La Lupe “Como Acostumbro” and the Corporate World

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I thought I would make a series of “The Liminal Lyricist in the Corporate World” but I couldn’t think of a lot of different things to say about it. In short, I’m not that big of a fan.

So instead of trying to squeeze the lemonade out of my summer experience, I thought I do something a little more creative and fun:

 

My relationship with the work I do is one of continuous feedback. It’s a relationship. I make music/film/art, find the process satisfying, the product satisfying, and then get another level of satisfaction out of people’s reactions and vibes.

My relationship with the corporate environment I’m interning in can be summed up by la cancion Como Acostumbro” by Cuban singer La Lupe. You can hear it here:

Basically, for all the people who don’t understand spanish (I’m in that group most of the time) La Lupe sings about a difficult relationship with a lover. Though she dotes on him and is affectionate, he never reciprocates her feelings. She stays because she is in love with him.

This is where I differ from her. I’ve put in a decent amount of work in the past couple of weeks (I’m no rock star) and I naturally try and give 100% of myself to any job I do. But it’s hard.

In my normal feedback cycle, there might be a huge gap of time between the finalizing of the product and the engaging with the audience through performance/presentation, but the process and product are satisfying.

At my internship, though there are some really cool things I’m working on, the process isn’t rewarding in the slightest. My favorite part of any day is not putting in work. It’s putting in time with the people around me via meeting or cubicle chat.

And I’m definitely not getting paid $600 a week to talk with co-workers (it is part of the job description though).

I won’t complain that much about the corporate system when I’m gone, because I see that it works for some people. I know quite a few interns that really like the projects they are doing, but for me, the work doesn’t necessarily justify the opportunity cost of a whole summer away from the cultural scene I’d like to root myself in.

Also, I realize that doing the same type of work for a different company might be a little better. If I was doing communications for a music, art, or film company…it might be better.

But there as an intern, I wouldn’t be able to buy the dslr camera that I really want.

For now, the money’s enough of a motivator for me to stay, but come August 8th, I may never log into a corporate intranet site again. And that’s just me…

What are your thoughts on the corporate world? For those, who are a lot older than I, when has the need to make money forced you to stop pursuing the things that made you the happiest? And if they haven’t, what are you doing to meet your personal and career goals? (Are they even separate?)

Let me know,

Raƒi

“Chef…that’s my label”

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From nothing more than my friend, former roommate, and filmmaking partner, Ivan’s positive review, I went to see Jon Favreau’s new film Chef.

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I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum, but some of the things that really stood out: Music, Montage, and Movement.

Music:

This music soundtrack was MADE for me. Boogaloo, Salsa, Hip Hop, and Al Green???? What a great mix. Every choice felt appropriate and there was a good blend of diegetic and non-diegetic sounds.

Montage:

Every montage sequence was a beast. This was definitely helped by the music, but the editing was phenomenal. The camerawork was also very solid and there was some interesting lighting throughout.

Movement:

A little on the lines of montage, but I felt like the pacing of the film was overall very strong. It rarely felt very long, which made the film’s ending come far too quickly for me.

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Outside of those three things that were done very well, the acting was solid. No one came out in poor fashion, especially once I got sutured in to the films narrative.  And since this is a film about relationships and passion more so than plot, this was a great thing. To go back to the idea of movement again, the main conflicts in the film are based on it.

The Chef, Carl Casper (Favreau), is stagnant in his career (lack of movement), which is an issue when his son Percy (Emjay Anthony), ex-wife (Vergara), and the rest of the world seem to be moving at an alarming rate. Many of Casper’s pitfalls are a result of him not moving on in his career, or with the technology of the world (Twitter to be exact). It isn’t until he gets out of his comfort zone and begins to move that things improve and he catches up with his son.

Not a perfect film, but definitely not a bad one. If you’re looking for a plot with a strong resolution, then this one isn’t for you. However, if you like journeys and latin music Chef is a definite winner.

Let me know what you think if you’ve seen it,

-Raƒi

Guest Post : The Gentrification of Brooklyn From the Perspective of a Brooklynite

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The same thing is happening to Overtown, slowly but surely, and who can forget Carol City (now part of Miami Gardens). My mom’s in real estate so I was saying that term before anyone else was picking up on it.

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A couple of years ago I heard of a project that would displace a couple thousand people to make way for a grandiose stadium.

People were being kicked out of their homes, in order to make way for high rise apartments and a place that people could play basketball.

But our basketball team sucks and certainly didn’t need another stadium because they had Madison square garden.

The Atlantic yards project a Project that would build high rises around the surrounding Atlantic-Pacific Area also gave birth to The Barclay’s center, home of the Brooklyn Nets…. Our first major sports team since the Dodgers abandoned us and high tailed it over to LA in 1957. I bet this made us think for a second….Yes, Brooklyn as we thought is the best

And for now it still is, but while Brooklyn has become more famous over the years, we have lost something in exchange for this…

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WTF is Art Rap

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For a period of time I’ve been referring to the music I make as Art Rap, though lately I’ve been doing it a lot less.

I always thought I was being original with the thought since I was using artistic expression as a metaphor for life and all of its struggles. But I was wrong.

Open Mike Eagle, contemporary of Hip Hop artists like Busdriver and Nocando, dropped an interesting (and hilarious) skit called “WTF is Art Rap” back in 2010 (before I was deep in the rap). My favorite line from it has to be “I’m bout to aggressively point out my favorite elements of a Van Gogh painting”. Good shit.

And for those who were wondering:

Art rap “is the continuation of the lofty concepts embodied by Jean-Michel Basquiat, K-Rob and Rammellzee (RIP) back in ’83 — hip-hop as high art. After all, TV on the Radio makes art-rock, and No Age can make art-punk.”

Progression

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Been at this rap thing for about four years now and it’s crazy to hear how much I’ve grown in what seems to be a short time. I remember having to work at and perfect things that are now second nature. I’m excited to see where I’ll go from here and I hope you come with me.

These Days Full Stream

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Well the day kind of fell on me like unexpected pigeon poop, but Ab-Soul dropped his third album early this morning. I’ve since had my chance to give it a once over and so far…so good. The few singles I heard and the promotional video had me set-up for exactly what we got so I can’t say I’m disappointed. I’m not about to do an in-depth review from one listen, but it’s one of the most ambitious things that’s come out of upper underground in a long time. (Also you can understand the amount of mainstreamism in Mac Miller’s “Faces” when you think about it) I won’t spoil it, but Ab-Soul’s These Days… is definitely worth a couple listens from me…so far 8.5/10 (4/5). I might have to update.

You can check it out here