Governors Ball

So despite the rain and mud struggles, I braved two of the three days at Governors Ball this weekend. I should have gone on Sunday, but my body just couldn’t do it. Instead of seeing Kanye, Beirut, HAIM, and all the other Sunday acts, I took a personal day of relaxation and zen. Much needed, and definitely no regrets, although I’m sure all those performers were fantastic. As for Friday and Saturday, well. It was definitely interesting. A super fun experience to have since I’ve never been to a totally muddy and grimy music festival, and it led me to believe that it’s an experience that everyone should have, especially in their twenties. Yes, it’s difficult to dance and get stoked about the music when you’re struggling with standing on two feet without slipping, but there’s a certain romantic quality in all of the mess. And I have to admit, any time I felt slightly overwhelmed by the intensity of the people or the ankle deep sludge, my friend and I escaped to the silent disco tent.

If you’ve never participated in a silent disco, make it your summer goal. They’re accessible, I’m sure at most music festivals in the city nowadays, and you will have so much fun. For all you Mister Sunday lovers, think of the crowd and general good vibes of a Mister Sunday party. Now just imagine that with noise canceling Sennheiser wireless headphones, surrounded by strangers and friends all losing it to the same music being played live by a DJ. I was impressed and totally in the zone. I had a silly/stupid moment the first time I participated in one last summer, when I realized that everyone was hearing the same music. D’oh. Favorite highlight: the two dudes dressed as referees who entered to an automatically parted crowd, warranting a male stripper-esque impromptu dance-off. As if I wasn’t already in love, the DJs who performed on each day were incredible. I can only imagine that it was as fun for them as it was for us.

As for the artists themselves, from what I was able to see, Kendrick Lamar was a definite favorite. As was Azealia Banks and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. But Kendrick Lamar impressed me so much because I’ve seen live hip-hop at festivals before and sometimes it’s disappointing. But I was the furthest from disappointed with Kendrick’s obvious love and appreciation for the New York crowd. That made me really happy, because if I were an artist, expressing my love for my fans would be just as important as producing quality work. My only wish was that he performed my favorite song, The Recipe, which he did not. He did, however, perform Poetic Justice, which is my favorite song, so I guess it broke even. Nonetheless, The Recipe can be found below for your listening pleasure.

Again, I’m sad that I couldn’t see HAIM on Sunday, but I was just too tired and wiped out from the previous two days of trekking. Despite all of that, I was pleased with the overall Governors Ball experience, and definitely look forward to what it has to offer in the upcoming years.

Kendrick Lamar – The Recipe (feat. Dr. Dre)

*BONUS* Just because. These ladies always deserve listening to.

HAIM – Better Off

Music Remixes

Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank) (At Dawn We Rage Fest Edit)


The first time I heard Kendrick Lamar was in that flurry of remixes of Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks. Yeah, remember that song? Yeah, if you can stretch your mind all the way back to 2011, you’ll remember that familiar indie pop excitement of that song about a modern-day shootout. DJ Reflex remixed the famously fun track and featured a budding young Lamar. I fell in love with his curious intonations and nearly tongue-tying lyrical waves.

In October 2012, Lamar released his second studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city, featuring the incredibly heavy track Swimming Pools (Drank). The track easily hung in the Top 100 and was even named by Rolling Stone as the 34th best song of 2012. Lamar’s rhymes are painfully honest and undeniably relatable. The repetitive narration falls right in line with the bass. Lamar’s music easily reflects the influences of 2Pac, B.I.G. and Eminem, but what makes him unique, specifically on Swimming Pools, is how accessible the theme of the song is. His lyrics speak to the spiraling turns of alcoholism, inner conflict and the monotony of indulgence.

Pour up, drank, head shot, drank
Sit down, drank, stand up, drank
Pass out, drank, wake up, drank
Faded, drank, faded, drank

Okay, now open your mind up and listen to me, Kendrick
I’m your conscience, if you do not hear me
Then you will be history, Kendrick
I know that you’re nauseous right now
And I’m hopin’ to lead you to victory, Kendrick
If I take another one down
I’ma drown in some poison abusin’ my limit
I think that I’m feelin’ the vibe
I see the love in her eyes, I see the feelin’
The freedom is granted as soon as the damage of vodka arrive
This how you capitalize
This is parental advice.”

At Dawn We Rage, a duo of producer and drummer, adds a sprinkle of trance onto Lamar’s Swimming Pools. The duo delicately morphs the track into a quiet trap edit, accessible to a far broader audience. The message of struggle and pain still pours through the speakers and finds its power in Lamar‘s lyricism.

Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank) (At Dawn We Rage Fest Edit)

Also, in honor of having just seen Django Unchained, here’s the DJ Reflex remix of Pumped Up Kicks.

Foster the People feat. Kendrick Lamar – Pumped Up Kicks (DJ Reflex Remix)

Music Remixes

Kendrick Lamar – Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe (Star Slinger Via London Refix)

Until last Thursday night, it had been about 9 months since I staged a public DJ session.  The purpose of the event was the reopening of a restaurant near Fisherman’s Wharf.  It was also invite only, extended to hospitality and service industry employees alike.

About an hour into my set, which was composed of melodic, groovy nu-disco/electronic/chillwave selects, I made a transition to Average White Band and Motown.  Aha! I had  hit a nerve.  The people started moving.  Someone from the crowd (which was older than I had expected)  approached the DJ table, and I knew before they spoke what they wanted.  A request.  I thought “Oh no, Miss, please don’t kill my vibe.” But the request ended up moving my set forward: MFSB‘s upbeat Do It Any Way You Wanna.

In today’s track, Compton-raised hip hop prodigy Kendrick Lamar enforces the pleasure of solitary grooving, when it’s just you, your drANK and the music.  I related to this during my set, as I was sipping on complimentary white wine and grooving on music that I had personally selected.  But the MFSB woman had humbled me.  She reminded me that some times as a DJ (most times if you play corporate gigs and weddings), the occasion calls for you to respond to the crowd of the moment, not the crowd of  your fantasy.

If the original Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe is a smooth brush-off, Star Slinger‘s booty house remix makes the titular phrase a proclamation of indulgence.  That’s because this remix is padded with salacious club-banger-esque kick drums and high hats, transforming Lamar’s original locked-in-a-dorm-room mood into painting the town maddeningly red, solo.  Lamar may have intended a simple lamentation, but Star Slinger turns the song into an unapologetic, celebratory repentance.

Both versions of Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe are great, and I could see myself dropping either in a set.  But don’t expect me to play the Lady Gaga version, in which Gaga does exactly the opposite of what the title suggests.

Kendrick Lamar – Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe (Star Slinger Via London Refix)


Ab-Soul – Illuminate (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)

I’m a f*$#ing genius
Gripping my fu#&ing penis, living this life
You can’t tell me nothing
Still ain’t really got no money f&#$ing right
I’m all about that real, about that real
This ain’t no motion picture
I tell you how that feel, how that feel..”

Couldn’t have said that better myself, I am all about the real myself, you have to look at what is really there, right in front of you, don’t worry about what you don’t have but focus on whether or not your happy.  Is what you are doing making you feel real, money doesn’t make you feel real or happy, ya ya it makes life easier but easy doesn’t build happiness, just think about that.

Kendrick Lamar is the man, I mean really he is the shit, working with all the top heads like Snoop Dog, Dr.Dre, Wiz Khalifa,Game, Drake, Busta Rhymes, E 40, Warren G, Bun B, Tech N9ne and Lil’Wayne.  DAMN, what a baller right!!?  Being around the greatest growing up like Tupac and Dre, he has all the right tools in his back pocket, you can’t beat getting the best advise from your idols!  Some dudes just rap but this cat has it going on, makes you feel what he is really saying like you’re in some kind of stand off and at the end of his moment you have nothing to say because he said it all perfectly and with so much life.  This is exactly what I needed on this stormy Friday in NY, something hard and gritty which gets me pumped up in a whole different way then up tempo tracks, this makes me feel real and alive.

I couldn’t be more excited to be posting this track but I thought it was only right I put it up for you all today to start off your weekend, Enjoy!

 Ab-Soul – Illuminate (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)


Kendrick Lamar – A.D.H.D.

Got a high tolerance when your age don’t exists…”

I just landed in the Dominican Republic for my gig tonight at their fashion week. It’s burning hot and I’m still zoned from my flight where I must have listened to my new favorite song A.D.H.D. for 2 hours straight. Chances are you’ve never heard of Kendrick Lamar but it’s time to get familiar because the dude for Compton is pure talent and he’s…

Got the cultivating music that be captivating he, who listens…” – Snoop Dogg (Gin & Juice)

Where do I even start with A.D.H.D.? The song is an encapsulation of everything and anything relating to modern youth experience in America. Some people will kill me for saying this but not since Reasonable Doubt have I heard an introspect that resonates so deeply in my experience and that of the people around me. The song writing is incredible, the irony of the hook, song title and lyrics and emotional play is pure genius. The balance of insecurity, confidence, party, serious issues, pop, underground drugs and girls is, well, life. I know a lot of song writers who always talk about doing something like this but actually pulling it off, damn. What’s really crazy is this is that this isn’t a conscious song, it’s not a party record, it’s not an attempt at anything. For lack of better expression, it’s just real talk…

I’m in the house party trip pin off my generation
Sippin cough syrup like its water, never no pancakes in the kitchen
Man, no wonder our lives is caught up in the daily superstition
That the world is bout to end, who gives a fuck? we never do listen
Unless it comes with an 808, a melody and some hoes
Playstation and some drank, technology bought my soul
Looking around and all I see is a big crowd, that’s product of me
And they probably relatives, relevant for a rebel’s dream
Yep, her president is black, she black too
Purple label on her back but that tab is light blue
She take it straight to the head, then she look at me
She got AD-HD…”

I could literally write an essay about this track but I have to get ready for tonight. Throw this one on, ride to it, chill to it and get familiar with Kendrick Lamar, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the near future. I’m down here with Luka from Like Diamonds and as usual he’s ready to rock and this hotel is live with all the fashion stuff going on. I’ll check back tomorrow, in the meantime I got ADHD…

8 doobies to the face, f*%k dat…”

Kendrick Lamar – A.D.H.D.

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