My hate to love relationship with EDM

Music

“It gives me a headache.”

That was my first impression of EDM. It just sounded like uncorrelated banging bass beats. I didn’t get it. But it’s so popular — all the festivals, especially. I wanted to understand.

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In LA there are tons of concerts constantly going on, so my friend — a self-professed EDM junkie — dragged me to see Carnage last September. Before this, I had never heard of Carnage and I hated EDM. But the openers started mixing in Drake and Kanye, so I bobbed to the beats. When Carnage came on, the crowd went WILD, and I was swept up in the madness — as simple as that.

The experience of having everyone around me so invested in the sound engulfing us had me sold. After that concert, I wanted more. I was down with this.

Next up, we went to see the Chainsmokers. The only thing I knew about them prior to this was that they did the “Selfie Song” (I’ve never listened to that song all the way through, even to this day). That same friend, though, sent me this song:

DONE. IT IS OVER. I LOVE THIS. The concert was dope. Now I’m addicted.

Although, I feel like it’s only acceptable to be into EDM in your 20s and maybe early 30s (correct me if I’m wrong). I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. If anyone knows any cool EDM spots in NYC, let me know.

Also, read this awesome post by Rembert Browne: “EDM is Dead. EDM Will Live Forever; One Man’s Dance Floor Confession.”

Yeezus serves as an inspiration to dream bigger

Life, Music

Leather jogging pants are not a thing. There is no way. That is absolutely ridiculous.

Leather. Jogging. Pants.

I heard Kanye rant about them in his interview with Zane Lowe last year. That one interview that got him into that brilliant  Twitter feud with Jimmy Kimmel that led to an epic Kanye speech delving into race and privilege and other wild tangents.

His exact words concerning the leather joggers:

“We brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi, and they said, ‘No.’ How many motherfuckers you done see with a jogging pant?”

At that point, I thought Kanye was just spewing craziness per usual. I didn’t realize that leather jogging pants were already a thing. Apparently. (See: Buzzfeed, Sept. 24, 2013)

IMG_1617.PNGSo when I was tapping around on my iPhone for pre-Black Friday deals after stuffing my face with turkey and saw Zumiez selling leather jogging pants, my jaw dropped. I immediately tweeted about how Kanye is a visionary and we should always dream big, even if people laugh.

Regardless of if seemingly ridiculously inconvenient leather jogging pants were a thing a year ago or today, I still feel that Yeezus isn’t completely out of his mind.

His rants serve a purpose, and — call me crazy — I believe they’re worth listening to.

Sure, more often than not they don’t make much sense, but hear me out for a second.

He talks. A lot. Kanye speaks his mind. Usually, the public response is laughter and judgment. “He’s a great rapper yet he’s just too arrogant. He’s too full of himself.”

But he never stops talking. There are songs written about him. “Kanye” by the Chainsmokers: “I wanna be like Kanye/ I’ll be the king of me always.” “Kanye West” by Atmosphere: “Put your hands in the air like you really do care.”

He locks his eyes on what he wants and goes out and gets it. He says what he wants when he wants. I’d bet that Mr. West lives with no regrets.

I’m not endorsing obnoxious swagger and an arrogant attitude. However, I do admire his confidence and ambition. His ability to wade through laughter and brush the dust off his shoulders with ease.

I wholeheartedly do not advise being like Kanye West. Just take an ounce of his confidence and ignore the haters — I really feel like that can go a long way. Lighten up on the haterade and lift yourself up, as Yeezus would.

 

 

 

LA SHINES BRIGHT

Life, Music, Sports

A lot of things in life are impossible:

1. Me dunking

2. Counting to infinity

3. Living forever

The list goes on and it can feel weighty — a little hope goes a long way.

Los Angeles is not lacking in hope. People flock to LA with high aspirations, as if the streets were paved with gold. I’m born and raised in this city, so to me the whole “I’m leaving home to make it in LA” story sounds more cliche than anything else. But it’s very real.

This year I’ve interviewed two young musicians — one from Florida and the other from China (article to publish in September) — who both spontaneously left their families to pursue dreams in the City of Angels. They both also said that upon arriving to LA, they felt a unique vibe in the air — a sense that anything is possible, that everyone wants to be something.

Recent NBA news has lived up to the LA hype, especially concerning the Asian American community.

First, hometown girl Natalie Nakase served as an assistant coach for the Clippers during the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. She has been a video coordinator for the Clippers, and her ultimate goal is to be the first female head coach in the NBA.

Some might say it’s a lofty aspiration. She has chops to back it up with her playing time at UCLA, her coaching experience in Japan and her friends with league ties, detailed in Kate Fagan’s feature from 2012. Now Nakase’s one step closer.

Second, hometown boy Jeremy Lin is now a Los Angeles Laker. As of 2013, Asians make up 14.6% of Los Angeles County, so you can bet that despite Lin waving off any notions of Linsanity, it’ll pick right up again in no time.

And remember this?

Kobe Bryant and Lin are now teammates. Lin even revealed that Kobe sent him a text proclaiming that there is lots of work to be done. Dreams do come true!

Stories like that of Nakase and Lin provide a glimmer of hope for a city of dreams.

I grew up playing in the same asian leagues as Nakase and I remember constantly hearing her name like she was a kid prodigy. To see her rise through the ranks on pure dedication is a fitting reminder of another cliche: Hard work pays off.