Robyn – Hang With Me

I was browsing online yesterday for New Years Eve events in my city. I’m not sure why I had high expectations, but man, what a letdown. What about the people who don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars at a Hollywood club or rave their faces off ‘til dawn?

Full disclosure: I attended a number of NYE raves during high school and one in college. But now, as a sophisticated elderly man, I’m looking for something quieter and more highbrow.

Perhaps I’ll don my smoking jacket and read a spot of Dickens while lounging on a bearskin rug. Or I’ll slip into my tailored CK suit and reserve a corner table and indulge in a molecular gastronomy tasting menu.

JK, I’m a recent grad living paycheck to paycheck! So for NYE 2014, I think I’ll gather with some friends from back in the day, order some bulk hot wings, drink embarrassing quantities of middle-of-the-road beer and champagne, bust out the old iPod and dance like a madman to Robyn.

And really, what could be better than that?

Robyn – Hang With Me


EMPT Classics: Say Goodbye to Hollywood

No I’m not leaving LA but I was curating the music for a latin restaurant called Paladar Latin Kitchen this morning and I came across one of my al time favorite songs – La Fama by Hector Lavoe. The song is about Fame and all it’s complexities, a salsa classic. In this world, when you chase something its very important to fully understand what you’re dealing with. There’s nothing wrong with playing the game but if you don’t know how things truly work you will inevitably fail or even worse succeed and be destroyed in damaging ways.

If success took a shot at you, what are you gonna do now? How you gonna kill it, you gonna be unsuccessful?”

Anyways, it reminded me of an old post I wrote back in the early days of EMPT that I felt like sharing again, enjoy.

Originally posted January 29th, 2010


Apologies to all our readers, I’ve been out in LA this week and haven’t had the time to post. You can’t blame me, it’s hard to think about blogging while driving down Pacific highway or walking around Venice beach, it’s just not gonna happen. Nevertheless, I woke up early because I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging. I did a post back in our early days about the complex nature of fame and success, given that SoCal is probably the pinnacle of this I thought it would be cool to bring that back, enjoy.

I saw a recent interview with Kanye in which he was justifying his narcissism by proposing that he is two people, Kanye West the product and Kanye West the person.

I have the right to talk in third person because I’m me as a person, but also I’m a walking brand.”

Interesting. Everyone see’s Kanye West as arrogant and self-righteous, I see him as someone coping with some very important issues we all have to deal with. I think Mr. West is developing into a master of consumerism, a master or a victim – it’s a very thin line. Either way, the one song from 808’s & Heartbreak that I’ve actually willingly listened to is Welcome to Heartbreak, a very authentic song which truly captures the bittersweet aspects of his recent success.

Dad cracked a joke, all the kids laughed,
But I couldn’t here him all the way in first-class.
Chased the good-life, all my life long,
Look back on my life, all my life gone,
Where did I go wrong?”

Kanye West – Welcome To Hearbreak (Featuring Kid Cudi)

This song falls in the same realm of Eminem’s Say Goodbye to Hollywood, Lily Allen’s The Fear, Hector Lavoe’s La Fama, Jay-Z’s Success, The Beatles’ Drive My Car and countless others.

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore. I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore.”

Lily Allen – The Fear

The consistent theme in all of these songs is the juxtaposition between success in the public eye and the abandonment of self through extreme levels of sacrifice.

I don’t wanna quit, but shit, I feel like this is it
For me to have this much appeal like this is sick
This is not a game, this fame, in real life this is sick
Publicity stunt my ass, consume my fuckin’ dick
I love my fans but no one ever puts a grasp on the fact i’ve sacrificed everything I have
I never dreamt i’d get to the level that i’m at, this is whack
This is more than I ever could of asked
Everywhere I go, a hat, a sweater hood, or mask
What about math, how come I wasn’t ever good at that
It’s like the boy in the bubble, who never could adapt, i’m trapped
If I could go back, I never woulda rapped
I sold my soul to the devil, i’ll never get it back
I just wanna leave this game with level head intact
Imagine goin’ from bein’ a no one to seein’,
everything blow up and all you did was just grow up emceeing
It’s fuckin’ crazy
Cause all I wanted was to give Hailie the life I never had
But instead I forced us to live alienated, so i’m sayin’…

Eminem – Say Goodbye To Hollywood

I never went to my econ class in college so I don’t remember much but the one thing I did pick up was that the real cost of something is what you have to give up to get it. A concept I’ve really have to come to grips with lately, because even when you win big in this world you’re still losing something. That said, ambition is a complicated subject, one needs to be fully aware of who one is and what one wants before devoting to a particular end. The way to do that is by being brutally honest with yourself, a task not many are willing to undertake. In the words of Hector Lavoe:

Porque yo soy La Fama, soy aquel que la gente reclama pero nadie puede compreder… 

Anyways, this is way too complicated for my hungover state right now. Just what I was feeling at the time, enjoy.

I use to give a fuck, now I give a fuck less. What do I think of suc-cess? It sucks, too much stress…”

Jay-Z – Success


The Hood Internet – Critical Captions (Only Children Remix)

There’s nothing worse than being really stoned and with a bunch of really drunk people and feeling like no one around you is at all on your page. Last night, I went out with the intention of having a great time at a club I like and found myself completely out of place.

“Does anybody out there feel like I do, does anybody out there, feel like me-ee?”

Unable to carry a conversation over the ruckus and unable to find a groove between all the Butabi Brothers, I entered my car and was greeted by Only Children, finding comfort in both the solitude and the groove. The sexiest production duo in the Midwest possess an uplifting sound (think Tiger & Woods meets Bit Funk) and consistently deliver. When I saw they remixed The Hood Internet, an act I associate with rap and mashups, I was confused.

Then I pressed play, and everything immediately snapped into focus. I know what kind of music and what kind of people I’m meant to be around, and this song sums up this emotion. While we won’t always find ourselves in the perfect setting, odds are that if you gravitate towards the right kind of music scene, the right kind of atmosphere will probably fall into place. And this is definitely my scene.

The Hood Internet – Critical Captions (Only Children Remix)

The original is quite chill as well:

The Hood Internet feat. Class Actress & Cadence Weapon – Critical Captions

Music Remixes

RAC – Hollywood [feat. Penguin Prison] (Escort Remix)

The grooves! The grooves of it all! This jam is everything to me right now as I finalize my luggage for my trip this afternoon. Sometimes you need a little dance music to amp up your mood just a little bit – like a night cap…only it’s daytime…a day cap, maybe? Anyway, this track has me feelin all kinds of good. Escort has added this pinch of late 80’s vibes that have me imagining myself dancing around my apartment in underwear and a dress shirt Risky Business style. The horns are infectious and pulse through your bones. Mix in a groovy piano bit and smooth bass line and you’ve got yourself a 3 and a half minute joyous, let-it-all-hang-out party.

While the original version of this track is great, I’m really digging this remix because of how shameless it is in making noise. Yes, it’s a bit loud and a tad over the top, but that’s the whole point. Why create a dance tune that’s reserved? If you want your listeners to dance and let go, you make music that sounds like letting go. This track practically forces you to throw your hands up saying “Screw it I just want to dance.” The time for being reserved is over- it’s Saturday after all. If your week has been anything like mine, this weekend is a major blessing. So turn this track way up and live a little. You and I both deserve it.

RAC – Hollywood [feat. Penguin Prison] (Escort Remix)