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DAY 33 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

Although I’m not even close to passing my previous record of 81 days straight of writing a thousand words for my blog, I’m actually thinking of cutting it down to 500 words a day. Now, you might be thinking that I’m starting to get lazy or running out of things to write about, but that’s not it. Today I was listening to some of my old music from back in 2012, and I realized that I really need to keep writing raps, constantly, if I want to keep improving and if I don’t want to lose the skill. I finally learned proper recording techniques, I finally picked up an audio interface this year and an XLR mic and I barely record any music at all, since I barely write any new music these days. I guess I just feel like whatever I write has to be really inspirational and poetic, which is kind of holding me back, whereas back in the day I feel like I could write songs in a flash. I’d like to say that it was because I didn’t focus so much on trying to say the right things, but a lot of the lyrics from my old songs are actually pretty good, so maybe it just might be that I’m falling off after not writing consistently for so long. I have a bunch of old rhyme books, some of those lyrics are recorded already and some never got recorded, others will never be recorded. Although I have all these old rhyme books though, I feel like I need to write something new and fresh, and this is what I’m thinking of doing: Instead of writing 1000 daily words for my blog, I’m gonna write 500 words, and I’ll write a full 16-bar verse every day, that way I’ll never run out of music to record and I’ll keep improving my lyric writing skills, not to mention my rapping itself since I’ll be practicing a lot more now that I’ll have lyrics to work with. This will probably also keep me from overthinking my writing, as I’ve been doing lately, since I’ll have to write a daily verse. I think it should be a cool exercise. I’d love to do that but there’s just no time, between making and trying to sell beats, between trying to learn guitar daily, to exercise for a half an hour, as well as writing on my blog and hanging out with my wife, not to mention working, there’s just no time to do both. I could complain for hours about how there’s not enough time to do what we really want to do in our current fast-paced way of life, but I know you don’t wanna hear that and I’ll probably just come across as whiny, so instead I’m just gonna cut the complaining right from the start and split my time across everything I love, strategically. So that’s the basic explanation for why I’m planning to start writing 500 words a day instead of a thousand. Today I’m writing a thousand words though, since I didn’t write a verse today, I barely just thought of the idea. While I’m writing about writing I thought I’d mention something else I’m really excited about, which is the fact that my wife Maria and I have been working on a novel together for about two or three years now. It’s about a couple who meets and falls in love and have some crazy adventures together. Basically the idea came up one day when we were out at the park on a sunny day smoking a joint and she started telling me the idea for the story, about a couple who meets and falls in love and travels the world, kind of based on us and what we would like out of life. I said that sounded cool, and we started chatting about ideas of things they could do on their adventures. I’ve always been inspired by novels that convey philosophical messages to the reader, or that simply provoke philosophical though through the scenarios in the story. Some books like this that have inspired me greatly are Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and “Island.” I thought Maria wouldn’t mind if we threw some philosophical subjects into the mix, along with trippy things like psychedelic-like mind altering substances, maybe meeting some strange monks up on the mountains, and even time travel. Since we had our iPad with us we just started recording, and since then every once in a while whenever we went to the park to blaze we would always record our ideas for the novel, each time making it more intricate, creating connections between the characters and scenarios. Once we had a lot of recordings, about a hundred of them, I started transcribing them into a Word document. Not only transcribing but translating as well, since our conversations were half in English, half in Spanish. The novel touches upon a lot of important issues that I feel are relevant to life in our day and age, and I’m really excited to eventually publish it. Recently I finished transcribing all of the recorded voice notes into the Word document, so the next step is to actually write the conversations, write the detailed descriptions of the places and scenarios that will take place. Right now we basically just have the words we spoke for the voice notes, now it’s time for me to take all of that and write the story out of it, so we’re nowhere near done with it, but it’s definitely in the works. I think I’m close to today’s thousand words so I’ll just wish all of you amazing people out there a great night, I appreciate every single person reading this, since that’s basically my whole point in writing this, getting my ideas out into the world and to other people so they won’t make my mind eventually explode! Blessings to you and yours. Until tomorrow and keep being awesome and pursuing your dreams!

much love

~ rebel eye

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DAY 26 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

Day 26 of writing on my blog, nice. It’s also my fifteenth or sixteenth day of posting daily beats on Beatstars, and now that I have a decent catalogue of beats I have to start looking into marketing strategies to try to generate sales. One strategy is simply messaging artists and letting them know that I sell beats, probably including a few free beats they can use, obviously with a link to my beat store. I have to start searching for artists who are up and coming and whose beats match the ones I make in order to build solid business relationships so they keep on buying beats on the regular. In a way I’m happy because it feels like I’m finally starting my own business based around something I actually enjoy doing, making beats and just music in general. I’m tired of putting work in for already established companies that have nothing to do with my interests just to survive, so I know I have to put in the necessary work if I want to put and end to it for good and actually enjoy what I do for a living someday. For that reason I’m super excited to make this work. On the other hand, although I love hip-hop, from the hard beats to inspirational and thought provoking rhymes, I can’t say that I’m cool with a lot of the low effort noise that passes for rap these days, commercialized garbage promoting materialism. Unfortunately in order to promote your beats these days you have to pass them off as beats you can see some famous rapper spitting over, because if you just post it as a chill beat of happy or emotional or hard rap beat, you simply won’t get many views. This is why YouTube is super saturated with so many ‘type beat’ channels, where the title includes the name of rapper who would rap on this type of beat, along with a picture of the rapper. This is basically what I’ve been doing daily for the past two weeks, posting a beat in this format on both YouTube and Beatstars, and now I have to start marketing. The problem is that, although I do like my beats, I really would rather not post them in this way, but if I think about it for too long it feels like I’m just going back to my problem from years ago. See, I have a huge folder in my hard drive full of beats from as far back as 2011 when I first started making beats, and even thought they’re old now a lot of them are really dope, but I never released these beats in any way because my idea was to rap on them myself, not to get random rappers to rap what they want on them. See, I’ve always approached music, even my own music, as art, and I don’t like the idea of art being sold off, I’ve always wanted to release my music on my own. Unfortunately I never wrote enough rhymes to keep up with the insane amount of beats I made, and I almost always used other producers’ beats for my own tracks instead of my own, not because I didn’t like my own beats, but because the beats that fit my rapping style and content best are chill, jazzy sampled rap beats, like the ones I rapped over on my Running Rebel mixtape, whereas the beats that I produced for most of my life making music sound modern and electronic. I’ve always enjoyed making melodies from scratch, selecting the instruments and drums, and it’s only recently that I’m getting seriously into sampling instead. So my beats just sat there on my hard drive for so many years. I just got to thinking this year, I guess because I’ve grown increasingly annoyed and depressed with 9-to-5 life, that it really is time to start making a living from my music somehow, and I figured selling beats would be the most realistic way, since my rapping is not what’s most popular these days, I try to make it philosophical and inspiring, and I’m not willing to compromise that. I’ve come to peace that I might not make it as a huge success in the rap industry, and that’s okay because I enjoy doing it and I’ll keep at it no matter what. If I make it then great, if not then at least I shared my raps with whoever was willing to listen. Rap is based off of images these days, and I feel like I have too many complex ideas in my mind to just dumb myself down to be an image. The beats, on the other hand, can be made by anyone, it’s usually not a big deal since the producer is more of a behind-the-scenes person. It’s less likely that I need to sell out in order to make money on the beats side, and I’ll still be doing something I enjoy, so if I can make money making beats and that gives me the necessary time to really focus on my rapping without the need to compromise the truth, then that would be more than good enough for me. In a small way, this is why I feel shitty about putting my beats up with these random rappers’ pictures. I don’t even listen to them or like their music, so the beats are probably not even actually type beats for the artist names I post, it’s just kind of random names I choose based on what’s popular these days. Yeah, it feels wack, but no views means no sales. Hopefully as I start gaining traction I won’t need to be uploading my beats with these ridiculous names. In the meantime, I continue improving. I’ve got my new Arturia Keylab 61 mapped perfectly to FL Studio, I’ve mastered my MPC One at this point, and I’m making dope beats every day. I’m also doing daily guitar lessons so that I can eventually record myself playing and incorporate the live guitar sounds into my beats. Shout out to Justin Guitar for the super informative and easy to follow online courses, not to mention free. I really love the sound of the acoustic guitar, and that’s a big reason why I decided to learn to play it. Some of my favorite albums are Nick Drake’s albums, especially Pink Moon, and Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me”, really acoustic albums, and I can’t wait to be able to create my own chill melodies in the guitar. It’s all about consistency and never quitting. If I keep up my daily practice and put the effort in I know I can’t fail, and I’m applying the same to my beat business and every new project I take on from now on.

much love,

~ rebel eye

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DAY 13 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

Day 13 of a thousand words. I figured I would write about one of my favorite songs of mine, It Is What It Is. This is a song I wrote and recorded way back in 2012. It was released on my February 2012 mixtape Running Rebel. To this day, I consider this mixtape to be my masterpiece. I was trying to make a project with a unique sound, but more specifically, with the jazzy, old-school type of sound that I love so much, the sound that inspired me to get into hip-hop in the first place. This track was the most popular off the tape. In my lyrics I reminisce on old times, which even though were filled with problems, still represent the good old days for me. In 2012 I was only 18 years old, but I really felt like I had grown up and matured. I know what you might think, that at that age there’s not much that I could possibly be looking back at. That’s not the case for me though, since the craziest times of my life actually started when I was about twelve or thirteen, and although I had a lot of fun, I also got into a lot of problems. Thankfully, these problems didn’t escalate as much as they could have. I feel like I’ve always been blessed with good common sense, even when I was acting up I was never completely like a lot of my friends. I always knew there was something deeper to life, and I guess I was trying to find exactly that in the countless experiences I was having, but never finding anything. By the age of 18 I had realized that this life was not what I wanted any longer, so I wrote this song, It Is What It Is. The last part of the hook says “But we all gotta grow, yo, it is what it is,” and I feel like that sums up my mindset at the time, I was done with my old type of life and was sad to let it go, as I did have a lot of fun, but I realized that it was time to move on, to grow into a new phase in my life. There’s a lot of details in the song, about old times, old moments I lived through with close friends, some of which are no longer here with us. Overall, it’s just such a nostalgic song for me, and the amazing chill beat by Dela definitely went along with my lyrics to emphasize the nostalgic aspect of the track. I also like how he incorporated a sample into the beginning of the beat, from one of my favorite rap songs “Moment of Truth” by Gang Starr, where Guru raps “Sometimes you gotta dig deep, when problems come near, don’t fear, things get severe for everybody everywhere.” At the time I felt like I was really thinking deeply, I was finally making a decision about my life and the direction I wanted to take it. Unfortunately, it did take me a few more years to completely let go of my troubled past, so throughout 2013 to 2014 I was back into making gangsta rap songs with RRG. It took me a few years to completely free myself of who I used to be and the toxic lifestyle I was living for so long, and over that time I also quit smoking cigarettes completely, quit drinking for the most part, and quit doing all the drugs I was doing. By 2017 I released my Musical Alchemy mixtape, where I incorporated a lot of what I had learned into my lyrics, from the 7 Hermetic Principles to the Four Noble Truths, from Bible verses to quotes by great philosophers. I wanted to creative something philosophically inspiring, but I feel like I ended up being a bit all over the place on that album. I hope to be able to make an album as good as my 2012 Running Rebel album some day, but I just don’t know if I’m even the same person these days. Even if I never do though, I’m glad to have created a classic, and even though my album barely got more than a thousand downloads, since I’m still basically unknown, I’m glad to have made something I can enjoy, and which documents my growth in life. Unfortunately, now that I’ve started posting my music on streaming services, I haven’t been able to post any of the songs from my Running Rebel mixtape, since the beats I used were just picked from different websites and YouTube videos, in order to match the sound I was trying to achieve. To anyone who might be reading this blog and who is already familiar with my music, I truly appreciate you! And if you’re reading my blog and are not familiar with my music then give this track a listen, I know you will enjoy it. To be honest, I think a lot of what has prevented me from “making it” as a musician has been my own fault, I’ve never been great at promoting myself, it’s never been something I enjoy doing. It feels like I’m trying to show off or something, so I’ve always preferred to have people find my music organically rather than sharing it to everyone. However, I’m now at the point where I realize that this just doesn’t work like that. As a creative person it’s imperative to be able to market oneself. You might be super dope at what you do, but if no one knows it then it isn’t gonna do much for you, so let the world know! There’s way too much wack music about nothing out there these days, so I shouldn’t feel any shame for promoting my own music when I know that it’s dope, and that people would appreciate it if only more people got to hear it. I appreciate everyone reading, as always, and I’ll leave a link to my song, It Is What It Is, in case you’re interested in listening.

much love

~ rebel eye

DAY 12 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

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Day 12. Sober day. Right now I’m only doing 2 sober days per week. I know it’s not a lot but it’s definitely a challenge for me, coming from smoking every day for so many years. It’s been a couple weeks now and I’ve stayed consistent with this goal, so I’m definitely happy with my progress. I started with one sober day, for 2 weeks, then on the third week started doing 2 days. This is the end of the fifth week, and now I’m gonna do four weeks of three sober days. I can really see how the time I’m spending sober is beneficial for me already, I have a clearer head and I’m really starting to get consistent with my creative outlets. I’ve been making beats for more than ten years now, as well as rapping, but it’s always been something I do just for fun. I’ve never been big into staying up to date with social media trends, so I can’t say I’ve done much on the promotion or networking side of things. I don’t mean to say that I never wanted to make it in the music industry, it’s just that I never got serious enough to promote or to do any serious networking, it’s always been about the music itself for me and I’ve never felt like I had time to do anything beyond that. Now though, I’ve realized that I need to do it, whether I feel like it or not. So many people are creating music nowadays, so it’s not enough to just be good, one has to actively promote one’s music just as if it were any other business. As a young rapper coming up I never really spent much time thinking about this. Yeah, I know I was pretty immature, but at least now I’ve gotten to learn from my past mistakes so that I can do things differently from now on. I’m still young but not as young as I was ten years ago, so although I still have some time to make this happen, it’s not like I have a whole lot of time either. It’s stressful because I know that this is the last chance I’ll ever get, and if I don’t make it happen I just might be stuck in the shitty nine-to-five life forever. However, I feel like this stress is a blessing, the stress is what’s really motivating me to finally do things the right way. Nothing will stop me this time around, which is why, after so many years, I’m slowly but surely rearranging my time and my decisions in order to live with more order, in order to live more deliberately. The sober days feel boring, since my brain has been used to being high most of the time for so many years, but this boredom pushes me to spend time doing things that I wouldn’t do if I was high, things that absolutely need to get done. Anyway, I know I’ve written a bit about all of these things in my recent blog posts, but it’s just because I’m extremely excited to see where life will take me. It feels like I’m finally moving on to the next level of life, like I’m finally taking responsibility for my life and taking matters into my own hands in order to make things happen, God willing. For a while, life was feeling dead, as if nothing new was happening, as if I had settled in life and there would never be any new excitement. In a way I was okay with this realization, because I’d rather not deal with all the problems I brought upon myself when I was living my old, “exciting” life. I see now that I was wrong though, life is starting to get exciting again, and this time it’s for positive reasons, I feel excited about positive long-term changes in my life, rather than searching for excitement in highs and cheap thrills all the time. Life is deep, and sometimes we can shut ourselves off from the experiencing the depth of everything. Sometimes cutting ourselves off from it might be very satisfying, we might feel very comfortable, since we experience only what we know, or what we think we know. We try to take the easy route, to do what’s most comfortable and pleasurable, without stopping to think that maybe, at the other end of a completed challenge, we might just find something deeper, some new inspiration about life, rather than something familiar, something we are extremely comfortable in. It’s common knowledge that no good can come from staying in one’s comfort zone, but I realize that that’s exactly what I’ve been doing all these years. I’ve decided that the world out there is too crazy to deal with, and I’ve immersed myself in things which inspire me, such as powerful music or books, things that transport me away from real life. I didn’t think this was ever a problem because I never realized that this is what I was doing, in my mind I was simply enjoying something I liked. I get high and listen to an album, and it’s magical! No problem. Except that tomorrow I want to make some music, and it’s much better when I’m high. Okay, I’ve been working on music for a while now, it’s time to spend some time with my wife. Okay, let’s watch a movie, but yeah, movies are much more immersive when stoned, so here I go! You see what I mean? One moment after another, life goes by. In a way this is what I’ve always liked about weed, that it can make you more present, it can help one enjoy the mundane moments of life a lot more. I always saw this as something positive, but now I’m thinking that maybe we need to feel the absolute boredom and dissatisfaction of life if we ever want to evolve to the next level of our lives. If we can make any moment comfortable then why would we ever try to push ourselves further?

much love

~ rebel eye

DAY 9 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

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One day away from day 10, nice! In a way I’d say it feels a bit therapeutic even, writing these thousand words daily, I really think more people ought to try it, at least once in a while if daily’s too much. To be honest I think daily might even be too much for me, but I love the challenge and I’m glad to be taking it on, since I feel like there’s too much shit on my mind, feel like I need to declutter my mental space. It’s nice living life as an observer, and writing down my thoughts and ideas helps me keep organized and on track about what I’m doing. If you’re reading I also appreciate you, it definitely adds another dimension to my mission, it feels like I’ll grow my audience depending on how real I can keep it, how much raw reality I can express in my words, how much of my message I’m truly able to convey. Writing is simple, yet it’s a skill one can always improve on, there are no limits to imagination and creativity, to the combinations of words one can form, and the meanings different people derive from those groups of words, which we might call phrases or sentences. Maybe I can inspire someone to write what’s on their mind as well, and whatever they write could inspire someone else, sparking a chain reaction of inspiration. It’s the invisible things life these which inspire me to write, things I might never notice. So many things have inspired me, things I’ve read I mean, without the author knowing I’ve been inspired. We can’t know whether everything we write is correct in every sense, but if our heart is in the right place then we should have nothing to worry about. Expressing our honest opinions on certain topics can maybe open up the door for much-needed conversation about it, sometimes problems can’t be solved just because there’s simply no dialogue to come to an agreement, so hatred and violence continue to grow. Communication is the key to moving forwards as human beings. Assuming we understand when we really know nothing about something is bound to lead to problems if we ever interact with others who truly do understand. This is the reason why nowadays I spend most of my time watching tutorials, learning the ins and outs of the craft I’ve decided to pursue, now that I finally decided that’s what I want to do for sure. I’ve realized that there’s nothing quite like being prepared, and knowing even more than the necessary just for doing what needs to be done. Things that stand out have to be done with passion, yes, but they also need to be done in the right way, and a lot of times being too passionate at the beginning might result in us starting to soon, and starting off wrong. There’s no such thing as starting too soon, as long as we are prepared, but if we started off wrong then maybe we may as well not have started off at all! So the best scenario is to start off early but to be prepared, and if you didn’t start off as early as you wish you had, don’t get desperate – take the time to learn properly and then get started, now that you have a clear vision of what it is you intend to do, which is what you lacked back then, and the reason why you never got around to doing it earlier. Leaning is the key to life, and to every aspect of it. Hands-on learning is extremely effective, but usually this goes along with learning from someone else, someone who is already very skilled at whatever we are learning, and who is willing to pass that knowledge on to us. We learn by receiving ideas from others, who communicate these ideas from us. Every word I’m using in this post is an idea in itself, and when paired with the words around it, can convey a very different idea than it would on its own. That’s not always the case, but it’s a possibility. Over time, figures of speech become accepted as things everyone says and understands, and as our ideas shape our language over time, so does our language eventually shape our ideas. It’s all a cycle; art – or literature – imitates life, and life imitates art, one reflects the other, back and forth, back and forth. There’s not even a need to specify, to differentiate between art and literature, since great literature could possibly be the highest form of art, effectively transmitting powerful ideas to another, or transmitting powerful emotions through the stories of the character. One Piece is a show that does this in an amazing fashion. I’m not really a huge anime fan, since most animes just don’t have what One Piece has, but One Piece has been my favorite show since I was a little kid in the third grade, I’d wake up at 3:30 am to watch it when it came on at 4am on 4Kids, Sanji’s cigarette was replaced by a lollipop. The point is, I got up super early to watch it because I was intrigued by the story and the characters, by their emotions and the dilemmas they faced. They were emotional and complex yet realistic, or at least relatable. I’d recommend this show to anyone, I’ve even got my mom into it! If I ever complete a novel or any work of fiction, something which I’m actually already working on by the way, that’s what I aspire for, for it to be as moving as One Piece, for it to evoke feelings in the viewer in that exact way. That’s ultimately what I hope to do with the lyrics for my songs as well, I despise mainstream rap because the lyrics are fake and uninspiring, promoting materialism and stupidity. The type of hip-hop that moves me is songs like 2Pac’s “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” a story about a young girl who dies to soon after becoming trapped in the lifestyle of a sex worker, or Flipsyde’s emotional “Happy Birthday,” a track he raps about a child who was aborted because they were not ready to be a family, and the emotions that go along with such a situation. We need more inspiration, people are drowning in worthless pleasure, numbing themselves from an inner feeling that something is wrong, because there’ simply no inspiration. Speak up if you think you have something to say, you never know who you might inspire, and just what might come of it.

much love

~ rebel eye

DAY 5: Eternal Words (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

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Day 5 of writing a thousand words from my mind. I’m glad I’m sticking with this goal so far, it’s only been five days but I’m feeling really motivated to keep this going this time. The second time I attempted to do this daily I got up to Day 81, then when I failed it I basically didn’t post anything else on here for like two years. That was from August 2019 to now. I can say I’m finally getting back into writing, and it feels good. Writing is weird in a way. It’s such a simple thing but it can get really complex. How do we know when it’s good or bad writing that we’re reading? It’s all subjective isn’t it? When is a piece of writing finished? Couldn’t we always find another fancier word to convey our message? Writing a novel is complex, every little word matters, every choice makes a different to the overall story. Writing can be complicated in such a way, or it can be simple. Free writing is basically just thinking, but writing down what we’re thinking, or as much of what we’re thinking as we can before our mind is invaded by the next thought. So what exactly is it about writing thoughts down that makes them special? Wouldn’t the same ideas be just as brilliant if they hadn’t been written down? Ah, but that’s the thing, how would we have ever encountered these ideas in the first place, had they not been written down? Often times I feel really inspired by something I read in a book because it deeply resonates with a thought or emotion of my own, maybe one that I hold deep inside and would struggle to put into words if I tried, so I just don’t try. It’s cool to find that someone else has thought about the same thing as you and agrees with you, even if most of the planet might not necessarily see things in that way. Some of the ideas in my mind can get so complex and confusing, and sometimes it feels like I’ve been going over an idea for quite a while without reaching any conclusion. Suddenly something I read shines a light on that whole subject and shows me that I can look at the situation in a completely different way from anything I’d even considered. Whether it’s reinforcing an idea that I already have, or providing a new perspective for me to consider, it’s crazy to me how powerful written words can be, how the correct combination of words used to transmit an idea from someone’s mind can resonate so much with another person, even thousands of years after the writer has passed away. As Marcus Aurelius stated “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” What we do means everything we do, including whatever we write. It’s insane to think that his famous book Meditations, was never even meant for others to read. It was basically like a journal of sorts for him, he just wanted to write some ideas down, and here we are, reading them and listening to them thousands of years later. What if he had chosen to simply think these thoughts, but didn’t ever think to write them down? All religions have their holy books, which are presumably thousands of years old. What would religion be without those words? Now, I won’t get into a date on whether life would be better or worse without things such as religion, but if there was no religion because there was no writing, then you can be sure that there would be a lot more missing in the world, like music and art, even basic education. What would we be? We would be nothing like what we are today. That’s why, as a writer and a musician, it can be hard for me to write sometimes. For any generic radio rapper the task might be really easy, it’s common knowledge that sex, drugs and violence are mostly what sell. It doesn’t take much effort two write a few half-assed bars about how much money you have and how many women you’re having sex with. Yeah, these rappers are what society would call “successful” and who can argue? They have big mansions and luxury cars, every high school boy wants to be them, to be as successful with women as they are, to have everyone look up to you. Are they properly calculating the cost of that success though? Everything has a price, and everything requires some sacrifice. If you essentially sell your talent and allow the industry to tell you what to make music about, yeah, you will get the financial reward, the peace of mind of not having to worry about money anymore, but what about your impact on the planet and on those who are listening to you? What will come to you as a result of all of this? What are trying to promote with your words, positivity or negativity? Hope, or anger and resentment? Do you want the world of the future to be more focused on humanity, on empathy, on how to move forward and help one another to grow? Or would you rather have the young men of tomorrow measure their success by how many cars they own or how many women they can sleep with? Doesn’t this also imply that women are no more than sexual objects, possessions to be acquired? I don’t think any of this is right, but sadly this is where we’re headed as a society, every day we are falling more in love with materialism, and forgetting how to love and uplift one another. So what can you do? What can I do? Well, some of us are fortunate enough to be able to provide help to others who are not in the best situations. If you have no money though, what’s stopping you from writing? I’m simply writing my thoughts here, just like Marcus Aurelius decided to do when he wrote what would later become Meditations. I don’t know what you’ll take from this post, what anyone who reads it will take from it, but I am sure you will get more out of it than if the ideas were just left to float around in my head. I appreciate anyone who’s reading this, I believe that we were meant to connect in this way. Remember, put your heart and soul into all that you do, and if your intentions are pure, most likely you’ll be influencing the world in a positive way.

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.

Reviving My Blog!

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WOW!!! I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 years since I last posted something on here. And to think I had set the goal of writing a thousand words a day! Hah! Well, I can’t be so tough on myself, I made it up to at least like 80 consecutive days at one point. What can I say? Life happens. Although there is some truth to that, the real truth is that I let my laziness and procrastination, my indecision, get the best of me, and for that reason I’ve let this blog, and my artistic pursuits in general, fall behind. I apologize to everyone who’s followed me on here up to this point, but I want you all to know I’m going to revive this page and make it better than ever! A lot of things have happened since I last wrote on here, and I’ve realized that I absolutely need to write, to create, to try to inspire through some sort of creative output, it’s a necessity in my life. I’ve gotten back into making music, back into the feeling of it, the feeling I thought I’d lost for a good while.

Not everything can always be perfect. Lately anxiety seems to be higher than ever, lots of things happening in life, lots of thoughts that can’t be simply blazed away running through my mind. Obstacles are opportunities though, at the end of the day, and every lesson is a blessing. Anyway, I’ve been contacting some of the producers who made the lots of the beats I used back in my old tapes, all the way from back in 2011, trying to get their permission to upload those tracks on Spotify/streaming platforms, etc. One of those tracks, “Puttin’ In Work” is me rapping over an instrumental by producer Rotes, who uses heavy samples in his beats, true to the old school gritty yet jazzy sound of old school rap that I love so much. This track is from my R.A.P. mixtape from November 2011. Another is “Trip to the Back of My Mind”, this one rapped over a smoother, happier and overall livelier beat produced by David Bocuse, reminiscing about family and friends, and great times from back in the day. This track is from my 2017 mixtape “Musical Alchemy.” It feels good to finally have some music up on streaming platforms, and I’m starting to organize all of my pages online because so far it’s all a mess, from years of creating a bunch of e-mails and pages, it’s time to finally get myself organized and take myself seriously! it’s time to stop playing games is what I’m trying to say.

I’m now releasing music under the name Rebel Eye, in case anyone reading my blog is interested in checking out my music on Spotify, and from now on I’ll try to keep the blog tied to my music, but also keep it personal and continue writing about interesting topics that are on my mind, about spirituality, philosophy and everything else that interests and inspires me. Yes, I’m a rapper and mainly a rap producer, but I also love working on chill instrumental music, even techno/trance beats, trip-hop, etc., and I’ve decided I won’t go through the trouble of dealing with multiple social media accounts for multiple artist monikers, so for that reason everything will be released under Rebel Eye. I hope that having more genres will help me gain a wider audience, we’ll see.

I’m excited to write again, both music and on this blog. At the end of the day, writing is a really interesting thing, just randomly writing. We are always thinking, and when we write we decide to let some of our thoughts escape our minds, to live outside of our mental prison, our tangled-up web of images and thoughts, ideas, fears and dreams. Writing is a really powerful creative output, a way to let some of the stress of life out, to free it and let it be, to free yourself of it almost. Life is deep, and when you can’t make sense of it what else is there to do but to document it? There’s a life out there to document, and a whole world within to write about as well. Maybe what we think, what we share, might inspire others, I know I’ve been inspired by so many of my favorite books. It feels as if these authors from millennia ago were speaking to me, as if they shared some of my thoughts, it feels almost strange to see what someone wrote so long ago, and see how it is so similar to an idea that you’ve always had, a truth you’ve always perceived, for example, that nobody else around you wants to see, yet here is some proof that this idea has been alive for a while, that some of the greatest minds in history have considered it and contemplated it. We can’t live only off of that inspiration alone, of course, we need to verify and find the truth for ourselves, but often times we refuse to embark on the great quest for truth if we are not provoked to reflect upon it by external forces or influences.

I’ll try to keep writing on here as much as I can, and below you can find links to the singles of mine I mentioned above. Much love Fam!

Young Rico - R.A.P. - Rhythm And Poetry [2011] [OFFICIAL ALBUM COVER] “PUTTIN’ IN WORK” from my 2011 mixtape “R.A.P.”

Album: R.A.P. (Rhythm And Poetry)

Original Release Date: November 20, 2011

I went by Young Rico when I recorded this tape, it was so early I hadn’t even added to Rebel in yet!

REBEL EYE - TRIP TO THE BACK OF MY MIND (SINGLE 2022)“TRIP TO THE BACK OF MY MIND” from my 2017 mixtape “MUSICAL ALCHEMY”

Album: Musical Alchemy

Original Release Date: December 30, 2017

From my 2017 Musical Amchemy mixtape, I went by Rebel Spirit at that point.

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 81: Listening to Musicians’ Full Discographies.

I have a few different methods for listening to music which I use at different times in order to have different experiences. I really do love to listen to all kinds of music, or at least most, so what I do is try to listen the the greatest artists from each genre, in order to save everything into one library which I usually play on shuffle. The result is that it delivers a diversity of unique sounds of all kinds, always switching and bringing me something unpredictable. I usually blaze a nice joint which is sure to last for a while when I let my library go on shuffle. This way, I get to randomly listen through some of my favorite songs, as well as listen to songs which I might have only heard once and liked and saved onto my library, which helps to become more familiar with these songs, to turn them into new favorite songs as time passes. I used to just listen to the classic albums of each genre, but having already finished listening to pretty much all of them quite a while back, I decided to listen to some of my favorite artists’ full discographies. One of the first hip-hop discographies I listened through fully was none other than Nasty Nas’. He’s always been one of my top three favorite rappers, without a doubt, all the way from his debut classic ‘Illmatic’ all the way to the recent ‘Life Is Good’ or ‘Nasir.’ What I like most about Nas’ music is that he never fails to drop some knowledge or even wisdom in his lyrics, and always mentions certain experiences or ideas in a truthful light, without looking to glamorize a certain lifestyle. I have a one-eyed pyramid tattoo on my left arm with a Nas quote under it: “In the land of the blind the man with one eye is king.” I think that in a sad way it accurately describes society. Moving on to a different genre, one of the longest discographies I’ve completed to date has been that of Van the Man, or Van Morrison. I listened to something like forty studio albums during the course of a few months, finishing yesterday with ‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’ and ‘The Prophet Speaks.’ The jazzy saxophone vibes and smooth vocals, especially on the latter, really went great with the good kush I was blazing with my buddy Danny. Van always delivered something new with each album, a new style and sound, but always fresh. What I do is that, I have maybe about four or five artists whose discography I’m listening to at any given time, and whenever one is completed its spot is replaced with a band that has a somewhat similar style or sound, and which I’ve probably been wanting to check out for quite a while. Since I heard the last two Morrison albums yesterday, I started with Bob Dylan’s first two today, along with the Stones’ ’12 x 5.’ I just started listening to the Rolling Stones’ discography about a week ago, after a long Grateful Dead binge that lasted a long time, maybe as long or even longer than Van Morrison did. On the newer side of rap I’ve heard Drake’s full discography, seeing as he’s so popular he’s gotta be doing something right. He’s definitely got an original sound, and although it’s not my main style of rap I can’t say I didn’t enjoy most of his albums. I’ve also heard Eminem completely. He’s always been one of my top three rappers along with Nas and Pac, but his last few albums don’t even come close to his old albums in any way. I can’t blame him, knowing how complicated his life has been, but we can’t deny the facts, it’s just not the same intensity or genius at all. I had already listened to all of Slim’s discography, of course, but I re-listened to every album again, and extremely enjoyed the old classics as always. When it came time to finally hear his new latest albums, which were the only ones I hadn’t heard yet, I was a bit disappointed, although there were some great songs still. If I remember correctly, the first ones I started with were Nas and Eminem, as well as Pink Floyd and The Beatles, my two favorite bands. Just like with Eminem’ music, I had pretty much listened to both of these amazing bands’ music, but I went through the discographies in chronological order once again, enjoying every second for sure. From Floyd and The Beatles I moved on to Led Zeppelin and was blown away. I was familiar with about two or three of their albums, but i discovered that I had been sleeping on some other amazing records for so long. I loved all of their albums if I’m not mistaken. Led Zeppelin IV has always been one of my favorite albums, both ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Going to California’ being two of my favorite songs. Led Zeppelin led to The Grateful Dead, as I mentioned. I can’t believe I hadn’t listened through their albums before, especially being so into psychedelics and the whole culture surrounding them. I have no clue why I hadn’t checked out the Dead before, but now a song by them is sure to come on whenever I shuffle my library, even though the list is a few thousand songs long. I enjoyed all of their albums, and listened to the main live ones along with the studio ones. My favorite of all was probably Skull and Roses, and I love its skeleton cover art. I know I haven’t mentioned many, or any, women up to this point, but I do love some food female singing for sure. My favorites are Sade, Norah Jones and Lana Del Rey, and I’ve heard all their albums so far. I’m hooked on the chill sound that they all incorporate into their music, but I have to find a new female musician’s albums to listen to now, I’m just not sure who it could be.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 81.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 47: Where Can We Find Meaning?

Everyone’s faces show signs of severe stress, like life is a mess, completely meaningless. I believe it’s not, but some say yes. Either way we all wish and wish for more, but in the end it just feels like less. It often only feels like another loss, like another challenge, another test. We don’t know why we’re falling apart, still we seldom take time to sleep, to rest, to truly live life in the best, way we know how, and our attitude is can’t nobody tell me nothin’ like Kanye West, only getting high like Mount Everest. Some are searching in the East, some hold on to the West. Some aren’t searching at all, they don’t want to see the pain. For them, life is nothing but a silly game, and so it doesn’t matter anyhow, where we will eventually go and from where we came. We’re just killing time, waiting for the time to take a bow, and to finally leave, some are wishing that time was right now. Some make it happen, they say, Let our families grieve, the seasons pass like autumn leaves, we continually shut ourselves away because we dread the day we’ll be deceived. Let it end, let’s stop this false and pretend, let it end, let me go to where I don’t feel bad for having no friends. This mentality arises as we strive to live a lie. Only getting high, because we feel low, with nowhere to go, looking high and low, our accountability we deny. Life isn’t what we thought, it’s all show, but yet it’s all we got. We thought we knew, yet we don’t know a damn thing, have we forgot? Did we ever know at all? None of us can stop the clock. Time is ticking, people pass, always searching for greener grass. Never will they get the chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy at last. We all wish that we could ease the stress and sing, we wish to let ourselves go, and that we could fly but never fall, with a pair heavenly wings. We would love to lose ourselves in a trance, to feel free to forever dance, to indulge in the sins of this life, but that they didn’t have to sting. We want to soar the skies, we try to transform like caterpillars into beautiful butterflies. We’re tired of seeing sadness, and listening to lies, while the hatred all around the world seems to be on a constant rise. But we never change, we try to make a mental picture of the world, we attempt to rearrange, the facts and the lies, to fit our point of view. We complain and we point out all the evil all the others do. But there are no others, just sisters and brothers. We need to be the change we wish to see, to be the lovers, who can manifest this great force. We need to speak what’s real, and then to remain real, with no remorse. We need to connect to the source, but for that we need to stop trying, of course. We all want to be the man, like Van, but what we don’t understand, is that we can’t do the right thing unless we’re guided by God Almighty’s hand. Any other attempt is damned. Without this divine power we’ll never be strong enough to take a stand. But look back at the struggles you’ve survived, look at all the helping hands, look at your parents, cheering you on, your biggest fans. Keep on moving like Bob Marley, and don’t look back at how many miles you ran. Just continue living in love, all throughout your lifespan. and give thanks to God, within and above. Even when sometimes it feels like you’re stuck in a labyrinth like Pam. You have to take control, because in a way, no one really gives a damn. They would if they could, and it’s not clear if they should, yet we can’t moan about it, it’s good for this to be fully understood. We all have to take responsibility for our actions, until we find that, apart from God, there’s simply no sincere satisfaction. Then we will, give in to the divine will, then we will follow what we know to be right. Then we’ll be like eagles, soaring high, up in the sky in flight. We’ll shine like the sun in the day, with no fear of the night, we’ll remain at peace, even if life becomes a fight. We’ll live in the moment, we won’t wish for more. We won’t see life as a competition, we’ll stop keeping score. We won’t hold grudges, we’ll have our own system. We’ll talk a lot less, and we’ll simply sit and listen. We won’t be sucked in to the sorrows of the world. We’ll devote ourselves to loving our little boys and girls, to providing them with everything they need, not just to survive, but to thrive, to live with integrity, not only to stay alive. For what is life, for a new generation of slaves to greed? Are more selfish human beings really what this planet needs? Do we need more lust? Is more violence a must? Do we have to teach our children that it pays to be unjust? Smile, life is only here for a little while, my life isn’t mine, neither is my wife or my child. I thank God for everything he’s given, and I acknowledge that God I wouldn’t be living. I humbly seek to learn from my mistakes, so that I won’t repeat. For me the meaning of life is to grow, to seek to know when to be quiet and when to speak. Life is a fun adventure, but it can’t be denied that it’s deep. For those us trying to climb the corporate ladder, or to reach happiness through the path of wealth and fame, the climb is steep, and the ball will always roll them back down, never to finish. We need to reconnect with our love for life, so that its divinity will stop being diminished.¬†

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 48.

~ Rebel Spirit