D’Angelo – Ain’t That Easy


Take a toke of smoke from me as you dream inside
Let your days slip away come with me and ride…

He’s back. I know I’m about a month late on this one, but if you haven’t yet taken the time to listen to D’Angelo’s third album I am here to tell you that it is actually imperative you do so. Right now. Black Messiah marks his first release in 14 years. Oh, the anticipation. He knows how to build suspense, draw you in and keep you asking for more and he couldn’t have chosen a more culturally and politically appropriate time to drop this shit. D’Angelo explains that the title Black Messiah is “…about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. … It’s not about praising one charismatic leader, but celebrating thousands of them.” Thank you D’Angelo, for your good vibes and unapologetic funk.

This track in particular is a winner. I was hooked from the start; the jutting bass line is super reminiscent of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. And his lyrics are just so on point:

Ever hit with a choice that you can’t decide?
Which direction left or right
Shut your mouth off and focus on what you feel inside
(See y’all know I’ma go with my vibe)
You won’t believe all the things you have to sacrifice
Just to get peace of mind

He hits the nail on the head– indecision is a bitch. As these lyrics so eloquently suggest, maybe sometimes the best antidote to uncertainty is to shut your mouth and turn inward. Listen to what’s going on inside. Making choices isn’t easy, but it is an inevitable part of this existence. Instead of fostering anxiety about the infinite directions you can take in any given situation, maybe shut off the nagging voice in your head and allow new inspiration to filter through. It will, if you just allow it.


Music Remixes

OK GO – White Knuckles (Static Revenger Club Remix)

Here at EMPT, we talk about a lot of things in our posts. In an effort to relate to you, the reader, I often find myself discussing dance and happy vibes, sometimes delving into the artist’s background if it is worth mentioning. Here’s the reality: while listening to certain tracks after experiencing a mass amount of stress or anger, I find myself reacting so genuinely happy that I cannot possibly put it into words. It’s a matter of honesty, when I say that this track has done exactly that. After what felt like the worst day of the summer, stressful for stupid reasons and stupid for stressful reasons, I came across this track. I was in the wrong place of course, at work, because I was forced to contain my excitement. Although anyone who walked by me saw the goofiest and dumbest grin on my face, which probably left them confused because merely minutes before, I had been sulking with my brows furrowed. I waited until 4:30. As I walked out the door, I pressed play on my iPod and prepared to embark on a dance journey down Broadway towards Houston (less crowded on Houston, more room to dance) only to receive a phone call that totally halted my plans and forced me to continue in sulky stress all the way home.

It was only when I finally made it home two hours later (after the gym where I couldn’t properly enjoy the song because let’s face it — gym dancing doesn’t feel the same when everyone around you is working on their buff index), that I greeted the silence and emptiness of my apartment with an iPod in speakers and the play button begging to be pressed on this song.

I danced like I’d never danced before. Mind was completely disconnected, as if I was in a yoga class focusing only on my inhales and my exhales, except in this case, it was my legs and my arms. My thoughts centered around how I could extend further, kick higher, sway longer, and reach up to the sky. The grin stayed planted on my face, and I danced in the christmas lit euphoria of my apartment alone, secretly hoping but not really caring that I wouldn’t wake up a potentially sleeping baby next door. I grabbed an imaginary dance partner and let him sway my hips while I rocked a hard knuckle pounding guitar based fist dance, inspired by the title of the track of course.

The best part of this song is every part. But if you want to know where I lost my cool, it was at the spot where the guitars start to crescendo and climb up a repetition of arpeggios that taper off at multiple drops. And guess what? I’m listening to it right now and I’m almost nervous that I’m going to lose it all over again because I’ve been so taken by this song for the past twenty four hours. There’s something about the spacey vocals combined with the extreme attention to detail, the overlapping guitars that remind us of Prince and the even spacier computer created sounds that enter every once in a while, like a space ship taking off. Not from Earth, but maybe from Mars. Headed to Venus. Maybe that’s why I feel like I’m on a totally different planet right now.

The biggest coincidence about this track is it’s content, lyrically. We associate white knuckles with clenched fists, or holding onto something for maybe just a little bit too long. It’s all too comical that I discovered this song while all I wanted to do was clench my fists and pound a wall. But the chorus is hilariously relevant as well.

White knuckles
Maybe it’s not so bad
So let your hair down now.”

OK GO – White Knuckles (Static Revenger Club Remix)



Theophilus London – Dancing (Feat. Marvin Gaye)

This is definitely a party banger Theophilus pulled out of his pocket, and couldn’t be more perfect for you party animals on this Friday!  Throw in a Marvin Gaye sample, the guy who created love songs that literally made girls gasp and run to the bathroom, ya it’s no joke, he had some kind of magic in that voice and in those lyrics, I like to call him the “master of love.”  Twist up the “master of love” with Theophilus who is turning heads with his “Brooklyn Swag”, and with his ability to capture you with so many style ranges, from pop, soul, R&B, and electro, I don’t know about you but he blows my mind and I am always ready for a good time.  It would make sense that he is blowing charts and turning heads left and right, when your main influences are two of the best, Michael Jackson and Prince, those are like the great Ninjas or Gods of music!

This track is from Theophilus’ new Mixtape Rose Island Vol. 1 which is available for a Free Download, thank you TL and Warner Bros.!

Theophilus recorded most of Rose Island during Christmas in his NYC studio. TL returned to his roots with the goal of getting back to the basics for the recording of Rose Island Vol. 1. In typical TL fashion, there’s something for everyone on Rose Island Vol. 1 which is filled with hip hop bangers, electronic club tracks, sing along anthems and, of course, a couple slow jams for the ladies.

Rose Island is an imaginary place in TL’s head where he goes when he needs to escape reality and time. Some of the mix tape highlights include A$AP Rocky, Big Boi, upcoming Producer Lunice, and many more. He also Covers Pharrell Willams “Take it off’ and reworks Wang Chung’s classic ‘Dance Hall Days’.”

I have no doubt that you all are gonna want to ditch work and start your Friday grabbin’ your ladies or your gentlemen and dancin’ your pants off.  Just do it, you only live once so why not live in the moment.  Anyways press play and let your weekend begin, enjoy!

Theophilus London – Dancing (Feat. Marvin Gaye)