Is it too late for Jay Electronica?

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It’s rare that old rap heads get excited about new rap nowadays. It’s even more rare when that excitement is a rapper who might actually be relevant in todays musical landscape. When I first heard Jay Electronica, my initial reaction was “What’s up with this corny name?”. It sounded like an EDM producer from a third world country. But when I heard the raps, I felt something I hadn’t in a long time. There was something about Jay’s voice, flow and lyrics that took me back. They made me get the same feeling I would , back in the day, after I would buy cassettes at Disc-o-rama on west 4th street. I’d come home , Throw down my book bag, put a tape into the cassette player and just let it run. While it played, i’d meticulously go through the liner notes. Reading the production credits, looking at the artwork and checking the shout outs to see who this group/rapper knew. This was a time when i was a teenager and everything was exciting. Especially rap music. Flash forward 20 years and it’s a different story. I don’t listen to albums like that any more. I can’t. I got shit to do. At best, I’ll throw it in my Ipod and walk around with it and catch he whole thing over the course of a few weeks. Even then, I’ll get 20 seconds into a track, decide I’m not into it and skip it. Between aging and technology, it’s simply a different ball game.
So, when I heard Jay Electronica (this was probably 5 years ago at this point), it hit a nerve. He was a rapper who was clearly from my era of rap fans (IE he was old) BUT he had an edge that didn’t make him sound like a revivalist. One song in and I wanted to know everything about him. Since liner notes were not an option, I turned to the internet which is like liner notes for earth. A little research and I found Jay had a few mixtapes (which I quickly downloaded). He had enough material to really dig into. One would almost think , at that point, you were dealing with a prolific artist. And that’s a funny concept once you get familiar with Jay Electronica.
Since that time, it would appear Jay has hit a wall. Not of creativity but of production. After dropping stellar mix tapes and loose tracks in short period of time, he finally got the attention he deserved. Puffy, nas and Jay-Z all were knocking on his door. He did songs with two of them eventually. Word was he signed to Defcon records. Then word was he signed to The Roc (Jay-z’s label) and that’s where the trail went cold. Electronica started to become the Andre 3000 of underground rap. Every fan begging for an album…or even a song, but nothing. Every now and then, out of nowhere, he’d drop a song that would remind us all of why we desperately wanted new material but, as quick as that song would come, he would vanish into thin air with only a faint promise of “The album drops soon, guys…”.
There was even gossip going around. He was with Erykah Badu AKA the hip hop baby factory but then he was supposedly having an affair with a married woman from the insanely rich Rothchild family. There was talk of him being a drunk and having a terrible work ethic. All the while, he was supposedly working on his solo album “Act II: Patents of Nobility” for Roc nation records. There was even a leaked tracklisting that may or may not have been real. Then I heard that the album was done, Jay-z loved it, but was sitting on it cause it didn’t have any hits. Which seemed counterproductive to anyone familiar with Electronica’s music. He’s not a guy who makes hits. He’s a tried and true rapper. Trying to milk him for success isn’t in the cards for him. He’s a dude who will much sooner have 20,000 devoted fans than 1,000,000 people who’ve even heard of him, like one song but really have no opinion o him outside of that.
So, with all this push and pull, Jay’s fans are seemingly left in a strange position. It’s like an abusive relationship. We love this person but they just keep disappointing us. For every gentle kiss on our forehead, there’s a back handed slap to the face and the door slamming behind them that follows it. My question, for fans of Jay, is it too late? Can he still make an album that you want to check out? Personally, I’m a forgiving person and , more than anything, the quality of the songs he’s released has no waned. He may drop one song a year but I’ll be damned if that song isn’t great.
So, last week, a new song of his leaked “Road to perdition” and, surprise, it’s really good.
Here that it:
Road to Perdition
http://www78.zippyshare.com/v/OrWNPEb1/file.html
Also, I put together a folder of some of my favorite songs of his so, to the uninitiated , this could be a good starting point for you:
http://www78.zippyshare.com/v/cw02YdXU/file.html

But I ask you, Is it too late for this guy? Answer the poll (you can pick more than one answer, btw)…

Answers for Questions vol. 229

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Whattup everyone…back from Europe and ready to feel regular again. Thanks to all the people who came out to the shows. It was a great time.
Anyway, this is “Answers for questions”. You ask, I answer. I always need for questions so wend them my way. Email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. I can’t stress enough to get creative. I’ve gotten a bunch lately that are all kinda boring music related questions , which is fine, but I need some weird ones too to keep this interesting. Give me your best shot.

Ill be at the aesop show here in NY soon and i wnated to ask you, is it hard to attend an aesop show since his fans are your fans? can you enjoy the show without someone dapping you every 10 mins when youre in the crowd?

It’s very easy. I fly under the radar to a point where I’d say maybe 5% of the people at his shows can recognize me by my face. That’s the good thing about being a producer. You’re behind the scenes and it allows for the most anonymity. I can walk through the crowds at my own shows and generally go unnoticed. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m super normal looking and dress how I do so I don’t exactly stand out in crowds.

If you had to pick one song to be your theme song (30 seconds of any song) what would it be? Mind you, it plays whenever you walk into a room/with more than 5 people.
I’ve long said “Downtown Swinger” by MOP would be the music I’d come out to if I was a boxer. I think I’d stick with that one. On the downside, if I was walking into , say, a funeral, that would be shitty but I can’t base my entire life around the off chance I’m gonna be at a funeral. I feel like the smart move would be to pick something non-offensive and kinda background music-ish. Like a Kenny G song. Man, how funny would it be to have “Songbird” play every time I entered a room…That would actually be amazing.
Side note…how crazy is it that that song was a hit. I’m talking it was on pop radio and had major sales. Can you imagine that now? If some dude with a sax made an instrumental joint that got played on pop radio?

Is it just me or is the amount of static electricity this winter way more intense than usual??? I keep getting crazy-strong static shocks all over the place!
I haven’t noticed. Do you perhaps have shag carpeting?

Have you ever accidentally said a text abreviation out loud, like LOL, ROFL or OMG? I am ashamed, but I actually said LOL out loud once. I blame an extreme amount of texting that week, mixed with some serious sleep deprivation. Luckily I was only around a few family members, and I don’t think anyone really noticed. I still feel deep sham

I pride myself on not doing that. For one, I’m an adult. Secondly, all that text abbreviation shit came way after my brain had locked into how it’s ways so it would take a lot for something like that to seep in. I try to not even use those type of things in texts, let alone actual human interaction. I’m more of a “HAHAHAHAHA” guy than and “LOL” guy, if that makes sense.


You find out that your girlfriend has been cheating on you for the past year. Would you rather it be with a skinny little asian guy or a huge, jacked muscular black dude?

I think anyone who doesn’t go with the little asian dude is lying. Men are so ego driven that the last thing we want to think about is our girl with a greater physical specimen. Not to shit on skinny little asian guys but, you know, I’m kinda tall, broad and far from little. I think the idea that we could take whoever the guy is in a fight is strangely comforting. Then again…if she was cheating this the buff black guy, I’d get that. He’s a buff black dude. Where as a skinny little asian guy would feel like it came out of left field. So, I’d have to assume it was for emotional reasons which might be worse…but still…that male ego gonna do what it does. I think the worst thing would be if it was with a dude who looked just like me. But, for the sake of my ego, I’d go with Skinny asian dude.

On your social networks, (aside from English) what are the most common languages that your fans (attempt to) communicate to you in?
I don’t think anyone has ever tried to communicate with me in a foreign language…which makes sense as I speak english and most people can tell that on all my networks. The closest I get to anything else is when I get tagged in tweets or facebook posts written in other languages.

I wonder how you handle/work (around) your add.

With me a very structered job helps a lot (as you may have noticed im quite impulsive and sometimes cant keep my mouth shut ) if not im lost/chaotic. I also find it very difficult to bring structure in my personal life. Maybe you have Some good tips and tricks for me.

When making tracks you get in hyper focus?
Do you have any struggles because of add on professional or personal level?
How do you bring structure in your life?

I bring structure to my life by simply having a regiment. This blog is actually part of it. During the week, i get up, write this blog, go eat then start my day. It’s the only constant for me , as what follows is dependent on what I’m doing that day. Sometimes I’ll work on music, other times I run errands, other times I go to the gym, other times I’ll just chill and watch TV while I fuck around on the internet.
But the way I start the day is crucial to me. So much so that when it’s bothered, it’s annoys me. That actually happens pretty often but I feel as though at least having that structure keeps me in order.
As for making tracks and focus, I’m very much a person who finishes what I started. So I generally see a beat the entire way through in a day , if I’m working on it. I’m like that outside of music too. I just like things to be done with. Not a fan of things being open ended.

Hey blockhead, been a massive fan for years, i bought music by cavelight with the bonus aesop rock instrumentals and been hooked ever since. Anyway, are you more of a hardware producer or computer based??

This is on some FAQ shit but I’ll answer it cause you’re so damn complimentary.
I use an ASR 10 and Abelton live. That’s it. So I’m both but my roots are firmly in hardware as the ASR 10 is all I used for the first 10 years of beat making.

Answers for questions vol. 228

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Shalom! I’m sitting in a hotel in Tel aviv right now. So, that’s happening! But, in honor of all the snow I hear that’s dumping on the east coast while I’m gone, here’s a sweet, frosty little piglet for you to cherish.
Anyway, welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You ask’em , I answer’em. As always, I need more questions! Ask em shit !Anything! Send the q’s my way! Either leave them in the comment section or email them to at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Get creative.
Anyway, …Let’s check this weeks batch.

When listening to gangsta rap, do you ever wonder how gangsta the rapper actually is? There are some actually gangsta ass motherfuckers out there rapping for sure, but are you ever listening tosomething and think, “This guy is just good at acting hard.”?

I used to care about that a lot more but nowadays it only bothers me when someone who is clearly not hard is talking shit. Like, when Drake starts popping off like he’ll fight anyone. But, in general, I assume most thugged out rappers are like 20% as thugged out in real life as they say on their songs. I’ve met plenty of real thugs over the years and those dudes do not give a fuck about making music. That said, there are certainly some rappers out there , ESPECIALLY now, who are no joke. Bobby Shmurda and Cheef Keef come to mind. They’re more examples of thugs who happen to rap.
Keep in mind, this is all coming to you from a person who hasn’t gotten into a fist fight since 7th grade. So, you know, take it for what it is.

How self-conscious do you get when you’re on stage? Which factors alter or affect this type of feeling?
I’m usually okay. My live show involves a type of concentration that I can’t really think about being self conscious. Like, I’m not going to look particularly cool regardless so it doesn’t bother me.
I’d say having my visuals playing the back ground and good stage set up settle me down even more.
Things that can annoy me or rattle me:
Playing a huge room with no visuals for a crowd who is not there to see me.
A super low stage where I’m faced to face with people and they are able to talk to me like I’m just doing a lounge.
People walking around behind me while I play.
People not moving during the show. Like there’s always a few dudes who stand up front with their arms folded , staring at me. I hate those guys. The back of the room was made for those guys.
Those things are definitely not my shit, when it comes to doing live shows.

From your Reddit experience, what makes a good question coming from a stranger and what makes a bad one?
I’ve been asked all sorts of shit over the years (This very column has been going on since the myspace days) so , in general, i’ve been asked everything. What make a good question? Either someone being creative , someone who is setting me up for a good rant or someone who is obviously familiar with my music asking me a nerdy question. I like those. There have been a handful of interviews where the interviewer I had was clearly a fan and it makes talking about myself so much easier. Where as, someone asking me “What kind of music do you make?” is pretty much the worst. To me, bad questions are either just the same boring bullshit over and over again (WHy do they call you blockhead? What are your influences? What inspires you?) or when people ask me silly questions that are more about them getting a joke off or injecting their opinion into things than anything I might actually have to say. Oh, and “What do you think off “________” (random artist)?” . Fuck those questions. They’re either boring or someone is baiting me to talk shit. I’m not into it. Trust me, if I want to talk shit, I will.

Other than English, what are the most common languages that you come across when interacting with fans online?
Hmm…it’s pretty much all english, as far as the interacting goes. No one writes me in other languages. If they did, i couldn’t read it anyway so i wouldn’t even know if there was a question being asked.

flash back to your smoker days for this scenario. suppose some mystical hippie you met in the park offers you a pipe that’s always smoking. you never have to pack it and you get unlimited hits to infinity. but it never stops smoking. whether you’re hitting it or not there’s a constant stream of smoke pouring out of it. do you macguyver some way to contain the smoke or pass and just keep buying regular green?
I would definitely pass on the mystical hippie pipe. I was never THAT big a smoker when I did smoke. I barely bought my own weed in general. I also lived with my mom for a portion of that period so having a constantly smoking pipe wouldn’t work for me. So, yeah, i’d pass but I’m sure there are a few weed loving cornballs out there who read that idea and were like “whoaaaaaa dude!” :hippie boner:. To be fair, I’ve had a similar fantasy with a refrigerator that is always filled with the best food or a TV that i can take things out of when they’re on the screen.

Here is a question for you…where did Spark Master Tape go? I have definitely dug him since you turned me on to him and for a while there, he came through with some good tracks about ever month or two, then all of a sudden…nothing. His social media seemed to die last year and I haven’t seen anything from him.
Man, I don’t know. I need him to make some more music. I actually tweeted at him a few weeks ago and got nothing . Perhaps , whoever it was that was doing that, lost interest in the character. It’s too bad cause those tapes were my shit. Here’s the last song I heard of his:
I need more…

Answers for questions Vol. 227

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Hello there and welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. Just a heads up, I’m off to europe (and tel aviv) starting tomorrow for some shows so this blog may be slower than usual. I’ll try my best to keep some content flowing but, hey, you never know. Just don’t forget me while I’m gone.
If you’d like to be a part of the “asking questions” process, I’d love you to join. Simply ask me anything. Either leave it in the comment section below or email the question(s) to be at phatfriendblog@gmail.com.
The weirder the better.
Okay, let’s bust this weeks nut…

Hey, as you get older, do you find you have a decreased tolerance for mediocre music? I’m in my thirties, now, and I find that I have zero interest in listening to anything that isn’t Dope (with a capital D). Or, like, at least shows A LOT of promise.

To be honest, as I get older, I find myself caring a lot less about everything. I think you start to zero in on what matters more cause your life begins to gain focus. So, while I used to live and die for this music shit in my 20’s, I’m way more lax about it now. I’d even say I’m more open minded than ever. Things are not as extreme as they once were. It takes a lot for me to be bothered by music. I mean, it happens but , comparatively, I’m like a monk these days. I’m more prone to make fun of someone saying “Dope with a capitol D” than any music I might hear.

How skilled are you at avoiding the following situation? http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=blisterfeld&defid=4464494 (that’s the best I could do in finding a specific name for this phenomenon)

Oh, I’m pretty good at this. Been doing it all my life. It more depends on the other guy. I tend to be the first to give way and let the other person pick the direction. But , every now and then, I’ll come across a person who’s the same way and we look like fucking two mimes out there shadowing each other. But, overall, I’m well adapted at avoid this phenomenon.

Have you ever been with a girl who had really kinky, or “out there” fetishes? As an example I once dated a girl who shared that she enjoyed wearing diapers. Not acting like a little baby type stuff, just enjoyed them. Curious what your experiences if any are with having something “out there” like that being shared to you by a significant other. Ive come to realize that no matter what you come up with… It’s a thing for somebody.
You know, I haven’t. I’ve always had a fairly good radar with that kinda stuff. I haven’t dated many crazy girls.I don’t put that energy out there and , when they do like me, I tend to not like them back. Not that fetish = crazy but I do feel there is a little crossover there. It should also be noted that, when it comes to weird fetishes, dudes are the most out there. I’d imagine your average dating girl has many crazy stories of dudes trying to pull some outlandish shit on them in the bedroom. Most likely just forced butt stuff but a dudes sexual dementia can go very dark and very deep.

I was wondering if you even though of making a secret hand shake or phrase for people who read your blog and happen upon you at a shot or some other public place. Nothing to long just a little nod to show respect for enjoying the blog

That’s not a bad idea. People just usually tell me “Hey, I like you blog!” and that makes my day. But a special handshake? Hmm…How bout the blog fan walks up to me and performs a hand job to completion (on me, not themselves)? That would be super top secret and not at all over the top. (please don’t actually do that…especially considering 95% of my readership is dudes with neck beards)

suppose you get abducted by aliens, and they tell you that they will return you to earth but only if you agree to spy for them and help them to conquer human society. would you agree or stay in the alien prison. what if there is a super rapey giant alien squid that has been eyeballing your sphincter in your cell?
I’d honestly probably find a way to kill myself but , if that’s not an option, I’d be that spy. Once back on earth, I’d try to escape or just do a really crappy job at being a spy. I’m very good at mailing in duties so this would be no big problem for me. Worst case, they get annoyed with me and throw me in prison/kill me. At least, by being the half assed spy, I’d be out of prison for a little longer. Cherish the days, brah!

Have you been asked by Rymesayers to sign? Would you consider letting rymesayers distribute/record your albums?
Nope and sure I would. They don’t really put out instrumental music though. But, if they wanted me, I’d be all over it.

Biters Welcome

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“There’s sign at the door ‘no biting allowed’ ”
“you got to have style and learn to be original”

These are two quotes from my youth that were pretty much the rule book for rap music for as long as I can remember. It was the late 80’s when both these quotes were said and it set the stage for the next 10 years. What followed was a mixture of people going out of their way to sound like no one else and the people who tried to make careers sounding like other people. For the people who went the original direction, it led to all sorts of funny styles that didn’t age very well. As great as they were at the time, Das Efx’s diggity iggity nursery rhymes and Akinyele’s “lower my voice at the end of each sentence” styles are no fine wine. But, hey, they tried and I will always appreciate them for that. Not to mention, at the time, that shit was awesome. The other side of things fared ever worse back then. For every Das Efx, there was a Mad Flava (that’s a group, btw) who kinda just went with the flow of what other rappers were doing. Onyx came out and , shortly after they had success, Da Hoodratz came out and failed miserably. Hell, even RUn DMC shaved their heads and started yelling. So, biting and people recycling other peoples originality has always been a thing. It’s not new now and it will go on forever. But, with that in mind, there is a different take on it now than there was 20 plus years ago. Where Originality and authenticity were once of paramount importance, those two things really mean nothing anymore. In fact, if you even stress these two things , a 22 year old will look at you like “why is this still an issue, grandpa?”. This is clearly a generational thing. I suppose I’m from generation X. It’s gross to even think like that but I don’t know what generation I fit into otherwise. Gen X were pissy, hated everything and sulked a lot. We were/are a negative group. Sure, we had the things we loved and all that but, in general, it’s a group of people who kinda question everything , to a fault.That’s why the music of our generation was angry. Gangsta rap, grunge, metal. We were the “get out of my room , mom!” of generations. Now you have millennials. This is a generation raised entirely on the internet. They’ve never not had the world at their finger tips. While I remember rotary phones and cassette tape walkmen this generation has been watching gaping asshole porn since they were 12 and can’t imagine life before texting.
Through things like music and basketball, I find myself around many millennials more than I’d imagine most people my age are. One thing that’s I’ve noticed is that they’re a an astoundingly positive bunch. It’s almost invigorating to be around them at times. The mentality is very much “Yes we can!”. They’re legit looking forward to what life has in store for them. I suppose you could say that about most youthful people in the last 40 years , as they haven’t been beaten down by the realities of life. But, looking back at my friends and I when we were that age, we were still fairly negative in many ways. With this new group of people, I feel as though they’re just more open minded then we ever were. I’d imagine it’s all a part of how people raise kids now. When I was a 20 year old, I was a snobby rap purist who would judge anyone who listened to a puffy record. People back then were so dedicated to their “thing” that you could walk by anyone on the street and know exactly what they were into. Oh, see that guy wearing those comically baggy jeans and that funny t-shirt? He’s a raver. Oh, look at that girl with her hair up in barrettes, wearing doc martins, and dyed hair? she’s a riot grrll. Etc…People went out of their way to carve out their own identity (even though, in reality, they were followers just as much as anyone else). I wanted everyone who walked by me to know what I was into it. Now it’s like everything has been smashed together and niche’s have become fainter than ever. Hip hop heads and emo kids don’t look very different. Someone who looks like Ed Sheeren might have encyclopedic knowledge of the Dipset. You ask someone what kinda music they like that you’ll often hear “I like everything” And they’ll mean it. They fuck with Beyonce, One direction, Fiona apple , Cheef Keef, Aesop Rock and Death grips. I feel as though that open mindedness is one of the best and worst things about the new generation. It’s the best cause it limits the snobbery I so willingly embraced in my youth. But it’s the worst cause , if we like everything, there is no quality control. Which leads me back to the idea of originality or authenticity.
There is a large portion of people nowadays who put no stock in either of those two things. Their argument is good music is good music. I agree with that to an extent. Did the clipse really sell all that coke? Of course not. If they had, they wouldn’t need to rap nor would they be rapping about it. But, they’re good enough rappers to take a tired subject like selling coke and make it interesting. Then you got someone like Rick Ross who’s whole image is a drug boss but he was a corrections officer and is clearly 100% full of shit. He’s not a particularly interesting rapper but he’s got a good ear for beats and knows how to make a song. That’s his strength. If he came out in 91 talking that shit and got exposed, he would have never been heard of again. But, in the late 2000’s? Not a problem. His lack of realness is shrugged off the same way a wrestling fan will when you tell him it’s fake. He knows it…he doesn’t care. he’s in it for the entertainment. I can’t even be mad at that cause , in the end, music is entertainment. If it entertains you or makes you feel a certain way, it’s done it’s job.
I don’t know why i did this but I recently downloaded Drake’s new mixtape. I think I was just like “I need to understand this”. If not for my own enjoyment, for sociological reasons. I realize drake is a divisive character. All the basic bitches (men and women) love him. That’s a given. As open minded as millennials are, his name still manages to incite rage in some people to comical effect. People who are into the more fringe aspects of music, in particular, can’t stand him. If I were to post something positive about him on my Facebook page, I would expect a huge backlash from those types. At the same time, there’s an air of “If you don’t like drake, you don’t get it” from the more hipster side of things. Personally, I don’t think drake is a bad rapper. In fact, he’s solid. Great voice. He knows how to use it. He’s a pro. I don’t wanna bump his shit but that’s really neither here nor there as I’m almost 40. It’s clearly not for me. I used to think he was the worst. His love songs were ear AIDS and any male listening to them alone needs to take serious stock in themselves. But, when the smoke clears, he can actually rap. So, I download this new album and it’s kinda what I expect. Some terrible love songs mixed in with songs where he’s talking shit. I’m always gonna be drawn to those shit talking songs so I focus on that when listening to this album. What I came away with is that Drake is a good rapper who is completely unoriginal . On one track , he raps exactly like Jay-z on “heart of the city”. On another he raps like a more relaxed version of Young thug (Which is actually more listenable than Young Thug). The thing is he pulls it off cause people allow him to. He also pulls it off cause he seems to fall so perfectly in the middle. He’s just good enough and just boring enough and just catchy enough to hit chords with so many different people. He’s a rapper whose entire career has been people saying “He raps like _____” but, at this point, he’s a bigger star than any of the people he was once compared to. Sure, Jay-z is a billionaire and only slightly less famous that Obama but, musically, his relevance is waning. Same with Lil Wayne. Well,He’s more Wayning, AMIRITE?!?!. But Drake is still at the top of his game and his fan base is as dedicated as ever. He’s like the male Beyonce in that respect. If you’re a fan, he can do no wrong.
As unoriginal and inauthentic as Drake may be (his thuggish posturing on songs is truly hilarious and the fact other rappers who are actually from the hood and had tough lives let him do it is mind blowing to me), the public has spoken. It’s way bigger than drake. It’s an open arms to everything. I know I sound like I’m being negative but I’m really not. Sure, I wish this new generation could be more discerning about what they put in their ears, eyes and mouths but , in reality, it’s not my job to dictate anything. My generation is already old and irrelevant. The best we can do is try to understand. That or just roll are eyes and lament how these kids today really needed more spankings and less hugs. That too.

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Answers for questions vol. 226

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I dunno where you live but it is cold as fuck right now in NYC. I’m writing this from my bed, wearing a long sleeved shirt and long johns under my covers. Shit’s real in field.
Anyway, this is Answers for questions. You guys asked me stuff, and I obliged. If you’d like to send me questions, I’d love to hear them. Email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or simply leave them in the comment section below.
I’m good either way.
So, let’s check this weeks bundle.

To what extent is the process of making a rap song a back and forth between the producer and rapper? Do you just produce the beats and they rap over them, end of story, or do you touch it up after you hear them rap? Is it different when the producer is a part of the group vs. behind the scenes (you and aesop vs. hail mary mallon)?

Depends on the rapper and the song. Some rappers are very involved in the songs they make from the inside out. Some just drop their bars and never look back. I’ve had rappers hit me up and ask for different parts to be added to the songs and to change bass lines. That’s pretty rare though. In general, rappers pick a beat, write their raps , give me the bar structure of the song and I design the beat around that. I’d say 95% of the time that’s how it goes and there’s never much of an issue.
I would say that working in a group is definitely more intense cause then you have more than one person making all decisions. It’s actually kinda nice to have different angles to take. That said, you better like that person cause there are few things worse that making music with someone you don’t like and having to hear their dumb as opinions about a snare being too loud or whatever. That’s more about making beats with people than rappers though. I can’t say I’ve worked with any annoying rappers who asked too much of me.

OK, I’ve got a ‘would you rather’ for you. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life and it had to be ‘We Like Pizza’ by The Pizza Kids or ‘Hey Now’ by Hilary Duff from The Lizzie McGuire Movie . You can make music but it must consist entirely of samples from the song you choose- you can listen to the music you make. Of course, you can decide to just not listen to music very much.

I would easily pick the Pizza song. It’s fucking hilarious. The fact they got a bunch of eastern european kids to sing about pizza (Is there worse pizza that pizza in eastern europe? Probably but it can’t be that good either) is awesome. Now, in this scenario it would definitely drive me to listen to music almost never and my music career would be over cause , well, how the fuck could I make more than 2 beats tops out of that song? But,it’s still better than that Lizzy Mcguire abomination. I had no idea she was such a shitty singer.

I assume that, in general, you are pretty satisfied with the tunes you put out.
However, is there one (or more) of your released tunes that you, in retrospect, are not that satisfied with? Dissatisfied, maybe even. And if you were to review that track using your normal format, what would that sound like?

I mean, I like some tracks more than others. The older the stuff is generally my least favorite stuff. The more I hear it and the more I think “Eh, i coulda done something better there” or “These drums are weak”.
So, for the sake of perspective, I’ll review the song Daylight as if it were a demo:

The loops are cool ,it’s got some really good layering (the flute is nice)and it give you a warm feeling inside but the drums are pretty bullshit. Who still uses rim shots? The rapper is really good but I don’t think he’s reached his potential yet. Overall, it’s a well made but still somewhat amateur song. Also, it’ a little corny. That vocal sample in particular sounds like something you’d hear in a back packer rap anthem from the early 2000’s.
Production:5.5 out of 10
Vocals:7 out of 10
Listenability:7.5 out of 10
Originality:4.5 out of 10

Q: Have you ever thought about revising any of your (p)reviews of “Movies I Will Never See”, as in example have you ever caught one on TV late night and thought “Damn, I was totally wrong about that one…” Also, you should be a guest one “How Did This Get Made.” That pod is the best.
I actually have thought about that but the majority of those movies I reviewed, I never saw…cause they look like shit. The only one, off the top, I can think that I saw was “Gravity” and , while my review was not exactly on point, it’s wasn’t THAT far off. I had no idea it would be such an impressive feat of filmmaking. But it still was a bitch floating in space for 2 hours and had a shitty script.

If a small man snook up behind you In a bar groped your ass and exclaimed “yeaaahhhh buddy!”

How would you respond

Honestly, I’d probably laugh. My real reaction would depend on how he reacted to that. But, as weird as that may be, it’s better than someone walking up to me and punching me. I can shake off an ass groping pretty easily. I grew up in Greenwich village. I’ve had people be sexually inappropriate to me since I was 11 years. It wouldn’t be that big a shock. That said, if you’re a little ass grabber, please don’t do this to me.

Hey Block,
I found a public access video of you and Aesop and its completely hilarious. What was the story behind that?

These were promo ads for MTV back when “None shall pass” came out. This was back when MTV was trying this thing where they would push an indie artist for a week and play shorts with them between pretty much every commercial break. Some were live performances but other people opted to do skits. We thought a public access take off would be fun so we did a bunch of these. They’re all improvised and clearly pretty random. So we did these skits for youtube but they edited short versions of them for tv. Here are all the ones I could gather…



when you put on your pants in the morning do you start with your left leg or your right?
hmm…i had to get up to check but I go right foot first..as I am a righty.
Though, if I’m feeling saucy, I’ll lay on my back and put both legs in the same time like a teenaged girl.

How deep does your hate for foreign rap run? Would you for example listen to a Kutmasta Kurt produced track with Kool Keith and Del tha funkee homosapien on the first two verses which is then followed by an actually pretty dope, but unintelligible for you german rapper Retrogott, or would that spoil the whole song? It is on bandcamp, by the way.

There is a misconception that I hate Foreign rap. This is not true. I simply do not care about it. There is a HUGE difference. If you’re rapping in a language I don’t speak, you rap has nothing to offer me. It’s that simple. Doesn’t mean that I think it has o value on earth. It just isn’t for me.
I think there are really good producers out there from all over the world but, with rapping, I need it english. And, honestly, coming from someone who english is their first language. Or at least speaks it fluently with minimal accent. That just me though. I’m a purist and I’m just starting to accept that people who grow up on farms can rap too. I don’t go around cursing foreign rappers and wishing they didn’t exist. They simply don’t register to me as anything I would seriously listen to…cause I don’t understand what they’re saying.

Answers for questions vol. 225

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G’day mate(s),
Welcome to another edition of “Answers for Questions”. You as me whatever you want and I answer it. It’s fun for both of us. If you’d like to ask me stuff, fire away. Email me questions to Phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave the questions in the comment section below.
Get creative. Get weird. The better the questions, the better the answers. Let’s bust off into this weeks batch.

Would you ever consider putting out a compilation hip-hop album with your beats? With various mc’s from rhymesayers etc.

I would love to do that. In fact, it’s something I wanted to do forever. Around 2000 I was talking to a small label about putting something like that out. I made songs with Slug and Illogic but it just never happened. Those two eventually leaked but I also did one with Percee P that never saw the light of day and I lost a long time ago. the album was going to be called “Let a player play” so, in one way, I’m glad it never happened. That said, working with rappers is my shit and doing a comp with a bunch of different ones would be an ideal project for me. I should look into that.

Would you rather live one day as a woman in the present or as a man in the past 2000 years? You can choose the woman, you’ll be aware of her memories, etc. but you will have control over what you do. You can choose the man in the past but you can’t do anything that will change history.
I feel I’d try out being a woman just to see what it’s like. Might give me some interesting perspective. I could use the sensitivity. Not to mention, going back in time and worrying about the butterfly effect seems limiting. Considering that most actions you do will have a ripple effect in some way. Like, If I go back in time and bone some woman, that might lead to one thing that leads to another etc…In order to make sure I don’t change anything, I’d pretty much have to stay in a room alone the whole day so what’s the point? I’ll take having a vagina for a day over that easily.
But being a woman for a day would be a pretty crazy experience. I’d probably do that out of curiosity if it were offered in any circumstance, outside of this particular question.

If you had to eliminate everyone on the planet 18 and younger or 19 and older which one would you do? Take yourself out of the equation, assume you will be an age that remains on the planet (but you are making this decision now).
Oh that’s easy. 18 and under would be DEAD. Teenagers are the fucking worst. As cute as babies are, I’d sacrifice them to get rid of teenagers. Also, imagine social networks if there were no kids or teenagers. My facebook feed wouldn’t be clogged with babies. That would be nice.
But would this mean society would come to an end? Kinda like that clive Owen movie “Children of men”. You know what? Even that I’m cool with. We’ve had a good run as a race of humans and it’s not getting any better. Might as well just run out the clock now before we’re all under water anyway.

I have a theory and maybe you can settle it. On None Shall Pass, is that Aes saying “I’m trying to help” and, for the majority of the song, his vocal pitch has just been raised? Because at the end, when the sample is just saying “help, help, help” over and over while it’s downtuning, it seems to hit a frequency that makes it sound like Aes. Is that just a coincidence? Or maybe I missed what was supposed to be obvious? Love that sample regardless. That and the piano is what originally hooked me to that track.

I think you’re reading into it too much. Aes doesn’t mess with the pitch of his voice on songs (unless it’s totally obvious but, even that, I can’t think of an example). The “I’m just trying to help” is a sample from something. Maybe a movie? I have no recollection of the source to be honest.
But, yeah, it’s totally a coincidence.

What’s up with the Knicks?
They suck. I mean, this year went worse than anyone ever imagined. They’re basically as bad as the 76ers were last year. Especially if Melo decides to shut it down. I’ve kinda accepted that a knicks championship team is something I may never live to see.

What vocal range is your favorite to listen to? Soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, or bass? I know that a lot of times you take vocal samples and make them high pitch so do you lean more towards that spectrum? How about what is your favorite to listen to for personal listening and what’s your favorite for making music with? Is there a reason why you like to up-pitch vocals? I agree that it sounds great.

The only reason I pitch up vocals is so the sample will work tonally. I’ve pitched down plenty of samples as well but people don’t really ever mention that. It’s funny cause when the whole era of Kanye and just blaze pitching up samples became a thing, I had been doing that for years. Thing is, no one heard many of those beats cause I was just some dude making beats in his bedroom at the time. But I didn’t do it (and still don’t do it) cause I particularly seek out that sound. It’s more on a song to song basis as to what makes the sample fit right.
As for your actual question, I honestly don’t have a specific vocal range I’m drawn to. In fact, I’ve never even thought about that for a moment.

So sex makes women more likely to get a UTI. As a woman who is prone to UTIs, I have to be prudent about peeing after sex to prevent them. To me and all my friends, even ones who don’t have the same problem, this is pretty common knowledge. This has got to depend on who you’ve slept with, but are you aware of these facts? Do you think most guys are?
I am very aware of these facts cause I got prostatitis about 8 years ago from not pissing after sex. Ever since then, I pee after all busted nuts, even jerking off.
I’m not sure how aware most guys are. Some dudes are real savages and won’t even wash off their dicks after sex, let alone make sure to pee. So, if a dude is that unaware of his own situation, I’d imagine he’s even less up to code with a girl needing to pee after sex. I think most guys probably think girls only get UTI’s when they fuck guys with big dicks. We’re dumb like that.