Sampha - Blood On Me and Cranes In The Sky (Solange cover)
Amazing. I have been a huge fan of Sampha for awhile now. I love his voice and the interplay of his voice on top of the melodies he chooses to attach it to. Solange's 'Don't Touch my hair' which featured Sampha was on repeat for months. Now we got a great unplugged rendition of Blood on Me and a cover of Solange's 'Cranes in the The Key,' which had to be one of my top favorites off of 'A Seat at the Table' as well.
Listen to it via BBC
Stop Asking Yourself 'If This Is The Right Thing To Be Doing With Your Time?'
When I was younger the question I never asked myself is “is this the right thing to be doing with my time?” Assessing my schedule and weighing my options was not a thing I ever needed to do. If I had an idea I would immediately jumped at it. Started creating mock-ups, sketches, and discussing it with my close friends. In the past few years it feels like something completely switched. While I approach my 31st birthday, my mind is racing with many things, in hopes to solidify some of the abstraction that been floating around for years. Productivity has been on the forethought, since it affects my everyday life. While in college juggling classes and side projects never felt like a burden. Maybe it was the fact my school schedule was set by my professors at the beginning of the year and all I had to do was ride their prescribed roller coaster or maybe the fact when I hit a deadline it meant I was completely done with a project forever. It was not like my professor was going to return back the following year and ask me to redo my project. In tandem with struggling to keep up with my personal goals, I learned to be ‘productive’ in my professional life. At work I am constantly confronted that question. I have to quickly asset my full list of commitments and make concessions with my time and energy in hopes to divert scheduling conflicts that will detrimentally affect my whole set schedule and cascade into the future. It no wonder when I get home I attack my goals with the same mentally. Pool all my wants and needs into a bucket and continue to ask that insidious question ‘what should I do with my time,’ read a book, study for my licensing exam, write in my journal, meet-up with friends, catchup with work on my off hours, or possibly balance my financial budget? Cognitively that was one of the worst questions I have asked myself. It is getting impossible to sort through everything that is throw at us on a regular basis without adding the lists of micro-tasks found via our Facebook feeds, email inbox, bucket lists, and friend/family commitments. It almost meditative when you let go of the FOMO and pick up a notebook and sketch without any preconditions. So, this is to me starting my 31st year with trying to stop asking myself that darn question all that time and allowing myself to work on my personal goals without ego or sense of time.
The Power of Journaling
One of my favorite things to do is to keep a journal. I probably have maintained one since my freshman year of college. It has helped me through many tough moments, especially when my mind could not handle the abstraction of all the information hitting me and I needed things distilled, concrete, and in a linear fashion. The majority of the pages in my journal are of me cataloging events and emotions. It is not an everyday affair, I just make sure to have my journal around my room at arm’s length whenever I want to express the noise in my mind into something more structured. It usually a dump of my thoughts from that moment and immediately I am able to walk away from it. Usually a page of writing has been enough to free me from the cycle of overthinking things. There are many times I pick up the book and after a sentence of writing I am more motivated to do the task that was plaguing just minutes ago. Getting things down on paper helps the mind organize the chatter in your mind into something intelligible. In the past year I tried harder to break away from ritualizing this activity. Instead of grabbing my fountain pen, I will write with any pen nearby with an adequate supply of ink. I no longer add locations to my entries and have deferred to rounding out the date instead of trying to get it down to the minute. Since going through several notebooks now, I finally see the importance of capturing a comprehensive view of all the things I ponder. I now glue post-it notes with quote and full typed brain dumps. I no longer tethered to the pen and can type mad quickly on my ipad and literally paste the print out into a page in my book.
The purpose of journaling is to clear your mind. Not just to gain focus but to establish a target to your focus.
Back from my Week in Peru
I just returned from an incredible adventure. It had me on 6hr ++ hikes through the rainy amazon, on ski lift contraptions to visit ruins on the top of a mountain, and small shaky airplane rides to remote towns. It was definitely a mind altering trip. Before going I felt it was going to be a metal detox, but far from it on the conventional sense of isolating oneself at a retreat but more in an immersing challenge that forced me to shed distraction and anxiousness. I enjoyed the challenge and made me think, “Why am I not doing enough of these type of travels, I dream of doing this type of thing all the time.” If it wasn’t to my friend’s wedding, I would have not carved the time for such an excursion. I am excited I did so.
Right now, back in the states, I am trying to maintain my refresh state of mind, even going through the process of wiping all my devices clean of data, strong focus on my computer and cellphones. And taking a conscious effort to rid myself of distraction. It was sort of a vague Lenten promise of mine to spend less time looking at my phone aimlessly, but now it’s the direction I am focused on. I have a pile of books that need reading and ideas that need disciplined time to come out of abstraction.
On to seeing how far I can take some of these ideas that are knocking at my head.
- Denzel Curry - Imperial (2016)
- Jonwayne - Rap Album Two (2017)
- Melissa Laveaux - Camphor & Cooper (2008)
- NAO - For All We Know (2016)
- ABSTRACT, Netflix original - So good!!!
- Crazy Ex Girlfriend - Season 2 - wow, next level
Adidas x Kolor Ultraboost 3.0
This is such a gorgeous colorway, it so wild. Using a mix of slightly desaturated primary colors on top of a black primeknit blackdrop and gaudy metallic gold accent at the heelcup. This comes at a time I am trying hard to calm down my sneaker spending or actually halt it. I will definitely be looking out for this release.
Style Code: AH1485
Japanese Release: February 17, 2017
USA Release: N/A
First of the month, I am chilling listening to some smooth beats on soundcloud while I look through my phone for all the things that been getitng my mind going crazy November. Playing catch up hard.
Jazz Vibes Playlist on Spotify - this has been one of my favorite playlists of late, My December spotify playlist is already filling up with super chill beats :)
josh pan & Dumbfoundead - Banned From The Motherland ft. Simon D, Jay Park and G2 (Youtube) - For the past week, this has probably be on for hours at a time on repeat, it gets me in the right flow to get work done.
JMSN - LIVE North Hollywood (Spotify) - I been loving JMSN music for awhile now, this is a live version of some of the tracks from his last album 'It is.' There so tracks that shine much better in live rendition.
Couch Show / Just Between Us (Youtube) - I quickly watched every sketch video they made, now I am slowly making my way through their quasi advice couch segment. Love listening to these two banter.
Only reason I have Twitter installed on my phone @OhitsTeddy & @AdidasAlerts, I have been getting heavy on the Adidas footwear game, even checking up @TheYeezyMafia for facts. Crazy enough everday the till Christmas theYeezyMafia is leaking info on unreleased Adidas sneakers, check it out here http://xmas.yeezymafia.com/
Soft Glas - Late Bloom Live - this was definitely one of the albums I spun a ton when it released, great to hear it's live version JOAO recently posted on his soundcloud.
New music from the DrumMaster, Karriem Riggins -Bahia Dreams
Podcasts Episodes of Note, (google search to find these)
- This Week in Startups Interview with David Sacks - Great insights on how to recover a businesses' reputation.
- Tim Ferriss - #203 - Second round with DHH - I always learn something new from this man.
- Seth Godin kills is with so much to think about, I will have to listen to this one again. James Altucher Show #194
- Derek Sivers Distilled - I pushed this one back since I have heard tens of interviews with Derek and this one was supposed to be a clip show of quotes, but Tim was right with making this 'Distilled' episode of clips. I am really re-chewing on some of the directives and advice Derek has. Tim Ferriss Show #202
- Monocle 24: The Big Interview - (this is quickly becoming of my favorite podcasts) - Mario Testino - Robert Longo
- Monocle 24: The Sessions at Midori House - Takuya Kuroda
- Brian Koppelman on James Altucher Show #193 - I always love when the two of them are on each other's podcasts. Koppelman is one of my favorite people to listen to, he is super intelligent and always open to learn and question, James is the same.
- WTF with Marc Maron - #759 Lin-Manuel Miranda - I have heard the soundtrack to Hamilton countless times, great to heard the man behind its explain his own story.
I finally checked out Periscope, one of my favorite producers, Kaytranda, was on the service messing around, making beats on the spot, and scrolling throuhg his catalog of unreleased mixes. It was a great experience. I wished it last longer and other creators shared their process.
Casey Neistat is already back, He 1.) released his Vietnam Trip memories and 2.) Explained his new job with CNN - I don't know my full thoughts on everything that is going out with Casey and his channel. I was really impressed with his move to drop vlogging at such as height so he can pursue new and challenging things in filmmaking. With him now working with CNN it can be a major plus to his creativity or a shackle that causes limitations. It looks like CNN gave Casey and Matt a major with buying BEME, hopefully the merge into CNN is fruitful for all parties. I can think up some great possibilities for them, but it is hard to predict what happens to a young agile startup when they are swallowed up by the culture of a corporate machine.
Changing of the Guard - November 2016 Playlist to an end - Start of my December 2016 Playlist
Movies / TV
- Moonlight - Currently in Theaters
- Morris from America - (Amazon Prime)
- Black Mirror - (Netflix) Finally watch the last episode, wild, so wild. SMH
- Easy (Netflix) not bad
lots of things are aligning in odd but good ways :)
I am getting amazingly over excited from some of the colorways that will be release next year for the Adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 - here is the Silvers with yes silver soles.
I just hit Subscribe - John Hicks (Youtuber) - Daily vlogger/bmx rider in LA
If you into the sneaker game, Highsnobiety's interview the TheYeezyMafia is a good read, really interesting to find out to what extent they do to get their information
Reigning Champs X Adidas Ultra Boost is going on sale today, finally
I want to start writing Directives for myself to live by - Check Tim Ferriss's Podcast interview with Derek Sivers to understand what I am talking about (sharing will happen if I find any that are very helpful for myself and others)
Tribe Called Quest
McDonald’s has a Nutella burger that oozes chocolate - this looks really good.
Hobonochi Techno Planner - Amazon knows I love notebooks, so this planner has been showing up. i will have to do some research on this on since it is a really expense notepad, but from the images it look amazing.
Reign(a): Oshun (Mass Appeal/youtube) - I enjoyed hearing their insights on why to readapt the clothing of their ancestors.
Jon Olsson's thoughts on Casey Neistat moving away from Daily Vlogging (Youtube)
The Art of Photography's thoughts on Casey Neistat and the inspiration he got from his Channel (Youtube)
- The Greg Foat Group - Dark is the Sun
- Esperanza Spalding - Emily's D+Evolution
- Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus
- Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
- The Books - The Lemon of Pink (VMP)
Next Thing Co. is quickly back at it, with DashBot. It's like having Knight Rider's Kit inside your car. They are running everything through their new upgraded CHiP and has the capabilities to do Alexa function, and got to love the price. I am really falling in love with this company.
The Hill - Literally just found this site, will have to vet it, but might be a good source for political news. (After the election I want to maintain active in understanding what is happening in this country)
Adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 are coming soon. I feel it coming soon. I can't stop googling up pics of some of the upcoming colorways.
A Detailed Look at Adidas Futurecraft’s Fully Biodegradable Ultra Boost - next high tech material to be looking out for, spider silk.
James Fauntleroy and Larrance Dopson of 1500 Or Nothin'on Pensado's Place - Fun interview, get to learn a little more about James and Larrance with their careers in music.