And The Band Plays On: Ten Years of Deftones' 'Diamond Eyes'

On February 23rd, 2010, Deftones released their single, ‘Rocket Skates’ for free on their website. Fans flocked to it and the site promptly crashed thereafter. The start of the song leads with an aggressive and crunchy guitar riff from guitarist Stephen Carpenter and bridges into the fury of drummer Abe Carpenter’s cymbals. I must have played the beginning part of the song over a hundred times. ‘Rocket Skates’ had the youthful exuberance and hunger of the band’s 1995 album, Adrenaline. They had

EDITORIAL: 'Leave It Alone', Mortality, and The Certainty of Love and Loss

I like to take random drives. Sometimes, it’s to wrangle a little bit of stress out of the washcloth of the day. Other times, it’s to flesh out some ideas or listen to new music. Traveling miles on an open road can be a different antidote from person to person. There’s almost a therapeutic hypnotism to it. On that drive, ‘Leave It Alone,’ the second single that Hayley Williams released from her Petals For Armor project came on shuffle. Have you ever listened to a song where the lyrics snap you

American Gangster - The Return of Marcy's Hero

Everybody has dreams of leaving on their own terms. It's the touchdown that wins the game right before you ride off into the sunset. Hip-hop is a fluid, ever changing art form. With that, consistency is a virtue and prized possession. Even in modern times, the tide of change is an inevitability. An artist can release a record that takes to the masses and it not translate in album form. In order to stay in the minds of the masses, you have to elevate to raise the bar with every release. 003's Th

Walk On Water: Eminem's Relationship with Doubt

In the backdrop of Eminem's latest single, "Walk On Water," there's the sound that writers are all too familiar with. Sounds of ripped up paper that cuts like a knife through confidence. Divorcing itself from a notebook of thoughts that are deemed not good enough. There are the pressures of giving your thoughts into another person's hand and not having control of the outcome. As writers, we all go through periods of inner-conflict where the sentences just aren't right. The words just don't marry

Kanye's Victory Lap: Celebrating 10 years of 'Graduation'

Flashback to September 11th, 2007. On that date any year after 2001 there is a need for remembrance, but in the annals of hip-hop history that particular day in 2007 was one that arguably changed the future of urban music. Two of the genre’s biggest names, Kanye West and 50 Cent, were set to release their albums on the same day. For some, this might be any other sales week as it’s not uncommon for two big names to share a release date, but that was not the case here. Kanye and 50 Cent wanted to

'Liability": Lorde's Love and Hate Relationship With Fame

Have you ever written a video treatment in your head? You know the sensation, or at least I think you do. A song plays and when you hear it you realize it is so vividly appealing that you instantly project the artist living it in a world and/or scenario you just made up?  While listening to “Liability,” one of the many emotional songs off Lorde’s recently released second album, Melodrama, I did just that. So picture this: The video for “Liability” would open in the same taxi cab with Lorde loo

"Look What You've Made Me Do" Sees Taylor Swift Embracing Her Regina George Role

“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.” Pop has been in a peculiar position of reinvention this past year. Just take a look at the “EDM bubble that burst” while it was at it’s peak. You either carved out a loyal fan base with your uniqueness or integrated into a hybrid of pop or hip-hop. Artists like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez were able to shed their Disney pasts for a more sensual, R&B/Hip-hop version of themselves. This transition has been a little harder for an artis

"Last Hope" - The Endurance of Paramore

“It’s just a spark/But it’s enough to keep me going” Paramore is that rugged, enduring movie hero that walks through the smoke, tattered, but triumphant at the conclusion of a action movie. Founded in 2004 in Franklin, Tennessee while the members were in their teens, they took their form of energetic alternative rock/pop punk from the stages of Warped Tour to the huge crowd of Madison Square Garden. It’s a treat for a band to have a generation of music fans grow up with them – almost like dista

Kanye West's Coldest Winter

It was 2013 at the Madison Square Garden date of the Yeezus Tour. I sat in my seat awaiting the spectacle that I heard about throughout the social medial channels of the shows before. Kanye West brings Jesus out? There’s a huge pyramid-like structure? There was a second where I thought I was watching West’s own interpretation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. You had the usual glitz and glamour, but there was one moment in particular that caught my attention. West began to sing the last song o

Let's Get The Vanguard Award Ready For Missy Elliott

Back in June 1997, the Hype Williams-directed video for Missy Elliott‘s first solo single, “I Can’t Stand the Rain” was released. The video showcased one of the most creative uses for a garbage bag that anyone had seen at that point. Elliott, within the middle part of video, sat in on top of a hill staring into space, and there were little digital quirks that would make her eyes and lips pop out. Of course, I was nowhere close to having a license at this point, but I could not count the many

"Simba" To "Love Yourz": J Cole's Story With His Words

“How the f*ck do I look/When I brag to you about some diamond?/Said all that I could say/Now I play with thoughts of retirement” – J Cole Say what? J Cole can’t be thinking of retirement now, could he? (I mean, we are still anticipating that Kendrick Lamar joint project) “Jermaine’s Interlude”, the track off of DJ Khaled‘s newest album, Major Key raised a few eyebrows with the last words of his verse. Could the North Carolina born rapper be thinking of putting the mic down for a while? The w

'Heathens' - Twenty One Pilots' Address to the Skeleton Clique

Take a full listen of Twenty One Pilots‘ 2015 album, Blurryface and you get a sense of camaraderie through struggle and seeking identity. In the videos for both “Car Radio” and “Lane Boy”, there are two scenes towards the end of each where fans go in a silent like trance – then when the bottom of the song drops out, carry on into a frenzy. Ski masks were almost symbolism into turning into a musical superhero-like character. I got to see part of the start first hand at the 7th annual Radio 104.5

Make Music Safe Again

Paris, France at the Batclan theatre. New York, New York at Irving Plaza. Once again, we have to wake up while wiping the haze out of our eyes and add an unfortunate tragedy to within our musical community. Singer Christina Grimmie, who was an alum of the NBC show, The Voice, was shot and killed last night as she signed autographs for fans after her set opening for the band Before You Exit at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida. She was only 22 years of age. It’s heartbreaking to refer and descri

MEB Album Ranks : Nine Inch Nails

It’s really hard to rank albums. So many emotions come into play – you’re essentially arranging tracks and albums like Lego pieces. To kick off Mind Equals Blown’s album ranks, I’m going to head down the rabbit hole of my top four records from Nine Inch Nails. The band in it’s many incarnations have been around since 1988. If you’ve listened to Nine Inch Nails albums, you know that they are a snapshot in to Reznor’s life at that particular time – very honest, unrelenting, and iniquitous in some

The Answer Is In The Music

You can watch any of the tens of news channels to see the climate out there. It’s not pretty. It’s just like any disaster movie. There’s always a part where the world is falling apart and people are just running down a rather long hallway to try to escape through a padlocked door. That’s the best metaphor I can give to describe these political campaigns right now. To escape the noise, I always retreat to the thing that does not require any frequent flyer miles or long layovers or require me fran

Music, We Have A Problem

Amber Coffman of The Dirty Projectors‘ account of sexual harassment. An essay about the music industry and online harassment by Best Coast‘s Bethany Cosentino. Countless other accounts and stories of women undergoing atrocious treatment in the music industry. It has gotten to the point where it’s just another status quo post sandwiched between click bait and Kanye‘s latest tweet storm. It’s a troubling epidemic to the point where I question why women even want to be apart of the music industry i

"Get In Formation" - Beyonce's Statement

All week, I’ve been listening to a Rage Against The Machine playlist that Apple music suggested me. Damn, it’s been about sixteen years since we got a studio album from them. Their 1992 self-titled debut album, not only sounds like it’s hasn’t collected any dust, but also is probably more relevant than ever. Chalk it up to my indulgence to always be in tuned with current events and the political “circus,” but I wish that part of today’s music was just as strong and unapologetic. Yes, social medi

Breaking Down Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "White Privilege II"

Cue the collective eyeroll and under-the-breath grunts as people read the headline of this post. I’ll admit that I was a bit turned off by the unveiling of the Macklemore text to Kendrick Lamar that he “robbed” him of the best hip-hop award at the 2014 Grammy Awards when The Heist beat out good kid m.A.A.d city. While the heart may have been in the right place, that looked really, really bad. This is not only from the social media era where “if you don’t post it, it didn’t happen” stance, but es

The Show Must Go On

I’ve been racking my brain as to how I was going to start this editorial. I’ve been pacing back and forth, bouncing a tennis ball against my ceiling that I’m sure my neighbor did not appreciate, but hey, I at least tried to make it rhythmic. For those who know me well, there are very few times where I am lost for words, but, alas, here we are. Like many people, music has been an escape. It’s that tree house in your backyard that you go to and just drown in every guitar chord and dissect every
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