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10/07/2018

Well, here we are. One month removed from Mac Miller’s existence.

The news of his death came out of right field and had social media, and even the day-to-day media, in a frenzy. I was informed by a 7 minute old TMZ post on Instagram stating Mac Miller was found dead and immediately sent it to my buddy Kevin wondering what kind of sick joke was happening.

Everyone was pretty shook about his passing. Several artists sent their condolences, including Chance who made several Tweets, Logic shared mad praises on YSIV, Karl Anthony Towns had some custom sneaks made to commemorate him, and I’ve seen a decent amount of Pennsylvania sports team pay their respects.

And Pitt with the dopest hype video I’ve ever laid eyes on

I still can’t believe this whole thing happened, there was a fluke in the universe or God had a hiccup because Malcom McCormick was not supposed to die. He was engulfed in positive energy and was stoked for the start of The Swimming Tour, title of the album he released in early August.

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Tweeted a day before his death, a freaking day… Fuck, could’ve been a couple hours if they found him in the morning. Shit’s insane.

Mac is hands down my favorite rap artist but I never saw him live because I’m not much of a concert goer. If you add a couple of Summerfest visits, an REO Speedwagon/Styx concert when I was 12, and a lonesome T.I./Ludacris concert my freshman year of high school, you’ll find that my concert going experience is “pathetic.” I couldn’t agree more now let me live my life. I think I played a burned CD of KIDS in my car for 9 months straight, I love(d) that mixtape and I love(d) all the music he released during his time on Earth.

{Insert a sweet article about Mac and the direction he was on}

For the last month, there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t listened to his music. The phrase you don’t know what you have until it’s gone hasn’t been more true. Knowing that I won’t be able to listen to a new Mac Miller song makes me real life sad. I usually listen to music for the rhythm and beat of the song, as opposed to listening to the lyrics. I’ve listened to nothing but his lyrics and some of them make me think hard about how precious life is.

Fuck ‘Em AllMacadellic

“Get ya money, fuck ’em all. Everything could be gone tomorrow. What if it’s gone tomorrow?”

100 GrandkidsGO:OD AM

“I made a promise to my mama that I’ll bless her with some grandkids, she can spoil them.”

Senior Skip DayKIDS

“Haha, enjoy the best things in your life cause you ain’t gonna get to live it twice.”

Jet FuelSwimming

“Now I’m in the clouds, come down when I run out of jet fuel, but I never run out of jet fuel.”

Good EveningKIDS

“Takin’ over piece by piece, startin’ from the core. It’s only been a year I can stick around a hundred more.”

Brand NameGO:OD AM

“To everyone who sell me drugs don’t mix it with that bullshit. I’m hoping not to join the twenty seven club.”

One Last Thing Blue Slide Park

“Somebody changin’ the world, it only takes one. Never scared of death, but I ain’t ready for that day to come.”

Perfect Circle / God SpeedGO:OD AM

“Everybody saying I need rehab cause I’m speedin’ with a blindfold on and won’t be long until they watching me crash and they don’t wanna see that. They don’t want me to OD and have to talk to my mother. Tell her they could have done more to help me and she’d be crying that she’d do anything to have me back.”

One of the hardest deaths I’ve endured thus far and I never even met the guy, life is gonna be real fun when someone I’m close with passes. Mac, from the looks of it, you were a positive influence on everyone you met and you’re going to be truly missed and remembered. Rest easy, friend.

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You All Over The Place Quez Baby

There’s nothing cooler to me than seeing someone who is out in the world doing something they’re passionate about. Whether it’s some lucky SOB who gets to play their favorite sport, musicians, or even someone who genuinely likes their full time job.

One of my friends landed a job at Honda Kawasaki working with motorcycle and dirt bike operations – not much of a motorcycle fanatic but this guy fucking loves motocross. He watched Disney’s OG, Motocrossed one time and was sold instantly; now I couldn’t be more ecstatic that he’s telling me he wakes up happy to go to work.

Nurses and teachers seem to love their jobs too. It has to be a rewarding feeling taking care of society’s medical needs, and molding the minds of youths. Getting summer vacation as an adult has to be a major selling point for teaching.

I’d say the hardest thing for me to adjust to, ya know being an adult and all, is not having a summer vacation. My sister got done last week and I’m thinking, “Great, you get three months of carefree-ness ahead of you while I’m sitting in an office when it’s 83 and there’s not a cloud in the sky.” We’ll eventually end up having the same amount of summer vacations so I can’t complain too much. What I’m getting at is

Scrolling through Instagram is always fun because people post shit about EVERYTHING. I dig pictures of puppies, new born babies are adorable, and seeing engagements are heart warming, but selfies and progress pictures are the absolute worst. Yeah, you’ve achieved summer 2K18 body status but it better not come with a mile long caption of how hard it is to stay motivated but hard work and perseverance will prevail. Duh, it’s exercising nobody wants to do it. You’re putting in work to stop your body from doing what it’s genetically designed to do.

One Instagram account I thoroughly enjoy seeing is my buddy from high school, Marquez {Quez} Beeks. Our lockers were hella close to each other all four years and I remember seeing him and then hearing him yell “YOU BETTER GET TO HOMEROOM MR BLAHUNKA!” Oh the good ol’ days, how we used to laugh.

Quez has been all over the map since graduation, six years ago. Not literally traveling the map but movin’ and groovin’ to his own beat. He started off playing some JUCO football at College of Dupage and then a couple more years at Fayetteville State. During his time away in North Carolina, he came up with a non-profit organization to help give back. Now, I recently saw a post that I should go listen to his newly released hit single on Spotify.

I slid in his DM’s and asked if I could hear his story on where he started and how he got to where he’s at now. I think it’s important for kids in high school, nearing the college mark of life, to be cognizant that the path they have paved is subject to change and life doesn’t follow the same agenda.

After graduation, he was all aboard the college athlete train. Started out in JUCO and worked his way up to playing D2 ball. Super athletic guy, he posted his speed and agility videos on Facebook that got me amped. I was ready to watch him catch a ball on the tail end of a back flip. With the help of his agent, Quez found himself in conversation with scouts from the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins around the time of the draft.

“At the end of the day, it didn’t pan out but the whole process of being able to talk with NFL scouts was pretty dope.”

During his last semester of school, he came up with the idea for his non-profit organization, Touching Soles. His efforts started in his hometown of Rockford, at West Middle School, scattered throughout Illinois, and even in Miami for a minute. He attended a career day and gave away seven pairs of shoes and a couple of pairs at a local community center.

“I’ve always wanted to give back. That was one thing that I knew, whatever I did in life, I wanted to give back.”

Quez holds this as one of his highest priorities and has ambitions of starting a scholarship for students within the next five years. As for now, shoes ain’t cheap and all of them are coming out of his pocket so check out his site and donate to the betterment of mankind.

A couple weeks ago, I saw a post from Quez saying that he released his first single, Rock Out, and I can listen to it now on SoundCloud and Spotify… Damn, on Spotify? That’s legit – I use that shit everyday. Gave the song a gander and it was an instant vibe.

“I got the beat from a guy in London and I was sitting there listening to it and the lyrics just came to me. The whole thing with Rock Out is I just want to have a good time. I’ve got my crew behind me and we’re gonna rock out, that’s the vision. Team no sleep.”

Music video coming soon:

One of his big time motivators is, long time amigo, Fred VanVleet. They started playing basketball against each other around 5-6 years old and really began a friendship during their time at West Middle School. Growing up with someone and watching their dreams become a reality has to be a surreal feeling. Going from watching Lebron and Kobe games at 12 years old, to watching your homie square up with Lebron’s bitch ass is wild. #GoCeltics

Luke: “So you talk to Fred often?”
Quez: “Shit, I talk to him everyday. He’s on his way here now.”
Luke: “Seriously? Cool.”

Quez, it was truly a pleasure chatting with you and hearing your incredibly interesting story. You’re a role model to all and don’t stop grinding until you’re where you want to be. It’s a good story to hear because as much as you want to be able to plan every aspect of your life out, ya just can’t. Not 100% accurately, at least. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing what you want, follow your gut, and don’t be afraid to make a couple changes along the way.

No, You Do Not Like ALL Music

Talking to people is easy. All you gotta do is start asking questions and the conversation flows like the Nile River. Hey, how ya doin? Where ya from? How old are you? Where’d you go to school? Where ya work? Boom, just started a 3 minute conversation, keep it going.

One of the questions I like asking is what kind of music someone likes… Pretty easy question, just tell me what you listen to on a regular basis. Don’t let, “Oh, I like all music” come outcha mouth because you’re lying. I personally can’t begin to imagine how much music is out in the world. There are dudes wearing loincloths in the middle of Africa banging on drums, that’s music. Bagpipes in Ireland. Chief Keef… It’s impossible to say you like all music.

If I were to ask you to listen to a song I’m sure you would oblige, so it’s fair to say that you would LISTEN to all music; doesn’t mean you like it. I’ve narrowed it down to I will listen to any music… except classical. Not going to find me listening to Mozart in this lifetime. It’s easier to answer the question in Pandora stations, because it covers such a ride range of songs, you can pick up the vibe of their music taste. Blink-182, you obviously dig the 90’s; Beyoncé you like pop/todays hits; Backstreet Boys you like, well boys..

If I could pick 4 stations to listen to for the rest of my life they’d be Goo Goo Dolls, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Dicky, & Ed Sheeran; my number 5 would be a Barstool station, it’ll happen. Luckily, I’m living the Spotify life and can listen to whatever music I want when I so please. I have a very broad music selection, and I just throw it into a playlist so I’ve got like 300 songs all over the spectrum

Drink it in, a little taste of my music selection. I’d like to draw your eye to the middle three songs. Te Ves Fatal, according to an RBI cook, is just a song talking mad shit about a girl but the tune is so catchy I listen to it at least twice a day. And I would like to thank Barstool for introducing us.

https://www.facebook.com/barstoolsports/videos/10156128390977502/

Everybody loves a little Fleetwood Mac and if you haven’t heard the most beautiful thing ever, prepare to cry. And of course Migos, making bangers for the last couple years. I’m all over the damn map and the selection continues to expand daily.

You better come up with a good answer if I ever ask you what music you like or you and I are going to sit and listen to Russian show-tunes until the cows come home.

If You Don’t Know Who Jaren Johnston Is… You Really Should

So now that summer is creeping up on us, I’m listening to more and more country music. My roommate even made a kick ass playlist to jam and drink to all summer. Country music is best heard when you are sitting in the sun with an ice cold beer in your hand.

Every country fan has their people. Their guy. Their girl. People that top the charts or even people who aren’t as popular. Anyone that makes music that relates to people are what summer country is all about.

People that come to mind when it comes to summer country are names like: Jake Owen, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw among other huge names. But one cool thing that I came across is one man that is a big reason for their success: Jaren Johnston.


You might read that name and have no idea who the hell I’m talking about. That’s cool. I don’t blame you. Jaren is the lead singer for country band The Cadillac Three. Not only is he the lead singer for this amazingly underrated band, he is the brain behind many absolute bangers in the country world. I’m going to start naming some big songs he’s written, not just good songs that I like. Here we go:

Jake Owen

-American Country Love Song

-Beachin’

-Good Company

-Days of Gold

Frankie Ballard

-It All Started With a Beer

-Sunshine and Wiskey

 Tim McGraw

-Meanwhile Back at Mamas

-Southern Girl

Keith Urban

-Raise Em Up

-You Gonna Fly

-Black Leather Jacket

Drake White

-Living the Dream

Billy Currington

 -Don’t It

He’s even written a ton of songs for Canada’s biggest country music star Dallas Smith.  Pretty much wrote half of his albums.

These are just what I can think of off the top of my head. The guy is unbelievable.  He’s a man among boys when it comes to writing country hits. A playlist of Jaren songs would be a perfect day drinking country playlist. I can go all day listing off every other song he has written that aren’t hits for Jake Owen, Frankie Ballard or Billy Currington. The dude is a living legend and nobody knows who the hell he is.


The Cadillac Three is an amazing band without the other songs that Johnston brought to the world. Check them out and check out Jaren’s songs from every big artist in the world. I love you Jaren. I know you’re a big fan of the blog.

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