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War — The World Is A Ghetto (1972)

Hatred is not a choice, it is simply a form of programming the way that the language that you speak is. You are not born knowing anything in this life, but you are born seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, tasting and then absorbing every inch of what is brought into your space as you grow. What else is a human being if it is not constantly learning, and how else could it function for not what we design it to function as, right?

Walkin’ down the street, smoggy-eyed
Looking at the sky, starry-eyed”

I remember being very little when my mother taught me that people in this city hate one another for the color of their skin, and being so confused by that notion. Up until that point, my mom never said anything like that to me before. She always made sure I played with everyone, and until then I had never really known that people saw skin color as something that could make us so different. Had you shown me a giraffe or a rhino or a jellyfish, I could tell that they were different, but the kids that I played with from very little, well they all had ears like me, eyes, noses, hair, and they were all around my height, so everyone, to me, was the same… She told me this because I was about to embark on a journey into another failed system that never teaches us what we should be learning in order to thrive in America, but rather what we should know to barely survive instead; enter, the public school system. It was there that I understood what she was trying to show me, and it was then that I came to learn what a ghetto was.

War‘s “The World Is A Ghetto”, was playing last night at the underground pub on Broadway that I walked into for a beer. I had just been out with friends and just been basking in my glory about how things with work are going, so I wasn’t really in the mood to stop celebrating. Knowing that I could walk in there and grab a beer and just relax was all the driver for the night that I needed to walk inside. I ordered a beer and as I sat there ready to engage with the hot little number that was sitting next to me, I heard the most amazing sounds coming out of the worst speakers:

When I think of the world as a whole, with no language barriers and stupid color-prejudices, I think of one giant ghetto because it is. The filthy rich became that way by methods and ideas that are illegal in themselves. Think of all the big banks in this country, the steel and oil bandits in others. Think of the bootleggers from our very own history whose great great grandkids are trustafarians. Now think of everyone else, and what do you see? The same thing I saw growing up. The rich drug dealers and mafia gangsters living lavishly in their palaces, and then there is everyone else. The electrician, the bodega owner, the mail lady, the nurse, the students, the disabled, the elderly, the weak, the mentally challenged, and the soldiers, all struggling in the same hamster wheel of their own ghettos which we simply call life.

The World Is A Ghetto is a sonic masterpiece. In order for any song to sound good on every set of speakers and headphones, including the shittiest kinds, the song needs to contain the kind of dynamic mixes and sounds found on this tune. Mixes that are perfected by absolutely very detailed recording methods in which instruments have several mics to capture every natural sound, vocals have backup singers, and new methods like Quadrophonic mixing are incorporated; new to 1970, and 2 years before this was recorded. Mixes that are able to capture the sounds in an entire room are the kind of mixes that just don’t die.

While some of the other guys focus on the latest and very newest songs out there, we continue to focus on quality, so we write in order to tell you why we feel what we do as we reflect on who we are continuing to become.

There’s no need to search anywhere
Happiness is here, have your share
If you know you’re loved, be secure
Paradise is love to be sure”

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BROODS – Bridges (L D R U Remix)

I realized something yesterday, everything and consequently everyone around us is the equivalent of a living and breathing vision board for our life. It’s why you not only have to visualize what you want but also be well aware of the desires, motivations and capacities of those you keep close. The values upheld by those around you will directly translate into what manifest in your world. For example, a person who disregards your opinion or is willing to disrespect you will bring just that into your life and have no qualms about it. Not because they are a bad person but simply because they have a different outlook on things. As your life’s creator, the key is to see the true nature of people and things so you embrace the right and don’t empower the wrong.

A music producer has to tediously choose each and every sound that will make up a composition. For each song he/she is basically an extension of ultimate power because as he creates a world through a highly meticulous and intentional process. Why don’t we do this in real life and why are we so willing to settle on the details and course of our life?

Well for one, in the real world you can’t necessarily control everything and a certain amount of flexibility is required to ride the waves. You don’t choose your parents, where you come from, what’s going on in the world – you don’t get to tell the pitcher when to throw the curve ball. However, beyond those things you have all the power you need, at least if you live in the United States.

I’ve always thought that each person invented himself. For whatever reasons, through whatever circumstance, through whatever he has gone through, that we are each a figment of our own imagination and some people have a greater ability to imagine than others.” – David Geffen

The way you do anything is the way you do everything. The movies you watch, the people you love, the music you listen to, the way you dress, it’s all a manifestation of your creativity in action. The problems and conflicts arise when you underestimate that power. Yesterday I realized that a lot of the recent conflicts in my life come from a discrepancy in what I envision and what I’m permitting to be in my life by not understanding that power. Nothing around you is happening by chance, everything is your creation, whether you realize it or not. To create your vision you have to make sure that those around you share it, if they don’t they’ll despise you for your passion and cause you immense harm to protect their own interest.

We are creators capable of making each and every detail a reality. Look at the marvel that is your iPhone or whatever you have, there is not one step of that manufacturing process that isn’t known. There is an immense and highly focused level of intention required to make that happen. Contrary to the way most people look at it, that is all science, top to bottom. The idea was creative but the execution was all science, it is planned from start to finish.

When you harness the power to realize what you imagine it becomes crucial that your living vision board be as intentional as possible. Seeing what you want all the time and eliminating what you don’t becomes the ultimate obsession. Suddenly, the past is truly gone, that person you let hurt you so much doesn’t make sense, the food that made you out of shape taste bad, your priorities become clear and getting to your vision becomes your purpose. No longer do you wish to have safe harbor and comfort or negativity because it doesn’t align with that vision. Like Cortés upon arriving in Veracruz  you burn the ships because retreating back that existence is not an option…

And we’re burning all the bridges now
Watching them go up in flames
No way to build them up again

Now we’re burning all the bridges now
‘Cause it was sink or swim and I went down, down, down…”

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TOKiMONSTA ft. Arama – Drive

A new set of wings I’m trying on

LA-based producer TOKiMONSTA keeps it light and energetic with this track, “Drive”. Her dynamic piano synths at the beginning set a hoppy vibe for the remainder of the song. It’s catchy, with its harmonies set forth by Arama, set amongst the hip-hop elements. I feel like my insides are trying desperately to active my physical being. Isn’t it crazy that through our ears, these sound bytes are traveling deep down to our soul? Yes, we hear the sounds; we can choose to listen only at that level of conscientiousness- a passive state of hearing. Or we can let the music penetrate us; to affect our moods, to let our minds hear what the sounds have to offer.

Let this song in. It doesn’t have any deep meanings, per se, but you can at least let it add rhythm to your life- to tap your toes along to.

Enjoy the hand claps, shallow percussion, sweet twinkles, and snappy rhythm! And be sure to check out TOKiMONSTA’s latest album, out back in September called “Desiderium”.

TOKiMONSTA ft. Arama – Drive

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BADBADNOTGOOD – Kaleidoscope (Kaytranada’s Flip)

BBNG2

Badbadnotgood just keeps getting better and better. Notorious for their boundary-pushing and genre-fucking ways, these guys are are absolutely killing it these days. Not your typical jazz conservatory grads, this Toronto-based trio (Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alexander Sowinski on drums) initially garnered attention with their bad-ass jazz interpretative stylings of some popular hip-hop tracks and they’ve gone on to collaborate with artists such as Ghostface Killah, Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean just to name a few. They released their third album III earlier this year– their studio work is pretty damn spectacular, but let it be known that their live set is where the real alchemical shit goes down (improvisation, yo)…

BBNG’s sound is impossible to define (duh) but my best attempt right here right now is something along the lines of ‘jazz-informed harmonic bliss infused with experimental hip-hop-y beats with a dash of post-bop electronica and some punk-ass virtuosic fusion vibes’. In other words, there are no words. Only listening to be done.

On that note, BBNG + Kaytranada = magic. Not a remix, but a flip. Pretty aptly named in my opinion.

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Banks – You Should Know Where I’m Coming From

Monday night I went to have a drink with a friend at the pub. Both of us came from our day jobs which are in banks in Shoreditch, but we are both dating people in Clapham so the destination is generally this bar that always has seats a bit out of town and £15 bottles of wine. Wine nights always feel more honest. Before the first glass was half gone, we we are already getting to the grittier girl talk.

Her situation was about a somewhat recent sweetheart who has been getting texts from a girl. He showed her. She acted fine with it and he continues to be open about it. But there is the little green monster. Which I think most girls fear the most.  The green eyed monster is jealousy and by definition is the emotion you have when you feel insecure that you are about to loss something of great value to you. In language today, envy and jealousy are nearly synonymous and both have a negative connotation as far as emotions go. Yet, the idea is that when you feel one- it is more of a fear of loosing rather than wish someone was without.

This wine fuelled honesty about relationships came together as we played devil’s advocate. But as much as you try to be empathetic/understanding there is nothing like the flip in your stomach you feel in those instances. It is not in all relationships but remembered this feeling from my boyfriend at 18, you feel almost dirty or ashamed for hating the person who is texting or calling. But the end conclusion of this was we don’t plan to stop texting our friends or guys so we can’t expect our lovers to. But really, why would you want your partner to only interact with you?

This whole bit then led to the conversation of are we really supposed to be with just one person for our whole lives? We evolve in our friend groups (miss you old friends) and our surroundings. Whys do we think that loving someone can’t evolve as well. I just really got hung up on this. Some guys friends joined soon after this kicked off and the conversation was astonishingly pretty unanimous. We all had the idea of love. The want for it, but all believed that we are able to love and belong to more than one person in life. The social norm of finding the one and getting married and that is it – is a bit dated (and not bad at all, just a different path). But this new train of thought on the idea of relationships being more of something you can do through life is sort of frowned upon. But why? This is an honest feeling.  Why is it that we put such a high premium on the one and life when we can evolve or explore more? Why is this looked at like it is a lesser love? Just because your love with someone didn’t last forever doesn’t discredit it, or make it less. It makes it the perfect bit in a life of perfect little bits.

I don’t know. I think when you ask this question to people you get some interesting answers back. Although this was a girl talk topic, I think we have evolved alot from the “Does he like me” context.

I love this song by Banks. I listened to it alot this past week and it fits this whole thing so well. I think when you have the doubt that there is one person, you worry about hurting people more. Because you care about this person. I hurt when they hurt. I laugh when they do. And I’m scared because being with them now is the best, but I remember a quote I heard when I will younger, “It is easy to change a mind, it is hard to change a belief. One lives in the mind and the other in the heart.” As much as one sounds like a good idea, you know what you believe and the door is not as far as you think. Sweet, sweet Banks.

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Misterwives – Reflections (Gryffin Remix)

Press play.

A little over two weeks ago I met this beautiful person while hanging with some close friends at The Spare Room, one of my favorite spots in Hollywood. In the sea of people I felt compelled to not be shy as I gravitated to this particular energy and suddenly found myself talking about my intense wheat, dairy, sugar, processed food and alcohol free lifestyle, I went on about my new-found obsession with reductionism, music and all the other things you’re not supposed to talk about when you meet a pretty girl…

I got no game it’s just some bitches understand my story.” – NaS

Long story short, the vibe to which I gravitated was real and I met another soul on a spiritual journey that seemed to parallel my own in many ways. For weeks we hung out, went on day trips, talked about the true nature of things, shared music, knowledge and enjoyed the new friendship. The bittersweet part about it is that when we met she was already in transition about to move to NYC so however wonderful our time was, the days were numbered from the start. Yesterday she went to see her family and this Thursday she moves to the Big Apple. Traditionally these things would make a person sad but you realize that when you meet kindred spirits there’s no such thing. Instead of saying goodbye in sadness or anger it was a beautiful wishing for the best and see you when I see you. We’ll remain good friends and at the very least I’ll have a spiritual sister for life.

Reflections. This song has been around for a while but Gryffin has completely reinvented it and bought it to the Space Age. I love it’s meaning because it’s about things that could be something but remain the same due to repetition of patterns, uncertainty and the overall in-between. The middle is the place that does a lot and a little, it’s the easiest place to be in and the hardest to get out of. It’s where you let things slide and never forgive actions get hall passes only to create more problems in the end…

My recent experience was a fearless departure from the in-between; an existence free of doubt where two people truly brought out the best versions of each other. Those were two weeks of hope for me. To meet someone with such a beautiful disposition, full of light and showing limitless capacity for growth makes you feel good about the idea of a significant other. In this world of insecurity, vindictiveness and fear you can easily forget what that relationship is really about. Saying goodbye was tough but how much more wonderful it is to reflect on the passing of something beautiful than something miserable. Note to self, life should always be this way, enjoy.

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Misun — Superstitions

and life goes on.

The horoscopes to me are like superstitions. They’re just a bunch of noise that generalizes things that at some point we did not understand as a species. Millennia ago we were praying to 100 different gods for a hundred different things, and all because it was easier to believe that an invisible force was responsible for every little thing that happened rather than understand why things happened. It’s like humanities take on love these days to me.

How we are today is a product of where we come from—who are parents are, how they raised us, how they disciplined us, our experiences in schools, our childhood and neighborhood friends, other family members, things we saw on tv and experienced in our lifetimes. The variables to that are endless. Later in life we start seeking out love depending on those variables, and, depending on those variables we begin seeking out specific types of lovers which we think will be perfect for us. Somehow our egos cloud our minds and we fail to realize, until rejected, that not everything we want may want us. Our pride and egos also cloud our minds even when we do manage to obtain the ideal lover we wanted because we don’t even begin to understand that just like us, this person’s past dictates how they are now.

Many times we put on hats or sweaters for others that don’t really manage to show where we really come from. We begin to live a life of fantasy doing things for the positive reactions and reinforcement of others rather than doing them because it is what we like, want, and it is who we are. This is why some people find themselves in jobs they don’t want to be in, listening to music they hate, watching sports they couldn’t give a fuck about, running to see movies they know they have zero interest in, and, in constantly more fights with their lovers than any actual love-making. They find themselves stressing more about a lover who won’t give into their wants and needs than they find themselves in any smiling or laughing sessions.

If we all lived our lives based on the superstition of  horoscopes we would all be fucked. I’m not saying that you are not free to believe in what you will, but I am saying that at some point we have to realize what a generalization is, and that in realizing that generalizations exist you realize that the only consistent denominator in this life is that we are all so very different. That as much as our doctors and scientists can pinpoint our DNA sequences, they can never pinpoint the sequence of our souls because where we come from is so different for every single being past, present, and future included.

Misun‘s latest manifestation is this delicious little tune below titled: “Superstitions“. It’s a mini-anthem driven by an ear-erecting arpeggio of variegated synths with Ms. Wojcik‘s signature retro-futuristic vocals blanketed on top of the production. Traditional to Misun‘s already classic sound, at least to us here at EMPT, it remains feel-good music that can be played at any time of the day, in any season and at any moment.

su·per·sti·tion

noun \ˌsü-pər-ˈsti-shən\

: a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck : a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck

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Lido – I Love You

Have you ever wondered how circumstances affect who you are and have become to someone or who they are and have become to you?

For example, you bump into a guy or girl on the street and they accidentally knock your phone to the ground while you we’re on an important call. You look at that person in a mean way, get really mad and walk away. Later that night you see that person at a bar and because of you’re still bitter from earlier you don’t say anything and keep it moving. This could be the most wonderful person for you, he or she could be the love of your life and that seemingly bad chance meeting could be the universes way of literally connecting the two of you but the initial friction stopped that from happening.

Could the person that brings out the worst in you also be the one who brings out the best of you?

When people have negative histories they’re no longer dealing with each other but rather with versions of themselves that are defined by the negative events they experienced – If we’re not careful the things that happen to us can become us. The person you first met is no longer there and neither are you because you became your problems. That’s why being in a bad relationship cycle can literally make you feel like another person, act out of character, lose sight of yourself, do enormous harm and U.O.E.N.O.

Do you ever feel like you’ve become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora’s Box of all the secret hateful parts — your arrogance, your spite, your condescension — has sprung open. Someone provokes you and instead of just smiling and moving on, you zing them…” – You’ve Got Mail

When you meet someone and fall in love under beautiful circumstances you get know that version of them and yourself. When life happens and problems arise you get to meet a second version of each other. What version the two people can coexist in is what usually determines the outcome of a relationship. With the exception of never forgive actions, most things in life have little meaning but dire consequences so how you choose to look at them is entirely up to you. So could the person who brings out the worst be the same who also brings out the best? The answer is no, that version of the person won’t but the other might. Perpetual transmutation of energy is within us all but you won’t effect positive change without coming from a place of love, and you can’t fake or lie about that.

I finally came to love you…”

Those are the only lyrics in the hook for Lido’s I Love You, the Space Age R&B jam that perfectly sums up this post. My friend Nick said something profound recently,

When faced with faith or doubt, choose faith.”

If you’re in love with someone, your doubt will do nothing but harm that situation. It will have you saying one thing and doing another and since you can’t fake vibe you’ll project one of a phony. If you’re in a rough spot with someone you care about you have to let go of the version of you that is causing harm or let go of the situation all together. If you’re not ready to do that the cycle will never end and you could end up doing the opposite of your true intentions. You have to find the version of yourself that is ready to love, not doubt. Then and only then will you leave room for magic to happen, enjoy.

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Made In Heights – Ghosts

The electrifying duo that make up Made In Heights have recently released this single, “Ghosts,” which is almost too catchy. Producer Sabzi and singer Kelsey Bulkin work remarkably well together, and this track is a case in point. The first time I heard it I did a double take.. “Who IS this?? I must know!” I love discovering music this way- an accidental catch. I love the app “Shazam” for this reason- I only Shazam songs I reallllly wish to pursue! The songs I don’t want to lose the chance to listen to again. And so many of the songs on my iPod originated in my Shazam “Tags” list!

Try listening to “Ghosts” in the morning; try to resist the urge to hop out of bed and move your feet. It’s the added motivation, the energy necessary to get you moving. It moves me right. And that cowbell! Please give me more ;)

There’s not much I’d like to say about this song other than LISTEN! It will surely heighten your happy mood, or just be a spark of good feelings. Need another excuse to smile? This could quite possibly be it!

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Blockhead – The Music Scene

The music scene has got me down, cause I don’t want to be a clown…”

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