Answers for questions vol. 218

rabbit-xmas
Can you feel that? That holiday spirit? Me neither. I almost forgot christmas was in a few days until I was reminded a festive drink menu at a local bar.
I hope you and yours have a good holiday. Eat food. Get gifts. Whatever.
Side note: I got some shows coming up next year. Check these dates. I’m hitting a lil’ west coast. Some middle america, a little midwest…
http://blockheadmusic.com/ Also, I’m waiting to hear about some european dates in late february/early march. I’ll let you know when those are official.

Oh yeah…Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You ask, I answer. As always, I’d love you to contribute. If you’d like to ask me anything, get creative and send me questions to my email: Phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave it in the comment section below. Have fun with it, bro.
Let’s see what we got working today…

I have a big pet peeve for rappers saying some shit in an attempt to sound smart but not making any sense. A particular line from Cannibus comes to mind. It’s the hook for his song with common where he says, “I am your worst nightmare squared that’s double for n#ggas who aint mathematically aware.”

The only occasion when a number times two (double) and a number squared are the same thing is with the number two. 1 squared is 1 and 3 squared is 9, neither are doubled by squaring them. What makes it worse is he’s dissing others for not being up on their math skills while clearly not being up on his own.

Is it right to nitpick so intensely about rap lines? Should rappers be called out when they say some shit to sound smart that is just factually incorrect?

Oh I think rappers should be called out all the time for shit like that. Anyone should. People who go out of their way to sound smart but are actually kinda morons is something that’s been going on in rap for a minute now. Think of all those underground rappers from the late 90’s/early 2000’s whose whole style was based on them being “Mystical and lyrical”. It was a bunch of dudes telling you they are deep and smart but never showing it. I can’t front, I think all of us who were rapping in that style did a lot of that though. I sure as hell did , back when I still rapped.
On the other hand, you got rappers who I don’t consider dumb who make some simple errors. Like the RZA can’t pronounce the “Benevolent” or Nas refer to “Sly stone in cobra”. Those are more just basic fuck ups. It’s the ones who think they’re bringing lofty ideas to the table but speaking out their asses that really need to get checked.

What up Block? As a producer that used to rap I was wondering if you ever write anymore, bust a rhyme while you’re making a ham sandwich or get around your friends and freestyle just for fun?
Never. A decent line will pop in my head every now and then but then it fades away pretty quickly. At best, I’ll jokingly tweet it. I used to freestyle all the time too but I feel like I would be awful at this point.
I dunno. when I stopped rapping seriously, I did it with conviction. It was not my calling.

What are your top three beverages?
1. Honest tea green tea- I drink this all the time. I love it.
2. Water- Yup. I drink tons of water. I buy bottled water pretty regularly and it’s one of the few norms in my fridge.
3. Ginger ale- I don’t drink it that much but it’s the only soda I drink with any regularity. Pretty much , only with dinners on occasion.
Shout out to yerba mate tea (I drink it before I play ball sometimes and it feels like I’m on cocaine) and Gus’s cranberry/lime soda. That shit is dope.

Thanks to you I have a number of downloaded Nina Simone songs on my phone. What’s your opinion on the controversy of Zoe Saldana playing her in the upcoming film?
Zoe-Saldana-Nina-Simone-300x213
Twinnnnnnz!
It’s an odd choice. I mean, Saldana is a beautiful, skinny, light skinned girl. Simone was dark, had a normal build and definitely wasn’t the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen. That said, sadly, there aren’t exactly a ton of actresses who can sell a movie who look like Nina Simone. I mean, surely they could find someone who’s a little closer to Simone in a few ways but maybe they’ll do to Saldana what they did to Charleze Theron in “Monster” and cover her with prosthetics.
I feel as though this is more a “hollywood” problem as the point o movies is to make money. To make money, you have to draw a crowd. To draw a crowd you have to have someone who appeals to a wide range of people. All these things work against this movie being successful. If they had casted an unknown actress who looked more like Simone, I doubt the movie ever gets made. That’s the unfortunate reality of shit like this.
To be honest, I’m equally concerned with her acting chops as I am with how little she resembles Simone. She’s a good enough actress , i guess, but that role just doesn’t make sense for her.
At the end of the day, most music biopics are pretty bad and leave a lot to be desired. i don’t see this being much different.

Were you a Columbia House cd subscription member back in the day?
I think I did it a few times but it was cassettes. My problem with Columbia house was that they had a really shitty rap selection so it never appealed to me. At that time, I only fucked with hip hop shit so getting the eagles greatest hits and INXS albums wasn’t exactly a big draw for me.

What’s the average gender breakdown at your
shows? It’s amazing how male-heavy some of your peers’ shows end up being, but I’d guess that the attendance at yours is more balanced?

It depends. I’d say there is always a good amount of girls at my shows. Not 50% but it’s a rarely a depressing sausage fest. On occasion, though, it will be pretty bro’d out. The last one i remember was Minneapolis earlier this year. There must have been like 10-15 girls there tops and the rest were dudes. No clue why that was but it happened. Then, other nights, you’ll be shocked. I did a sunday show in Jacksonville florida, expecting the worst, and it was full of girls. hot ones too.
I will say that , aside from being pleasurable to the eye, the more girls, the better the show is cause girls dance. and when girls dance, guys follow. If just starts a positive domino effect that I always appreciate.

What other country would you choose to move to judging by their food?

Depends how fat I’m trying to get. If i’m going for both health and flavor, Japan. i could eat ramen and sushi forever. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg with their cuisine.
If I’m just going all out and trying to die from a heart attack by age 50, I’m going with italian. It’s the best. I wish I could eat it constantly but , sadly, I almost never eat it cause it’s so terrible for me. But , in a perfect world, I’m stuffing my face with italian food all day.

Answers for questions vol. 217

green-mustache-2
G’day mate! That’s for my Aussie peoples.
How’s life? Great.
Anyway, this is answers for questions. You asked me stuff so I answered it. I’m always in need of more questions so don’t be shy. Ask me anything. Either email me the questions phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Get creative. It’s more fun when you do that.
Let’s check this weeks batch…

Have you ever found yourself feeling really grimy after masturbation? Idk what it is lately but right after I bust, I feel this short wave of disgust crash over me.

I think that’s a common feeling. There’s a certain grossness to the act that makes us all shudder a tiny bit , once the deed is done. Perhaps it’s the clean up process. Or maybe it’s the porn streaming on your computer that no longer is the even the slight bit exciting. In fact, it’s the best case ever for the “command”/Q option on computers (at least on apple) that shuts shit down immediately. Personally, the second I’ve “finished” I command/Q whatever is on so I don’t have to look at it any more. It’s not cause I’m ashamed of what I just watched but, really, if you look at porn outside of the context of something that will help you get off, it’s pretty fucking disgusting.
Slightly related note, this is why dudes who watch a lot of porn when they aren’t masturbating are weird fucking creeps. That just makes no sense. Porn exists to aid masturbation (or sex, I guess). Just sitting around and having it on is like a person who watches cooking shows all day but never wants to eat.

I was wondering what your opinion is on Albini’s take on the state of the music industry. http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/nov/17/steve-albinis-keynote-address-at-face-the-music-in-full

Specifically, you just self-released your first album outside of a major (or otherwise) label, but have experience from within the machine. Also, on your most recent blog post you made a snarky comment about Spotify and how its going to earn you 15 cents while at the same time have mentioned in the past that you figured out the secret to success was grinding out the tours.

I’m gonna be 100% honest with you. I just woke up and really don’t feel like reading this whole thing. I read a few paragraphs but my ADD and general disinterest in reading long things on the internet kicked in and I bailed out. So, I really don’t know what Albini’s take is. From the parts I read, he seems to be leaning towards everything being fine. Okay. I could see that. Kinda. He’s from a different era , background and genre than I am so I really don’t know if the problems I have in the music industry are the same as him. I deal with sampling laws. I’m an indie artist. Always have been. When I started, the indie rap boom was upon us and dudes were moving units. This meant I made money on records I worked on. a partially cause they sold but also cause of how indie record labels crafted their deals. They were more artist friendly. Less tiny writing on contracts and more simplified. When internet downloading REALLY took off, I noticed money stopped coming in. So,I started touring more. It’s that simple. It’s not ideal but, as artists, we gotta adapt or die. I’d rather sit at home and make music all day than hit the road but that’s just not how it works anymore. My apologies if this is going wildly off topic but, like I said, you basically gave me a book report and I was never a guy who did well with those.

I just happened upon the booklet for Music by Cavelight. Isn’t it nice to have a visual aid to accompany your audio production? Just about a thing of the past now… shame. Anyway, could you please help us understand the pictures you chose to include? Who are all these people? Why are they important? How are they a piece of you? Perhaps include page numbers for reference. Thanks!

Also, I see you had a shout out to Vitamin Water. Have you noticed how much they suck since they switched to natural sweetener? I had a hard time accepting that my go-to beverage was a bust after that change… fuck… I still haven’t found a suitable replacement. Any suggestions?

Those are either family members or people who worked on the album. I Don’t have a cd or record in front of me but I can tell you the people in there include my dad (who passed away a years before that album came out and was pretty much an inspiration for many of the songs), my mom, Damien paris (He played guitar and bass on the album), Baby Dayliner (He mixed the album and played violin on it), Omega one (he did the scratches) and Aesop (Who I put there more as a token of my appreciation cause I wouldn’t have been there without him).

As for my shout out vitamin water, at the time , I was obsessed with that shit. They used to make a green tea flavor that I drank like 3 times a day. I got it in my head that, if I shout them out, maybe they would sponsor me and I’d get some free shit out of it. Well…it kinda worked. They sent me like 6 crates of free vitamin water. So, that was pretty awesome. As for how it tastes now, yeah…it sucks. I haven’t drank it in like 8 years with any regularity but it makes sense that they started using natural sweetener and it fell off. As for a replacement? I drink normal water but my go to shit is Honest tea. Specifically the green tea flavor. I love that shit and will gladly shout them out where ever I can…maybe they’ll hook a dude up. what up, honest tea? I love yall! Bethesda Maryland! Whattup!

I have an issue to be resolved between some friends. The issue involves morning woods and whether or not to enact on them. The morning wood is usually only there because of having to piss so bad in the morning, engaging in sex or self service could send the body mixed signals. Some people are in the “never trust a fart, never waste a bonner” camp, others are against confusing your male parts functions. I also have a friend who used his morning wood to have sex with his girlfriend and apparently had a little black out, pissed himself and woke up to his lady freaking out (he has no history of seizures), scary stuff. So some insight on the whole issue would be much appreciated. Thanks!

What on earth are you talking about? Morning wood is morning wood. You simple gotta let it go down, pee and that’s that. The “never waste a boner” idea is fucking insane. What kind of chronic masturbating rapist came up with that? I’m almost a middle aged man and I still get random boners sometimes. It happens. To need to beat off or have sex every time that happens would be obscene.
As for your friend who blacked out, sounds more like some other shit than his morning wood. Pretty sure you dick changing valves from “pee” to “jizz” isn’t gonna cause you to have a seizure.
I will say that a frustrating thing about morning wood is it really is your “best” boner. It’s the healthiest, biggest boner you will generally get so I understand wanting to put it to use. But, when it’s filled with pee, it’s hard to ignore that and , for me personally, that needs to be attended to first.

Who was the first person to start calling you by your middle name?
Was it something that you started, or did it just catch on over
time? How does your mother feel about it? Do you have anyone in
your life that calls you by your first name?

My friend goes by his middle name. But I’m that douche who calls
him by his first name. Moreso just for the sake of being a dick
rather than doing it for any legitimate reason. He’s even saved in
my cell phone under his first name. Years ago, we were on tour and
he gave his ID to another guy on the tour who was under 21 in order
to sneak the guy into a bar. The guy looked at his ID and was blown
away by the fact that his name was Brian and not Lou. They had
known each other for a few years prior, so he was also taken aback
by the fact that he knew his friend by a technically false name.

I’ve always been called Tony. Even though my first name is technically James. As far as I know, my parents did it. My older brother is the same way. His name is John but we all call him Nick. I have no clue why it worked out like that but the only time anyone ever calls me james is when I have to be official. Like dealing with credit card companies , boarding planes or getting a state ID. No one I know or who i am even remotely friends with ever calls me James. I don’t even react to it.

I’ve been living out of NYC for a few years, but lately a lot of
what I’m seeing online is people being very butthurt about how
inconsiderate New Yorkers are on public transportation. It made me
laugh, because I love how everyone thinks they’re a special,
shining star that deserves red carpet treatment 24/7– but I wanted
your take on it. Have you been noticing the same complaints or do I
live in some bitchy, complainy vacuum of overly emotional
princesses?

I haven’t noticed an influx of complaints really. It is what it is. some people are rude assholes on the train. To get overly upset about it is a waste of time, in my opinion. You’re never gonna teach that jerk off who doesn’t let people out of the train first before getting in that he’s a piece of shit. It’s in his blood.
Entitlement is a big problem in NYC. Especially with all the new people coming here who think they deserve special treatment. It’s hard to be sane in NYC if you’re walking around all day expecting strangers to give a shit about what you do and how you feel. NYC has a bad rap for being full of rude people but it’s not true. It’s simply full of people who don’t have time to coddle every person they come across. In general, we’re actually really nice.

Answers for questions vol. 216

baby-monkey
Hi there. Welcome to another stirring edition of “Answers for Questions”. You send me questions, I answer them. If you’d like to be involved , ask me stuff! Anything. Try and be interesting/weird cause it definitely enhances both reading and writing this column.
You can send me questions here- phatfriendblog@gmail.com Or simply leave them in the comment section below. It’s anonymous and no one will know it was you who asked a stranger a question on the internet. Do it!
Let’s check this weeks batch…

lots of ringtone questions:
you ever judge someone based on their ringtone?

I’d like to say no but I’d be lying. Though, I can’t say I’d judge someone on a specific tone, I’d more judge them by the fact that they have a super loud and obnoxious ringtone that goes off in public. Unless they are older and don’t know how to set their phone up or maybe hard of hearing, that shit is unacceptable. You never wanna be that guy in an elevator who’s phone goes off and we all get to hear that your phone plays “hott nigga” every time you get a text.
what is your ringtone and why?
I have mine on vibrate only cause I’m an adult with dignity.
how often (if ever) do you change your ringtone?
Never. I’ve kept it on vibrate for years now.
if you could record your own verbal ringtone (which you can), what would it be/say?
It would either be me saying the words “Ring ring” over and over , getting progressively annoying with each round of “rings” OR me rapping the entire last verse of “Hott Nigga” in a thick british accent.

What is your favorite song produced by Aesop Rock and why? As when I found out that he was a producer and an mc it immediately made me think of you and what your favorite track of his is.

Gotta say, I’m really not a fan of these “What’s you favorite……?” questions. Partially cause I rarely have a definitive favorite anything. Things change. Depending on my mood, I might like something more one day than the next.So it’s all pretty arbitrary.
But, if I had to chose right now, the first thing that pops in my mind is “battery
It’s certainly not the “best” beat he’s ever made but I’ve always felt a closeness to this song. It’s just a really ill song. Definitely wish I had produced it!

Yo Block,
How do these whack rappers get as many chicks as they do? I’m talking the likes of Riff Raff or Mickey Avalon and so on? Is it the never breaking character, acting like a big shot thing they have going for them or what? If I starting putting out shitty albums and dressing or acting like a goon I don’t think I’d be as deep in women as these clowns. So what’s the difference?

You’re not familiar with how fame works, huh? Famous people get girls. No matter who they are. Jared from those subway commercials has gotten more girls than you. Right now, Peter Dinklage is probably waking up with 3 naked girls in his bed. At this very moment, Carrot top is laying in bed with 2 girls hotter than you or I will ever touch and hoping they wake up soon so they can leave and he can take a dump in private. There is a guy who was on a season of The Real World 15 years ago who’d gotten laid more than anyone you’ve ever met. That’s how it works. It’s unfortunate but putting a man on a screen or stage makes him more desirable to many women.
In the case of guys like riff raff and Mickey avalon, sure, the character they play comes into it. I mean, there are all sorts of non-famous guys who peacock and just have an undeniable arrogant confidence about themselves that typically leads to getting women. But don’t for one second think that their fame isn’t the reason they get more girls that you or me. Notoriety and access. It’s all about that.

question – How nervous do you get the day before you release an album by yourself?
Strangely, I was pretty calm. I no longer have lofty expectations for releasing records. I know some people are gonna check it out and hopefully they’ll like it. But, it’s not like I’m ever expecting huge sales or that this album is going to change my life. I simply don’t make that kind of music. If anything, I’m relieved to get it out cause I had been sitting on the finished version for almost a year.I’d imagine it’s like having a healthy baby. All that matters in that moment is that it came out breathing with ten fingers and ten toes.
But, yeah, I was never nervous. It’s simply too intangible a thing to really ever get scared over. I’m more nervous when I read a review of it and even that isn’t that nerve wracking.

When you eat a standard meal of potatoes, a type of meat, and vegetables…are you a person who eats each section in its entirety before moving onto the next or do you eat it all together bit by bit?

I tend to pick at one then pick at the other. There’s certainly no method to it. I don’t finish one part then move to the next. The only constant is that I eat the entire meal at a wildly unhealthy break neck speed.

If global warming is in fact real, how come we’re getting record cold winters?
Would you rather hibernate like a bear or migrate like a bird?

I’m not a scientist but I recently saw an interview with one who is at the top of his field and he said some shit about how these freezing winters and record snowfalls are part of global warming. I forget how or why but it seemed legit.
And I’d rather migrate, if it meant I could fly. But, if I couldn’t fly, sleeping for 4 months would be the shit.

Answers for questions vol. 215

8507657577_e124b60a65_b
Whattup everyone? How was your thanksgiving? Full of mirth, I hope. So much fucking mirth.
It’s 4 days later and I’m finally starting to feel human again. Eating that food two days in a row has a recovery time similar to a two day drinking bender. At least for my stomach.
Anyway, This is “Answers for questions”, You guys ask me stuff, and I answer it. I’m always in need of new questions so , please, join in. You can email me questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or simply leave the questions in the comment section below. Be creative. Be interesting. That’s all I ask.
Okay, lets see what this week has in store for us…

How many hotdogs do you eat in a year? I try to keep it one a month, so 12 a year.


Hmm…hard to say. I actually like hot dogs but I can’t say I eat them with any frequency. Maybe 5 or so? Depends how many summer bbq’s I hit. Ask me how many sandwiches I eat a year and I would have to hire an accountant to answer.

What if your house was haunted by a ghost who was pretty chill and didn’t make a lot of noise but smoked weed all the time? Like the only result of this ghost would be that your house would smell like a bag of blunts constantly. Would that make you want to pack up and leave? What if the weed-smoking ghost was Biggie Smalls, does this change your opinion?

This is related to a question from a few weeks back about living with a ghost.
This ghost sounds very mellow and all but it would basically be like having a roommate I didn’t want. I don’t know if I’d move out but I wouldn’t love it. I don’t smoke weed. My girl is actually allergic to weed smoke. So this would be an issue. Besides, what is ghost weed like anyway?
The ghost being Biggie doesn’t make it any better or worse. He’s still a former dead guy who smokes weed in my house all the time. His ability to rap doesn’t hold much weight with me unless I could record songs with him…which would be amazing on many different levels.
Regardless, I think moving wouldn’t be as urgent but it would be inevitable.

Hi Block,

Can you post or link to audio examples of one of your purely instrumental tracks before mix, after mix, and finally, after being mastered? Perhaps a more recent album for current context. Soundwise, it’d be interesting to hear the differences. Also, do you work with the mixer during the whole mix, or just give him general notes for each track?

Thanks,
Nicholas

Can’t put audio examples (mainly cause I’m really bad at marking and keeping track of what mix is what). I will say that my initial mixes (the ones I do myself straight off of my computer) are generally pretty decent. There’s rarely a mix of a beat that sucks and doesn’t work until I get it into a studio. It’s all just getting the right levels. Taking it to a studio is more for getting the drums right and throwing down effects I wouldn’t normally have access to on my computer.
As for how I get my mixes done, I do it one of two ways (depends on who’s mixing it)
1)I sit with him and mix the entire song. Like, he’s doing the work but I’m over his shoulder telling him what I want to be done.
2)Give him the tracks with some basic notes and let him go for it, then come in and adjust it to what I want.
The first way generally results in the songs sounding exactly how I had planned it while the second one will often lead to the song going different directions cause every engineer has their own ear. They’ll hear something and try it that I would never think of. Sometimes I like it, other times I don’t. BUt it’s kinda cool to have that to play with.

Answers for questions:Have you ever had a girl kiss, or try to kiss you, while giving you a blow job?

I don’t know any girls with two mouths so this sounds somewhat impossible.
I think you mean has a girl ever kissed me after a blow job? Sure. Depending on how far it went, I reciprocated. If she didn’t do it to completion, that’s fine. If she’s got a load in her mouth, she’s being an asshole and will get denied. I realize that sounds ungrateful but…well…sorry. I don’t want jizz in my mouth under any circumstance. I’d rather not get the head than get it and get my own spunk in my mouth.
Any time a girl has attempted that with me it’s 100% been her fucking with me. I’d like to believe no girl blows a dude, takes his load in her mouth and thinks “He might want to share this with me”. That’s the female-male equivalent to “ass to mouth”, and only a certain type of person is gonna be into that shit. A person, I should add, that I am not.

Do you think halloween creates a subtle psychological notion that not being “you” is rewarding?

Umm…Nope. I never thought about it cause, you know, it’s halloween and it’s fun. But,I’m sure, if you wanted to take the psychology of it apart and suck every little bit of fun out, you could make a case for that. You’d be a dick if you did that though.
Halloween grinch status.

this might be a question, at best it’s a few statements ended by question marks:
saw a commercial for a Chevy or Gm car that clearly used a DJ Shadow track off his first album (Endtroducing), and given that it’s a blatant and unashamedly all sample album, does that give you any feeling of hope for the licensing of your music, or sample-heavy music in general? you’ve stated often that licensing is the most major income avenue for your style of music, and that hopes of that are slim to none, but this seems like a major break in attitude toward it by a major advertiser. made me feel all warm and giddy inside. i willingly sat through a commercial without hitting the mute button for the first time in years, for all 5 times it played during the hour show. that’s gotta be a win for somebody.

First off, I cannot tell you how many people have asked me if I got a song in a Chevy commercial. Like 5 people a day since it has come out. This is hilarious to me cause that’s a DJ Shadow song and people should know that. Especially my fans.
I was pretty surprised to hear his song in a commercial for the very reasons you named above. While I was psyched for him, it didn’t bring me hope or anything. I assume he just cleared the sample. That’s the only way that happened. The few times I’ve gotten major licensing , we ended up clearing the samples as well. It’s costly but, in the case of an ad spot like that, it’s worth it. That’s probably a 6 figure pay day for him so it makes a lot of sense.
I don’t know this to be fact, btw, I’m just assuming. If he didn’t clear it, then that does give me hope. Cause, in my experience, advertisement people aren’t even trying to touch songs wit samples in them, let alone use them with any risk of legal action attached.

If you could have an extra limb anywhere on your body what limb would you choose and where on your body would it be?

I think an extra arm would be the obvious choice. But where to put it is tough. My instinct is to say my back but then how the hell would I sleep? I’m thinking a second arm coming out of one of my shoulders makes the most sense. It would split off the like a fork in the road. Not quite sure what it would do but it would make carrying stuff easier. It might help my defensive game in basketball too. Downside: I’d be a freak of nature with three arms.

Answers for questions vol. 214

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Whattup everyone! I’m back from my tour and it feels great. Shout out to all the people who came out and saw me (along with my boys Elaquent, Muneshine, Lost Midas and Yppah). I had a blast. Hope to see you all again real soon.
This is “Answers for questions”. You asked, so i answered. If you’d like to be a part of this, you should do that! Send me questions! get weird! Either email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Have fun with it. Be original. It’s anonymous so don’t be scurred.
Let’s se what we got this week.

The Earth’s time is coming to an end, natural disasters are on the rise and everyone’s starting to go into widespread panic/insanity. A day ago you met a man who has access to a space ship going to the next inhabitable planet( it has become known around that time that there is one). He tells you that you can bring two people, one backpack of essential supplies and choose one of the following to have access to in addition to what you put in your bag:
1) a 9 mm handgun with 200 rounds
2)a hatchet
3)Harpoon gun with 5 Harpoons
4)a belt with a small knife, 20 yards of rope, and a roll of Duct Tape
5) a Bullmastiff and a Swiss Army pocket knife

Who do you choose? what’s in your bag? and which number do you choose?

I don’t wanna cop out of this question but I feel as though I should be honest. I’m not a man with great gumption. When the world starts to fall apart and we are all forced to fend for ourselves and live off the land, I’m well aware that I’ll be checking out sooner than later. So, while the offer to go to the new planet would be awesome and appreciated, if surviving on that new planet means me needing to carry tons of weapons and learn how to scavenge, I’mma be dead within the first week anyway. So, realistically, I wouldn’t even bother going and just die however I was gonna die on earth. But, for the sake of the question, I suppose I’d bring two people with me who know how to survive in such situations. So, shit, i dunno…Bear Grylls and a chef who specializes in cooking using ingredients found in nature. Yes…I said a chef…cause, at the end of the day, my love of food wins over all.
As for what i’d bring from that list, Probably the gun and the belt with all the stuff on it.
Either way, I wouldn’t last a month…and I’m okay with that.

Would you put out one really cheesy, terrible song that sweeps the nation for an absurd amount of fortune and fame? I’m talking like the lamest song ever and that will be legacy.
People love to ask variations of this question. I’ve gotten it in some form maybe 10 times over the years. It’s like “ooohh, I’mma get him! Will he sell out!?!!”
Well, yes , motherfucker, I would. But here’s the thing, it would have to be a song I actually made. If it’s some bullshit with my name on it that i had nothing to do with, that’s a little different (Though, not gonna lie, if i could make a comfortable living off of one song, it would be hard to say no to that).
If the song was one of my own and I didn’t make it specifically to sell out, then I could 100% live with that. Maybe I made it as a joke and it took off? That shit happens. Some pop stars biggest songs are things they wrote in five minutes while fucking around that happen to blow up. Also, it’s not like this one song would change how I make music. I’d go right back to doing what I’ve been doing prior to it. So, if my fans are so fickle that they’d leave me over one song, fuck’em.
Listen, I make music for a living. I’m a niche artist. I realize this and I’m totally fine with it. I make enough money to live my life but I’m far from rich. If making one song could afford me a better life, I would do it. Why? Cause it’s my life. I used to care a lot about people selling out and not staying true. And, still, I’ll see shit that makes my soul hurt. But this is my life. I don’t have the problem of being super prideful about things. If something came along that meant I would be set for the rest of my living years, I’d take it. Hell, DJ Premier did three songs with Christina aguilera, you think he regrets that? Fuck no. Those royalty checks come 4 times a year and he probably smoke 5 blunts back to back to celebrate.
It should also be noted that I make instrumental hip hop so none of this would ever actually happen. That kind of success simply isn’t in my wheelhouse.

So Taylor Swift has been named tourist ambassador of NYC… Any thoughts???
I think it’s ridiculous and offensive but it makes sense. In a way, she does represent what New York is to every person looking in from the outside. A backwoods, gawky dork who’s lived here for 3 months is the perfect person to welcome all the other people just like her into this city. I only wish this had happened in the 80’s. I would have loved to see Debbie Gibson be our ambassador.
It should also be noted that her version of NYC is comical. If anyone watching her from their double wide thinks “I’mma be just like Taylor!”, I actually feel bad for them. Sadly, the only people who can afford that life style in NYC are people like Taylor swift.
As watered down as NYC has gotten, it will still chew up and spit out your average person who moves here. The cost of living alone will knock out 75% of the wishful thinkers.
So, in a way, when that happens, they can all blame Taylor swift. That’s something I can get behind. Look out for the “Blame Taylor” campaign of 2016.

Today it took me a few good seconds to remember how old I am while drinking a morning coffee. I was thinking that I’m 30 years old and completely forgot that I had turned 31. I do that all the time and it’s not even in purpose! Do you do that too in the first few months following your birthday?

I used to do it more. But, i feel, the older I get the more acutely aware I am of that age. I’d imagine there will come a time where that’s gonna totally change and I’ll stop keeping track. But, as someone in my late 30’s, my eyes are on the clock. When I was in my 20’s, I definitely would forget what year I was in though. That’s cause nothing mattered THAT much at that age. You feel like you got all the time in the world. As you get older, the pin hole you’re looking through starts to minimize and all those real life adult things you were ignoring in your 20’s start to come into focus. I don’t think this is a good thing..but it happens. Get ready for it!

Hey, have you ever been courted by major record labels? If so, how did those meetings go?

Also, would you ever consider being a part of a production “team”, like, how other people do the actual production, and Dr. Dre just puts his name on it?

I have not. I sample. That alone knocks me out of most major label conversations. Add on I don’t sell hundreds of thousands of records and it’s a wrap.
As for the production team question, sure. I much prefer working alone but it’s something I’d hear out and consider. I’m not in this for the fame or power of my name so working behind the scenes would be totally fine with me.
If you mean would I hire a production team to make my beats for me, nah. That’s silly.

Would you rather eat a chicken sandwich while standing in a port-a-potty or sleep in dumpster behind KFC for one night?
I eat incredibly fast so I think I could pound that sandwich in like 45 seconds. I’d take that over a full night behind a dumpster with no hesitation.

Does it concern you that the NBA Western conference is so much stronger than the Eastern conference? Do you ever contemplate what half of the nation is the better of the two? Does it even matter? From what I hear the east coast is overcrowded and in general people who move there from the west coast don’t like it. What is the alternative city folk perspective?
This question kinda hops all over the place Are we talking basketball here or are you using that as a way to say the west coast is better than the east coast?
The strength of the western conference has never been a concern of mine. If anything, it’s great cause it will give a shitty team like the knicks a chance to make the playoffs.
Also, these things change. In 5 years, the landscape of basketball will be totally different.
As for east vs. west, in general, I’m an east coast guy. I love it out here. I love parts of the west coast as well but they’re just truly different. Yes, it’s more crowded here. Life moves a lot quicker. If that’s not something that appeals to you, then you won’t like it. I like that. When I go out west, I feel as though I’m faster than most people. Like my brain is working quicker. I don’t mean I feel smarter. I mean I feel my natural way of being is just more on point. Cause, in NYC, you have to be. On your toes. It’s not lax here like it is out west.
But to argue your point, i know tons of west coast people who move out here and love it. And vice versa. It all depends what kinda person you are. If you want warmth year around, lots of space and nearby nature, then the east coast isn’t for you. If you want action, excitement , everything you need walking distance away, and a little grit, NYC is for you.
Oh, but you also have to be rich to afford it so there’s that too.

Answers For Questions Vol. 213

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Hi everyone! I just flew back from philly and boy are my…oh wait. I took a train. Trains are cool.
Anyway, shout out to all the people who came out to oston, Brooklyn and Philly this weekend to see Elaquent, Muneshine and myself. We had a great time. Vancouver, seattle and portland is next, starting this thursday.
Anyway, this is answers for questions. You ask. I answer. Guess what? I need more questions. The queue isn’t dangerously low but it could use some reinforcements. So, ask away. Anything. Get weird. You can either email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or simply leave them in the comment section below. They’re both anonymous. Do it!
Let’s check this weeks haul…

How good of a gift-giver do you think you are when it comes to buying a present for your girl, family, etc?

The worst. I don’t like getting gifts and I don’t like giving them. I’m a very “you handle yours and I’ll handle mine” kinda guy. I generally don’t expect gifts and don’t need them (there’s not much out there I REALLY need that I don’t have). So, when it comes time for me to get people gifts, I’m clueless. I’m just not thoughtful in that way. I need specific instructions. That, I can do, for sure. But if someone is expecting a creative and thoughtful gift? I’m not the guy. What I’ve been doing the last few years is taking people out to nice dinners. It seems to make both parties happy.
I dunno…I feel as though I’m too old to be giving or receiving gifts. I think it’s weird when people over a certain age are still hung up on that shit. It’s like “yo, santa isn’t real, bro. We all got our own lives to live. Can’t we just skip all this bullshit?”

Heyo, are there any songs you’ve released that have surprised you for not taking off? If so which ones? I always thought cherry picker would be one of your most recognized tunes, but I guess it could still happen.
Hmm…Not really. I tend to keep expectations low, in general. To the point where it’s like “I’ll be happy if anyone fucks with this…”
All the ones that have jumped out to me as the catchier songs , seem to end up eventually being the most popular songs. Insomniac olympics, Daylight, None shall pass, Music scene, The strain. Those all , in my mind, were “hits” when I made them. A few have been unexpected. I didn’t think “carnivores Unite” would be as popular as it has been. Some with “Which one of you jerks drank my arnold palmer?”.
I guess “Expiration date” didn’t take off like I thought it might. “The art of walking” too. But, really, I don’t make actual hits to it’s a non-issue.

I’m a big fan of your music and separately of your blog persona. Particularly I find the answers for questions and ask Dr. Tony sections fun. Based on how up front you are about calling out some people seeking advice for being naive, delusional, etc., I feel like generally you like/respect your question askers. I have the conflicting feeling that you are not the type that would be the one asking questions on a blog that you followed. Do you see what I’m getting at here? Do you relate to the people who ask for advice or does the fact that they are posting asking someone to help them with their problems on the internet distance them from you? Do you think you would be friends with any of the people you encounter on your blog? And specifically, if Dr. Tony were someone else, could you ever see yourself seeking his advice?

I’m not really one to ask for advice. I may not say or do the right thing in real life but i generally have a grasp on what that is. Also, what can a stranger tell me about me that I wouldn’t know myself? Advice, in general, is funny cause so many people seek it out but so few people actually act on it. I have friends who ask me for advice hear and there but , when it’s all said and done, they do whatever the fuck they were gonna do. To me, someone asking for advice is more just a way for them to say what they’re gonna say, under the guise of pretending they need your help. It’s more that people want a sounding board. I opt out of that. I know what needs to be done. Whether I do it or not, remains to be seen. But , I think I’m a very logical and level headed person (too a fault, even).
As for the part about “could I be friends with someone who asks a question on my blog”, it depends. Some people, I read and could tell that I probably wouldn’t wanna be in a room alone with them. Others seem totally cool. I relate to some of them very much and others I just roll my eyes at. It’s on a question to question basis for sure. But simply answering their questions doesn’t make me feel a distance or anything. Actually, I’d imagine , if I met some of these people, we could talk about these same problems in person and it would be all good.

How did you manage to continue working with aesop while he stayed at boston university? Just over the summer, or what?

We didn’t really “work together” like that at that point. We were friends. I’d see him over the summers and rap with him, we’d make songs together causally. But, it wasn’t until the summer before he graduated (where he lived in the city) and after when we really started busting out lots of music together. Once he was in NYC full time, things got rolling pretty quickly.

Two-part question:

A. How much worse are you at dealing with being sick (talking about your average cold or flu), than you girlfriend?

B. In very general terms, why are men so terrible at being sick, or are you guys only like that when you have wives/girlfriends? Why, Blockhead…why?!!

You may notice a theme evolving here in this weeks post but, when I’m sick, I want to be left alone. I’m not saying I handle it well (I’m miserable) but , in general, I’d rather be in complete solitude while the sickness is going on. Sure, someone can bring me soup and liquids or whatever but, at the same time, I can do that myself (delivery style). If I’m so sick that I can’t move, then MAYBE I’ll need some assistance. Otherwise, leave me be and I’ll see you when I’m better. It should also be noted that, I’m very sensitive to getting sick. If I feel some shit coming on for real, I shut it down. I don’t go out and tempt fate. I try and nip it in the bud as soon as possible. So, often, this will result in me seeming like a pussy cause I’m staying home with what seems like a minor head cold. But I’m not trying to make things worse.
As for men being terrible at being sick…I really didn’t know that was a thing. i’ve seen both sexes be needy and pathetic when they’re sick. I’d venture to say that’s more a personality trait than something based on sex. Perhaps you only date needy pathetic men?

My question is about manboobs. Or just overweight people in general. I work with some guys that are under 35, but in really bad shape because they cram fast food into their faces constantly. I wouldn’t care, but it’s just distracting trying to talk to someone with moobs. When someone has a lazy eye or burns on their face, I get self conscious about staring, because I don’t want to make them feel bad. But with the moobs, I have trouble holding my composure, and have nearly broken out laughing during a few conversations. Do manboobs make everyone uncomfortable or am I just a complete btichhole? How can I hold a conversation without laughing?

Umm…hmmmmm.
Can’t say I’ve given manboobs much thought. I mean, obviously, i’ve seen them but I tend to view the whole package of that person , over just the boy tits. Obese people are obese. You’re a man and you got tits, chances are, the rest of you is equally disastrous. I think you may just personally think man boobs are funny. I mean, it should reach a point where it’s not always hilarious but if that’s your thing, that’s how it’s going to be.
I’d imagine these poor tubby dudes aren’t too thrilled about it though.

Answers for questions vol. 212

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Whattup all.
You around this week? I’ll be doing shows with Elaquent and Muneshine in Boston, Brooklyn, Philly This weekend and then we’re out in Vancouver, BC, Seattle and Portland next week. Go to blockheadmusic.com for more info, I’d love to see your pretty or ugly face.
Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions” You ask , I answer. Would you like to join the party? YOU CAN! Send me questions! Either leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Get creative. My answers are as god as the questions.
Let’s peep what we got this week…

Yo Blockhead! I love what you do, and I love your blog blah, blah, blah.. Anyways, let’s get down to the question. It’s a 2 part question. First off, do you believe in ghosts? Or spirits that haunt the earth and shit like that? Secondly, If you were to encounter a ghost or some crazy, evil, haunting experience that was pretty much impossible to explain aka some phenomenon type shit, what the fuck would you do???! I like your stance on social issues but I was kinda high watching a horror movie and randomly thought, “what if ghosts were to start haunting me?” I don’t know why you seem like a good person to ask because shit, you may not even believe in the supernatural… let me know your thoughts. Thanks!!

From a logical stand point, I don’t believe in ghosts. I think when you die, you become nothing more than a lifeless hunk of meat. That said, it’s hard not to have those moments when you feel like you hear something, see something or feel something that is not of this existential plane. While I’ve never seen or felt anything, i’ve certainly heard shit that has made me be like “Umm…ghost?” but then I gather myself and rationalize that it’s probably something else that is easily explainable. So, I don’t believe in them but, at the same time, there is room for error on that opinion.
Now, if I were to experience a real, undeniable haunting? I’d get the fuck out. I don’t play that curious “let’s get to the bottom of this!” shit. The second I see furniture floating around, I’m packing up the minimal amount of shit I need and moving. I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would not do the same. I’d rather live under a bridge than in a haunted house. Unless, of course, the ghosts were chill. Like, if the ghosts in my house were like the mice in my house, I could live with that. They’re just living their lives (their undead lives!). But if they were actively trying to haunt me? Fuck all that noise.

As an instrument player starting to make beats n what not, I find most melody and harmony functions to be relatively easy but the drums on anything I’ve ever made are weak as shit… Rhythmically, mix-wise and the particular samples… Be it a loop or individual samples, I can’t quite get it… How’d you get to the next level of drum processing? Just practice, practice, and digging…?Give the people an exercise or some bullshit to get they drum game up

Honestly, I think being able to find/create drums sounds that work for electronic music has a lot to do with having an innate understanding of how those drums are supposed to sound. I can say, without questions, that making good drums is the hardest part of making beats. It’s way easier now than it was 15 years ago cause you could just go buy a pre-made set of drums that sound awesome. But, if you’re actually trying to make your own sounds, it’s no walk in the park. My advice to you would be to do what i did when I started. Look for open drums in other rap songs. It took me a while to be able to edit break beat drum hits to a level of them being okay. But open snares, hi hats and kicks on rap songs? They’re good to go. They’re a good jumping off point cause how they sound can guide you into the way you might want your original sounds to sound. Also, Layer. Adding an 808 to a normal kick does wonders and does layering two different snares.

#1
If Drake were to procreate with a famous lady… who do you think would make the most awkward-looking baby with him?

(I dunno why this worthless thought just crossed my mind, but it did)

Hmmm…I don’t know if this is acceptable cause it’s impossible but if he were able to have a baby with Frida Kahlo, that would be amazing. The baby would be all eye brows.

Which show do you think has a better chance of outdoing their corresponding previous seasons, Broad City or Inside Amy Schumer?
I like both these shows a lot. Broad city, however, is the fucking best. In a way, it’s first season being so good will make it hard to top. where as , Shumer’s first season was decent with lots of room for improvement. So, I’ll say Shumer’s show will improve more but Broad city will be better in general.

Have you ever been asked to make a beat for someone who really could not rap? Maybe even on commission or a friend way back? Did you do it?
Sure. A bunch of times. It’s kinda why I no longer do freelance work anymore. I get people asking for beats on a regular basis but it reached a point where I only felt comfortable working with people I know personally or who I’m a fan of. No more randoms. Not to mention the days of people paying a shit ton for a beat are over so the offers I get are laughable.
That said, if I know you and we’re cool, I’m pretty easy about it. I’ve given beats to buddies of mine who I didn’t think were amazing cause they’re my boy. It’s those strangers I avoid.

Yo Block, with your new album right around the corner, have you given any more thought to pressing CD copies as well; maybe a limited release like “Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book”?
Not really. I could always whip up a batch whenever if needed but I’mma see how the digital and vinyl go. I already have a house full of blockhead cd’s, I certainly don’t need to add to that.

Q:
You definitely strike me as someone who is cautious with their money (I don’t mean that in the cheap way, I mean it in the not spending on unnecessary things way). What age were you as an adult when you struggled to make ends meet the most?

I’d say, like most people, the brokest I ever was was my early 20’s. That’s a given. Especially for a college drop out like myself. Still, I’ve always been very careful with money and , in general, I don’t spend it frivolously. Back then, I worked at a bakery so I’d just eat there and take food home with me. The rest of my money went to bills , dollar bin records and going out a few nights a week. Very little has changed since then, in the sense that I don’t really spend money on anything crazy. I’d rather eat well than have new sneakers every few weeks.
I also hit a rough patch around 2008/9ish. I was making music but I hadn’t been touring much and making money off record sales had become a thing of the past. I actually thought I might have to get a real job. I reached a point where I was just gonna say yes to everything. Someone wanted to buy a beat for $300 bucks? Yes. Someone offered me a shitty show for a few hundred dollars? I’m in. In a way, that mind set actually saved my career. I soon started touring again and made “The music Scene”, which seemingly revived my entire career. But I definitely took a few manual labor jobs during that time just to stay above water.