'; ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

People who haven’t done homework, who have no reference points are literally regugitating words they hear without understanding what they’re saying or why they’re saying it. I’ll put it this way, there are more pawns than kings. The internet aka dummy megaphone allows for an intelligent player to have the pawns do his bidding by programming them with an agenda and ideas. It’s much better than having a king do the convincing because it’s on the ground and hence seems to be coming from the people. What something like Bruce Jenner represents is so niche that my mind can’t give it attention, thank god, but feed it to media and then populace and it’s the biggest problem on earth. Have you taken a moment to notice how things are presented as absolute now? They put it on a magazine cover, you accept it, there is no other option. Homes, comedians can’t even make jokes right now. Take a moment, a day or two to think about that.

We live in perhaps the most exciting and dynamic time in history and let me tell you something you won’t like, all the divide and conquer war games are a distraction from that. You create as many micro-divisions as possible to have everyone feel separate and on edge. Why? Because the fabricated, often orchestrated issues that are fed to us are not what’s really at play. Just like Trump is a ringer for Jeb and Jeb is a ringer for Hillary, you’re watching a show with the illusion of interactivity. You think it’s because the world is that enlightened all of a sudden that all this shit is popping up? This is a blueprint. I think it was Mark Twain that said, history does not repeat itself but it does rhyme.

We’re being reprogrammed right now, our conversations are being dictated and lines clearly drawn. Now more than ever we have to think for ourselves. The choices they give us are too limited – the devil will kill you and the deep blue sea will drown you. I love this remix but you won’t find me in between either. You’re a limitless human who can make tools, make your own path, fuck all this other noise.


Kyoto — Subterranean

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I feel like that short time period between Memorial Day and July 4th is always madness. Between figuring out what parties to hit up and destinations to take off to, life becomes shorter as our days get faster. It’s always after July 4th that I feel like I can finally lay back and breathe on a pool chair with a good book and just me, the sun and the cool summer breeze. That’s what today’s tune represents to me, and hopefully you will find it just as cool, in the most summer way.

Subterranean” by Kyoto is a chill-house musical composition that is all too perfect for this weekend that has just begun. If you’re heading east to The Hamptons or Montauk and want something smooth to enjoy the ride then definitely add this to your weekend playlist. As a matter of fact, you can add this to your poolside playlists, your boating playlist or just about any other playlist(s) that you have prepared for this weekend because sunny vibes and relaxing energies with a pulse that still leaves a little room for some dancing is exactly what you will get.

Enjoy the first weekend in the Summer where you can actually take some time to breathe the summer in properly, as it is meant to be inhaled, and make the days last longer than yours normally do. Take it in, get golden and chiiiiill.


Hold On To Me

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Yesterday I had a flashback reach out to me. It was the one where I found myself frequenting gatherings with good friends while making certain to keep my eyes wide-open for girls with exceptional smiles. The same flashback that found her very own self with her ears keenly aware for boys of fracturing intelligence. And the same flashback where I mesmerized her with metrics and dazzled her with data while she kept right up with her sharp wit and her beautiful banter. It is always a welcomed flashback, but one that makes us wonder if living these two lives worlds apart that we are living is how it’s even all supposed to be.

and it’s hard to breathe when your lungs are hollow”

Maybe she was reaching out to me to ask me to hold on to her, and maybe my mental response was my way of telling her to “Hold On To Me”, too. I sit her and wonder if I know anything at all. Just when I think I have found the most logical answers to complex situations, those complex situations turn back to becoming simple scenarios where just the complex answers I can only speculate about seem to make any actual sense.

See I got blues now, got sorrow
Feed you news, it’s hard to swallow
She won’t move, but she won’t follow”

Sample Answer’s sweet serenade: “Hold On To Me”, is a fistful of soul wrapped around it with carefully crafted brass knuckles that pack an intense jab straight into your heart alongside its sentimental strings. The beauty of the song comes in the heartbreaking mood the guitar and Sample Answer’s introductory vocals put you into while then creating the feeling of overcoming a breakup and finding strength in a beautiful brass section that’s topped off by anthemic vocals and fit perfectly into one another like the rhythmic lovemaking of intertwining DNAs. It’s the oxymoron of sounds and love that make it so good to listen to, and it’s on repeat for a while this morning as I reflect on that flashback long gone.

And it’s hard to see when the lights are shadow”


Holy ’57 — Island Kids

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Growing up in NYC I can only imagine what growing up on a beach must have been like. There were times when I was much younger that I would have traded our brutal New York City winters for a life laid out on hot sands and crystal blue beaches. “Island Kids” is what I imagine a day in that life to be: waking up to another picture perfect sunrise, rushing to the coastline with your friends and floating the beautiful mid-morning to early-afternoons away staring up at the skies, living somewhere between heaven and reality.

My NYC summers were the complete opposite. They were early mornings full of some cartoons and a lot of imagination, late afternoons found playing stoopball or skellies on the streets between the cars and public buses zooming by, and just about the only water we got to see outside of our apartments were sprinkler caps attached to fire hydrants (johnny pump) that someone’s older brother or dad would set up until the Fire Department came and shut them off. It wasn’t quite the blissful vibe you are able to grasp by listening to this Holy ’57 jam, but it had its moments.

Anyway, for those of you like me that can’t escape the concrete jungle, or don’t have the luxury of waking up and chilling at the beach on this Monday, turn this on and let it play and take you away to those places for the next few minutes. What you will get is an entire day at the beach without any worries wrapped up into four minutes plus of peaceful bliss.

Enjoy.


Fekky — Way Too Much (feat. Skepta)

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I think the UK rap scene has finally broken through into the American Hip Hop culture and it’s in form of Fekky Skepta. These two rap MC’s have recently seen more and more success in their own individual careers throughout The Kingdom and with some of the U.S.A’s highest musical influencers. Fekky popping up late last year in 2014 on California rapper The Game‘s UK tour, and Skepta performing a Kanye collab with Kanye at his secret show at Koko in Camden a few months back. Since then the world has taken more notice of British rappers in general, and two authentic MC’s like Fekky and Skepta only help to solidify what up until now only a few other rap purists knew—that the UK Rap is much too fresh.

With a sound that exudes the fun party-like feel of 80’s rap, the harder cored lyrics of the 90’s when rappers had to rap and actually be good at it, and the new wave sounds of trap music, Fekky Skepta‘s latest collab: “Way Too Much” does a lot for British rap in just one song.

Catchy hook in hand, boisterous flows and some killer production, this song has anthem potential and fits perfectly into any DJ rap sets at any party. Even just playing an instrumental version of the first set of sounds (synth) that play in a 6,3 pattern will get your juices flowing at any party that you would least expect this tune to play. And surely, for anyone who knows it well Way Too Much will make them go crazy as everyone else watches, wondering what those few with their hands in-the-air stomping their feet hard onto the ground know and what they themselves are missing out on.

Too add to an already really dope song on its own, the collaborators have also dropped a video (seen here) that is sure to amp up the song for you even more and understand why these two British representers are the face of the British Rap scene for us over here at EMPT, right now. The video shows influences from Fabolous‘s “Lituation”  video featuring some really fire graffiti artwork, classic throwback fashion pieces and even a smooth nod its lyrics:

Might catch me in the BM with your BM” — Fekky

I got your BM in my BM nigga.” — Fabolous

It seems only right that as we celebrate our Independence from those cheeky Brits here in the states, they celebrate their own independence in the rap world with rap that is consistently only getting stronger.

Cheers.


Alex and The Talai Lama — Ghost

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When I am listening to this Alex and The Talai Lama tune titled “Ghost”, it takes me back to a period in time that now seems like one small moment. I find myself alone on the streets of NYC’s Financial District and I’m in the middle of a bunch of skyscrapers built of glass. As I look up and around, the glass reflects the sky and everything feels blue. The temperature isn’t cold, but there is a cool breeze that feels like an air conditioner is on somewhere. I look around and there are no people or cars or hot dog vendors or cops, and the girl that once stood there with me when those same streets were filled to the edges of the curbs with people is just another ghost in this now haunted ghost town.

There are moments when I slip from being in-the-moment and my mind wanders into the past that feel like that movie Inception to me, and where I find myself with this ghost. We walk the streets for hours because in my mind what looks like a few seconds to you on the outside are really a long set of hours, and sometimes even days that are taking place. It’s only when I can’t recognize the buildings and I notice that there are no street signs with street names that I realize I am living in the past, and then as I look back to her she begins to disintegrate into thin air, and that world begins to integrate itself into the one in front of me pulling me back into the present. But when I am in that world, and in that town that is full with all those people, it’s fast moments of happiness that are occurring as if on repeat, with that girl, that continue to haunt my heart as if it is missing something in order to complete it.

I know that a heart should not need pieces of someone else to be completed because those pieces that others leave within our hearts actually strengthen it, but from time to time anxiety takes over and the mind and heart and soul look for something to soothe it.

Ghost” is a story about love that has come and gone, and I guess that is why my mind found a moment in time that I could relate it to. This is how I connect with music, and this is how music connects with me. My stories are never meant to hurt anyone in my current life because I love deeply, but I have learned that they should not be tossed and forgotten either because they are integral pieces of a path that is constantly being paved in order for me to continue walking and finish a journey that was destined to be.

I live my moments, day to day, as if they will be my last and is if someone is going to tell them later on in some pub or in front of some campfire, so I live them to-the-max no matter what anyone thinks. I will continue to love and I will continue to strengthen this heart of mine through love because for as many ghosts as it has had that have haunted it, I too have haunted and will continue to haunt many hearts as well.


Sam Padrul — Why Do I Do (Ft. Jason Gaffner)

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The world is constantly moving and I find myself moving right along with it. Sometimes we’re ahead of the Earth’s curve when we find ourselves pacing right alongside it, but it’s only when we are running at full speed that we find ourselves on an entirely different orbit.

Today is Wednesday, it’s a new month and the day is bright even if it is cloudy with a chance of miserable wherever you’re from, and the reason for all this sunniness and vibrant energy is this cool new jam from Sam Padrul featuring Jason Gaffner titled: “Why Do I Do”. The entire song is catchy on every level; from its harmonies to its super catchy hook down to its percussions, synths, shakers, its super cool groove and its sexy brasses, the track exudes a brilliant dance-floor seduction that will get you moving. It’s perfect for the middle of the week and getting us ready for this holiday weekend’s festivities.

Sometimes the music is simply about connecting with our inner soul in a way that is more innate on such a level that it naturally makes your senses tingle and body move involuntarily. Sometimes there is no other deeper connection than what music does to us on the inside, and sometimes, we don’t need it to mean anything to us other than a good time. This is what you will instantly feel and get with this perfectly pieced production and nothing more. I mean, what more is there to life than the feeling you get when something seems amazing?

Ready to dance?


Little Giants — Lately (Monsieur Adi Remix)

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Lately I’ve been thinking that I want you instantly
Only know you for a minute, but it’s good enough for me”

Sometimes we meet people and we connect with them so fast that we forget anything that happened before that encounter and we stop stressing about anything that we previously expected to come after those seconds with them. There are times when girls forget that they have boyfriends and boyfriends forget that they have girlfriends because they are so caught up in a moment that neither of them expected to happen. And what about all you single people out there that complain about being “so lonely” everyday yet are so afraid to engage with someone new, right away, because you believe that it may somehow lead to more heartbreak? That’s no way to live, and that is not the way towards love.

It’s only LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE
That’s what I said
It’s only LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE
Don’t be afraid”

You sit there after work and sip on wines with your friends discussing the millions of reasons why nobody talks to you and why you are still single, or why you somehow seem stuck in the same cycles with exes, or why you are constantly catching yourself dating people who are unavailable all because you are much too afraid to be pulled out of your comfort zone and into something completely new. A girl or guy approaches you and instantly you guard yourself as if they’re trying to mug you or are interrogating you after some huge crime you’ve just committed. You never stop to smile and hear what they have to say because you prejudge everything you see rather than forget everything you have been taught and told before that moment occurred. Obviously what you have been told and taught isn’t working, right?

I understand that society has hardwired us to act certain ways and grieve about loves lost, but in reality all that these things do are stump our growth. These ideas that have been embedded into our heads about how we should feel after break ups or after figuring out that someone isn’t meant for us are actually counterproductive to finding exactly what we need out of love. What I’m saying is that we should stop grieving after we find out that someone is no longer a part of our lives because they could not help us grow any further no matter how much we personally love(d) them, and, I’m saying that rather than believing our hearts to be broken because of these breakups we should realize that it is our hearts that are actually being strengthened by them.

It’s only you, it’s only me, it’s only love.”

Take a listen to Monsieur Adi‘s latest home run as he fine tunes “Lately” by Little Giants with beautiful acoustic guitar riffs to help you defy your fears, lose your comfort zones and open your strengthening hearts to new potential loves like never before.

Yeah, I know we’ll be amazing
When we’re lost in symmetry,
I wanna dive into your ocean,
Let it wash all over me”


I’m Not A Band — Cages (Frider Neumann Radio Mix)

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We live in cages to never feel alone“

You’re not the only one who has had their feelings crushed by some entitled bully. You’re not the only one who has had their heart ripped right out of their chest by someone you thought loved you, unconditionally. You’re not the only one who has built strength by emotionally disconnecting yourself from love. At some point, we have all been there and done it. Hell, some of us are still living in those very same “Cages” that I’m Not A Band sings about on this deep house gem by Frider Neumann, but it’s those of us who can break down those very barriers we ourselves put up that end up enjoying life the most.

Last night I was talking to some friends about our beliefs regarding hell. Some of them believe hell to be a place that we cannot yet see, and that we would only be able to get to once we pass away from this life. Others believe that hell is here on Earth and within the lives we live. Me? I was somewhere in the middle realizing that, for me, hell exists only within the hells we choose to live within. That’s it. We have all the say in how we will wake up and what we will allow ourselves to think about all day. For me, there is no way I’m thinking about anyone or anything negative in my world because they simply do NOT exist, in my world. I don’t have to answer some pathetic psychopaths selfish pleas via email if I don’t need to, and as for thinking about it any further than the spam button, I just don’t, and the truth and secret is that you don’t have to either.

You need to realize that life CAN be beautiful everyday. You need to understand that if we go through hell it’s because we allowed that hell to come to us and take over our minds and thoughts, and that quite possibly, we masochistically even desired it to happen. If that’s the case, then there is something deeper that you have to get to the bottom of within you because hell on Earth is an option of our minds. The same way that you may look at someone living in what you believe to be poverty, as sad, is the same way they may look at you and think the same.

Today is a new day, the summer has freshly begun and hell can honestly just be a myth told by ancient people to control the masses. All you need to know is that in order to grow and progress and rid yourself of any hells that may come your way, all you need to do is remove those emotional cages that you have built for yourself and continue to experience the world. It is through those very experiences that you fear having that life becomes the greatest journey ever taken, and if you are not here to LIVE, then what exactly are you here for?


A.Chal — Round Whippin

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Learn these words really quickly:

I BEEN GOING AROUND WHIPPIN// ALL THRU THE NIGHT // ME IN A // 2 SEATER LIKE // ROUND WHIPPIN GOING GET IT RIGHT // GOING GET IT RIGHT

Round Whippin” by A.Chal is that new night time summer jam that you rock to as your cruisin’ by yourself or with friends. It’s the kind of song that puts everything happening around you as your driving by it, into slow motion, and it’s that shit that makes those hard gazes shared with hot girls cinematic.

A.Chal sings about Rodeo Drive and La Brea and San Diego and connects us to that California vibe we can only really feel if we have ever been. There’s nothing like that beautiful air hitting your face as you drive under the those giant palm trees at night whose silhouettes only become visible in front of all the stars.

The song maintains a mellow mood with a hard hip hop bottom that carries it through til the end, and gives it that B-boy swag it exudes so well. It’s a catchy, sexy and pensive type of tune for the next time you just want to hit the open road at night and ride.

Light up.