March 01, 2022 meta

What’s up world? I’ve been off the grid for a while but after some recent inspiration and some quality personal time I’m ready to start it back up again.

It’s hard to speak about the highs and lows that have led me back to this site while also maintaining privacy but I’ll try.

Like many people, I’ve experienced loss over the past 2 years. I’m also fortunate enough to have experienced the happiest days of my life recently as well.

The positive time away has really left me re-charged and ready to create and put things back into the world. And the negative times have made me think long and hard about what we do with our time. Those opposite energies plus a few timely reminders finally got my gears spinning again.

Stick with me and I've got a sneak peak at my upcoming plans at the end of this post!

Throwbacks

Most of my editorial inspiration came from seeing the subjects of some of my earliest posts hitting major anniversaries.

ASAP Rocky image

First off, this past Halloween was the 10 year anniversary of A$AP Rocky’s Live.Love.A$AP. I wrote about A$AP Rocky and his come-up in depth for my college’s Cultural Affairs Commission (CAC) which was and still is a dope organization! Peep my nearly decade old post here: Who Is A$AP Rocky?

Image of Drake and Childish Gambino

Similarly, Drake’s “Take Care” and Childish Gambino’s “CAMP” also hit their 10 year anniversaries this November. Both of those albums leaked ahead of their release and I wrote about that for CAC as well. The concept of an album leaking 2 weeks ahead of release (because of CD manufacturing timing) seems like such a thing of the past, but it was so exciting 10 years ago. Check out that blog post here.

Creators

And finally, the creations of colleagues and creators I follow got me extremely excited to create new projects again.

Slime surf website image

I couldn’t get enough of the amazing Slime.Surf created by my friend and collaborator Declan last year. As people have talked more and more about meta-this and meta-that, I keep coming back to the immersive 3d experience he created.

Lucky Me game image

In a similar gaming-adjacent world, creator Mohannad Al-Khatib’s innovative and hilarious game Lucky Me is poised to release on Steam any day now.

Other creators like Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds and their excellent Juan Ep Is Life podcast have inspired me to check out Patreon as a way of supporting creators. Rosenberg’s work as a DJ is also inspiring me to get back into music making.

Speaking of Patreon, Noname Book Club is also doing amazing work that I highly recommend supporting. I’ve also been loving books and independent bookstore culture in general over the past year, including incredible places like Tia Chuchas

But let me get back on track.

Producing

As you can see, lots of creators have been inspiring me lately.

So much so that I’ve often struggled with the question of whether I’m a producer or consumer. Do I have the energy to create? Shouldn’t I be able to make the energy to create if I really want to?

Some wise words from the dope @betterindoses have helped me think of things differently.

Better in Doses website image

Check out the extremely poignant newsletter dispatch from BETTER IN DOSES here.

My personal highlight:

If I was running BETTER IN DOSES like a business, sure I would feel behind. But the truth is, it’s not. It’s a creative platform where we tell stories and share our art. It’s a digital space archiving the things in life that inspire us – a place to challenge and question everything we *think* we know. In the fast internet age, this is a place for slow, intentional & meaningful content.

And it clicked; I don’t have to create constantly!

About 2 years ago I set the goal of posting at least one blog per month. But as life got tough, of course that goal slipped. And then it slipped again. And again.

As a result, I’ve been bookmarking tons of interesting articles and projects worth writing about this past year, but failing to publish them.

In an effort to “keep up my schedule” or “keep up appearances”, I kept trying to will my self to finish all my blogs and post them with the original date I found them. But that just left me with a folder full of half finished blog posts and nothing to show for it.

And for what? I may not have the time to create constantly but that doesn’t mean I need to project the facade that I can.

So with that new state of mind, alej.hiphop is back in full swing… but at my own pace this time.

What’s Next?

So what can you expect from this site?

No promises, but hopefully a new blog post every month. With all the posts I’ve got saved up and new quality free time, I’m hoping for more than one a month.

This last year was rough for my new music intake, but I should also be getting a follow up to my 2020 year-end wrap-up post as well.

I'm happy to say I’ve also got a few hip-hop coding projects on deck, with one very close to completion. In the meantime, feel free to buy revisit my old albums projects.

Pivot! Besides that, I’m also hoping to share some other creations I make to balance out the projects: beats. I might even throw my old beats up on Soundcloud to get that started.

And lastly, I don’t want to jinx it, but I’ve also got some basic DJ mixes that I’ve been planning to blend and share.

Expect all that and a reformatted site structure to accommodate it!

more sketches

Cutting room floor from this post’s title image

And that’s it! If you’ve made it this far, thank you sincerely! The best place for updates on all the above is @alejvpro on Twitter. Don’t worry I’m not too busy over there so I promise I won’t fill your feed.

See ya soon!