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 theÂ juxtapositionÂ 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, iâ€™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 growÂ 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