What If We Saw Things Differently

As I’m seated in my friend’s studio listening to a fully remixed song entitled, “And I Love Her”, I can’t help but think about the world we live in.

It’s one of chaos and toxic waste created by a hypocritical and cynical mainstream media that isn’t honest like before. Especially as we close out Halloween full of festivities, funky costumes full of creativity, spontaneity and artistic expression.

In less than half an hour, we will set clocks back here in Shaolin. Home of Wu-Tang Clan in the forgotten borough of Staten Island in the city that never sleeps yet plays for keeps. The good news is we will gain an hour of sleep. Something we all can use during these tumultuous times. Who doesn’t just want take a moment to breathe in the fresh colder air that makes Fall such a cool season for dreaming and believing?

I love it. It’s chalk full of all the cool colors we love. Especially of the leaves which can go from brown to yellow to bright orange and even red. I just love this autumn season which will now hit the month of November. One that usually breezes by like a storm wind. It reminds me of the impact and devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Remarkably, that was eight years ago. I don’t know where the time goes. October 27, 2012 is one that saddened me and hurt just to see some of the Island damaged including the nice area I grew up in from a very young age.

So, what’s going on? Something the legendary Marvin Gaye would sing to a different world in a more free time full of rays and sunshine. Just that if he were around now, he’d shake his head and really be like, “What’s Going On?”

No matter what happens this Tuesday night on Election Day, we are all screwed. Because nothing is going to change. That’s the hard truth neither side wants you to know. That’s why I’m glad I didn’t choose one. I turned in my absentee ballot the other day and didn’t have to wait in some stupid line of people on top of each other. Even with masks during a pandemic, that’s not good. Don’t let them fool you. I don’t want all that germs and crap. Gross.

Here’s the thing. We as a society can do way better. It starts with how we treat each other. Like Tupac Shakur used to say, “Let’s start making some changes. Let’s change the way we live.”

To be healthier, that means less arguing and more understanding. More compassion for people’s situations. Because the truth is we’re all different. I’m going through a rough patch right now with my anxiety. It hurts like a bleeping bleep. But by expressing myself in this space, I can relay how I feel while spreading a positive message to those who suffer from mental illness. Our mental health affects the physical. Being weak sucks. It takes a lot to do stuff. I pushed myself tonight to shower, shave and take a ride over here to our wonderful talented friend P.

I want to praise the kind of unique person he is. He is focused on his music and it’s way better than what we hear that passes for rap these days. Ditto for any local artist I know over the past decade. The music industry is as bad as it gets. They push the wrong crap in our faces so much that it gets tiresome. That kind of reminds me of something else that stinks. I will not miss all the panhandling and social media driven political #Vote crap that turned me off completely to either party. As far as we’re concerned, they both suck. It’s time for a reality check. Open your damn eyes and learn to think for yourself.

Most don’t. How many silly arguments and ridiculous debates have I gotten into over politics this past year? It pollutes our minds.

Real change comes from within. Nobody is going to do it for you. It’s like my health. I changed my diet. It’s now mostly greens, smoothies, eggs, nuts, green tea and of course water. No more junk. I can’t afford to anymore. I have certain goals I want to reach to finally overcome my anxiety and avoid the awful black cloud that’s panic attacks. I plan to get things done. Be better. Be more. Do more. And finally get back to a good life I can be at peace with.

That’s what I most admire about our friend P. As we sit in his studio and listen to a remix of his song which still needs the right edits, I know he’ll get it eventually. The focus he has over adjusting to the new beat he loved so much that he purchased it, demonstrates a determined person who’s in tune with what makes good music. The real kind that isn’t being pushed in our faces. The kind I want to listen to and help him promote via my podcast and this blog.

I want to give him more exposure. Local artists need all the support they can get. Like Infamous Mobb Deep said, “Spread Love. Not War.” Classic track from ’96. RIP Prodigy. It seems we’re always remembering a great artist. And that’s one who had originality, style and the kinda swag we need to see more of.

That’s how I feel about P. I truly believe in him because I’ve seen him record and been present for some fun late night sessions. Those are always fun. I can give him input. I love music as much as anyone. Especially when it’s written fresh and worked on so diligently.

So, here’s my takeaway as I dig the very trippy sounding reverb that echoes appropriately like a spooky ghost on October 31. We are exploring what will sound better. What I’ve learned is that all true artists are perfectionists. They all are searching for the right distinct sound that’s going to make the difference in what they’ve recorded. Whether it’s deciding on dubs or the right edits to polish off a track, they won’t be satisfied until it sounds complete.

I now understand why music is great. Whether it be in a big expensive studio with all the big ups watching or a homemade studio like the one I’m writing in, everything matters.

Maybe if we applied these sort of unique characteristics to our daily lives, we’d be happier and most of all, calmer. I’m working at getting there now.

I wish you all the very best. To more success and brighter days ahead.

Published by

Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.

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