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Noisey, Complex, The FADER: It’s All A Bunch of Vapid Click Bait Nonsense

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You lack the minerals and vitamins, irons and the niacin
F&$k who that I offend, rappers sit back I’m bout to begin… – O.C.

Outrageous and often misleading headlines. Fabricated or inaccurate stories. Little to no accountability and rampant sensationalism. Endless streams of “news” where there is none. Gawker, TMZ, legendary media manipulators like Irin Camron and Ryan Holiday come to mind. Yet in the age of microwave content everything from politics to music is on the table. It’s the touch and go business model. The shameless quest for viral where content is nothing but bait for unsuspecting suckers. We’re victims, pimped by the page vie hustlers. And they want one thing and one thing only – the almighty click.

It’s the era success is measured in page views, amount of comments and social media shares. Content, authenticity and quality being somewhere far down the list of priorities. You’re a fool if you think the comments section exist because they care about your opinion. Let me break it down for you one time…

Your sign up – a click
Your email confirmation – a click
Your comment – a click
Everything you do – a click

Every move you make on these sites is nothing but an impression where the goal is not to add value but to get a page view. You don’t like it? Click off mother trucker.

How else can you explain these random headlines from music blogs –

Breaking: The Game Still Has a Penis, Wants You To Know It
Yikes! Here’s Donald Trump Dancing to “Hotline Bling”
Rihanna’s Father Says Kanye West Spent $500 on a Haircut … Every Day
Justin Bieber Flipped a Chair and Quickly Vacated the Premises During Lunch in France
What Your Shitty Music Taste Says About You

Now don’t get me wrong, a business is a business. Tactics help get to the bottom line but that’s not the problem here. The problem is that the content doesn’t even matter, and the readers are the ones paying the price. Why? Because we’re fed journalistic junk food that has no intention of adding any value to our experience.

Here’s the rules: chop it, bag it, stash it, stack it
Get in, get out – that’s a O.G.’s classic – Jay Z (900-Hustler)

Am I getting through here? It’s not about compelling material, it’s about getting you in for the click to meet page view goals. That’s it! There is literally no other intention, you’re just a sucker getting baited. A.D.H.D kicking in? Here’s some pop culture dopamine words to help – Kardashian, Lemonade, Kanye.

Feel better? Retention on some of these huge websites is less than 5 seconds fam…

“Pageview journalism treats people by what they appear to want—from data that is unrepresentative to say the least—and gives them this and only this until they have forgotten that there could be anything else. It takes the audience at their worst and makes them worse. And then, when criticized, publishers throw up their hands as if to say, “We wish people liked better stuff too,” as if they had nothing to do with it.” – Ryan Holiday

In his book Ryan also mentions the famous Henry Ford quote,

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horses.”

The business model is to give people what they want. Not because they actually want it. Because they can’t afford to risk offering anything else. That’s the dumbest crap I’ve ever heard. Sure, I want to eat junk food sometimes, does that mean I should be eating it every time I think about food? They feed us this nonsense like we care about it. Boisterous, bold and outrageous headlines make you think what they’re saying is important. But the truth behind these headlines is just a bunch of people following a trend. Normal doesn’t make you click. They’re not being edgy, they’re playing it safe. I’m not going to pretend to care about Post Malone at a club with Justin to get you a click. Stop treating your readers like morons.

EMPT has broken every single rule these corporate page view slores deem sacred. The Huffington Post says a post should be no longer than 800 words. Gawker says any idea can be expressed in under 200. They say you should break up content into little pieces so users can slowly digest the material. They don’t want you to jump off to watching porn or cat videos. Blogs post hourly, making sure to be on top of every single release or event to be the first to get your view. Stories are misrepresented and outright fabricated to create news where there is none.

The people behind EMPT are fortunate to be self-sustained. Meaning this website is no ones lifeline. That puts us in a unique place in this deteriorating but still dominant click landscape . We’re not slaves to anything. Nothing dictates our decisions besides our own on sensibilities. Our desire to give you something unique has been the modus operandi since day one. We don’t sell out, period.

When they offered this much, I said no.
When they offered that much, I said no.
When they added some more, I said no.
Can’t do it, the money too low. – Wiley

Money is not hydro to me.

Of course we gotta pay rent, so money connects, but uhh
I’d rather be broke and have a whole lot of respect – O.C.

But you look at these big music blogs and they might as well be the music versions of TMZ. Every time I click an article on Noisey I leave feeling like I just ate McDonalds. They live and die by the click. And trust, I don’t hate the game. Some of these headlines are phenomenal. They’ll get me to click and then read something but at the end of the day I learned nothing of value. No perspective, no insight, it’s all vapor info.

Yet industry says we’re doing it all wrong. So I ask you guys, are we missing something here? Is that type of information something you value. It will be a cold day in hell before we engage in Yellow journalism but we’re open to what you think. So to…

Those who pose lyrical but really ain’t true I feel
There time’s limited, hard rocks too…” O.C/Slick Rick


Hydro Begins Mixtape (Best of UK Grime 2015-2016) (EMPT Exclusive)

The last time I saw Travis Scott was right before ‘Antidote’ hit the radio. My lawyer got me balcony tickets next to all the suits and celebrities, the typical hype fair. But just before the madness I got a sick feeling in my stomach that I wasn’t a part of the real show. Sitting there looking cool, sipping drinks and being a bystander?

How you gonna do it if you really don’t wanna dance, by standing on the wall?
Get your back up off the wall!” – Kool & The Gang

That wasn’t my first Rodeo and I knew all the energy at a Travis show was in the in the underground, literally. So I grabbed my friend, we went downstairs and finessed our way into general admission and never went back. These days you have to sneak into the real party, I tell you man we need a new definition of cool. Anyway, it’s that energy that made the show insane. Jumping right in the middle of the mosh pit in my Y-3’s. Singing the lyrics at the top of your lungs. Not caring how you look and getting it all out, whatever it is.

The energy of the underground is the only energy that feeds me these days. That’s why last year, like so many, I fell in love with Grime music. It’s unapologetically British so I can’t understand half of the slang. They rap so you might be think it’s hip hop but it’s something else entirely. But none of that matters. It’s raw, the beats hit hard and best of all the culture behind it leads to an energy I love. It’s not about being fancy, it’s about being the best. They’ve replaced Givenchy and all your brands with black track suits. You can extend that metaphor to all aspects of Grime culture…

Won’t see man in an LV belt it’s a track suit thing till I make that dinner.” – A.J. Tracy

Selling out or being cheesy isn’t cool. And the parties, well ain’t nobody standing around at those.

2015 was a huge year for Grime. Skepta saw worldwide success and recognition and if it wasn’t for his visa problems he would have been on stage at Coachella this year. Stormzy has a show on Apple Music. The Section Boyz have Drake making guest appearances at their shows…

All my nig#@$ on a rise man it’s a sad time for the KKK.” – Skepta

I’ve become a Grime ambassador in the U.S. but every time I tell someone about the first thing they ask is where they can listen to some. The problem is that there’s so much music coming out of the UK right now it’s almost impossible to know about the best stuff without constantly following the scene. That’s why I decided to put together Hydro Begins, the ultimate beginners guide to Grime. It’s 53 minutes of the best Grime from 2015 to current day, strictly the Hydro, no fillers. I highly recommend listening to it at the gym or when you want some energy in your life, this isn’t bystander music. I’m not sure how long it will stay on Soundcloud but download it while you can and you’ll be caught up with the movement, the rest is up to you.

Tracklist:

(Continued)


A R I Z O N A – I Was Wrong (RAMI x Jiinio Remix)

To me, this song sounds like vintage EMPT.

Before I ever wrote for this site, I was listening to it. I would stay up late and scour the internet for trails of music that inspired me. Combing the deep crevasses of the internet, listening to mixed tapes, suggestions from friends, embarking on the never-ending quest for songs that I would have to listen to on repeat. If you are like this, then you know the relief of finding the tracks that would give a brief moment of optimism for the music scenes of the world. I found that on Hec’s site.

The draw of this site is the diversity of the tracks, the love for new artists we try and instil in the ever-hungry readers and for soulful writing, the soul searching we do publicly here.

This one has gotten internet love, but for very good reason. I feel like Saturday needed one of the “vintage EMPT” tracks, reaching for the roots of the site that made me fall in love with it and eager to be apart of it years ago.

Happy Saturday, fam.

 


Great American Canyon Band – Crash

What is it that you seek in someone you want to be with?

A conversation led to this as a friend said she missed that “heart racing, butterflies in your stomach” moment when you start to fall for, chase that feeling for someone. They loved the clouded mind, reacting like an addict to the other, craving the time together like the heroin they seemed to be.

The other said they wanted something else. It is the love when you realise you can finally relax. You can sit in the moment and then realise it has been years since you have taken your eyes off each other. Heart beat calm, mind cleared.

The duo behind this song is a couple that transcends music together. Sounding more like the latter love mentioned. The perfect sound for summer and one that evokes feelings of rolling around with your person. The pair have a beautiful story that resonates through their music. They travelled the US with a story that is remniscent of those of the Beats poets from hotels to Grandma’s basement and then back. Finding a salvation in each other and the exhale of that union breathing through their music. The song sounds like that, an exhale. Like the relief you feel in that love.

The gentle guitar slides effortlessly in the song and then you can hear it embrace the lyrics the more times you listen to this song. Like an addict, I have come back to this track over and over.

How do you want to crash into another? Is it slowly sinking together or a rush to your veins? Either way, this song will fill your body with an etherial high.

Check out the EMPT Alt Chill Playlist for more like this here. Super chill. Also check out their whole album if you need more of a fix here.


Goldchain – No Sleeping Now

I’ve been listening to a Josh Waitzkin interview recently that’s pretty much changed my entire culture. It’s about as deep and loaded as it gets but one of the main themes in it is the cultivation of quality and creating empty space as a way of life.

Think about how you spend your time right now. Think about how at almost every single moment most of us are taking in some sort of input. Tumbler, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Netflix. Pick your poison, the point is we’re always doing something. Always feeding ourselves information and occupying every second of our lives.

But what are we neglecting in the process? When your mind is always occupied, always seeing and hearing something. When there’s always noise, what can’t you hear? Yourself.

Once I heard that I immediately went on a consumption diet. Choosing to reflect on my own thoughts instead of the habitual internet time killer. What I’m finding has me a bit uneasy.

I was laying down in bed yesterday, in my mind. Finally listening to my internal voice and paying attention. During my reflection I had a vision that my own mind had become a ghost town. All the store fronts and homes represented neglected ideas. Once a bustling town, now abandoned and forgotten. I was walking around seeing questions I no longer asked, dreams I haven’t seen in years. Then I remembered myself playing as a child, I remember when this place was thriving. Man, I I haven’t been present in my own mind.

I’ve been taking in too much information and not creating enough empty space to sit and process it all. Uploading all my thoughts to computers. Sharing would be visions with Snapchat instead if my own mind.

In the dream, I sat down on a bench with my hands to my face asked – where have I been? Where is my mind? Like most of us, I’ve been living in corporate cyber ghettos and completely consumed by work. Culture is in constant go mode, the expectations of our jobs are intense. Little in our culture tells us to stop and reflect. It’s all reactive, no wonder it’s all so much harder than it needs to be.

So I realized that with so much noise coming in I haven’t been able to hear my mind. That realization hit me hard at about 3am last night. I couldn’t sleep. Being a fully immersed in culture is my job. It’s a hard realization when that takes you away from yourself. Enjoy.

F&%k it, the same thing make you laugh make you cry
That’s right, the same game that make you math could make you die…” – Jay-Z

From EMPT Radio: March 2016