Broken Bells - Holding On For Life (Baio Remix)
Chris Baio, best known as the bassist for Vampire Weekend, occasionally releases a remix under his last name. This one is just phenomenal. He takes the first single off of Broken Bells’ newest album and turns it into in ethereal affair. What impresses me the most is how he manages this while also speeding up the vocals and the main hook. While the original tune is steeped in a methodical slow-burn sheen, Baio makes it a bit more kaleidoscopic. The darting synth stabs add an extra element of dance-ability that’s not quite present in the untouched version. All in all, it’s an update to an already great song that changes it just enough; it doesn’t get bogged down with extra layers and flourishes, but it establishes a separate feel entirely.
Holding on for life,
Immortal Technique - Mistakes
Immortal Technique and his numerous classics will always have a special place in my heart. Mistakes is my 3rd all time favorite song by him, proceeded by Positive Balance (ft. Big Zoo) and Dance With The Devil, and the best track off of his incredible 2008 album The 3rd World. The following year of this album’s release he used the profits he made from the sales to fund and construct an orphanage in Afghanistan, which he personally oversaw and helped direct the project. He’s truly one of the realest hip-hop artists in history, and if you disagree with this you clearly made a mistake…yes you did.
I love this song for its intrinsic truth and the full range of emotionally potent situations that hit home on so many levels. Some of these verses depict hypothetical choices that Immortal Technique never made, such as joining the army or signing to a record label; however, he did in fact get charged with assault and was incarcerated for a year due to an altercation he had in college. As he states, “wildin’ on the corner got me turned back from the Canadian border”. He also used to smoke cigarets and certainly has had fleeting sexual relationships he now regrets. It’s this kind of intimate emotional reflection that makes the best message oriented hip-hop that projects deep-seeded meaning. This is one of the reasons why Mistakes is a timeless classic in my book.
"Even when the world is falling on top of me, pessimism is an emotion, not a philosophy. Knowing what’s wrong doesn’t imply that you right. And its another, when you suffer to apply it in life. But I’m no rookie, and I’m never gonna make the same mistake twice pussy."
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10