The Sunshine State 

Venice, Florida. I saw a sign yesterday, while hanging out poolside at the tiki bar of my Gram’s 55 and older community (which isn’t a bar at all, just a thatched escape from the sun), which read “I live where you vacation”. That’s when it dawned on me, it might be scary to apply for that job, or sign that lease, or sell that car, but what’s really holding us back?

Fear is the catalyst for so many of our comfortable routines. We find solace in stressful situations because we are creatures of habit. As I write this I’m listening to Wifisfuneral’s When Hell Falls, a record I would have entirely ignored a few weeks ago. My pride as a “hip hop purist” forces me to skip even the most innocent precursory listens because my habits dwarf my desire to experiment. The new class of rappers is trash. Hail King Kendrick. These sentiments are senseless, and my lifelong quest for new music only staggers when I allow routine to play a part in whether I press play or not.

It’s all relative. If we died today, would it be with a smile on our faces? Would we have really lived, or just mimicked our way through the days? If you’re tired of the snow and cold, pack your bags and go. If you’re in a dead end situation at home, pack your bags and go. Rent, mortgages, kids, none of those issues are anchors, they’re just factors in the complexity of your world.

Play the lotto. Order a double. Turn your music way up. Plan ahead, but leave some room for a left turn. Live like all this shit is temporary, because we don’t grow roots, even when it feels like it.  

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Good Friday Indeed

Image result for playboi carti

So it goes.  I completed all 10 days of the cleanse. It was a mental battle and I lost 12 pounds. More than the weight loss, it was rewarding to see it through. I think I’ll do it again in 6 months or so, but in the meantime I aim to be on my bike as much as possible. I did 10.6 miles yesterday, and it was glorious. But really though, I ate cold pizza for breakfast, so don’t get it twisted. We eat what we want around here, as long as we get up off the couch once in a while and sweat.  Spring makes me Schmoney Dance in the these streets.

I’m off from work the next ten days and heading to Florida on Sunday. Sunday should be an interesting day, to say the least. Kendrick dropped Damn last night. Twitter went ape shit…your boy included. It’s a powerful narrative, entirely different from To Pimp a Butterfly, but none less fascinating. It’s a concept record of epic proportions.  The record recalls the energy, pain, and passion of a life lost in the intro. The narrator tries to help a blind women who takes his life with a single bullet. Oddly enough, the record dropped on Good Friday…

His producer tweeted a pic of Morpheus from The Matrix with a quote that said something like, what if this wasn’t the real version?  Kendrick also modified his Spotify pic to stand in front of a blue brick wall. The internet buzzes even harder. Could we have heard the “red pill”, and if so, are we in for a second installment? Could the “blue pill” be coming on Sunday, Easter Sunday, the day Jesus came back from the dead? Is Kendrick hailing himself ‘the rap Jesus’? And if so, does anyone have a problem with that? On “The Heart Pt. 4″ (which didn’t make the album) he claims, ‘Dropped one classic, came right back, another classic right back”, and claims the next project is TOC. TOC…The Other Color? I’m over here twisting my imaginary Illuminati mustache.

All hip hop heavyweights have the double album under their belts. Big, Pac, Jay, Nas….a double entry from Kung-Fu Kenny makes perfect sense. Either way, Damn stands alone as a precise collection of songs less concerned with the immediate cultural climate (like we saw throughout To Pimp a Butterfly) and more focused on the energy of today’s musical landscape balanced with his industry-leading story telling prowess. Calling Damn a record with a heavy “trap” influence is a stretch, but it certainly is a project which continues to support those claims that Kendrick is the greatest rapper alive.

That being said, I’m completely enjoying Playboi Carti’s self-titled debut while I pound these keys.

Enjoy your weekend all. And keep your eyes peeled for Nation, the second half of Kendrick’s opus this Sunday. You heard it here first.