Skip to content

Buck – Underneath The Glow Of My Skin

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 10.00.05 AM

A few years ago I was heartbroken. I was stuck in a fantasy that I didn’t know how to let go of. A video game, per say, that I could not put down and could not shut off. I wanted to restart the game before my character died, in essence cheating death. I was holding on to moments that had occurred once in that relationship, but that as time went by I realized we would never get back again. I felt helpless against the apocalypse of that love affair, and once I left it alone, I felt guilt and a ton of sadness.

I would spend my days reminiscing about those beautifully flawless moments we shared, and nights plotting on how I could bring moments like that back to us again. I spend countless hours writing about the pain in my heart, and even more countless hours describing the good times to strangers in bars and on the internet. As much as I knew that the only remedy to it all was to live in my current moment and embrace and engulf myself fully in its surroundings, I just couldn’t. I thought that I would never be able to.

And then I began to see that life all around me was leaving me behind. Where I once led the pack of runners through Central Park, always remaining ahead of each curve, I now trailed. I could see everyone else’s heels in the distance in front of me, and that’s when I began to struggle to get back to the head of that pack. I began reminiscing less and reading more. I no longer found myself waking up to old memories and then writing about them. Instead, I found myself thirsty for new knowledge and groundbreaking discoveries. Inspiration would catch me at every bend and intersection I arrived to, instead of every corner long behind me.

Today, I barely remember that heartbreak and my soul feels brand new. My heart has a murmur or two, but hearts get worn down the more we use them, so that’s only natural. I’m not saying that I regret these past moments of heartbreak because I don’t. A broken heart is a sign of a great love. I’m saying that no matter what we go through that seems like it’s the end of the world and everything in it to us, that we always remember that time heals all wounds. Time truly will heal all of your wounds, but only forgetting time by existing in your now is what will  reinvigorate your soul.

If ever you need someone else to hold,
I’m here to take the weight right off your soul.


Colleagues – Talk It Out

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.42.33 PM

She asked what it was like to not be self conscious. 

She was asking as I said I didn’t worry about being cheated on. I never thought about it. In my mind, it was not about thinking “who else is he going to go for?”. It is the fact that I have another hundred things that are rotating through my mind at any given moment. I am not worried if he is looking at someone else. I am not worried if he is going to cheat. If he does, he does. If he looks at someone else, he is human. I cannot change who someone else is. 

And I couldn’t be with someone who wanted to change me. 

I said I don’t worry because I see him every night before I go to sleep and that is all I need. He can do what he needs to do before then because I am the one he comes home to, and I know I am his home and he knows he is mine. I don’t need to own him. I don’t need to worry about him. 

It all came up over a girls night of girls drinks and girls talks. And the inevitable girls worries and girls sadness and girls happiness. 

There is the belief in a relationship that we need to be with that one person and there is a sense of ownership. But I don’t want that. It reminds me of toys when you are kid. You don’t want other people playing with them. You want them to see you have this toy. It is not about a fear of settling or worry that you see something else you may want more. Why are we so scared of the feelings we have? Should we reduce those of this mindset to be forever single as the majority still function in the realm of date, fuck, split-up, repeat, date, marry, divorce, date marry, stay? 

I don’t worry because, thankfully, I have someone who believes this as well. The worst feeling is resentment, and I never want to resent someone I love so much. I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to be hurt. I don’t want to worry, so I don’t. 

She asked what it was like to not be self conscious. I suppose the answer is: don’t have anything to lose. What are you scared to lose? What are you worried they will find after you?

This is such a tune for this sort of mindset. It is that feeling of what you do when you feel you could be losing someone. “There is nothing in this world I cannot live without.” We worry too often about what we are losing rather than enjoying what we had to begin with.

 


Life After Death

“He who would teach men to die would teach them to live.” – Montaigne

I don’t write much these days, not for the public at least. The truth is the person who started EMPT back in the days is a relic of a forgotten time. But the world is funny like that. You spend all this time trying to figure out how to live in the moment and then all anyone wants to do is live in the past.

Hov on that new shit, ni$&@s like “how come?”
Ni£€@s want my old shit, buy my old albums.”  Jay-Z (On To The Next One)

A little less than a year ago I decided that I had no particular attachment to who I defined as me. I also stopped caring about the expectations people had of me. “Hector wouldn’t do this’, ‘he’s the type of person who does that”, etc. We pigeonhole people we love because we think we know them. We pigeonhole ourselves to live up to our reputations. That’s when I realized something that changed my life, or rather spiritually ended it.

You don’t know me.

It was something I knew applied to everyone in my life, myself included. It was something that liberated me from whoever people thought I was. Who they wanted me to be.

As creatives, the people closest to you are the biggest threat to your growth and expression. It’s not a bad thing, its human nature. Our friends and family reinforce our weaknesses in the name of love. We all get comfortable in our expectations of each other and so the loop perpetuates itself. The term be yourself good or bad rules. But it’s a fallacy, you shouldn’t be yourself, you should be your best self.

As people, we don’t understand our limitless nature. We don’t because our programming is too deep. Too self deprecating to understand our capabilities. That explains the typical reaction to Kanye rants about expression, self-belief and creativity. We’re programmed to think impossible.

How many times do I have to die in this lifetime?” – Lauren Alice Avery

The past lives in our imaginations. Reality is constructed by how we perceive the world. But we’re ego driven so that means the past lives in an imagination where we play the starring role. As the main character, other people only matter in relation to you. When I realized that, I knew my ego had to go, I knew I had to die. I knew I could no longer trust my mind to be objective because my thoughts, feelings and opinions were tainted.

You’re nobody till somebody kills you…”

Life after death has been beautiful. You can do a lot more in life when you don’t care about your feelings. When you don’t hold on to your pride and opinions like they matter. They don’t. What matters is adapting, changing, decision-making and relentless forward movement.

Those who seek power will bask in the time warping illusion of egotistical victory. Those who seek mindfulness will bask in the glory of being in the moment.

When you don’t care about your own feelings, it’s immediately clear how much others care about theirs. That’s what it’s all about anyway right? Empathy. You feel like a little kid with not enough life to understand why someone would be so outraged at something. You don’t feel like a smart adult trying to get people to understand your “struggle.” Let me tell you, feeling like a fool has a bad rap. It’s a lot less agenda and a lot more action.

I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

To answer Lauren’s question, I’ll die every day if I have to.


Oh, Be Clever – Blanket

Blanket-1600x1600

“Character is all you have in the dark”

Part of growing up means handling your own shit. It means being responsible for you and the decisions you make. It means paying your bills on time and making sure you don’t fuck up your credit because without credit, here in America, one cannot elevate. Yes, America is ran on financial slavery, but that’s a conversation for some other day.

Growing up means dealing with the consequences of your actions because only kids get to hide from theirs. For us, the consequences turn very real, so it’s either you learn from the mistakes of others on their advices, or you learn from your own mistakes. One is less stressful than the other, but I will save that for you to decide because I have learned that you can advise someone until you turn blue in the face, and they will still go against that advice if what’s in their heart is more powerful than what’s in their logical minds. Hell, the heart has a way of blinding the logical mind as it is anyway, so that’s just a losing battle that I find myself no longer having the time for.

I can’t keep pulling the blanket up over my head
Keep pullin’ the same shit over, and over again”

Above everything, is the idea that most of us are raised on, which is simply to be and do good by everyone. At the end of the day, all we have is who we are and who we are is a direct result of how we are, and how we are is a direct connection of how we treat others. We’re told to always do good, and we know fully well when what we are doing is not so good because of those same teachings. Sure, we can bitch and moan that “we didn’t know”, or that we weren’t aware, but we always know. We, always, know.

In a spiral I’m going down, down, down
In denial I’m going round, and round
I’m a cancer to myself
Is it over now?
Is it over now?”

The bottom line is that we must make bigger strides to be good people. We must break the bullshit molds that society has falsely placed on success. Things such as the nice guy finishing last, or the cocky, arrogant, narcissistic finance guys making all the bread. Sure, there are cases where this holds valid because there are people that have succeeded while being despicable pieces of shit, but in the long run being good is a level of peace that they will never know, nor could ever achieve. That right there is success. To become a staple in your career and in life by simply being good to everyone. Treating everyone like they are the same because all we are is blood, bones and skin anyway.

There’s no hiding from the atrocities and mean spirited shit that you have done. No. If those things don’t come back to you in some form they will haunt you in another. Your mind will never know the ease of peace and there are no blankets that you can pull over your head to hide from those dark truths. There is however, no reward, award, certificate or ceremony for just being good either. The bonus is simply peace of mind, peace of soul and peace of spirit.


The Attic Sleepers Vs Morten Hampenberg – Airport

pBQipGoMV1Qmb4X_Sr2YXmvqChN8aK4u32cP8Hngid0,VldExCqGIE-2vSWahiWw-VYewdgwRpwt3PsmiQi4O68,eyaRbmGJ8jEB1ZogNrRUPwkXJUFqP0R23SVe4YcUC4s

I’ve lost all track of time over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been in an endless blackhole of the mind. My thoughts change faster than my eyes can see. One minute I’m thinking of where my life is going and the next millisecond I’m thinking of where it’s been. At times, parts of both intertwine and I can’t tell what’s the reality that really occurred and the one that is only projection.

Without structure the mind goes wild. It takes us to places that we can’t afford to go to and leaves us there to figure things out for our own. The same mind that we’re supposed to use to grow and learn is the same mind that will dare us to do things we know we shouldn’t. That’s where I am right now. In a place that leaves me wondering if my mind is sane or if it is going berserk from all the pressure that has mounted on it lately. And then I recognize that pressure comes from impatience, and as this tune titled “Airport” keeps playing I feel myself coming back down to steady ground, and calming down completely. My shoulders drop and a long winded breath fills my chest.

The therapy that is music is unmatched in my world. I am grateful to have a platform to rid myself of all angst and balance my mind in the process. Writing has been therapeutic as well, but without the sounds to the words that are happening in my head, the dialogue to my world may just be another dull soap opera. It’s the music that makes it so eventful; so alive.

For those of you out there that are still learning how to effectively meditate, just turn this on, put it on repeat and let your mind go wherever it wishes to. Put on some headphones, turn off the lights and lay down in bed. Even if words to write don’t come to you, images and good thoughts, at the very least, will.

Goodnight.


Paul Cook – Wherever You Are (Embody Remix)

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 9.56.19 PM

I’m in Miami wondering what I’m doing here. This isn’t my vibe. The weather isn’t cooperating much, and to be honest neither are the people. It’s quite the artistic shit show, but here we are, so living in it is a must.

I need something to wake me up from this nightmare and put me in a good place. Lucky for me, this Paul Cook, “Wherever You Are”, Embody Remix is here.

Everything’s so far away
Cos we’re never near the truth”

I’m in a weird mood. There’s so much happening in my life right now that I don’t know where to place my thoughts. I have an old ex trying to pry her way back into my heart, and I have my son’s mother stalking pieces of my life as if it’s ok. As if we didn’t say that all we needed to discuss and talk about from now on was our son. I really don’t see what my Instagram has to do with him, but I guess I have to let people be who they are. It just sucks that as an adult people feel the need to question your life when they have nothing to do with it.

It’s ok. I’m learning to not let bullets shot at me for mere response affect me. I’m learning that when people are bored and have way too much time on their hands, they won’t go an open a book before they open up to my Instagram account. There’s nothing I can do about that, so there’s nothing to say.

My life is mine to live the way I want to and that’s how I plan on living it. If you don’t like it then stay the hell away from my life. That includes my social media, this blog and everything else in my world. I won’t go into yours, so please, don’t come into mine anymore.

Like I said, I’m in a weird space tonight. If it wasn’t for this song I’d probably be in bed pretending to sleep the way I normally do in order to sulk, away from the world. Missing my son like hell. Missing his scent and sounds. His tossing and turning and his smiles and laughter.

Who knew that music could save me from this night—put me in such a positive frame of mind again.

Stay positive, fighters. If life is taking its sweet time to correct itself, then there is always music. There, is, always, music.


BIG IN THE UNDERGROUND

WHAT’S THE POINT OF KNOCKING

ME DOWN?


RKCB – Lights Low

I remember years ago I had this friend who used to always talk about his “secret girlfriend.” He would talk about how she’d booty call him, she’d only come around at night, she’d leave before he woke up in the morning, etc. It sounded like heaven and the stories were always pretty captivating, though calling her “secret” always struck me as ironic considering he talked about her incessantly, but that’s not either here nor there. Usually she’d be wasted when she’d call him at like 2am when the bars closed, and she’d come over and have her way with him. Or sometimes she’d come over before she went out to party, complaining to my buddy about how annoying her friends are, or bragging to him about how many dudes hit on her when she went out the night before. The thing was, she was super hot, so she could easily get away with all the vapid one-way conversations. She could get away with toying with dudes non-stop, and I’m sure my buddy wasn’t the only one she was toying with at that moment. But, again, she was super hot.

It was all fun and games until he fell in love with her, and then he started to wonder and worry about why they couldn’t take this “relationship” further than some late night calls and drunken (at least she was) romps in the sheets (“with the bedposts watching” as singer Casey Barth so eloquently croons). As the situation started to wear on him more, he took inventory of their hang-outs, and realized he had never once seen her in the daylight. The only time she ever made an appearance was after the sun had set, with the “lights low.” In his head he replayed the conversations they had and realized she never once asked him a thing about his life. She just talked and talked and bragged and talked and smoked a cig and talked some more. I remember talking to him while he had this realization, and it felt just like that scene in “High Fidelity” when Jon Cusak’s character realizes that Catherine Zeta-Jones’s character is a rude, mean, awful person without much to offer. But, she was super hot, so…

But as we discussed all the ways she had wronged my buddy, we realized that the way she acted is pretty much the way most guys act with women in general, so all of a sudden he didn’t feel so bad anymore. Maybe it’s good to have the tables turned on you every now and then, it keeps you on your toes.

That said, I feel for Riley Knapp and Casey Barth (RKCB y’all). I’ve seen firsthand how a “secret girlfriend” reduced my buddy to a confused mess of a man. But, again, she was super hot…


BLUFRANK – Feelings Installed

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 7.34.29 PM

It’s funny that when I heard this track I instantly pictured dark New York City Winter nights with a lot of fast driving thru Manhattan streets and aves. Take last year, this day. I just left Engine Room’s Holiday Party downtown in FiDi and was headed up the west side highway to Vinateria on the corner of 119th & Frederick to meet Lauren. We were going to my apartment in Harlem afterwards to do what adults do, and then I had to head all the way back down to my friend’s party in the West Village, which ended in Chinatown right after that to see another friend spin. When I relive that night all I see are flashes of NYC traffic and us speeding through the avenues to get by. Now that I think of that night again, we may even have hit up AVENUE as well.

Anyway, The producer of this one: BLUFRANK, claims that the inspiration for this ride your about to listen to comes from:

too many hours spent on Cairo’s Highways! specially the Ring Road.”

I can’t wait to see NYC again. If it’s this winter, then I can’t wait to be in ubers zipping through the city. The holiday lights over 5th Ave, the wet snow on the streets, the cheesy colored food trucks on 6th Ave with lines of smartphones screens down to 7th. The way 57th St. looks coming down off of The West Side Highway, frozen cobblestone streets in Dumbo, candlelit dinners and much-too-dark-to-drink-in wine bars. Big windows peering towards empty Tribeca roads, warming up with fine spirits underneath Pell St., towing our own bottles of Brunello to pizzerias in C. Gardens.

Another little palette-cleanser for your ears. From the highways of Cairo to the streets of New York.


Brika – Sorry

I know you know that I made those mistakes maybe once or twice
By once or twice I mean maybe a couple a hundred times”

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today. I woke up feeling like a large part of me was missing, or like I was missing a large part of me. I went to lunch with Jordan and even tried to justify that particular feeling as some scientific hum that only a big city like New York could have. You know, something like: “the natural pulse that all big cities across the world produce”. The sound that emanates from the bowel of those very streets that in itself encapsulates every other sound that occurs. The vibrations of the train tunnels caused by all the people, pipes, steel and other noises down there mixed with all the ambient music playing outside. Cars passing one another over the Brooklyn Bridge heading East and West. The laughter, yells, cries and giggles of all the people just living life. The brisk whistles of the frigid wind over the Hudson and onto desolate Battery Park piers. Sure, I miss all of that, but the only thing missing from me today isn’t here because I’m on my millionth fuck up, somehow…

I like Brika. There’s a part of her vocals that pulls me in close and makes me feel safe. It makes me feel like everything is going to be ok. Like there’s hope. In fact, that’s probably why I love her vocals, because I can hear the hope in them. The part of us all that truly believes that our dreams are going to happen and that our wishes will come true. It’s just familiar to me—like home.

There’s a part of me that’s really sad today without the way my life was, not more than two weeks ago. It wasn’t roses and rainbows all day, but it was still a beautiful one. Who would have thought that closing one door behind me would change my life so drastically in just a couple of weeks? I certainly didn’t.

I waited all day to see if something would happen that would spark something inside of me to write today. Here I am on Jordan’s balcony in North Hollywood, facing beautiful kitchens in the shadows of the night sky. Below me a baby blue pool and jacuzzi, above me heaven with all its brightest stars. Just sitting, thinking—wondering if maybe I will have that old life back again someday. Wondering if those things that feel like tiny fragments of sand escaping my fingertips right now will ever be solid states at the grasp of my will, again.

If I could only have seen the future, somehow, I would have never left that morning. I would have stayed behind with what matters to me the most. And then, right now, I wouldn’t be sitting on this balcony by myself in the dark wondering if I will get that imperfectly beautiful life back.

Is it too late to say that I’m sorry?”