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Many people have seen The Godfather. The Francis Ford Coppola-directed movie is frequently cited as one of the best — if not the best — films of all time. And rightfully so, it’s a family movie disguised as a crime drama masquerading as an inside look at the mafia. Layers upon layers of brilliance.

But the movie is actually adapted from a book, one you’ve probably seen in an airport bookstore, laying on a nightstand at your crazy uncle’s house or literally anywhere else on earth. It has sold more than 30 million copies.

And yet, the book is, well…


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Election day came and America voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Donald Trump, bringing to the fore something we have known for the longest time — Americans will do anything to return the country to a time which never even existed in the first place. When it was great, they think. When was that? Nobody knows. But that’s the thing about hindsight. It’s always 20/20.

They put their faith in a clueless leader who would shovel them head-first into an oven, like Jews in the Holocaust, if it would net him more money, more votes and ultimately, more power.

Two days later…


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In the fall of 2010, I had the courtesy of interviewing a young rapper, largely unknown out of serious hip-hop circles, named Kendrick Lamar. The interview was for a 300-word profile to be published in XXL magazine, what I believe was the first piece of print journalism done on him.

At the time, he was on the Independent Grind Tour with Tech N9ne, performing a mere 20-minutes each night alongside labelmate Jay Rock, promoting his now-classic mixtape Overly Dedicated.

He was thoughtful and self-assured, wise beyond his years. Though his voice barely rose a register, he saw himself one day…


When I was in my late teens I made an album with some friends. I made most of the beats, recorded most of the songs, and mixed a lot of it.

There was one song, in particular, that stood out above the rest. It was built around a Teddy Pendergrass sample, a record which I hadn’t grabbed intentionally — one night, I was just cycling through vinyl, searching for interesting sounds.

At the time, I didn’t know a lot about music theory. I didn’t really even know how to play. …


The end of the year is here. I know you, overachiever that you are. Pandemic and all, you’re taking stock of it. In a world where everyone somehow still seems to be crushing it, did you do enough?

The truth is, you did. If you are alive reading this right now, you did enough. This was a crazy year, and you survived. Maybe you social distanced, maybe you didn’t, maybe you worked from home or maybe you had to go out there and be amongst the people. Maybe you didn’t even work at all. Maybe you’ve just been locked in…


It is good to begin your day with some reading, fifteen or twenty minutes, maybe even thirty, with which you can cleanse your mind of whatever filth you have spent your slumber dreaming up, and rid yourself still of the lingering thoughts, emotions and worries of the previous day.

I would say that it doesn’t matter what you read, but it does; something complicated and heavy, too complex, this can set the mind in motion too early. In turn, you burn out your mental faculties hours before they’re actually firing. …


Sometimes you feel like you have not written enough — at least not publicly. You go a few months without publishing something, a few years, whatever it is, people forget about you. It could be that you’re working on something larger, something less immediate, and you don’t have it in you to keep pushing content out there onto the internet. Maybe you don’t have any deep thoughts, at least not any deep thoughts worth sharing. Maybe you’re in a calm period, the experiences you have more quiet and intimate, less adventurous and, to a laymen, less exciting. You have eased…


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Yesterday I went to an estate sale in Morristown, NJ. I have begun going to these sales on the weekends, because I am either interested in buying random ephemera or I am simply bored.

To be honest, it’s hard to tell you exactly what I am hoping to find.

This particular sale was at the home of a man who ran a small recording studio out of his basement, garage and shed. It appeared, from looking at the detritus of what was left, that his main business was corporate clients; all throughout the basement studio, which featured not only a…


Last night I began looking, as I often do late in the evening, at photographs that had been taken months ago, a year ago, two years ago. We can do this so very easily now, what with Google Photos, Apple Photos, cloud storage systems that store our photos in perpetuity. There is something to be said about their storage of these photos, how they collect these memories, perhaps harvesting that data for purposes unclear. But this is not that.

No, what I realized looking at these photos, specifically the ones dating to January or February, was how my wife and…


People who refuse to wear masks are weird. There are a lot of things you could protest, but protesting masks —a precautionary measure you can use to stop the spread of COVID-19 — seems dumb.

The science on masks isn’t accurate. Maybe they work, maybe they don’t. But like driving on a highway at a hundred miles an hour, it’s just common sense that the slower you go, your chances of crashing decrease.

Not wearing masks then — it’s almost like rebelling for the sake of rebelling. Which makes you think that maybe if the state governments and scientists stopped…

Paul Cantor

Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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