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Music

Salt Cathedral – Run For The Money ft. Assassin

This track gave me immediate nostalgia from our early EMPT days when we used to post a lot of Major Lazer. Fuck I miss those days a lot and I am trying to do everything possible to bring it back physically for everyone in party mode ASAP.  I am on my way to NYC in about an hour for a few days and then officially moving back right before Summer starts.  I could only stay away from my city for a few months, I love it so much in NYC that it hurts, I feel so many amazing things when I think about it, it’s the place that helped me become the adult that I am today, well ok I am still very much a kid at heart especially because I deal with a toddler 24/7, but NY creates some pretty unique, hardworking, cultured human beings and I have really missed that the past few months.  This track brought back a lot of those feelings for me:

run for the money
run for the gold
run in the evening
you run ’till you are old.”

This is my motto these days, ‘run for the money, run for the gold’, run for that better life, the best life, a life where your children will never have to worry and you can live a spontaneous life because you worked your butt off and you deserve it!

Speaking of running I have to get my shit together for my trip to NY, press play, it will be Friday before you know it and this will get you in that mood!

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Music

Major Lazer ft. Pharrell Williams – Aerosol Can

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Pharrell Williams is everywhere these days, following his smash guest appearance on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” production on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and solo chart-topper “Happy.” He’s a 40-year old who somehow looks EXACTLY THE SAME as he did at age 20. He is a vampire.

Mr. Williams has been churning out big hits since the late 1990s, both as a solo producer and as a member of The Neptunes and N*E*R*D. Oh, you knew that already? Take a gander at this partial list of productions: Wreckx N’ Effect – “Rump Shaker,” Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Got Your Money,” Ludacris– “Southern Hospitality,” Mystikal – “Shake Ya Ass,”  Britney Spears – “I’m A Slave 4 U,” Fabolous – “Holla Back,” Justin Timberlake – “Rock Your Body,” Nelly – “Hot in Herre,” Snoop Dogg – “Beautiful” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” Jay-Z – “Change Clothes,” Gwen Stefani – “Hollaback Girl.”

Please read that list again. It’s insane, and a tiny fraction of a discography that includes a number of rock acts (The Hives, Scissor Sisters, Fall Out Boy) and two film scores (“Despicable Me”). Over the past 16 years, Pharrell has improbably defined the sound of a generation, and he is now bigger than ever. Is that a good thing?

For most of his career, Pharrell was a super-guest or unseen influence, lending a song just what it needed to get over the hump and onto the radio. His laconic raps exude worldly confidence that skip between the mean streets and Milan: “Up in Donatella’s crib, me and like ten hoes/call from the cell phone, give me that Enzo.” And his joyful singing (best exemplified on Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful”) allowed rap songs to be poolside anthems.

But with his immense rise in fame, Pharrell finds himself in a new role, one that longtime fans may find disconcerting. He’s the new Quincy Jones, the most in demand producer in the world with a following comprised of youth and old folks alike. Can he really dip his toes back into the world of cocaine rap?

Judging by this feature on Major Lazer’s recently released “Aerosol Can,” the answer is unequivocally yes. Diplo’s trendsetting continues with an aggressively simple beat that fits with his Major Lazer project’s dancehall leanings; tight, tuned up toms layered with a bubble-bass give Pharrell an avenue to show off his word wizardry in a way he hasn’t on his “pop” tracks.

And make no mistake, this is coke rap at its most referential. Along with references to reggae legend Eek-A-Mouse, Mario Kart, Mulan and fancy cars, Pharrell drops lines like:

Look around, everybody on Sinatra
I ain’t talking bout this shit they call Coke and vodka
I’m talking bout this shit you short and go ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

You know, in case you weren’t sure.

This track is HYPE. Like, is it tonight yet? I’m tryna get out on the floor and dance up in someone’s grill, to get strobe-blind and make some mistakes. Songs like this are the drug.

Major Lazer ft. Pharrell Williams – Aerosol Can 

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Music

Major Lazer – You’re No Good feat. Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Danielle Haim & Yasmin

On a very basic level, let me just say that this song speaks to me. On a musical and dancing level, it’s perfect and happy. But I’m saying, this was the first song I listened to on my run yesterday. For anyone that is in New York, you’ll understand why this was such a big deal. The sun was out and the sky was perfectly blue all day long. The evening was just as beautiful, as you look up to find a rare amount of stars in the sky. One of those days. So maybe you can understand why I’m so stoked that this was the first song I decided to listen to as I got myself geared up for a good run. As I was about to indulge in an exercise that makes me really happy already, this song was a huge A-HA! moment for me.

There’s something really appealing about a song that talks about any sort of act that we shouldn’t do. Something that we know is bad for us, but we indulge anyway. I guess I’m talking about indulgences in general. You’re no good for me, speaks to my life on so many levels right now. And for some reason, hearing that and feeling like I’m at a dance show on a Saturday night with a dude that I know is just bad but in the best way possible, feels…kinda sexy. Like you know you shouldn’t but you’re totally going to dance all up in it tonight, and no one is going to stop you. There’s also the classic part of the chorus that incorporates the ah’s, ooh’s and uh’s, which never fail to please an audience. I mean, they’re overused a lot in a music these days, but not in this song at least.

Damnit, this song is really one of those that you dance to alone and suddenly realize that you’re a fricken incredible dancer. Or at least I did. And then I got really frustrated because I couldn’t understand where these moves go when I’m trying to dance with other people. Not that I’m not a good dancer in public, I think I am. Major Lazer has always had a way of tapping into my instinctual dance. And instincts bring out the sexy, so your hips are doing things you don’t really understand but feel pretty cool about.

I’m going to stop talking about dancing because I can go on forever. I’m just going to let you guys love this like I do, and guess what? It’s Thursday and this just happens to be my week’s jam, so all is good in the world.

Have fun!

Major Lazer – You’re No Good feat. Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Danielle Haim & Yasmin

 

 

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Music

Major Lazer – Watch Out For This (Bumaye) feat. Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green

No surprise here that the newest Major Lazer track is the embodiment of perfection. There’s a lot going on here and all of it is loveworthy. The work that Major Lazer is just as hard as their live shows — 100% with nothing to hold back. I remember the first time I saw them at one of the HARD shows in New York City. As soon as I arrived at Terminal 5, my phone was stolen. My sadness was fleeting and totally forgotten as soon as I stepped into the masses. The show was unforgettableLadders and ladies with barely any clothes on, a lot of humping the ground, fans on stage, fans off stage, scary faces, exciting light shows…it’s always really impressive to me when a musical act can channel exactly the same energy they give out in their music, on stage during a live show. It’s a whole other level of creativity that I can definitely appreciate. It’s like taking a painting and transforming into a piece of poetry.

Have you guys noticed that February is just the worst month? I used to feel pretty indifferent towards February, but this year it has been nothing but a nagging pain. And I know it’s the year of the snake and everything, so maybe it’s time to just take February for what it is — a month for realizations in the harshest way. Hopefully this track will not only make you want to dance, but lift your spirits as it has done for me. I especially like playing it at the gym when I’m trying to channel any sort of anger or sadness into my workout. It’s a really fun song to run to, with the beat being so intense, demanding attention and fervor. Enjoy!

Major Lazer – Watch Out For This (Bumaye) feat. Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green

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Music Remixes

Bruno Mars – Locked Out Of Heaven (Major Lazer Remix)

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It was thanks to my girlfriend that I first heard this song’s original version. I knew that it wasn’t worth it purchasing since I was about to listen to it nonstop on the radio and about every person’s iPod at home parties and alike. A week or two ago when I was writing about the Jr Blender Remix of Rihanna’s Where Have You Been –doing pre and post research on the dude– I discovered that only a month ago he mixed this remix with Major Lazer.

If you ask me this sound a lot more like Jr Blender than Major Lazer but I’m glad anyways that it came out. Actually, it didn’t, but it did. This is a tropical slurpee of sorts, with all the reggae elements we love and just the right amount of timbrels to evoque even the most paradisiacal location you can imagine. Percussions galore, this drink is only missing the little paper umbrella to watch while you sip. Sit back and enjoy the weather, it’s about to get warm once you hit play.

Bruno Mars – Locked Out Of Heaven (Major Lazer Remix)

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Music

The Partysquad – Rising Sun

No music has the universal appeal like reggae music. Reggae’s pure, unrelenting optimism transcends every culture, race, and continent. Even when the saddest of lyrics about the bleakest of topics (although rare, think Marley’s “War”) can feel like the happiest of songs when coupled with some steel drums and a reggae beat. Because reggae simply equals good vibes.

As I write this, I’m on a boat motherfuckers. Cruising through the Caribbean and en route to Jamaica for the first time. Likewise, I want nothing but “Irie” emotions and tropical music blaring at all times. While the ship I’m on isn’t providing too much beyond elevator music and Party Rock, it’s given me the prime opportunity to make a dope ass playlist to blare while I read and sip on Red Stripes and maybe venture to Bob Marley’s home tomorrow. The Partysquad is a welcome addition to this playlist.

When it comes to modern, dubstep-infused reggae, the discussion kind of starts and ends with the current king of EDM: Major Lazer (I wish I knew more…). The Partysquad’s “Rising Sun” is as close to the Major Lazer sound I’ve found on the Cloud, and the Dutch outfit does either a damn good imitation or were a precursor. They were actually featured on “Original Don,” so the link between the two sounds makes perfect sense. No restraint, just pure love

Take me away on a journey to the rising sun,
stay on that high till the morning comes…”

This song is nothing but a breath of fresh, wobbly air, carrying out reggae’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy” motto with a distinctly modern twist. I love music like this that moves us forward while reminding me of so much of what I’ve loved in the past. All I want to rip out the boat’s music, insert my iPod, play this song followed by Major Lazer, and just see people’s reactions.

It’s just impossible not to smile, relax, and get lifted when listening to reggae, and that’s why I always find myself coming back to it. Even if you’re stuck in the snow for the New Year, this “Rising Sun” will shine some light reggae vibes into your life.  Close your eyes, and conquer those duppies.

The Partysquad – Rising Sun

 

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Music

Diplo – Hot Chip vs Major Lazer (Extended Version)

OBSESSED!  This is almost all I want to say but that would be a big no no, but that word pretty much sums up this track for me.  I know I have been holding out on this one all weekend, but I really wanted to give you something that will make you feel so F*&cking alive as it does for me.  Literally this has been on repeat for the past few days on every stereo system I can play it on, my car, my computer, my phone, Hector’s amazing studio sound system and sometimes two of those at the same time…Umm ya I am excited, so what!!

Diplo is nothing less then incredibly amazing, and Major Lazer puts me on the sexiest mood, pretty much all the time, these dudes know how to get everyone undressed, literally, shaking and dancing so hard that it looks like a hurricane might have just hit.  He has been touring with MAD DECENT and as disappointing as it is for me to say that I haven’t been a part of this amazing tour yet, everyone I know that has is speechless especially when Diplo gets the sound systems bumping with his ability to take anything that is already riveting and you feel like your on a different planet..WOOOOO!

This entire track is filled with Diplo’s little surprises, sounds and technique you just didn’t expect and for me with so many tracks, by the last 20 seconds I will switch to a new track but the end of this one is my favorite ending that I have heard in a really long time!  OK, enough with my excitement, I have decided since hearing this that it’s going to be my Monday anthem, Monday is the new Friday, so press play and you will see what I mean, enjoy!

Diplo – Hot Chip vs Major Lazer (Extended Version)

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Music

Gyptian – Hold Yuh (Major Lazer Remix)

Major Lazer aka Diplo & Switch made a mixtape for La Roux while they were in Jamaica, and because they’re so nice, released it as a free download that you can get here. The tape features the usual Jamaican inspired rhythms and vocals synonymous with the Major along with some very cool mash ups and blends along the way, most notably their version of the chart crawling tune by Gyptian called Hold Yuh. This song has been slowly rising up the charts in NYC but because it’s only piano, bass, a snare drums and vocals it’s club knocking abilities have been limited to say the least but this summer in the early 90’s sounding remix might be exactly what it needs to hit the top. This is like Day N’ Night De Ja Vu all over again, the original is somewhat slow but has great vocals so the Crookers come in, speed it up and the dance version makes it to the clubs, then Midnight Club Los Angeles and it blows the f$*k up.

There’s so much complaining left and right about the modern state of music and how the internet sucks. Yet, someone makes a song and thanks to the internet millions of people can hear it within hours, some of those people are music producers who get inspired to write a remix and next thing you know there are a 10 new versions of the songs for everyone to enjoy. In the end, the original artist wins because his song is spreading like wildfire, the remixer wins because his name is known and the fans win because they have great music to listen to. The false barriers and control over talent has literally been eliminated, it truly is a beautiful thing. I tell you, anyone who complains about what the internet has done to music is a cynic with limited perspective. Besides, what the internet has done to music hasn’t even begun, the future’s open wide, enjoy.

Gyptian – Hold Yuh (Major Lazer Remix)