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The Future of the Space Age

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My sister just graduated from law school. I love her beyond anything I could say and I’m proud but the truth is that accomplishment is just a reflection of the person she’s become, and that is what I’m most proud about.

We grew up in 3333 Broadway, a project in uptown Manhattan that’s now being converted into condominiums. My dad left us in the Dominican Republic when we were little to create these opportunities for us and that tough, hard as nails, cold as the pole in winter son of a gun did it. We’ve always been Gods so I can’t say we never had anything but in context of the human drama the term from nothin’ to somethin’ most certainly applies. We’re just getting started man.

I’ve been reflecting on where I am in life right now. I’m so damn busy man, I mean to the point that if I slack for a second in the day I’m sacrificing accomplishing something. That says more about the Matrix than me but it’s making me think about where I should be. Since starting EMPT and becoming a curator of culture and music my earnings have gone up to the 5 zero range and that bothers me. As a man I can’t blame that on anyone but myself and the truth is I’ve slacked.

My friends and I have been at the forefront of cultural movements for probably a decade now but haven’t figured out how to really translate that to the proper energy. We should be making 20 million dollars a year, contributing, sharing, helping and designing at a much higher level. However, we haven’t cracked the code that marries authenticity, spirituality, art and commerce yet. As I learn about how people really make big money in this world I’m a little turned off, it’s nothing short of ingenious slavery. You think Apple has an impressive vertical? Some of these industries have God like automation and integration, they’ll be milking us for our money till the day we die. Those are the trillionaires of the world you’ve never heard of.

I first had to understand that, now that I do, it’s time to create something like that from the rebel point of view. It’s time for the good guys to create that God level automation. It’s time to create something that powerful that can counter these bloodsuckers. That’s the future of the Space Age.

The take over ni$&@, the breaks over ni*%@.

 


Dancing In The Street

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We walked into the club and a long line of champagne bottles with sparklers over them being carried by tall waitresses was passing us by. I had my hand on her thigh as we made our way to the dance floor, her wearing a sexy red dress, and I in a tux. We had just come from a gala that we attended earlier that evening and we were high off of life. I followed her smile straight to that dance floor, and we danced for hours. No drinks, no shots of Tequila, just eyes gazing, bodies shaking and smiling stares of total bliss as the music took everything but us away.

This is what I feel the very second that this tune: “Found Your Love” by Oliver Nelson Ft. Heir, begins to play. I feel like slapping on my headphones, throwing on a suit with a cool pair of chucks and dancing in the middle of the streets for no reason at all. Dance at the park, dance on the basketball court like a point guard, dance on the bridge over the river, dance on the rooftop like the fiddler, dance in the garden, heck, even just dance in place while this gem blasts loudly, and the world goes on by.

Hope your weekend is already a beautiful one that has taken you to places you have never been with people you have never met, but even if it isn’t everything that it could be, well this song right here might just change all of that within seconds.

Enjoy.


What Are You Doing Here?

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Dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you, you never really remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.

Ariadne: I guess, yeah.
Cobb: So how did we end up here?
Ariadne: Well we just came from the a…
Cobb: Think about it Ariadne, how did you get here? Where are you right now?”

Some of the most brilliant scientific minds of our times are trying to tell us that this reality is a construct. If you haven’t ignored the various articles that continue to be published on the matter, the talk shows yapping more and more about it, and the hundreds of thousands of minds out there that know the truth, then you are aware of the chatter. This world is nothing more than a computer simulated reality, because when broken down to the bare basics, everything is a program; a bunch of codes that could only be designed and generated by supercomputers.

Why then go to work? Why do people pretend that their life has a purpose and that the new Porsche they just bought is going to bring them the happiness that they can’t seem to find in every single thing else they have purchased? Why not find out what we are doing here, or, better yet, why not create our own realities and sub-worlds? Why do we continue to stick to everything that everyone else tells us to do rather than create new things that no one has ever even seen or imagined? Who says we can’t fly or transport ourselves somewhere else, instantaneously? Who says we can’t leap tall buildings in single bounds and run faster than the superlocomotives of the planet?

Here” by Alessia Cara is a young girl with a beautifully magnetic voice singing about straying away from the norm and existing right where she needs to exist. It’s the story of a songbird perched high above the tree’s ledge staring down through the branches at the silly other songbirds who are doing everything else except singing beautifully to the world, the way they were programmed to do so.

So I ask you again: What are you doing here? Are you just going to follow a cycle and pattern that has been laid out for you from before you were even born? Or, will you finally listen to that same voice inside of you that has questioned everything you have ever been told?

I ask myself what am I doing here?”


Crown Ruff — What A Day

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Who wouldn’t want to be on the deck of a mega yacht tanning right now? Even if it was just circling NYC with a bunch of sexy people on it, drinks on hand and sounds like this one today by Crown Ruff, titled: “What A Day”, who wouldn’t want to be there, right now?

Lunch anyone?

Thursday is like the pre-game to the weekend, for some, in which we get ready to have more epic moments. For this reason is why I went with something a little chiller for the next few hours, but smooth enough for tonight. “What A Day” is one of those smooth House tunes that will fit right in at the daytime pool party in The Hills as easily as any dinner mix at Tao Downtown or Pulqueria in Chinatown, N.Y.C.

The tempo of the track progresses upward from the very beginning and never lets up, all while the higher regions of the track get filled with spacey synths, a vocal sample that adds a hint of vintage disco to the vibe, and bottom layers of a techno tune that keep your heart racing  without needing lift you off of your seat. It’s the perfect sound to get yourself hyped up, if that’s what you want, for the night, or meditate in the sun during your lunch break.

Enjoy your Thursday and try to paint your town red tonight because who knows what a day tomorrow will even be, but today, we can make it whatever we wish.


Da YoungFellaz — Still Representin’ (Nas/DJ Premiere Tribute)

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This song is too good not to write about.

I guess Summer in NYC reminds me of Hip Hop. To me, the sounds that the trains make as they’re racing by above you when they are overground on the rails is Hip Hop. For me, Hip Hop is the sound that the fire hydrants make when the water rushes out of it and hits these steamy New York City streets. It’s the sound of kids chasing one another playing Manhunt and laughing while escaping the person who is “it”. Summer and all of its sounds are just the right time when Hip Hop gets good.

“Still Representin’ “  by Da YoungFellaz  is what great NYC Hip-Hop sounded like, sounds like, and what everyone else in the country has tried to redefine, remaster, and reproduce with very little success. It contains hardcore Hip Hop drums, the classic sample that you will all instantly recognize, and a mix by HitMakerDot (producer) to go with it all, that would probably make DJ Premiere proud. Even the bonus instrumental section we get to hear towards the end of the song leaves you wanting much more.

The song has a very NYC feel to it and this duo is the reason why. Jay Storm represents The Bronx and his partner Sho-Biz represents Brooklyn, and both of these guys have been reppin’ NYC hard for years now on the underground scene. What I like most about these guys is their consistency in releasing great sounding music; the progression of their sound is constantly evolving and they pay a lot of attention to the quality of their mixes, which to me shows that they truly care about giving the listener the best sonic experience. Their visuals are also all very clean. They always keep it simple and minimalist in a way that represents Hip Hop’s humble roots, perfectly.

Fuck getting a deal, my niggas need appeals”

watch:

or just listen:

 


Creation vs. Inspiration

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Listening to South Pacific by Yonas Michael earlier this morning during breakfast, Rayda (pronounced Rider) mentioned that it sounded a lot like Kendrick Lamar’s Poetic Justice. I hadn’t really thought of or considered that particular song when I first heard South Pacific, but I instantly understood where she was coming from, and could definitely agree. What I had first heard, immediately, was a hint of Outkast, and then while listening through one-time-around I could hear several other influences, including some Frank Ocean towards the end of the song. We then got into a conversation about inspiration..

Most inspiration comes from past works of art, whether that art happens to be in music or on a canvas or even in fashion, the truth of the matter is that no ideas are completely original these days because if you go far back enough in time you will always find a basis for just about anything. So then we discussed if it was a bad thing that Yonas Michael‘s “South Pacific” sounded a bit like Poetic Justice, and we both decided: no. 

Sometimes we see things or hear things or read things that inspire us. As creators, we are constantly admiring the works of other creators because we can appreciate the work put into these creations in order to give the world a taste of something new. Sure, that newness derives from the oldness, but once it is all said and done the creation is indeed—different. It is that difference, no matter how slight, that makes the creation unique, and it is our appreciation of that uniqueness, no matter how minuscule, as fellow creators that makes it a success, because rather than hate on the single creation, we instead celebrate it with dance and through word-of-mouth passage. This is how good music like South Pacific thrives in an era of saturated sounds curated by spotify algorithms..

Earlier today, I read an article on how Guns N’ Roses completely jacked a 1981 hit Australian Crawl single titled “Unpublished Critics” for their legendary 1987 hit single Sweet Child O’ Mine. The best part of that entire article came at the very end when it mentioned that the co-writers of the Australian Crawl tune have no plans to sue because they appreciate GNR’s creation, a lot. It was that attitude that made me remember that having people who inspire us is a blessing—especially to a creator.

Only a real risk can test the reality of a belief.” —C.S. Lewis


Unfamiliar

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I found myself walking the alleys of Napoli all alone. There was a companion with me during that trip that stayed back in our room, and for some reason, she just didn’t seem to matter much to me throughout all of those gorgeously unexplored streets. I had purposely left my mobile back at the telly so that there was no way that anyone in the world could contact me, and no way to randomly be bothered by anyone whatsoever. As the sun was setting and I was walking near the coastline, I decided to trek into the unfamiliar hills and neighborhoods of the beautiful Italian city. Tiny cars and Vespas of every color you could imagine zoomed by. People dressed to the nines, most likely heading out into the night to celebrate the darkness. Everyone moving about their business without a single care or stare about the foreigner roaming their lands. It was one of the most peaceful moments I have lived to date.

As the night took over, I could see clearly inside people’s homes and I would wonder what their lives must be like. People watching TV, getting dressed, running around looking for their heels, doing their hair, eating at the dinner table, laughing, sipping on vino—it was as if I had entered another dimension where my life had existed as it is here, but somehow in an exotic language with exotic brands of everything: water, sneakers, cars, eggs and milk, cereals and just about every single thing else that exists in my world now, but with a peculiar twist. I got lost in the night sky that evening, and after some time I managed to hail a cab back to the Grand Hotel Parker’s.

I lingered in the lobby wondering if I should go back up to the room, but a nauseous feeling in my stomach took over me, so I decided just to head up to the roof of the hotel which hosted a restaurant/bar. A few glasses of wine later, staring out at the sea and over the rooftops of Naples, I realized that the unease I was feeling was due to an unfamiliar heart and soul that had taken over a love I once knew, in detail, more than anything else I had ever known, or anything else in this world. I would recognize, on that roof, that the only thing waiting for me back in that room was sadness, pain, and darkness, and I knew that I wanted no parts of any of it.

Sure, maybe looking back at that moment I can see how it could all seem so selfish, but isn’t that what a life of happiness is?—The ability to choose the paths and roads that will assure us of that very happiness over the ones that won’t?

It was through that unfamiliar town, with that unfamiliar heart and soul, on that unfamiliar rooftop that I would come to learn that happiness is a decision to be made at the very start of our days. Happiness is a choice to make at the very point when a decision needs to be made. It was then that I knew that I would never be near any energy that could affect my happiness, simply because I do not need to be.

“Unfamiliar” by Alyssa Veniece feat. Emerson Brooks is hypnotic taste of Space Age R&B. I call it “Space Age R&B” because the vocals sit in more of the Pop realm than traditional Rhythm & Blues vocals do, but also because of the eery synths that sit tucked into the upper background of the soundscape, giving it a trippy time-travelling vibe; whether it takes you to the future or the past is up to you, but trippy nevertheless.

Crispy and clear vocals, an easy to remember chorus, and a good balance of sounds and tones throughout the duration of this sonic stroll allow for a tune that should be played on repeat and added to all your chill-day playlists.

Show me something you can’t put in words,
Saying something I ain’t never heard.
Take me to another Earth.”


If I Could Go Back In Time

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Have you ever wished that you could go back in time and tell the younger version of you a few tricks of the trade for a brighter future? I have.

If I could go back in time and tell the younger me a few things, I would tell him that searching for who you are is an idea, but that building who you wish to be is a much better one. I would tell myself that everything and anything in life is possible, and, I would remind myself that one of the most powerful tools we have as human beings is our imaginations, and that within imagination comes limitless possibilities and capabilities to life. I would tell myself to steer clear of people who say they need to go out into the world and “find themselves”, because something that has never existed cannot be found, only created; those people will only add confusion to a mind that exists positively in a world that has no shape until we give it one, anyway.

If I could go back in time and tell this younger version of me a few things, I would tell him to stay away from consuming the flesh of the dead. I would tell him that a flower taken from the ground and consumed will sprout another flower in its place, but an animal taken from life to be consumed will not sprout another to take its place. The cycle of life is followed by life, whereas the cycle of death is followed by more death.

If I could back in time and give my adolescent self a few pointers, I would tell myself to love every person that comes in and out of my life with the same passion. I would explain that whenever we feel pain from a broken relationship we are simply selfishly pouting, and that not understanding how beautiful the connection we have made with that person who will no longer be there is worth every irregular heartbeat and tear because later on in life we will realize that the most beautiful and perfect parts of them live within us through the smallest nuances of daily habits.

Sometimes I think about the body lotion I use and remember who influenced that habit in me, and I smile because I remember the most beautiful parts of her through something so simple. Moments when I’m folding bath towels and laugh at the technique picked up through another beautiful love now very long gone. I would tell myself that it is within these things that we should see the need to embrace every love with the same intense passion, because whether they are here or not tomorrow they will show us something that will help us build who we wish to become.

“Swan Song” by Sloes is a gorgeous medley of beautiful sounds entrancingly fused together. The tantalizing violin is pure magic, and the overlaying vocals somehow feel like the perfect companion to it, as the song becomes more of a duet between that violin & Jerome (lead vocals). The rest of the tune is filled with graceful string progressions, enchanting harmonies and a killer percussion that moves us through the interweaving sound waves never letting us go. Swan Song is a good jam to find inspiration in. It’s one of those things that defies the norm by not going with what everyone else perceives to be the traditional idea, and goes against the grain by integrating sounds that most others probably wouldn’t.

Sloes are the path built rather than the used one found.

“just one song left inside of me and then I’m done.”


My Gripe With “Modern Love”

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I have a modern day gripe for the modern day girls of this world. Lately I’ve been seeing articles and opinion pieces on the current state of love affairs between and ♀ . Mainly, what I’ve been reading is how non-committing men seem to be when it comes to defining relationship statuses. Anyway, my gripe it this: ‘In a modern world where male and females are equal, why is it that it still must be left up to the man to take hold and decide on where they want the relationship to go?’.

Throughout my life I have been attracted to strong women. I have ended relationships because the girls in them were weaker than what I craved, or simply indecisive about every aspect of their own lives. I’ve always appreciated a woman who can come up to me on the street and throw me a comment. I’ve always gravitated to the girls that can grab my hand and start up a random conversation out of the blue. So why is it that it seems to me that more and more girls complain about finding themselves in relationships that can only be defined as extended one-night stands? 

To all the girls that feel this way, I say this: take charge and go after what you want because the worse thing that will happen is that the guy or boy involved will simply say “no”. At least then you can make a conscious decision about how you want that relationship to progress, but at least then you won’t be stuck complaining or bickering to your girlfriends about how guys in NYC just won’t commit.

Things happen to each and every one of us that determine how we approach the next relationships that we will be in, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t all looking for love. Because love is defined so differently by everyone, it is important to start being more direct and more upfront about what you want and expect out of it. The days of waiting for Prince Charming to roll up on you on his stallion are long gone. Instead, you should focus on what exactly it is that you want, and then approach the situation accordingly and without being selfish or childish about it. That means that if you see a handsome guy that makes your palms sweat and all you want to do is fuck his brains out, then approach it that way, without any expectations. However, if you see someone and immediately picture having babies with them and moving to Park Slope, well then understand that what you are seeing will take time and commitment, and that NOT sleeping with them right away might be the only route to take in order to make it there.

Anyhow, life is too short to sit on one side of the gym floor while everyone else is dancing. Get up, go up to the person you want to tango with and ask for the dance. The rest will be up to both of you.

SongRecovery +++ by KUČKA


A Foreign Affair

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A five second love affair lasts for no more than a few months. At the very best, it will last for six months up to a year, but even then one or both parties recognize that it is over long before the cute messages cease and the butterflies in your belly are fully digested.

But who are we to say that these loves don’t hold any value? Who are we to stop the people we call friends from making the very same mistakes of the heart that we did? ‘No one’, because when it was all said and done we could never say that we really regretted any of it, and, in all actuality, we ended up learning so many valuable lessons because of it.

So, are these brief affairs of the heart worth it all? If you ask me, I say: yes.

Life sure is like a box of chocolates in that there are always the ones that we have never tried. We see them all the time, but have no idea what they taste like. We don’t know if they will have a cherry in the middle, or almonds, or honey, but we tend to leave them right where they pop up because of how they look to us on the outside. Even knowing that we should never judge a book by its cover we still do. That’s where these five second loves fall into place. They are the ones that we one day decide to take a chance on and just close our eyes and bite. And they are the exact ones that once we bite we instantly fall in love with. Mainly, we fall in love with them because they give us something we need at that moment; they’re unfazed by public displays of affection, and not scared of dancing wildly in front of strangers.

Dinner dates turn into late nights dancing until the sun comes up. Restaurant to bar to lounge to nightclub to after-hours to diner to the bed, the days seem like months at a time, and a month can seem like an entire year. Yes, these loves are awesome because they make us forget time, allowing us to live strictly in-the-moment, but just as quickly as they begin and occur, is just as quickly as they tend to vanish—sometimes leaving us wondering if the entire time we were stuck in a dream, or, daydreaming at our desks.

all I’m bound to tell you.
You said you’d wait here for me
but I’ve been looking elsewhere.”

The older I get the more hip to these love affairs I have become, each time connecting them fully, purposely, with all the pieces of me, but making sure to remember that the expiration dates are right around the corner somewhere in the shuffle of it all.

This is what Trails and Ways latest jam: Say You Will reminds me of. A short musical story about those sporadicly lustful whirlwinds that are so rampant in my dearest NYC. They exist on every corner of every block of every borough in this town, but they exist more for the fairy tales that will be told than any actual love that takes place.

Don’t be afraid of the brief love affairs that knock on your door. Sometimes, those are more beautiful than all the long-term relationships you have been and will be in, combined.

Say you will.”