Good day to you, sir.
Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. That thing where you ask me stuff and I answer it. Almost nothing is off limits. If you have any questions you’d like me to tackle (be them personal, abstract or opinion based), send them my way. Email them to me at email@example.com or leave them in the comment section below. All I ask is that you be a little creative. Were on vol. 140 now so, as you can imagine, a lot has been covered.
This week is an informative one…Let’s go!
Hey can you talk about changing Daylight into Nightlight? Why did you do it? and if you like Nightlight better? (sorta fits aesop’s songs styles more being raw and very gritty)
That was Aesop’s idea. We were putting together the “Daylight” ep and had been discussing the idea of a remix of “Daylight”. This was a long time ago so the memories are little fuzzy but I seem to recall both of us not being into the idea of simply just taking the vocals and putting a new beat under it. Especially considering how the lyrics and the beat meshed so well. So, Aesop was over at my place one day and I played him some beats. One of which was the beat that would eventually become “Nightlight”. He didn’t hear it and immediately tell me what he was gonna do with it but he did jump on it, in terms of wanting to use it. He probably called me (Again, it was a long time ago) and told me what his plan was after that and the rest is history.
I will say this though. Back then, I would sometimes make beats with him in mind. He would rarely end up using those beats cause what he would and wouldn’t like was never that predictable. But, in the case of the beat for “Nightlight”, I made that specifically with him in mind and he took it. So that was one of those rare times when that actually worked out. That was always a personal victory for me.
·What do you think about people who call themselves “Hip-Hop Heads” ?? People who always claim to know the most about Hip-Hop.. Personally, I find them annoying as fuck. What do you think about these people?
I think that’s a product of youth. I was like that when I was younger. I know tons of people who were. It’s definitely something you look back on with a blushing face cause that kind of know-it-all nerdery goes hand in hand youthful self obsession. I can remember being like 19 and talking to other kids about hip hop and immediately just writing them off cause they didn’t know about something or another. Granted, this was before the internet so acquiring knowledge on things actually took time and dedication but still…No one likes a smug asshole. Especially if that person is smug about being into hip hop.
It’s weird to meet these types today cause, I find, they sorta live in a bubble. They’re typically people with pretty closed minds (which is rarer today than it was 20 years ago). They’re the same type of people who will tell you who is and isn’t a sell out and get mad at anyone who raps about guns and drugs , as if it’s impossible to be both good at rapping and rap about those topics. It’s short sighted and boring of them but, hey, I was once like them so I understand.
Basically, being an annoying “hip hop head” is only something you realize is kinda corny after you’ve been through it. It’s like a rite of passage for hip hop nerds. The goal is to graduate from that train of thought into the zen like stasis of not really caring THAT much about anything…or , as it’s known to the rest of the world, adulthood.
You mentioned a little while ago when you were about to do a European tour that we shouldn’t bitch about you not coming to our towns as you only go where you’re invited: how does that work? Do you have a promoter, self promote, wait for invites or a mix of things?
It’s pretty simple. I go where where the offers are. No one is offering me shows in places like London or Amsterdam so I don’t play those places. I’d love to…but ,at the moment, it’s not in the cards. Meanwhile, I’ll get offers to play eastern europe and germany all the time so those might actually work out. I have a booking agent in the US and in Europe and they basically just field offers and feel out where I might find interest from in local promoters. My US booking agent had a little more pull cause I’ve been touring here for years so, getting me a show in a random city for a tour is easier. The money might not be that great but it’s doable. Where as getting a show in europe is way more complicated due to the travel costs.
So, when i say “I only go where I’m invited” I mean that literally. If I haven’t played your city/country/town it’s cause no one from that particular place is offering me money to play there. and, if they are, they’re offering me shitty money that isn’t worth my time/travel expenses. One thing is for certain, I do not pick and choose where I play. So, yeah, if you live in a place I never play but think I could get a decent show, holler at my booking agents!
How did your basketball game evolve with age? I mean, I’m 25 and shit ain’t the same as when I was 18. I don’t even want to know how it will be in mid 30s, I might retire by then:) My right knee and left ankle are bothering me constantly. I used to be this speedy guy who would dribble the ball with pretty good handles and get to the rim where I would finish with a variety of floaters (also, have you noticed that floaters make people really mad? they think it is a lucky shot who got in by accident and mercy of god, even though I hit them constantly) but now I just try to avoid quick movements and I just try to box out every time and go for every rebound available (I pretty much ignored it before, because I would spend so much energy on attacking the basket) while playing in the post more on offense and trying to be a spot up shooter from distance. Also what kind of player are you on offense/defense/rebounding and what were you in your prime? Isn’t it great to be asked this kind of question, you feel like a professional athlete while answering it
My game has changed drastically. When I was young, I was an inside player with crazy leaping ability. All i did was rebound and shoot around the basket. I had a short effective bank shot but, otherwise, from 12 feet out I was worthless. When I was in my early 20′s, I tore three ligaments in my right ankle and was on the shelf for about a year (no health insurance means no rehab for the ankle so I just had to wait for it to heal slowly). When I finally came back, I had lost about 8 inches in my vertical leap (I used to be able to dunk but ,post injury, I could barely grab the rim) and some speed/reflexes. So I started changing my game. I worked on my outside game more and got a decent , albeit hot and cold, jump shot and I worked on my post game. I got a couple of decent moves down there but cause I’m only 6 feet tall, I don’t get to use them that often. But, more than anything, I started picking up crafty old man moves and moving away from my former athleticism. English off the back board, various fakes, bankshots. Shit like that.
As I stand now, I’m a capable 2/3. I can shoot decently, I can pass decently and I can rebound decently but I’m not great at any of those things. My handle is pretty lame but I can pull a good crossover out every now and then. Think a wacker lamar odom type. Depending on the game I can be a #1 scoring option or a guy who just sets picks and gets rebounds. One thing is for sure though, I’m a shitty defender. I’m lazy as fuck and almost always gamble and go for the blocked shot instead of actual smart defense. This leads to me getting scored on a lot but I also block a few shows a game so it might seem like I’m actually playing more Defense than I actually am.
In terms of aging with basketball, my only advice as that you need to accept your limitations and work with them. I play with some dudes in their 50′s on occasion and , while they’re old and slow, they can still be effective if they understand their roll and their strengths.
Do you think white voice applies to white people of all nationalities? Here in Australia, the rap scene is overwhelmingly composed of white males, does this mean it’s a scene composed entirely of terrible white voice and thus terrible rap? Or do you think it’s an American thing?
Until I had a british dude freak out at me about in my comments section I had never thought about it. This is because I don’t listen to rap in languages I don’t understand so to even begin to think about that would mean I’d have to listen to a bunch of that shit. But, to be honest, he had a point. The “white voice” is a very north american thing. It’s whiny, nerdy, off beat and seemingly only exists in the US and Canada. I don’t know why that is…Surely there are white nerds all over the planet. Maybe our language just opens itself up for certain pronunciations. Like that super dorky white midwest twang that only a real peckerwood could have. Whatever it is, it’s a bummer but it’s also a fact of life. Sorry american white rappers. You don’t all have it…but MOST of you do. Much like limitations to your aging basketball game, rappers with “white voice” need to just accept it for what it is and ove forward from there.
Yo Block, with Father’s Day just around the corner, I was wondering what your relationship with your dad was like? (no homo). Did he take you to the park and movies and stuff like that? Did he ever talk to you about sex and drugs? Did he like your rmusic?
My dad was 60 when I was born. I’m the youngest of 7 (5 from a previous marriage). He was also about 75% deaf at the time cause he lost most of his hearing in World war two. When you add his age plus his hearing issues , I’d be lying if I said we were extremely close. We did stuff together but it was limited by both those things and the fact that he was very much an artist. What I mean by that is that he was one of those guys who would just disappear into his studio for the majority of the day. His focus and attention was very much his artwork. Even when he was dying and couldn’t recognize his own children, he was still fucking around with clay and making little sculptures.
That said, when I was younger we did play some sports (tennis and softball) together and he definitely gave me a subscription to playboy when i was 12 (which was a real game changer). We never had a sex or drugs talk but he was one of those dudes who would just drop random wisdom bombs on your out of nowhere that would resonate deeply. I honestly don’t even think he would realize it but he had a knack for timely wisdom. I say “timely” cause , like I mentioned earlier, he was deaf so it’s not like he was involved in a conversation. He’d just blurt out little jewels based entirely on his own perceptions of what was being spoken about in the room.
As for my music, he never really heard it…literally. He died when I was 20 so I was barely making beats at that point and, even if he had lived longer, he woulda been to deaf to hear it anyway. All he could hear was low end bass tones so he’d constantly complain about turning the music down…Which , you can imagine, was annoying to a teenager who enjoyed playing loud rap , hoping the one perk of having a deaf dad would be that the music could blast as loud as I wanted.
All in all, my relationship with my dad was more one of admiration than it was of closeness. He was an incredible and talented guy who lived an insane life. He definitely set the stage for me to think pursuing a career in the arts was not a crazy idea. He was respected and loved by his friends. His family was mostly in awe of him as well. But i think his physical limitations put a ceiling on how close he and I could really ever be. But I’ve long since accepted that it’s really no ones fault so, luckily, I don’t mope around about it. Instead, it’s a lot easier to just look back in great reverence and just be happy I had the time with him I did.