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DAY 16 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt) – Dream Journal

My wife Maria and I went to sleep about an hour ago, at about 130am. I woke up just now because of a dream I had. It was really vivid and It kind of shook me, to be honest, although it wasn’t anything extremely crazy like a gruesome nightmare or anything like that. If you’ve read my daily post from yesterday you might know that it was a post about my MPC One. Guilty of having left my daily writing for the last hour and a half of the day, I decided to quickly write about the MPC, since I’d been having so much fun just messing around with it the most of the day, and since I usually spend my free moments on it anyway. So this short dream revolves around my MPC One also. Basically I was sitting on my desk, in my room with Maria, although she was sitting on the edge of the bed right beside me. The desk is right beside the bed. I look down at my MPC and hit the button on the back to turn it on. It doesn’t turn on though. I press it like crazy a few times, worried that it’s died out on me, and suddenly a keyboard that I have below the MPC flashes as if it’s turning on. I wonder how in the hell the power button on my MPC just turned on the keyboard instead! Now, the set for this dream was all very common, not super weird like other dreams, I mean the setting was literally what I was doing while I was awake just an hour or two ago, with Maria sitting almost in that same exact position on the bed, the room looked exactly as it would in real life. I really thought this was real life and couldn’t figure out what was going on, so I told Maria but was surprised to find that she barely seemed to care and just barely mumbled something while looking down at the Plants vs. Zombies game on the iPad. It seemed so weird, and I kept frantically explaining to her that the MPC is fucked up, trying to get her to understand the seriousness of it, all while pressing the power button on the thing non-stop. It finally turns on but the icons and letters on the touch screen are big and distorted so I try to shut it down and turn it back on. It usually takes a few seconds for the MPC to power on when I press the power button, so right when I press it I turn my head around for a second to tell Maria what I’m gonna try. When I turn my head around again to look down at the MPC though, I see that the drum pads on it are missing! Not all of them, it was as if someone had just yanked out like three of the drum pads. I felt a chill and I started crazily looking around for the drum pads, not so much to put them back in, but more to see if I could even find them or if they had vanished into thin air. Sure enough, they were nowhere to be found. My mind was racing since I was sure I had done nothing treat could have accidentally removed the pads from the MPC. Some weird shit was going on, I was sure, some supernatural shit. I was getting super creeped out and was about to tell Maria about it, when I woke up feeling really disturbed, but after a moment really happy that it was all a dream and that my MPC is safe from harm. I decided to write this dream for a few reasons. One is that I’ve always been super interested in lucid dreaming and astral projection, but have only been able to lucid dream a few times, involuntarily. I know that one of the things that can help out a lot with lucid dreaming is to keep a dream journal. Unfortunately, since I’ve been a huge stoner for years I don’t have dreams very often, or I should probably say I do but I don’t remember them. It’s common knowledge that one of the symptoms of weed “withdrawal” are really vivid dreams, and I can definitely confirm this. Now that I’m finally cutting down on bud I’m getting more dreams, or at least remembering more of them, and they feel very very vivid and real life-like, just like tonight’s dream. Dreams can be scary but I always appreciate them. At the end of the day they’re trippy experiences for me, that I like looking back and reflecting on, sort of like psychedelic trips or meditation sessions. I think this is one more motivating factor for me to continue my goals of cutting downMy wife Maria and I went to sleep about an hour ago, at about 130am. I woke up just now because of a dream I had. It was really vivid and It kind of shook me, to be honest, although it wasn’t anything extremely crazy like q gruesome nightmare or anything like that. If you’ve read my daily post from yesterday you might know that it was a post about my MPC One. Guilty of having left my daily writing for the last hour and a half of the day, I decided to quickly write about the MPC, since I’d been having so much fun just messing around with it the most of the day, and since I usually spend my free moments on it anyway. So this short dream revolves around my MPC One also. Basically I was sitting on my desk, in my room with Maria, although she was sitting on the edge of the bed right beside me. The desk is right beside the bed. I look down at my MPC and hit the button on the back to turn it on. It doesn’t turn on though. I press it like crazy a few times, worried that it’s died out on me, and suddenly a keyboard that I have below the MPC flashes as if it’s turning on. I wonder how in the hell the power button on my MPC just turned on the keyboard instead! Now, the set for this dream was all very common, not super weird like other dreams, I mean the setting was literally what I was doing while I was awake just an hour or two ago, with Maria sitting almost in that same exact position on the bed, the room looked exactly as it would in real life. I really thought this was real life and couldn’t figure out what was going on, so I told Maria but was surprised to find that she barely seemed to care and just barely mumbled something while looking down at the Plants vs. Zombies game on the iPad. It seemed so weird, and I kept frantically explaining to her that the MPC is fucked up, trying to get her to understand the seriousness of it, all while pressing the power button on the thing non-stop. It finally turns on but the icons and letters on the touch screen are big and distorted so I try to shut it down and turn it back on. It usually takes a few seconds for the MPC to power on when I press the power button, so right when I press it I turn my head around for a second to tell Maria what I’m gonna try. When I turn my head around again to look down at the MPC though, I see that the drum pads on it are missing! Not all of them, it was as if someone had just yanked out like three of the drum pads. I felt a chill and I started crazily looking around for the drum pads, not so much to put them back in, but more to see if I could even find them or if they had vanished into thin air. Sure enough, they were nowhere to be found. My mind was racing since I was sure I had done nothing treat could have accidentally removed the pads from the MPC. Some weird shit was going on, I was sure, some supernatural shit. I was getting super creeped out and was about to tell Maria about it, when I woke up feeling really disturbed, but after a moment really happy that it was all a dream and that my MPC is safe from harm. I decided to write this dream for a few reasons. One is that I’ve always been super interested in lucid dreaming and astral projection, but have only been able to lucid dream a few times, involuntarily. I know that one of the things that can help out a lot with lucid dreaming is to keep a dream journal. Unfortunately, since I’ve been a huge stoner for years I don’t have dreams very often, or I should probably say I do but I don’t remember them. It’s common knowledge that one of the symptoms of weed “withdrawal” are really vivid dreams, and I can definitely confirm this. Now that I’m finally cutting down on bud I’m getting more dreams, or at least remembering more of them, and they feel very very vivid and real life-like, just like tonight’s dream. Dreams can be confusing and scary, even terrifying, for sure, but I appreciate most dreams, if not all. They’re trippy experiences for me, experiences I like looking back on, analyzing and reflecting on, just like psychedelic trips or meditation sessions. Who knows where dreams come from, I’ve always been fascinated by them, and just being able to remember more of my dreams is even one more reason to continue with my goals of cutting down on bud. So, I’ve killed two birds with one stone, I got my daily blog post in for the day, and I got to write down one of dreams, and a really trippy or at least vivid one at that. It’s good that I work at 1pm tomorrow, if I worked earlier in the morning I probably would have been too lazy to stay up for an hour or so to write and post this, and maybe that dream would have been forgotten. Anyway, time to go back to sleep and hopefully once again into dream land with some pleasant dreams this time.

~ much love

rebel eye

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DAY 15 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

My favorite way of making music is on the MPC One. When I first started my music journey at eleven or twelve years old I started with FL Studio, since I was just a kid with a laptop and not a lot of money saved up that I could spend on gear. I had fun making beats for sure, focusing on old school beats, then experimenting with trip-hop and ambient music a lot, even trap beats, but I was never as into it as I am nowadays. Over time I stopped producing so many beats, making a beat only once in a while in FL Studio, using other plugins such as Nexus, but I was never really super into it, for the most part I just wanted to rap. I realize now that that’s mostly because of the way of making beats that involves using a mouse and keyboard. Once I got my hands on the MPC One I was hooked, and I haven’t stopped making beats ever since. The hands-on approach to making music is a lot more fun, and it feels like an instrument I’ve been learning and I never stop learning. Basically the MPC is a DAW (digital audio workstation) in a box. There’s lots of different kinds of MPCs, but I went with the One because of it’s compact size, and based off of everything I had read online. It truly does not disappoint in a way, and even know that I’m pretty comfortable with it and feel that I know it really well, I realize that there are still a lot of ways I could get even deeper into it, that’s how powerful this thing is. Of course, everything the MPC One can do can be done in a DAW, including FL Studio, which I still use, but it’s just a lot more fun using the MPC. Another thing I’ve been getting into a lot more because of the MPC is sampling. I used to sample beats in FL Studio, but everything seemed so complicated and I ended up just cutting loops that I liked from old jazzy tracks, or even reggae and classic rock, and adding my own drums and instruments to the beat within FL Studio. Those beats were not necessarily bad, but they were just very simple. The melodies were, for the most part, unchanged, although new instrument and drums were added over them. On the MPC, however, I’m chopping melodies into the pads and playing them that way, modifying them in all kinds of crazy ways, making all kinds of different patterns, and it’s just so much fun. Ironically, getting into the MPC also got me back into FL Studio and into learning how to do a lot of things in there that I had previously neglected learning about. It sort of just goes hand in hand with everything I’ve learned since getting the MPC, for example, mixing and mastering techniques in MPC One vs. mixing and mastering techniques in FL Studio. Of course, FL Studio, being a classic DAW, offers more possibilities, since you can even load third party plugins, for example. The MPC is limited to a few plugins that come with it, although those plugins have vast instrument libraries so there’s a lot to work with, apart from expansion packs and just classic sampling. With a specific cable which I have connected into the inputs of the MPC I can sample audio from any device with a normal headphone or earphone connection, so I can sample from YouTube or Spotify if I run the cable from my audio interface headphone output, or I can sample from my phone or iPad or iPod classic, or from music device really. It’s just impressive for what it is, there’s so many ways to create music within the MPC, and just for that I would recommend it to anyone who’s into making music or beats. A lot of the MPC sounds are really electronic so I make a lot of techno or house music on there, and also hip hop beats of course. Although the MPC One is definitely a beast in standalone mode, my favorite way to use it these days is to incorporate it into FL Studio. This is an interesting workflow because it allows me to make ideas on the MPC, with my hands rather than with the mouse, and then to pass on and polish those ideas within FL Studio, or just add more sounds on top of them or structure them better into a beat. The MPC One has song mode, which allows you to put different sequences, basically patterns of sounds, together to create a full song. For example, sequence two might follow sequence one, sequences can be repeated as many times as necessary, and so on. However, it’s definitely a lot simpler and faster to arrange the structure of a beat in FL Studio, looking at everything laid out across a big computer screen rather than the small MPC One screen. Don’t get me wrong, the touch-screen on the MPC One is amazing for the size of the MPC, it works perfectly and you can even access grid mode on it, basically a step sequences like in FL Studio. It’s just a lot faster to arrange the final beat in FL Studio and master it as well, to get the final product sounding loud, punchy and clear. It’s not a hassle to transfer things either. Basically, my MPC is on my desk so it’s always connected to my PC anyways. It’s not in controller mode though so I can use it in standalone even though it’s plugged in. The MPC has a software, basically Akai’s own DAW, MPC Beats, which can also be opened up as a VST plugin within other DAWs, so what I do when I select the controller mode option on my MPC is just open the MPC Beats plugin within FL Studio. The plugin recognizes the MPC and then I can load up whatever project I was working on while in standalone mode, and just drag the individual tracks from my MPC sequences into FL Studio, either as audio or MIDI files. The audio file is just the recorded audio itself, while the MIDI file is the actual notes you played, so you can even change the sound of the melody to be one of the sounds in FL Studio, or even Nexus or Omnisphere or any other third party plugin. I could go on and on about how cool the MPC One is, but I’ll leave it at that for now and maybe talk about it a bit more another time. If you’re into making music or just getting into it and are thinking about buying and MPC One though, trust me, it’s a lot of fun and you most likely won’t regret it.

much love

~ rebel eye

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DAY 4: Getting My YouTube channel started (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

Day 4, 1000 words once again! Lately I’ve been super busy working on different things, and I also can’t slack off on my daily blog post! The main thing I’ve been focusing on lately though has been my YouTube channels. I have two YouTube channels. One of them is my original one, which has just a little over two thousand subscribers. The other one is brand new, and only has five subscribers. I would have kept working on my main YouTube channel forever if I had the chance, but I lost the option to ever monetize that channel because pretty much all the tracks I posted when I was first starting out were over random beats that I liked, so they’ve all received copyright claims. They can still play but all revenue goes to the beat owner. The project I’m super into now is starting this new YouTube channel which will mainly focus on music tutorials. It’s also the main channel when all my official releases get posted from DistroKid and SoundCloud Repost Network whenever I distribute music through either one of them, so all of my music on there will be original. I intend to upload my beats on this new YouTube channel as well, after having distributed them through streaming and opted them in for YouTube content ID. That way I avoid having any of my beats stolen, which is something I’ve always been somewhat paranoid about, and I can also make money off any tracks that might be recorded over my beats and posted on YouTube, just like there’s copyright claims on my tracks now because of the beats I used. I can also upload the beats on my old YouTube channel which has a bit more subscribers, and since I can’t monetize that channel, I’ll just get the money content ID instead, due to the copyright claims which will be placed on those videos. It’s good that DistroKid and Repost Network both have whitelist functions so that I can add the link to the video from my new channel on there in order to avoid copyright claims from myself, so that I can eventually monetize this new channel, unlike the old one. Over the past month or two I’ve been putting together the basic equipment that I need in order to start making videos for my YouTube channel, now I just need to organize my ideas and make sure everything looks like a professional presentation. One thing I’ve been thinking about is dividing my videos between my two channels. The new channel would be the really professional one, where I’ll post my super polished tutorial videos, and on the other one I can just make videos showing the myself making beats, detailing my process, maybe making beats of different genres within different set time limits. I’m almost at the point of making a final decision on all this, and as a matter of fact I rendered my first video today. It was the second kind of video, I basically strapped my GoPro up to a shelf on the left of me, showing me making a rap beat on my MPC One in front of me. I also recorded the screen of my computer using OBS Streamlabs. I did this because I was using my MPC One in controller mode, so I wanted to showcase how what I was doing on the MPC was reflecting onto the MPC Beats software running as a VST within FL Studio. All of the audio was recorded as professionally as I could, I didn’t use the audio from the GoPro. Instead, the audio from my MPC is being recorded into another instance of FL Studio, where I also have a recording coming in for my voice, which is being recorded on the Rode NT1 microphone into the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 audio interface. This way I can edit the sound of my voice and of the MPC audio separately, having the GoPro audio completely muted. This allows me to record my voice in great quality with the NT1, and my MPC audio is recorded right in FL Studio through the Focusrite Loopback system, so basically it’s recording whatever audio is coming from my computer. This includes my voice so it’s not really the isolated MPC audio, but I can just add my voice audio on top of that one to make my voice louder, which is usually what is needed. I also add some EQ and compressor to my voice after, just to make the audio as clear as possible. Since I have the MPC audio being recorded in this way it’s much clearer than if I was playing it off my speakers and using the GoPro audio of that. Hopefully whoever watches recognizes the work that was put into my videos because of the quality and wants to subscribe because of it. Overall, I just hope to be successful with this YouTube thing because it’s definitely what I’ve been the most focused on lately, other than just making music and learning about music in general. Every day I’m watching tutorials about everything from MPC and FL Studio, to Ableton, to guitar, to music theory, to midi and all sorts of connections, I feel like there’s no end to it! I don’t mind though, I’m enjoying all the learning to be honest, and it’s cool because it’s something I really see myself getting deeper into, I’ve even been learning about the world of modular synthesis, basically playing with voltage to create synth sounds and all kinds of trippy variations of those sounds. Music is just magical, how sounds can evoke feelings within us, without words, just with melody and rhythm. Even single notes evoke some feeling within us. Music is a universal language, and I guess I’m just trying to get as fluent as I can in it, speaking as honestly as I can. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me over time, and I pray God will bless my endeavors, with this YouTube thing and beyond. I hope we all succeed, and I hope we all have the courage to start chasing our dreams. I know I’ve waited too long, and I hope it’s not too late. I’ll make sure it’s not too late.

DAY 2: 1000 WORDS (3rd attempt)

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Day 2, 1000 words, let’s go! The main topic I wrote about yesterday was my music and how I’m slowly but surely becoming a much more professional musician, and what I’ve been doing to make that happen. I mentioned a few things such as mastering making beats on the MPC One, apart from FL Studio, which has always been my go-to program for beats, and leaving days off from getting stoned so that I have a much clearer head, which might not always be necessary for coming up with funky rhythms while in the zone, but is definitely needed at this point in order to try to promote my brand effectively. One thing I didn’t mention on my first post though, was that I’ve also started learning to play the guitar. When I was in high school my mom signed my brother and I up for guitar classes at the recreation center since she knew I was into music. I bought an acoustic guitar and we went to a few classes, but it didn’t materialize into anything. I just didn’t have the discipline back in those days, my mind was on a bunch of other crazy shit. I kept the guitar though, it’s just been sitting there in a storage room for all these years, so recently I had the idea of picking it back up and just finally getting down to business and learning to play it. After having watched tutorial after tutorial in order to learn the ins and outs of the MPC, which is basically a DAW inside of a groovebox, and eventually becoming quite comfortable with it, feeling like I’ve mastered it, I’ve become amazed at how much I enjoy learning about music, and how easy it is for me to learn as long as I enjoy what I’m learning. For so long, my idea of myself as a musician was that of a rapper, and a producer on the side, although I’ve always been able to pump out a lot more beats than songs. I’ve made trip-hop beats, techno beats, but never really released them, or even most of my hip-hop beats, since I just always preferred to promote the image of myself as a rapper. I never really look into things like mixing and mastering, or into getting the best quality equipment I could, I just stuck with what I knew, my laptop and USB mic, and FL Studio for beats. As long as I could rap good and it sounds good that’s good enough, right? That’s not necessarily the case. There’s a joy in learning and improving, and even though my music might be already good, there’s no telling how much better, cleaner or fuller it could sound with different effects and sounds, and with more experience with music in general. Music is a never-ending learning journey, just like life is, and I’m really excited to be immersing myself into it fully, like I should have done years ago. These days I no longer care about promoting myself exclusively as a rapper, as a producer, or as any other specific label. I’ve come to realize that I just love music, all kinds of music, and want to create as many different styles of it as I can! I’m a musician, a writer, and an artist, not just a rapper or producer. Recently I’m completed two instrumental albums which are basically ready for release now, just playing with some new mixing and mastering tricks I’ve been learning and they should be ready to go within a month or two. One is a techno/trance album which will be titled “life in color”, and the other is a chill, trip-hop type of album, titled “dawn of a new day.” I’m slowly releasing singles from both of them and they should drop around the same time, within a few months. I’ve also got my own solo rap album on the way, Rebel Spirit, and, having recently released our newest joint mixtape together, The Come Up 10, Kalvonix and I are already hard at work on our next project, The Come Up 11, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Stress has always been a big part of my life, unfortunately, but it’s great to get back into doing things I love, to discover a newly refreshed love for music in all its forms. These days I usually make a beat or two, maybe one in FL Studio and one in the MPC, or I might even connect the MPC to my PC on controller mode and open up the MPC Beats program inside FL Studio, which allows me to combine sounds from my MPC and my computer to create a complex instrumental. I might be writing some rhymes to some of my beats, or practicing guitar, or watching tutorials on gear I don’t have (yet), preparing for my future in music. With God’s blessings and with all the positive energy I can possibly pour into this endeavor, I hope to go far now that I’m finally taking this seriously. A final message to anyone out there, it’s never too late as long as you’re willing to put in the work and get yourself back on your feet and back on track! Today I was experimenting with different possible setups for filming my YouTube tutorial videos. I need a camera facing me and a camera facing down at the MPC screen, since I’ll start the channel off with MPC tutorials. Unfortunately, the GoPro mount that I bought and just received today wasn’t long enough to film properly above the MPC screen without obstructing the way for me to play the pads, so I thought of using my phone to record the MPC from above, and to use the GoPro with the mount to film myself from the side. All of the audio, both from the MPC and from the Rode NT1 microphone, are going into the Scarlett 4i4 audio interface and being routed into FL Studio, so I only need to figure out the video side of things now and I should be good to go. I’m excited about this new venture, my YouTube channel, since it seems a bit more realistic than blowing up as a musician might be. Not saying I won’t make it in music, but if YouTube is an open door then there’s no point in not taking the risk, and hopefully it drives some viewers to my music as well, whether it’s on Spotify or Bandcamp, or even right on YouTube.

To be continued tomorrow on Day 3 of 1000 Words.

Much love

rebel eye

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DAY 1 (1000 WORDS: 3rd attempt)

1000 Words, Day 1 once again. My last post of the 1000 Words a Day series was Day 81, back in August of 2019, so it’s been three years! Wow, time sure flies by. I hope I can stay on track and keep on writing for a much, much longer consecutive period of time this time around. I also plan to write in a bit of a more stream-of-consciousness fashion, just to get more ideas out of my head and onto the blog. I feel like I have a lot of cool or important thoughts floating around in my mind, some of them for quite a while now, that maybe I just don’t know how to adequately express, so I just kind of avoid writing about them, and I feel that if I don’t stop to think so much anymore about having everything all organized and about the exact structure of a post and about where everything should be written or if it’ll all make sense, that I might be able to let more of these ideas out into the light. I have to keep resisting the temptation to read back on what I’ve written so far, and just keep on writing! Before I get into today’s main topic I just want to quickly apologize to anyone who may have been following this series of mine a few years ago and then I suddenly stopped writing. I know it’s probably not many people if any at all, but I just thought I should mention that just in case. So the main thing I want to let you guys know about today is what I’ve been up to for these past three years, since it all comes down to something I’m currently super excited about and hope to share with the world. I’ve always loved music, I have some music reviews on this blog, and I especially love creating music, since I was about 10 or 11. I started with rapping because I liked the flow and the beats and everything about it, and also because I felt really inspired by some of the lyrics, mainly 2Pac lyrics. I started making beats on FL Studio early on as well, just to have my own beats to go along with my rhymes. I have a bunch of my music out everywhere, but to be honest, I never took it as seriously as I should. I mean, I thought I was taking it seriously, but recently I’ve realized that I wasn’t. I was always partying too much back in the day, and even when I completely stopped partying because I started getting into philosophy and spirituality, I was still not doing all that I could for my music. I’ve sure learned a lot throughout the years because I’ve kept making beats and rapping, but other than making a lot of music, I really should have promoted myself a lot more and got my music out there, plus I’m not making as many songs as I used to back then, at least on the rapping side. I’m still relatively young, but I know I definitely would have had an advantage if I went hard twelve years ago when I first started actually recording music at fifteen. Some of my favorite raps of mine are even from back in those days. Anyway, that’s just to provide some history, not to whine about the past. What I’m excited about now is that I finally decided to change that. Nothing is getting in my way this time, I’m no longer constantly immersed in a weed high, I’m setting goals not to get baked a couple days a week, and I’m not partying or drinking at all, or even hanging out with anyone at all, really, other than my amazing wife. I know it’s not necessarily the healthiest, not to hang out with any friends, but at this point I feel like I really just need to make this happen while I still have a bit of time. For a while I was actively avoiding even promoting myself, because I felt like, and I still feel like, fame is not necessarily the best thing that can happen to someone, especially if you have a lot of personal problems to solve or demons to face. My mind changed simply because I’d rather spend a lifetime doing what I love, which is creating music, writing, sharing ideas, than to be stuck at a 9-to-5 job forever, so I absolutely have to make it happen. On a deeper level though, I’ve been feeling like it’s important to put positive ideas out into the world, that if I have positive things to say I shouldn’t keep quite, I should say what’s on my mind, even if it might interfere with my peaceful happy life. So lately I’ve been writing rhymes, but not quickly like before, I’m trying to write inspirational rhymes, taking my time so that what I write and record is something memorable and motivational, not just another rap about all the trash most modern rappers are always yapping about. I’ve also learned the MPC workflow on my MPC One pretty well so far so now I’m creating my own beats in FL Studio and on the MPC. I put time into learning the basics of studio equipment to make sure I’ve got a clear sound, and I upgraded my gear and I’m finally recording on and audio interface with studio monitors and everything, rather than a laptop and USB mic like back in the day. If you believe in yourself you have to invest in yourself. The main thing I’m excited about though, is that with all this learning I’ve been doing, I’ve come up with the idea of making tutorials to show others how to set their equipment up and even how to make beats also, so I’ve got this whole idea for a YouTube channel unfolding. So yeah, big things are on the way! I’ve also recently started making music with my bro Kalvonix again, now that I’m back in Canada, and we recently released a mixtape together on all streaming platforms, The Come Up 10! It’s a continuation of our old mixtape series The Come Up, which we started about 11 years ago when we first met in high school. I’ll be going into everything in more detail as I keep on writing, and I appreciate anyone reading, I hope you’re as excited as I am! Much love fam.

~ rebel eye