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Fabolous — Pachangas

La Marina was mine way before Fabolous, Jay & Bey, or Leo DiCaprio had an inkling of what it would be, but then again, many places from LES to Dyckman have been that way. Actually, many places from East Williamsburg (Bushwick) all the way over to the West Coast have been that way in my life. You have to remember that at some point in everybody’s life they have all been inspired by someone else; someone more knowledgeable, someone more experienced, someone more daring. Anyway, I had my birthday there before they officially opened, and Fab was one of my invited guests that year…

Friends in this industry are just a bonus” — Ken “Duro” Ifill. 

Fab has no idea who Cyrus Pavel is. He has never heard of that pen name and no reason to have. I was born in NYC, raised in the Pink Houses of East New York back in a time when Brooklyn was a place that many of you readers here would have been robbed for stepping in. I actually thought about using the word “mugged” instead of “robbed”, but as any NYPD officer with 20+ years in would tell you, there is a difference. Let’s start off with the definition of a “Pachanga“. A “Pachanga” is a traitor. The kind that our American History books consider a Benedict Arnold. Throughout the history of humanity, there have been several “Pachangas”, think Judas Iscariot from one of our oldest scriptures, right?

A thug changes
And love changes, 
And best friends become strangers.”

Centuries and Millennia later, a young prophet from Brooklyn puts out a song titled similarly to a modern-day Judas calling it: Pachangas. Pachangas by Fabolous deals with the turncoats of life. The everyday friends and loves that cross the line into enemy territory by proving loyalty only to themselves. People that get so caught up in their own hype and moments, that they forget their humble beginnings altogether. Suddenly, the moments when they couldn’t spare a dime, yet you looked out for them become forgotten and erased. Things that you recall with full detail become disregarded in full denial. Cars you gave them rides in, money you made one another look great with, and fights that you settled or took on for them go completely unrecognized…. Pachangas is a song that deals more with the shock of how easily people will let you down, than with the characteristics of the people that will always let you down. It is a song that is more about how hurt someone is from being let down, than the actual traitors themselves because:

When you lose a friend,
it’s hard to handle the loss.”

A Pachanga is a girl that you loved with all of your heart and slid with your best friend, whom you thought would always have your back. A Pachanga is the best friend that pointed you out in the lineup, even though he knew you had less to do with the situation at-hand than he did. A Pachanga is the family member that wants you to taste the glass of wine that they believe could be poisonous..

Yo, everything ain’t love love, cause if it is
My definition of love must differ his.”

My point? A Pachanga is someone that will always break your heart.

Fifteen years, fifteen years!
And now when we say “what’s up” the shit seem weird?”

So, if you have had your heart broken by the shock of what someone you gave all of your love could do to you, then this is a song for you. It’s a song that you will appreciate and find hidden gems in, and, it is a song that if you like or love Fabolous, you will see a lot of his personal life spread throughout. A rare commodity in a day and age where artists love to expose too many sides of themselves, unnecessarily.

To Losoyou need more real gunners and bad guys around you again. —Cyrus Pavel

What you lookin’ at? You all a bunch of fuckin’ assholes. You know why? You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, “That’s the bad guy.” So… what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don’t have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy! Come on. The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you. Come on. Make way for the bad guy. There’s a bad guy comin’ through! Better get outta his way! - Tony Montana

Honorable Mention to my fellowBrooklynites.

Fabolous — Pachangas

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The Flaming Lips – Free Radicals

You are where you want to be. You are who you want to be. The people in your life are who you want in your life. The people not in your life are the ones you don’t want in your life.

That may sound vague but it basically means that who you are, whether you like that person or not, is completely the product of your creation. That’s how simple it is because even when we’re lost in thought our subconscious is still at work creating that which we consciously recognize as happening or don’t. That’s why mindfulness is so important because the thoughts you have can control your path without you even knowing it…

The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

Kanye recently wrote a I am a God” and before you get your panties in a bunch realize that it’s a metaphor for being made in the image of ultimate creation, God is just a word we’ve given to the dopest shit ever that nobody really understands. That said, we tend to act surprised when changes happen in our lives but as little creators, in the free world, we literally make everything that happens in our lives. Cognitive bias, denial, selfishness, ego, stubbornness and arrogance make us think external forces are responsible but in a place like the US that’s not entirely true. Here, were relatively free to control what and who comes into our lives. Despite the revolutionary things happening in politics at the moment were not controlled by some insane dictator telling us how to do everything. That said, if you let someone in your life capable of hurting you then you made that happen. You can’t blame the person because actions have no real meaning besides what we give it. Something that may seem right to you could be wrong to someone else and vice verse. That means you could be creating a path for yourself that accomplishes everything your subconscious truly desires while simultaneously destroying what you don’t. Once you’ve manifested this reality it’s up to you to take responsibility for it.

The Flaming Lips are legend bands and Free Radicals is by far one of my favorite of their jams. Sonically it’s a space age Prince meets an even weirder version of Bowie. Song wise it’s about people who over react to situations and take revenge in extreme ways. There are so many lawyers to the way the world operates and what the Flaming Lips are referring to is high power where very bad things are done and equally bad things are done in retaliation. It’s very complicated but parallel learning is always in effect. Often times when we dance with the devil we’re shocked at what comes back but look at humans like animals for a second. In wildlife a Lion will eat the shit out of Zebra, in cold blood to survive. No one judges a lion. But if you’re a Zebra and you walk in front of a pack of lions, you better be fast as lightning or accept that reality you created…

You know the consequences of your acts, you can’t be serious.” – Jay Z

You are where you want to be. You are who you want to be. The people in your life are who you want in your life. The reality you’re in is the one you created. The good, the bad, the ugly. Accept it, keep it if you like it or know your power and change it if you don’t. The Stoics strongly believe in enduring both hardship and happiness with an even keel to get to a higher truth. Until we become masters and can truly be mindful enough to see our own actions from outside of ourselves it’s wise to learn from such wisdom, being swayed to the far left and right by our own mind getting lost in thought is no way to fly. Enjoy.

The Flaming Lips – Free Radicals

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KRS One – Sound of Da Police

Law enforcement has existed for thousands of years. From the Prefects of ancient China, Athenian public slaves, and Roman vigils, to today’s beat cops, highway patrol and paramilitary police, these bodies have occupied a cultural niche unlike any other. Both required and reviled, the law is ever present across the world.

In the USA and most “developed” countries, citizens are accustomed to a professional policing force that, for better or worse, exists to protect and serve the population on a day-to-day, community-to-community basis. But in much of the world, state power barely projects a few hundred meters surrounding government buildings or institutions. The void is filled by a range of power structures: warlords, religious leaders, citizens brigades and more. Clearly, the innate desire for protection is shared by all people, and yet that desire often allows for the rise of corrupt and unequal structures that prioritize the human rights of some groups over others.

A recent episode of the Vice television show explored the advanced policing tactics in Camden, New Jersey. Entitled “Surveillance City,” the program explored and exposed the technology intenseive pilot program implemented in the city over the past few years. Cameras on every block, monitored around the clock. Facial recognition software, license plate tracking, and ground forces on constant patrol. As you can imagine, the residents of Camden are not happy about the arrangement. Most of the interviewees were from underrepresented ethnicities, but a number were white, including a wealthy non-Camden resident who had apparently come to the city to buy drugs. He was noticed on camera, deemed to be an outsider, and apprehended before the deal went down. If that doesn’t remind you of “Minority Report,” you haven’t seen the movie.

Even more frightening and incredible was a report on a demo program conducted in (or should I say, over) Compton, California by Persistence Surveillance Systems, a military contractor. They worked with the LA County Sheriff Department to track the entire city in real time using high-flying drone aircraft, which generated footage of daily life below. The police were then able to take this footage and zoom to an unbelieveable degree of specificity, rewinding and fast-forwarding to track crimes in the buildup and aftermath. As in, they knew a crime had happened, so they checked the tape, and were able to follow the crimminal’s getaway car to its final destination. Will Singapore use this tech to catch litterers? What are the limits?

That technology is here, make no mistake, but it has not been implemented at scale yet. This week, residents of Gaza City and Donetsk, are facing far more immediate law enforcement crises. In both cases, there is serious disagreement as to who is making and enforcing the laws of life, with deadly consequences. These examples are representative of the limbo faced by a massive proportion of the world’s population. When one cop says yes and one says no, and the consequence will be meted out violenty, with no trial, by both sides, how do you figure out what to do?

KRS One gave us one of the most memorable lines in musical history with his comparison of “officer” and “overseer”:

Take the word “overseer,” like a sample
Repeat it very quickly in a crude voice sample
Overseer, overseer, overseer, overseer
Officer, officer, officer, officer
Yeah, officer from overseer
Need a little clarity? Check the similarity.”
Law enforcement is by definition a type of overseer. And, though the comparison is reprehensible, overseer’s on slave plantations (the one’s KRS is rapping about) were highly valued by the dominant societal elite at the time. The same goes for law enforcement now, in many ways. The dominant social forces use law enforcement to project their ideologies. In some cases, those ideologies are progressive and aimed at protecting human rights and expanding opportunity. But in most, the ideologies are strict and anti-minority, whether ethnic, gender, religious, you name it.

I’m not trying to make an argument here, but I believe that the nature of law enforcement is changing rapidly and out of sight for most people. The NSA “revalations” are one example. As global citizens, we need to ensure that we have a voice in the process, whether our governments want to hear that voice or not. This is one reason art is so valuable. Censorship will occur, and does every day. But art speaks a universal language. Ever rebellious street tag is a reminder to the man on the street that all is not well. And every protest anthem (“Sound of Da Police” included) is a rallying cry to raise your voice and work toward the changes you want to see in the world.

KRS One – Sound of the Police

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Theophilus London – No Particular One

The only thing that matters to me at this point is family. The unconditional, deep love I have for my brother, my sister and my parents is the feeling I want to have with anyone who gets to spend more than 20 minutes with me outside of a professional environment…

If I could be born again, I live my life through my son
And tell him never have a friend, Just family
Reincarnated I’ll show him the time that I waited to get paid,
Tell him never be afraid” – Jay Z

The concept of family is being strategically challenged these days because at it’s core is the power of the clan, concentration of energy, unity, cohesion and strength. You don’t go to war with your friend, you go to war with your brother because blood runs thicker. I turned 30 this year and as I look toward the future these are the type of thoughts that come to my mind. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some weird isolationist thing, in the future the whole world will feel like the connection we all have as family but at the moment with all the race baiting politics etc we’re not even close.

Theophilus London’s highly overlooked bonus track ‘No Particular One’ makes me think of this in relation to the girls in my life…

I don’t have, no particular one. I don’t see, no particular one…

As my instinct for concentrated love and cohesion between a group of people grows it’s hard to relate to most girls still having daddy issues or trying to figure out if they want to stay with the boyfriend they’re cheating on. The concept of family is perhaps the most powerful force there is against any sort of oppression. That’s why it’s being redefined these days to mean something else or not mean anything at all.

As a guy it’s interesting to start thinking about these things. First and foremost because if you hold such a high standard for everyone you meet you’re probably not going to get to know anyone. Secondly, boys will be boys which makes it harder to step away from the scene or only focus on the important stuff.

We are human… after all
Much in common. After all…” – Daft Punk

Deeply rooted ambition makes you seek the highest truths because you want to build real, lasting and solid things. It makes you be introspective and form a deep bond and connection with yourself that begins to dictate your actions. Prior to how I feel now, I would let the outside world dictate my inner thoughts and actions but that’s not the truth.

No I still don’t have, no-no I still don’t have, no particular one…”

And it’s all good, kicking it with girls about real shit isn’t exactly a problem. I mean these days I find myself speaking like this to everyone I meet and I can feel it bringing me closer and close to manifesting a world where the bond and strength of family is the driving force and it’s a beautiful thing. In the mean time I don’t have no particular one and as I search for the one, as a young ambitious uptown kid from the Space Age living and doing his this in the city of Angles that’s not the worst thing that could be happening. Enjoy.

Theophilus London – No Particular One

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Coldplay – Magic (AlunaGeorge Remix)

AlunaGeorge kill it again after a year of silence in the remix world. This time they take on Coldplay’s “Magic” from their recently released album, “Ghost Stories”. If you haven’t listened to it, DO IT! It’s been almost 2 months and by now you have no excuse (the album’s non-existence on Spotify isn’t an excuse, btw). It’s hot, trust me.

AlunaGeorge strip the song of its soft strumming guitar and piano to make way for the quintessential short electronic sounds George regularly adds to Aluna’s vocals. Chris Martin’s voice is the only bit of Coldplay left in the song. The beginning of the track is reminiscent of “Your Drums, Your Love” by the duo, off their forthcoming album “Body Language”. I was lucky enough to be front-and-center for their show at the Governors Ball Music Festival last month. For many reasons, this was one of my favorite shows of the weekend. I knew the songs by heart, was there with one of my best friends, and it was something I definitely didn’t want to miss that weekend. I love music festivals, but sometimes they can go oh-so wrongly. The people, the sun, $9 beers. All these things are likely to play a prevalent role in your mood. But at 3:45 on Sunday June 8, the conditions were perfect. You’ve been to that show- you’re energized, happy, and ready to dance your ass off. Almost just as importantly, you’re surrounded by people in the same mindset! Set those conditions up as perfectly as you can before heading to a fest. Bring the right people, the right supplies, and the right mentality. And don’t you dare forget your dancing shoes!!

Coldplay – Magic (AlunaGeorge Remix)

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Falcon Punch & Pixelated – Flying High

It’s been over three years since EMPT introduced the world to the sound of Falcon Punch. Since then, the now Boulder-based Colorado producer has made a habit of popping up a couple times a year to release re-imaginations of old school, feel good tracks.

Typically, Falcon Punch tackles really obscure tracks–or parts of tracks–and gives them a second life. This time, Falcon teams up with Pixelated and takes a song we thought we never wanted to hear remixed again– Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”–and gives it a perfect summer makeover.

The song may be played out, but you likely haven’t heard it with this kind of funk, energy, and hope. The duo takes the typically downtrodden (Nina does sound kind of sad for someone feeling so good) vocals and puts some breezy, summery winds behind her sails.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day.”

And it’s a song that’s all about hope. Every day–especially on rough Mondays after a 4th of July weekend–we wake up, look at the alarm clock, and wonder if anything will change. Today, something did change: Washington became America’s second state to sell legal weed.

If that can happen in our lifetime, I have faith that one day, perhaps one of my crazy dreams will come true.

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Ella Eyre – If I Go (Billon Remix)

She was clearly upset. I asked her what was wrong and she just kept saying she was suffocating. That’s all. The love was there, I could tell. I could feel it still. But she wasn’t. She was losing herself in the relationship. She was calling from that place where you realise you don’t remember the last time you slept alone. Her nights filled up with plans and dinners, committing nights once spent on personal time and space to sitting around each other because you don’t know what else to do.

But I try, but I try
And I need time, and I need space
I need to live without your face”

There are always the pangs of guilt felt the first night you say “I actually think I am going to just stay at mine tonight”. The guilt you feel when the other person doesn’t seem to be on the same page for that much needed night in your head.  Alone time.  Taking a step back to give yourself a break and process where you are is as necessary as sleep or working out your body. This is something you come to realise with heavy shoulders, comes a heavy mind.

She was still sad. She didn’t have an escape. She was more accommodating than most. But really that isn’t fair either. You’re tired, you take a break. Should there be such a taboo on taking a moment to build yourself back up? After all, that is the person who your lover fell for.

I could be what you want me to
Can you hold out and let me do what I want?
What I want?
Tell me how long could you wait till you move on
And tell me it’s too late! It’s too late. “

This song by Ella Eyre is an anthem for this realisation. For this moment. That voice in your head saying to” take a break” is just as loud as the one who is telling you if you” take a step back, then you will lose what you created”. Ella is a rising star from the UK with her vocals that sounds like she was out all night and a bravado which says she doesn’t care.

Will you want me like that?
And if I leave, will it end?
If I go, will you love me?
Will you love me when I come back?”

Ella Eyre – If I Go (Billon Remix)

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Et Musique Pour Tous Presents: Les Auteurs — Cyrus Pavel

HarlemEMPT

But you know this already, my hood the coldest and deadly
Soldiers is ready, I am boastful, forgive me”—NAS

My play list represents “perspective“. Lately, some of you have been deeming us:Music Elitists“. Now, let me tell you why it really doesn’t bother us when you YELL it our way:

New York City, a.k.a., the “Melting Pot“,  is the land where people flooded to in order to become cool. Our parents, our great grandparents, our cousins, aunts, sisters, brothers, whoever. It is the city were dreams come true, the town where fantasies become reality, and the place that everyone wants a slice of. In that process, we were taught to always be humble, always be extremely respectful, and NEVER talk about ANYTHING unless you were a MASTER of it.

A few years ago, a friend of mine named Nick Azarm taught me exactly what perspective was, and precisely why we should, at all times, respect perspectives. It wasn’t until then that my mind opened up to new music, new lifestyles, and all the different combinations of ways to grow up in this world that existed. I learned that the more perspectives you could appreciate, the more you could learn. California was a trip. (‘and I mean that in every form of the word.’) 

This is a glimpse into who Cyrus Pavel is. Cyrus Pavel is someone who loves being in-love. He actually loves being in-love more than being not “in-love”. A writer who protects his loved ones, loves his protected ones, and enjoys laughing every single day of his life. These songs represent a little bit of the city I was born in, some of the music that I enjoy on a daily basis, moods that I find myself in on a weekly-basis, energies that I love to indulge on on an hourly-basis, and more parts of where I am fromwhere I have come from, and where I hope to stay.

Thanks for listening, and I hope that you enjoy these next 8 songs/35 minutes. Please don’t bill me personally if you find that those 35 minutes were a waste of your time, but take it as a lesson to never ever listen to my musical suggestions again. Why not, right? I mean, sometimes we trust the worst kind of people on our own until we find out about them, no? 

We are not music snobs at all. We just want to humbly provide a different perspective, and we hope that you came here looking for just that, respecting it in the process.

This play list also showcases my cultures, on both ends (latin & hip-hop), the music and sounds I dig, and the energies that I am on, every, single, day.

Enjoy. [Shout out to New York fucking City.]

We get it forever
It’s on forever
Calm down, never
Slow it down, never

We get it forever
We do this forever
It’s on forever
Calm down, never
Slow it down, never” —Mobb Deep

Please use the comments section below to show us what your perspective is, and what great songs out there YOU are listening to because that’s truly the only way we learn. Thanks for rockin’ with us for this long.

 

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Sade – When Am I Going To Make A Living (Poolside’s Tons of Drums Edit)

Futuristic people, that’s what interest me these days, nothing else.

Look at how insanely fast technology is advancing. Don’t take your iPhone for granted man, that thing is nothing short of a miracle. My question though is how can we be getting so sophisticated in terms of tech and be a such a snail pace culturally?

I’ve never had much of an interest for tradition. I mean how much sense does it make to follow something that was established hundreds of years before, for reasons only relevant to the people who made them and could easily serve no practical purpose for the reality were a part of. If there is a better way to do something would we ignore it simply because of tradition, establishment or comfort?
Sergy Brin came out yesterday saying he wants to end individual car ownership & Travis Kalanick of Uber has been saying the same thing. I don’t know if you guys realize but for CEO’s of two of the most influential companies in the world to say those things is basically like declaring war on the car industry. The car industry represents what I was referring to earlier, systems so massive and established that it’s hard to see a world without them in it, good or bad. Remember those bailouts? The car industry was one of the biggest recipients.
Serge and Travis’s views are so forward thinking that 90% of people will actually side with the car industry and say that not owning your own car would be ludicrous. I represent the Space Age so my view is with the CEOs, self-driving cars and systems like Uber are more efficient in a multitude of ways and individual car ownership is unnecessary. It may be hard to see that now because the solutions aren’t available to the public but whether we like it or not that will be the future.
These type of changes make me think about life in general and how many cultural staples are just as outdated and in need of either being completely eliminated or totally renovated. The first thing that comes to mind is our perception of success and it’s relation to material things…

Haven’t I told you before
We’re hungry for a life we can’t afford?…

I won’t get too into this topic because its way to complicated but those lyrics capture it perfectly. Our definition of success is based on marketing and because of that we spend our entire lives working within someone else’s idea of what life is supposed to be.

When am I gonna make a living?
It’s gonna take a while before I give in, yes it is
I’m sick and tired of scratching a living
I am hungry but I’m not gonna give in, no

Without going into the mountains, swearing off civilization and meditating for days on end to unlearn the programming of the matrix it’s impossible to be immune to the power of marketing. Everything is a sell and they’re getting better and better at knowing what makes us tick and what will get us to buy. So they create this hunger within us, we don’t know why we want that car, why we care so much about a phone, why we’ll spend ridiculous amount of money on coffee etc but the hunger is real. I always wondered why I equally loved and hated the things that motivated me and this Sade song, in all it’s smooth and elegant glory explained it perfectly…

I am hungry but I’m not gonna give in, no.

Sade – When Am I Going To Make A Living (Poolside’s Tons of Drums Edit)

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Sam and Dave - Sooth Me (Live)

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I used to be up on all the new shit.

By the time you were saying “OMG have you heard of XYZ band?” I’d have downloaded their discography, played you their best songs (though at the time you couldn’t be bothered and clearly don’t remember) and moved on to the next hot sound. I can’t tell you how many times I went to shows with under 50 people for under $20, and the next time that act came through town prices were through the roof and the rooms were packed beyond capacity.

That was then.

Now, when my friends ask me to send them good new music, I feel embarrassed and direct them to my fellow EMPT writers’ posts. I’ve lost touch. Partially this is a function of new technology, especially streaming services that offer a music discovery platform that doesn’t require any effort on my part. I can build a Spotify playlist and let those proprietary Swedish algorithms do the rest. And really, I don’t have the time anymore to “crate dig” across the blogosphere. Commute+job+pet+life.

But if a friend asks me for some “good music,” I’m never at a loss for words.

If we’re being honest, the best music ever recorded hasn’t come out in the past 10 or even 20 years, with a few notable exceptions. With the rise of studio technology and autotune-esque band-aids, much of the raw authenticity that marked early recordings has vanished.

Listen to the passion Sam and Dave exude on this recording of “Sooth Me” (which I believe was recorded in Paris, 1967). The Sultans of Sweat, as they were known, knew how to put on a show. There were no backup dancers or props. There were no illusions as to what the audience was seeing or hearing. Two men and a band, on stage, in the flesh, bringing the roof down, every night – these were the men, after all, that introduced the word “soul” into the musical lexicon of white America.

This post is for all of you who are up on the new shit. It’s cool for a while, but how much will you really remember, or will you want to pass on to your kids? Next time you go on a blog dive, take a gander at some charts from the 30s-early 70s instead. You may be surprised at the gems you never knew existed.

Sam and Dave –  Sooth Me (Live)

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