The Pieces of The Puzzle

The Puzzle of Life

There's a million different parts of your life that come together to create your reality. What you are doing, what you want to do, how you approach situations, who you surround yourself with on a daily basis. The people in your life, the plans in your life, and maybe most important - the stuff you can't predict or expect. This time of year always feels super hectic for me with everything coming together - deadlines, traveling to see family, personal projects, etc. 

How you react and how you deal with all of this coming together will determine who you become, and what kind of life you live. It's not easy - there are too many things you can't plan for - but, you can keep perspective. You can take those things in stride or let them break you down. You can own them and change your approach or you can let it ruin your day/plans/etc and mope around about it. If you want to move forward toward your goals, whatever they are, you have to remember - it will come together, you will make it work, but you may need to re-assess your approach.

It's been a hectic few weeks over here at The Early Hours preparing for the holiday shopping season. We've been dealing with our website going down unexpectedly, new customer service issues from expansion, and more. But we're moving forward, no matter what. It's been said, "a set back is just a set-up for a come back" - which is true, but it requires flexibility, courage, and persistence to change your plan and keep any momentum you had before in stride. 

My point is this - You might not always have the piece of the puzzle you think you need, and it might just be time to put that piece down and come back to it. Another piece might be ready to be played while you're waiting for your move to make sense. And while you're waiting, someone else is making moves. So if you want to make something happen, don't let any excuse stand in your way - but don't create new problems in the process. Consider your moves like a chess match, and plan ahead, then make your moves, and re-asses your next steps. You got this. 

We have a few holiday specials to announce later this week but in the mean time, check out these Gift Guides I made if you're thinking about getting anything for your friends and family. We tried to break it down into a few different personality types, but alot of our stuff crosses boundaries so you should check em out even if you don't think you'll relate. You guys rule...hope you have a great week this week, and remember...Never Hesitate, Never Surrender


The History of The Double Cup (or Putting Purple Drank In Context or Why Our Cups Are Empty)

(Note from Clif – The Early Hours – So, this article is written by Mac Mccann, from Dallas, Texas (currently living in Austin), and my notes after are written to give some context to The Double Cup design we feature on our products.  The first part is written to give some history and context to The Double Cup in culture and society, and then I have added some notes on why we thought about using it in the first place, how it fits into our brand, and why we didn’t include codeine splashes, but rather an empty cup. It’s factual but only as far as we have been able to research/experience, so please read it first and email us at the email at the bottom of the article if you have any corrections or suggestions. Thanks all, enjoy..) 

While drugs and music have seemingly been related since the dawn of culture, few drugs are intertwined with a specific culture in the way that ‘lean’ is connected with hip-hop – especially Texas hip-hop. From DJ Screw and Big Moe to Lil’ Wayne, lean and hip-hop have expanded their influence hand-in-hand.

‘Lean’ is a slang term for a recreational drug that’s typically made with prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine, mixed with soft drinks such as Sprite, Mountain Dew, or Big Red, and sometimes with Jolly Rancher hard candy.  The concoction has a variety of nicknames, such as ‘syrup,’ ‘sizzurp,’ ‘barre,’ ‘purple drank’ (or simply ‘purp’), and ‘Texas Tea.’ As it’s typically consumed in double Styrofoam cups, it’s often alluded to by discussing ‘styrofoam cups’ or ‘double cups’ or simply ‘drank.’ (note from Clif - A double stacked cup not only helps to insulate the drink in the hot Texas summer, but it also is a silent way of announcing what is in your cup. Recognition around Texas spread quickly with songs by S.U.C. members from some of the first Screw tapes that featured local rappers talking about pouring up in double cups.)

Click here to shop our Double Cup Collection

Click to Finish Reading The History of The Double Cup...

soulraps 2.0 / midnight burn

this is dre, streaming live from somewhere, blasting out in high fidelity. here on the soul rap hour, we feature artists that are inspiring us in our creative pursuits. on today's program, we feature Ravi Vora. Ravi's photography commands my full attention. i am drawn immediately to the details of every photograph. instantly, i'm wisked away to another realm of reality, similar to our own, yet so alien. check out Ravi Vora's tumblr, instagram, and website below. 

tumblr / instagram / website

today's sonic feature is called 3.14. these tunes will hold you over for the next week. 

until next time. 
- dre

soulraps 2.0 / featuring the best of audio & visual delight

welcome to the early hours. my name is dre. so back in 2007, clif and i started a blog called soulraps&subwaymaps. on that site, we featured the sounds of infinity. any o.g. in the music game will tell you that soulraps was the shit. but all good things come to an end. until today. 

but soulraps 2.0 will be different because on this feature, we will be scrounging the internet for the best sounds on the planet and will combining them with visuals from artists that inspire us. dont mind if we sprinkle some of our own work in here, because in order to appreciate the art, you gotta practice the art. 

the first sonic feature is one of my most favorite playlists, the "rap basics." i give this out to my friends who are interested in rap but are in need of some staples in the genre. dont sleep on these sounds!

the visuals are my own, shot in october in los angeles with justine. for more of my photography, check out