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Music

SOAK – B a noBody

SXSW was interesting this year. McDonalds made its first appearance, YouTube Music was there, Samsung was back selling TV’s after its music service Milk failed to catch on last year, Fader Fort had a surprise performance by Miley Cyrus, Marlboro was on hand trying to make cigarettes cool, and all sorts of fun corporation culture vulture shit was going on. I say that with no hate, just the facts.

Don’t get me wrong though, through the endless array of brand-approved bands there was a sliver of humanity shining through and her name was SOAK. The 18-year-old from Ireland came on stage with just a guitar, closed eyes and some of the purest music I’ve heard in a long time. She captured an energy that was the exact opposite of almost everything going on in Austin. Opening her set with ‘B a noBody,’ an entire room full of drunk partiers became silent and overwhelmed with the angelic sound of her voice and the raw exposed emotions coming from this teenager…

The teenage heart is an unguarded dart
We’re trying hard to make something of what we are 
We’ll never amount to anything  

Come on, come on Come on, come on Be just like me
Come on, come on B a noBody”

This song is an expression of the pressures our society puts on us being busy bee’s, doing a bunch of useless work just to be able to buy shit that will probably do nothing to further our cause. This song is about an adolescent exploring the difference between: being, rather than: becoming. It’s no revolutionary concept, but sometimes music is all about timing and that’s a powerful message right now…

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

We are everything we want to become but marketing is getting better and better at telling us what else we need to get there. I love this beautiful rebellion against the concept, I love the humanity penetrating and overwhelming the branding. Nothing is as powerful as our creativity and expression and that’s something we should all find comforting in these rapidly changing times. SOAK was a beautiful reminder that your benevolence is always greater than brands. Enjoy.

Categories
Music

JackLNDN – Don’t Forget

Don’t forget.

From the Dominican Republic to a pit stop in the ol’ NYC to Phoenix now then Vegas this weekend. I came into the 2015 on the run eating and you best believe I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I left Cali back in Mid December I thought I was going away for a nice relaxing time in the carribean but I sometimes forget there’s no such thing with my family and I instead spent 10 days 100 miles and running on all cylinders from dusk till dawn. My family came from humble beginnings man, we’re better off now but we don’t mess around when it comes to appreciating what we have and taking FULL advantage of the moment. Our theme song for the trip was that Ilegale’s ‘Pasarla Bien’ single that’s a huge hit in the Caribbean right now…

La vida es una sola y hay que pasar la bien…”

Amen. So here we are in 2015 and the saga continues. I started EMPT 8 years ago man, it’s crazy. Some of you have been with me from day one and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. We’ve had great times, we’ve had bad times but through it all we’re still here, big wheels keep on turning. As I sit here, 40,000 feet in the air with the clouds below me, I can’t stop thinking about how thankful for this movie I’ve lived so far. When I tell you we come from humble beginnings, I’m not kidding man. Though absolutely beautiful, my moms town had no water system, dirt roads and some make shift electricity, there was nothing luxurious about it. My dad’s home town? Off the grid man. None of that ever bought our spirits down because our family is tight but for us to go from that to where we are now in less than a lifetime is boss.

Something else is on my mind though and it’s fear. In recent years fear has invaded my mind my life which prior to that was moving at warp speed, it’s like the less I had the more fearless and creative I was. These days fear of losing what I have, people using fear to control me, the matrix and my own weaknesses have slowed me down. I’m not moving at warp speed, now I’m just obeying the speed limit like everyone else. That shit is weak and that’s why 2015 for this guy is about making some hard decisions to face those fears and move on without them. Being back in DR, reconnecting with my roots and seeing the fact that I was at one point perfectly happy as a kid with nothing makes me realize just how much the illusion has taken over my life.

When it’s all said and done, when I’m old as fuck and looking out into the world before moving on, the things I’ll think about are my little brothers face when he was 5, seeing him have a good time with my cousins when he’s 26. Scaling a deadly mountain with my cousins then seeing my sisters boyfriend propose to her at the tallest point in Constanza and looking at my mom fill up with tears of joy at the moment. The rest of this shit is just an illusion man, money is nothing but a tool to be mastered so it’s not used against us. Fear has kept me from embracing that and it’s time to make the hard choices in my life and play the game at the highest level, it’s time to get out of rat race and back into the fast lane.

Never forget where you come from man. I’ve changed a lot and I’m happy about it, one of my aunts hadn’t seen me in almost 15 years and looked at me and said I completely changed, that made me so happy. A lot of people pride themselves in being the same but I think the opposite because I strive to constantly improve and be better than whoever I was. If someone says I haven’t changed at all, I think I’m doing something wrong. That has it’s downside if you’re not careful and I’ve become Space Age, so obsessed with where I’m going, where we can take this thing that the past became nothing but a faint memory of something that once was but no longer exists. But the time and space are illmatic, what will be already was and sometimes there’s no greater inspiration to get where you’re going than to remember where you come from. Keep moving forward at all times but don’t forget, never forget.

Categories
Music

Jungle – Busy Earnin’

Jungle’s bittersweet 70’s inspired jam is my new theme song but what it represents is a lifestyle I’ve been at for a long time.

So you come a long way
But you never had things for a normal life, it’s hard
Too busy earnin’…

Everything I do I love. I don’t mean that in a cliche kind of way either. My job is my passion. I live in the abstract where I make money from curating music. Let me tell you something about money and music, they don’t go together. All those rappers you see are an illusion, 90% of your favorite bands are struggling. What I do is rare and I’m lucky. It’s a gift because I’m doing what I love, it’s a curse because it never turns off. You know how some people go home after work and leave their job behind, I don’t know that…

And I get it always
But I bet I won’t change, no
Just busy earring’
You can’t get enough.

Earning. I know what you’re thinking, money but it’s not a monetary thing, it’s about living and appreciation. There’s not a day in my life where I’m not extremely grateful for being a human being on planet earth, in the United States. I have this intrinsic need and desire to return the favor, to not just consume during my time on earth but to greatly contribute. While at Coachella I did a lot of thinking about the future and had an epiphany that the best way to contribute is to disrupt. You have to see the world beyond what already exist and create from that point of view. One day in the not so distant future the iPhone will be looked at like a fax machine, what and how we consume information, music and life in general will be completely different. By creating from that perspective you not only solve the problems of the present but you create something new at the same time.

My mother knows me by now but she still wonders why I check out from time to time. I’m just trying to give back man, just trying to earn my keep in this gift called life, I’m..

Just busy earnin’, Can’t get enough.

Press play and let these epic horns bring out the creator in you, let them inspire your day. Some of us have been at this for a long time and have no intention to stop but rather to figure out how to keep going at full speed, it’s what we’re meant to do and everyday we’re understanding the intricacies of that purpose more and more, here’s to those folks. Get busy people, we’re just getting started.

Jungle – Busy Earnin’

Categories
Music

Followers / Leaders

FOLLOWERS

Finish college.

LEADERS

Drop out.

FOLLOWERS

Obey the rules.

LEADERS

Question authority.

FOLLOWERS

Believe it’s about accolades.

LEADERS

Believe it’s about relationships.

FOLLOWERS

Need external validation.

LEADERS

Have self-confidence.

FOLLOWERS

Have a backup plan.

LEADERS

Have no safety net.

FOLLOWERS

Will not take no for an answer. Since they’re playing the game, they believe the rules and the courts will save them.

LEADERS

Hit a roadblock and change direction. They only fight battles they know they can win.

FOLLOWERS

Work for the corporation.

LEADERS

Start the corporation.

FOLLOWERS

Go to graduate school to gain a profession.

LEADERS

Hire professionals.

FOLLOWERS

Look at how everybody else does it, conformity is king.

LEADERS

Do it their own way, but are aware of how everybody else is doing it.

FOLLOWERS

Believe in vacation.

LEADERS

Never take a day off.

FOLLOWERS

Are students of what’s in front of them.

LEADERS

Are students of the game.

FOLLOWERS

Stop learning after school.

LEADERS

Never stop learning. Whether it be from books, news or colleagues.

FOLLOWERS

Argue about their paycheck.

LEADERS

Money is secondary, and they believe there’s enough if they succeed.

FOLLOWERS

Are afraid to lose.

LEADERS

Are willing to lose, because they believe they’re destined to win.

FOLLOWERS

Say no. Pessimism reigns.

LEADERS

Say yes. But are not afraid to say no. Optimism rules.

FOLLOWERS

Plan.

LEADERS

Make it up as they go.

FOLLOWERS

Take direction.

LEADERS

Make up the direction.

FOLLOWERS

Believe it’s all about the CV, what you can list on LinkedIn.

LEADERS

Social network because they’ve got so many ideas their heads will explode if they don’t release them. They know the people who started the social networks. They’re more interested in what made social networks successful than playing within them. They know building a resume only counts if you’re looking to get hired, and they’ve created every job they’ve had since high school.

FOLLOWERS

Are afraid and sometimes evidence desperation.

LEADERS

Are never afraid and never desperate. They see the world as their plaything, not something that can hold them back or down.

FOLLOWERS

Have no vision.

LEADERS

Can see the future in 3-D.

FOLLOWERS

Work in established industries.

LEADERS

Establish industries. The greats are not afraid of being ahead of the times, they know the times will come to them.

FOLLOWERS

Think about themselves.

LEADERS

Think about others. Sure, many are narcissistic, but their fortunes are based on filling the needs of the public, not their boss.

FOLLOWERS

Adjust their personalities to get along.

LEADERS

Get to be themselves.

FOLLOWERS

Play the politics.

LEADERS

Are above the politics.

FOLLOWERS

Work in the world.

LEADERS

Run the world.