“Justplaywitit” by Marq Spekt and I is out Today! Peep it! New Video as well!

It’s been a busy past few years for me as I’ve been getting back into the swing of things working with MC’s. I did a bunch of ep’s and an album with Illogic, an album with Billy Woods, and now, an album with Philly rapper Marq Spekt. It’s called “Justplaywitit” and it comes out today on Hipnott records. I’m really excited for y’all to peep it. Definitely something different from both Spekt and myself.
Here’s all the info you need-
It’s streaming here:

You can get the digital release here:

And, if you’re one of those brave soldiers who still buys physical copies, god bless you and here’s where you can get those:

Last , but not least, here’s the brand new video for the first single, “Sum of it’s parts”. Enjoy!

Oh, and we got a treat for you coming in a week or so. An extra track that features Aesop rock and Open Mike Eagle. Keep an eye out for that!
Also, to people curious about my next solo album, it’s coming. I’m planning on making a announcement when everything is officially solidified (in terms of dates) so, just know, it’s coming soon…

Answers for Questions vol. 197

Shout out to the few people who sent me the above picture this week. It would indeed be a great replacement for my banner pic. I’mma hold on to it for now but, just know, it was appreciated.
How are you guys today? I’m well. I ate chipotle last night for some reason and woke up today legit smelling like barbacoa. Weird. Anyway, this is “Answers for Questions” You know the drill. If you want me to answer anything, send me questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Keep it interesting and weird. That’s all I ask.
Let’s get into this weeks batch…

How much skin is too much skin to show on the street?
I’d say that entirely depends on the person. I saw a dude walking down the street yesterday with V-neck so deep, it was basically just cloth suspenders. Like, literally, his belly button was almost exposed. I didn’t even know they made them like that. Now, I don’t know if that’s “Too much skin” or not, but it’s definitely a dumb ass shirt.
For ladies, it really depends on how much harassment they’re willing to put up with. You wear tiny shorts and crop top, dudes are gonna be relentless…but if that doesn’t bother you, go for it. I do think some ladies perhaps…umm…misjudge what does and does not look good on their body types sometimes in the summer but, at the same time, if they’re comfortable wearing it, that’s all that matters. Maybe some people love their 4xl muffin tops spilling over the side? Perhaps looking like a slightly opened can of instant biscuit dough is what’s hot in the streets right now? Who knows. Whatever makes you happy.That said, while it is legal for ALL PEOPLE to not wear shirts in public in NYC, that’s one things I feel people should chill with. This isn’t a beach, put a shirt on. Or at least a v-neck that pretends to be a shirt.

Help me out bro, I work near your hood (Houston and Varick St) and I need chill bars to rep, mostly for happy hour.

I can only find super fancy shit or super douchey bro spots like three sheets saloon or off the wagon. I have a very similar personality to you from what I can tell in reading your writing and listening to the Pod. Any recommendations?

To be honest, I don’t really drink on the west side. Occasionally I’ll hit The Rusty Knot on west street but that’s about it. Most places are gonna be douchey, ESPECIALLY for happy hour. Also, it depends what you’re looking for. If you just want a mellow drink, without a bunch of vertically striped shirt pricks there, I’d say just seek out local dive bars. On hudson street, there are a couple. WXOU, Art Bar and this one random bar on Hudson and Commerce that always seems empty but pleasant. If you want to be out around drunk girls with hopes of getting happy hour laid, head over the Automatic slims or Tortilla flats on washington street. They’ll be full of dipshits but also tons of hot girls who drank way too much at 5 pm.
But , if you’re looking for a chill bar with good music, etc…I can’t help you. I generally never day drink, go to happy hour or drink heavily anywhere near where I live. But that has more to do with me not really being a drinker like that. I drink maybe once a week and when I do, it’s cause I went out specifically to drink. I’m all or none with that shit.

On a scale from 0-10, how much do you enjoy popping your own zits?
I don’t enjoy that at all. I don’t get many zits (I’m an adult, you know). But when I do/did, they were brutal ones. Painful boils. Generally around my nose or on my chin. They’d be those type of zits that were under the skin, so popping them just didn’t work most of the time. I pretty much had to let them run their course , until they were finally ready to go, then I’d begrudgingly pop them. Not cause i wanted to but cause I’m that fucking impatient and wanted that thing off my face. But, rest assured, there was no joy in it.
2/10 on the enjoyment scale.

In your Answers for questions 192, there was a question about the word “Faggot” in rap and you answered it in a way that I can agree with (as in it’s not the word itself, but your perception that gives it pain).

My questions are, do you think that is always constant? Like are there any exceptional words?
The reason I ask is because I was listening to MF DOOM’s Take Me To Your Leader (A.K.A. The King Geedora album) the other day and the song “One Smart Nigger” came on. (Here’s a link for that:

Now I’ll stress that I have no problem with this song. I really like DOOM’s work, this album is one of my favorites of his side projects, and I totally agree with what the guy in the vocal sample is saying right before the beat starts. But sometimes I have a hard time letting shit go.

Generally among my friends I’m the token mixed guy, so a lot of my white friends try to let “nigga” pass and I always feel like I have to say something, but usually don’t to save face. One time one of my female friends called our mutual white friend a “nigger” with the hard R, and I was visibly shocked and sorta snapped on her for two minutes. I know she didn’t mean it with offense to me, but it was just weird.

Like there are just different times when “nigga/nigger” offend me personally. Do you see this happen a lot or am I just rambling? Have you ever been in the middle of something like this with any of your black or mixed friends?

I mean, that is the one word that will always be an issue for some people. Even a word like “faggot” doesn’t hold nearly as much weight as nigger/nigga.
As a white dude, I can’t really say when it’s right or wrong to use either version of that word. I’d argue that the “hard r” version is , in general, a bad move. But the “soft a”? That’s up to the individual. I know tons of people who use it and don’t even think about it. When a white person says “nigga” in front of them, they don’t blink , as long as the intent is okay with them. That said, the same white person drops a “hard r” and there would be problems.
I haven’t come across much beef amongst friends over that word (nigga, not nigger cause what civilized person actually says “nigger”?). Maybe it’s my age , location, etc but that word is just is either something someone doesn’t say ever or it’s so engrained in their lexicon that there isn’t even a thought otherwise.
Your situation sound a little different though cause you’re the one non-white person amongst a bunch of whites. It wouldn’t shock me if they had weird preconceived notions about race in general but, most of all, they simply might be ignorant to the power of that word. I’ve definitely been around suburban , basic white people whose understanding of when and how to use those words was bafflingly off point. As the one black guy, you’re allowed to tell them to shut the fuck up and , in general, shut them down on racial matters whenever you feel like it. Someone’s gotta tell them, right?

Hey Blockhead, I gotta TV hypothetical for you. Would you rather live as Louie in “Louie” circa ’08. Or George Costanza in “Seinfeld” circa ’94? I know this a dumb question but humor me

Hmm…My initial reaction was louie but I think I might be off with that. Thing is, Louie had kids, is kinda lonely and generally kind of a mess. While George , as big of a piece of shit as he is, lives a life of freedom and has his group of friends. He just seemed happier socially, regardless of what a lunatic he was outside of that. Not to mention, he always pulled women WAY out of his league. So, I think i gotta go with george. Not to mention, 1994>>>>2008.

what are you going to do in 5 years when hip hop is dead

I’m not so much worried about hip hop being dead (come on, son. You know hip hop will exist forever. It’s as locked in as any genre that exists right now) as I am music being dead in general. I don’t mean that in a sense that people will just be “over” music. I mean that ways to earn money doing it will all dry up eventually. At this point, the last two ways to make any real money making music are touring and song licensing. Song licensing will never die but It’s only a matter of time before some technological break through comes through that figures out a way for people to see ALL live shows for free, thus taking that last chunk of money right out of the artists hands. Streaming video feeds of live music are already pretty popular. If they figured out a way to make that seem bigger and more exciting, it’s a wrap on anyone ever leaving their house again to see a show.
The only bright side to this is that, once all the money has been taken out of music, the only people making it will be people who legitimately love making music. So, in a way, so great music might come out of that. I’ll be broke as a motherfucker though…

Demo Reviews vol. 52

Hi there and welcome to another edition of Demo Reviews. You guys sent me music so i could give you my worthless opinion on it. I am not currently accepting demo submissions so hold your head until I open that up. It’ll be a while so don’t bother asking “when?” right now. “Months” is the best answer I can give you.
Anyway, the reviews work like so:
I listen to the song once, write a paragraph about my feeling towards it and then rate the song from 1-10 in these arbitrary categories:

That’s about it. This weeks batch had some solid moments. I almost feel like, cause I’ve been doing this so long, people are sharpening their game. That’s nice for all of us.

Artist:Burning Bright

This is a tough call for me cause it’s both very well made and executed but got a couple of things that don’t appeal to my personal taste. The beat is well made. The rapper is skilled. It’s even got a good concept. Problem is, I don’t really get into reggae/rap hybrid shit too much and , as solid as he is, the british rap thing still is a speed bump for me. I KNOW I KNOW, I’m a nationalist rap asshole but the heart wants what the heart wants. But, that’s just me and this is clearly a job well done outside of my petty grievances.
Production:5.5 out of 10
Vocals:6 out of 10
Listenability:6 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Aralass
Song: Cloudcatchers

Well damn…this is good. Dope mood, simple yet effective beat with enough other things going on to show it’s not just a lazy jazz loop. The first rapper is dope. The second, not as much but he doesn’t ruin it. Kinda sounds like a nervous Kendrick lamar.
My biggest complaint would be the part between the two verses. Is that a hook? A bridge? Whatever it is, it’s way too long and abrasive , considering the rest of the song. Kinda fucks the flow up a little. In fact, without that part, i’d probably go a number up in each of the ratings.
Production:5.5 out of 10
Vocals:6 out of 10
Listenability:6 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Burn & Loot
Song: Close as kept

Another solid song. What the fuck is going on this week? Weird.
The beat is an interesting mix of electro shit and typical hip hop. I don’t like the drums but it’s well done, otherwise. The rappers are solid. I can’t say either of them would really stand out anywhere but they also wouldn’t ruin a song either.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist: Grounded astronauts
Song: Jack (Mr. Daniels)

This guy got one of those late 90’s sounding voices that’s almost cartoonish. It’s funny cause he’s like a soft , colorado version of what Ill bill started sounded like.

Anyway, not crazy about him but he says some clever things here and there. As well as a few corny things. It’s a crap shoot.
The beat is fine. I don’t really like it and it’s way more chaotic than it feels at first but it’s not poorly made or anything.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of ten
Originality:4 out of 10

Song:B – Blue

I like the main piano loop, but off the bat , the drums are telling that this is the work of someone who is still starting out. While they have a definitive 90’s feel to them, the sounds themselves are kinda janky. That could be just cause the mix is a little suspect though. Outside of that, this is pretty nice musically though. It’s definitely a throwback tune for sure.
Production:5 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:2 out of 10

Artist: Warren Peace
Song: Egg nog heavy

Eh…This isn’t bad or anything. There’s just nothing drawing me in. The rapper can rap but he sounds asleep and like he’s reading it off paper. The beat is one of those vaguely jazzy, yet moodless piano based joints that seems to get made all the time.I dunno, I just file this under “Just kinda there”. Nothing to be ashamed of though.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: It’s me, Sissy
Song: The one

This sounds like an 80’s song instrumental if it was made with all plug in sounds. Like I can just hear taylor dane singing over it.

Outside of that, it’s pretty one dimensional. The songs doesn’t really go anywhere and relies heavily on that opening riff, that isn’t particularly a good riff to begin with.
Production:4 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: The Dingo
Song:Where I’m headed

Hmm…so this is just a poorly mixed beat or nah? Yeah, that’s what it is. It’s a chopped up loop with some drums and brief break. That’s it. Some rapping on it might help it but, even then, it’s pretty boring. And, most of all, it most certainly isn’t a song. Not even close.
Production:3.5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Soul Define
Song: Keep it moving

This is solid in all facets but, ultimately, just another normal rap song. Every part of it is well done. The rapper is on point but it’s all well covered territory under the “boom bap struggle raps” umbrella. The beat is well done too but it’s a simple loop and drums with heavy primo influences. I feel like this is some shit people who are still excited about breakdancing might be into. It’s that “real hip hop!” shit that I think I’ve grown bored of cause , well, I’ve been hearing it forever. But, like i said, it’s good for what it is, without question.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Noogat
Song: Breathless

This is one that, from the first note i get the feeling it is not really in my wheelhouse. I was not mistaken. This is some electronic, rumble-y fart music. That said, I feel like it would be good to score a movie or something. I could see people being chased down corridors to this. Not so much to just sit and listen to on it own though.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

So, What do you think?

Rogglecast 18- Brooklyn girls Vs. Judy Tenuta

It’s been a while…since I said I’m sorry!
So, we’re back! after a two week hiatus, the Rogglecast has returned. This week, Pollyne is still a tiny bit drunk from the night before and firing shots all over the place. She and I discuss the vast topic that is “basic bitches” as well as basic people in general. We also get into that abysmal “Brooklyn girls” song that made the internet sad this week.
If you wanna ask questions or give us ideas for stuff to talk about, hit us up at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Also, download these podcasts from iTunes and subscribe, while you’re there! Do that shit!

This week in ridiculous rap: COMEUPOUTDAWAHTA by Gmcfosho

This is a little different than the typical “Ridiculous rap” I tend to highlight in this column. While it’s possibly the most ridiculous rap ever, it’s also straddling that line of being so weird that it actually might be kinda “good”. Well, Good is a strong work. How bout “entertaining”? Like in a Wesley willis Kinda way.

While I do know the name of the man responsible for this song is Gmcfosho, I don’t know how much he’s kidding. In fact, I don’t know what his intentions were. That’s kinda par for the course for videos like this. As uninformed people watching this , we gotta decide “is this guy a comedic genius/savant or a mentally ill person?”. With the way youtube videos are nowadays, it can be pretty difficult to tell. Watching this, I think it’s clear the guy is in on the joke and the video itself is so wacky that I can’t imagine this is a IcejjFish situation of someone who is just wildly delusional. Aesthetically, This plays right into my wheelhouse cause it looks like something I might have seen on public access in the 90’s. I will always be a sucker for that style of terrible video.
Whatever the case, props to this dude for being as truly strange as he is. I feel like he’s an ode to Kool Keith , Tim & Eric and Lil’ B without even knowing it.

Answers for questions vol. 196

G’day mates! Welcome to another thrilling edition of “Answers for questions”. This is where you, the reader, send me, the writer, questions. They can be about anything. Literally. If you’d like to be a part of the magic it’s as simple as emailing me a question (or questions) at phatfriendblog@gmail.com OR simply leave them in the comments below. Be weird, get interesting. It’s your time to shine, anonymously.
Anyway, Let’s see what we got this week.

Who do you think deserves a theoretical slap to the face more? Slow (able-bodied) walkers or people who don’t say thanks when you hold the door for them.

I would say the latter. While both these factions of people drive me crazy (this question is definitely crafted for me to rant and the writer knew it), at least slow walkers aren’t rude. They’re just oblivious. I feel like many slow walkers are just people from places where the pace of living is slower in general. Then, they come to NYC and dawdle their way down the streets like it’s one big street fair, forgetting that 90% of the people here are on the go with purpose. But, still, they’re not being assholes.
Now, the people who don’t say thank you when the door is held for them are dickheads. I’m not even a stickler for manners but , goddamnit, saying thanks to someone who did you a microscopic solid isn’t that hard. especially a stranger who has no reason to do anything for you whatsoever. Even a nod of acknowledgement is enough. Something. Anything. Otherwise, it comes off like you look towards that person as a lesser being. As if it’s their job to hold a door for you. But, even if it was their job, a thank you still would be applicable. Fuck those people.

If you were experiencing the apocalypse and could pick one rapper to try to survive with, who would you pick? What rapper do you think would have the best survival skills?
Then, what if you could pick 3?
You can split it into a few categories if you want(for example: Mainstream, Underground, West Coast, East Coast, Horrorcore etc. you don’t have to do all those, just ideas).

Jesus christ dude. The last person I’d pick to help me survive would be a rapper. I’d take a 7-11 worker over a rapper cause ,at least, they know how to use a mop and deal with people. I mean, if I had to, I’d obviously wanna pick rappers I know and like as people. People like Aesop, Billy Woods, Rob Sonic, Despot, etc…but, assuming picking friends is cheating, I’d try to find a rapper with survival skills. Are there any separatist rappers? Cause that would be ideal. Those dudes know how to hunt and are extremely self sufficient. I feel like there must be one former Anticon member/affilaite who has become a separatist by now. Maybe Bubba Sparxx? I pick that guy.
As for breaking this down into categories, can’t do it. Like I said, rappers are some of the last people you’ve ever wanna lean on to survive with. Musicians , in general, really. Do you know how fast you’d die in the apocalypse if you had to rely on me? Mad fast. Like seconds after I died, you’d die but only cause whatever was killing me got to me first.

Rant: WHY do (some) guys need to sit with their legs so far apart in public spaces. Guys, are your dick and balls really that big? No, no they are not – ever. It’s gross to look at but more importantly these guys presumptuously take up extra space from the women they’re sitting next to. I’m travelling via bus right now and I’m surprised at how much this irritates me as I’m usually easy going. Blockhead, are you an asshole who sits with his legs too far apart?

While some dudes definitely overdo it with the leg spread, I hate to break it to you but it’s WAY more comfortable to spread them cause, yes, we have balls. There’s a reason not many men sit cross legged (the way women sit cross legged, I mean). Cause it smashes our nuts together. So, if there is room, a dude will generally try and spread his legs a little bit. Sorry. It’s true though. Remember, our stuff is external. It takes up space in a very central area. It’s more extreme on a guy to guy basis but , sadly, it’s real.

Do you/have you ever played volleyball?
Yup. When I was in grade school, we played it in gym class. I actually liked it a lot. I had a really good serve and was tall for my age so I was one of the only people who could spike it.
Sadly, I never played again. actually…come to think of it. I did try some beach volleyball once and it was fun too but, man, jumping and running on sand is tiring like a motherfucker.

At what age do you think you were the biggest asshole? I’ll give you an age range from 10 years old-35 years old.

Oh, that’s easy. 18-22. Not that I was an actual asshole. I’ve actually always been friendly and non-confrontational but, those years? Man…there is no one more full or shit, full of themselves and pretentious than a typical college aged white kid. At that age, I knew everything, was blindly idealistic about the worst shit and was so far from figuring anything out it was painful. The older you get, the more comfortable you get in your own skin. People who are insecure will probably always be that way but you figure out a way to be okay with a lot of that type of stuff you feel when you’re that age. Basically, 18-22 year olds are like open nerves. You think everything you feel and say matters. It’s a great time cause , for most people, real life hasn’t started yet. It feels like you’re an adult but you’re not really there yet. It’s like the minor elagues of adulthood. Things slow down as you get older and, surprisingly, it’s kinda awesome. Still, getting really old looks like it sucks so don’t read this as me big upping aging in general. I’m expecting this all to cap out somewhere in the mid 40’s and it’s a steep downhill ride from there. The saying “youth is wasted on the young” exists for a reason. Cause it’s 100% true.

Who is the more sensitive crowd out of twitter users and instagram users?
You know, a few weeks ago, i might have said Twitter but I’ve had a change of heart. I can honestly say, of the social networks (facebook included), twitter people are surprisingly the best. I say this as someone who speaks to fans and shit like that. If i were gauging from just personal friends, all three of these sites would be equally fine. but I’m dealing with strangers which is a completely different ballgame.
For all the spell correcting dipshits and the occasional overly sensitive “outraged” people on twitter, they actually tend to take things in stride. They get the concept of “this is just a joke”. Instagram is actually good for that as well but it loses out to me cause of the ability to flag pictures. That’s some censorship bullshit that’s happened to me a few times and it’s more infuriating than any twitter comment. I wrote a whole thing about this actually
But, to answer your question for real, Facebook is the worst. I had no idea how many dumb, over reacting, humorless people there were in the world until I started a facebook music page. Holy shit. It’s leaps and bounds worse, in terms of sensitivity , than both twitter and instagram combined. Just truly a hell on earth , in terms of that kind of thing. It’s basically a slight step up from youtube comments but only cause it’s not anonymous. If people could post anonymously on facebook it would basically be a scene from “Idiocracy”.

Song(s) of the day 7/17/14

By Al Shid


There was a long time in the 90’s, into the the early 2000’s where I bought tons of Vinyl. Not referring to stuff I would sample but things like Indie rap 12″ records and Lp’s. The thing about that era, for me, is that it’s both nostalgic and sometimes embarrassing. There’s so much music from that era that I loved that, for some reason or another, never aged particularly well. Underground rap is funny like that. I always contend it has to do with rapping styles of that era. People were going out of their way to sound different and, in order to do so, often found them selves out on a creative limb. While it paid off for some, others didn’t fare as well. For that reason, styles came and went. As did artists. Every now and then, though, a dude would come along that seemed timeless. Typically, it would be a more traditional rapper who embraced the underground rap aesthetic. This would sometimes be problematic for a few reasons
1)There was SO much music coming out back then, people often got lost in shuffle. Great rappers would just flare out for no real reason , other than over population in the record racks.
2)Because being weird was the thing back then, traditional guys would often get pushed to the side. In reality, these were guys who had potential for broader appeal but were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I say all that, to intro these two songs by rapper Al Shid. He was a protege of J-Zone (Zone did the beats on both these songs. Let’s never forget how dope his shit was during that era). Shid was rude, direct and clever. He put out two 12″ records in 2002. These two songs were the jewels of the bunch. I distinctly recall walking into Fat beats and Breezly Bruin was working there at the time. We’re were friendly and having a casual chat when he was like “Yo, have you peeped this new Al Shid joint!?!? He’s a beast.” Honestly , I bought it off the strength of that (and J-zone) and did not regret my choice at all.
Bruin wasn’t lying.
Sadly, I don’t think his records ever took off like they should of. I’d chalk it up entirely to timing. Underground rap was on some postive, head wrap shit back then and I’d imagine a song about “Money and than hoes” didn’t sit well with a lot of people. It’s too bad though…cause I loved these songs…and I still love them today. So, here ya go. Enjoy the glory of Al Shid.