Welcome to the monthly series where I write about the ideas and inspiration behind the Spotify playlists I release on the first of every month.
Lately I’ve dedicated a good amount of time studying and practicing meditation. One of the practices I found myself most intrigued by in the past month was a type that has you sit with all types of emotions — enjoyable, challenging and everything in between.
This month’s playlist is a musical journey through that meditation practice. The arrangement of songs took me chronologically through moments when I’ve felt empowered, joyful, in love, nostalgic, sad, angry, open-minded, carefree, passionate, and empowered once again. The list of emotions certainly isn’t exhaustive, but it touches on a lot of the things I’ve been reflecting on through this practice. I figured I’d explain or tell a couple stories about just a couple of them. I don’t expect you to have any considerable connection to the actual experiences, but knowing that these journeys are something we all go through as humans, I hope it serves as a starting point to explore, remember and sit with different emotions you’ve felt throughout your life.
I’ve always found the week after the Super Bowl somewhat bland. I mean, the Super Bowl is such a climax for much of the sports world, and anything that comes after it just doesn’t seem as exciting or big. But boy, basketball took that notion and was like, “sorry, I’m not sorry” this week.
First of all, this Jeremy Lin kid is legit, no? Alright, yeah I never followed him before this week either, but how could you not respect a great underdog story? From undrafted to starting point guard in Madison Square Garden, aka the mecca of professional basketball. That’s fucking awesome. I’m looking forward to tonight’s matchup between him and the Lakers. #Linsanity #SuperLintendo #Linning
Then, there was the already classic battle in college ball between UNC and Lydia’s alma mater, Duke. Austin Rivers was so clutch. See Lydia’s reaction below.
— Lydia Simmons (@SunsetRearview) February 9, 2012
So, here’s a toast to a great week of sports and hopefully an even better weekend for the rest of us non-professional athletes. What’s everybody up to?
1. “Bad Girls (Barbaric Merits ChainBangin Remix)” – M.I.A.
2. “Move Up (Wiz Khalifa x Phantogram)” – The Hood Internet
3. “Paris (DOCO Dubstep Remix)” – Kanye West & Jay-Z
4. “Make You Pop” – Diplo & Don Diablo
5. “Marvin & Chardonnay (Chiddy Bang Cover)” – Big Sean
M.I.A. premiered the music video for her song “Bad Girls” today. Instantaneously, it was all over my Newsfeed. Not even kidding. The only things on my Newsfeed right now are Superbowl statuses, complaints (and now sighs of relief) about Susan G. Komen, and M.I.A. So even if I wasn’t a fan of M.I.A. (which I am), I’d be checking this video out.
What do I think about it? Three things: incredible visuals, incredible concept, incredible dance moves. Needless to say, M.I.A. blew this one out of the park. She does it like nobody else can (well, Santigold comes close). Oh, and M.I.A. gives a “rearview” shout out. No big deal.
Live fast, die young/ Bad girls do it well
My chain hits my chest when I’m bangin on the dashboard/ My chain hits my chest when I’m bangin on the radio
Premiered by VICE
Carter, aka Reeves, of Aer has released a solo track, a remix of Soulja Boy. Aer remixing Soulja Boy? Interesting. Very interesting.
Carter’s smooth flow works perfectly over this extremely smooth Soulja production, and any new Aer is a positive thing to me. Really looking forward to their new project, and I think we can expect a solid slew of singles to tide us over until the project drops. Carter’s got a great voice and a really strong ability to switch up his flow, and this song is a great testament to that.
After the news of Amy Winehouses’s death at 27 yesterday, M.I.A. shared a demo of “27,” a song she recorded last year but never released. M.I.A. said this song is in memory of Amy Winehouse and “all her friends that died at 27.” Amy Winehouse joins a whole host of other rock artists who passed away at 27, joining what’s been called the “27 Club.” Other artists known to be in the club include Brian Jones (founder of Rolling Stones), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Jean-Michel Basquiat (to name a few). Rest in peace, Amy.
said your all mouth and no brains
all rock stars go to heaven
you said you’ll be dead at 27
when we drunk in a English tavern
the owner poured you the Bourbon
and you drunk your self so rotten
so he got so rich he bought a Bentley
and moved himself to Devon
you started dirty dancing
and you bar tended a dozen
i took you to the clinic
to get you clean but you couldn’t
said in 2 days ur 27 and and ur destiny was comin
so ur papa passed so sudden
and left you with lil somin
you blew that money on a mountain of drugs
and staged your self a bed in
a month later when i popped in
your still high but the winter set in
i bought you a coffee and a muffin
and you quoted me some Lenin
i wished i was that clever
but thats what kept me coming
your friendship did mean somin
but you left me for nothin
when i left, you befriended a rope
and i saw you both were hanging.
This mashup is nearly perfect. If only I didn’t have angst towards M.I.A. for going totally bat crazy on us and taking her loudmouth one step (or more) too far. I used to be a big fan, but now? I mean, put it this way. I didn’t even stay for her show during ACL. A show when nobody else was playing, so I had nothing to lose. Figured it wasn’t worth it. And did I regret it? Nope, because the next day I overheard somebody saying MIA sounded worse than anybody else at ACL. Well, luckily this is one of her songs that I do like, and of course I love “I Walked” by Sufjan Stevens. The Hood Internet never fails.
Cause you’re tweetin’ me like Tweety Bird on your iPhone.
“Rain Dance” (ft. M.I.A.) – The Very Best
This song is super dope. The samplings are out of this world…remember rain sticks? Got one of those featured on this track along with many other cool sounds. The hook of this song reminds me how much I miss living in Kenya.
Right click here and save this file to download this track.