Answers for questions vol. 191

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What up world,
Summer is knocking on the door down which means my allergies are coming out to play as well. Nothing like a teary eyed, snot filled nose in hot humid weather to really get your mind in a good place.
Welcome to another edition of “answers for questions”. You ask, I answer. Nothing is off limits (unless it’s too personal but that’s rare). If you’d like to become a part of the magic, send me your questions! Either email them to me phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Go nuts.
This weeks batch of questions are actually a great example of the variety and quality of question I look for. They’re all great so thanks to all those who contributed. Use this weeks selection as a guide, even. It’s great.

Alright Block, here’s a question…do vegans sit on leather couches?

Sure they do. They also wear leather shoes/jackets and tons of other things that conflict with their ideals. Obviously not all of them. But some of them? For sure. Thing is, i don’t have an issue with vegans, in the sense that they are adults and entitled to make their own choices. What they eat doesn’t effect me or my life. It’s only a problem when they’re the preachy kind who will talk your ear off while you’re eating a burger or a fucking piece of cheese. Those kind of vegans can go fuck themselves, on a leather couch with a dildo made of animal byproducts.

I’m not a fan of Deadmau5, or that genre in general, but I really liked this open letter he wrote calling out DJ/producers for exaggerating what they do on stage. The real art takes place in the composing of the songs, and not just triggering on stage. I thought the new SNL skit was pretty spot on (and hilarious) as well. What are your thoughts on the subject? http://deadmau5.tumblr.com/post/25690507284/we-all-hit-play

That was excellent and 100% on point.
In fact, my upcoming albums title, “Bells and whistles” is somewhat related to this. I’ve been touring for years and I always keep it simple. My computer, a trigger pad and , if possible, some visuals. Cause what I do live is literally triggering samples. Granted there are hundreds of samples in my sets but I work within a frame work that ensures the set stays on time and moves along properly. Over the years, I’ve toured with lots of people, opened for lots of people and had lots of openers of my own. One thing that has been consistent is seeing people who bring way too much shit on stage. ESPECIALLY openers. I get it more with established acts or people who actually play instruments but the amount of acts I’ve seen setting up for their 9 pm set ,that begins as the doors openm with like 5 trigger pads, synths they barely use and weird little electronic gadgets that I’m fairly certain don’t even really do anything, is astounding. It’s all, well, bells and whistles. If you’re an opening act, you should have a set up that requires no soundcheck is needed, not an extra power strip and two more tables.
As someone who has come up before electronic music was what it is today, the whole thing has always befuddled me, from a “live music” perspective. I’ll be the first to admit, my live show is not best “watched”. You come see me play and just watch me intently all night, you will be bored cause I’m just pressing buttons. I’ll never understand those people who come to the front row just to stare at me. It’s actually kinda creepy. My live shows are more for people to dance to, check out some visuals or just just vibe out to the music itself. If you like my music, you’ll be into it. The music itself is at the forefront. Not the performance. I think EDM artists (though I definitively do not consider my self one of those) are all about over compensation cause it’s not a natural thing to perform. They (we) are creatures of the studio. We’re more performing on a “DJ” level than a rock band level and sooner we just accept that, the better. Trying to make it something it’s not with all this extra , pointless theatrics makes sense but it’s also complete bullshit that, when stripped down, is usually just a dude on his computer.
I’m glad the music has reached a point where this kind of performance is acceptable and people come out and see us. Hell, it’s literally how most of us make our living. But, personally, I will never be that overhyped dude acting like me pushing that button is some skill set. I’m more focused on making sure I push the right button, to be honest.

When you read the following acronym – ATM – what’s the first term that pops into your mind? “At the moment” or “ass-to-mouth” or “Automated Teller Machine?”

The first thing I think of is the money machine. Then ass to mouth. “At the moment” has never popped in my head ever when hearing those three letters.
In general, when I say the sentence “I need to find an ATM” I’m obviously referring to those walk up prostitutes booths most corner stores have where you dip your penis in their butt, then in their mouth and they give you 80 bucks. No receipt though, thanks, I’m good.

block

you said in a demo review a while ago something like ‘these samples gel almost too well; if they’re all taken from the same track it’s kinda creatively bankrupt.’

what about same album or same artist etc? i recognize that it takes a lot more time and dedication and is more impressive, but is the crate-digger, hunt-and-gather process essential to the integrity of sample-based music?

I mean, people can do whatever they want. There are plenty of great beats out there made out of different parts of songs. I think it’s lazy , from a creative stand point, but it’s not against the rules. I will say that, it’s different when it’s done on a rap beat or on an instrumental beat. With rap beats, you got some leeway cause it’s background music for someones voice. But, if you’re instrumental track is just the same song cut up into 4 different parts, you didn’t really do shit but remix a song. There’s no originality in that.
As for taking multiple sample from different songs on the same album, I have no problem with that. Meshing parts from different songs, to me, is where the skill set is. Taking things that were not meant to be harmonious and making them that way is the name of the game (for me at least).

Folder or buncher, left or right hand? How exactly do you clean your poop? Also, do you see the penis as semi-flaccid or half hard?

I’m somewhere between the two. I don’t fold it so much but I also just turn it into a ball. That seems like it would lead to all sorts of wiping mistakes. You can’t be too cavalier about how you wipe. If you’re a folder and you don’t make enough layers, you could have the dreaded “poke through” where one of your fingers pokes through the paper right as you’re wiping resulting in a finger being launched right into your shitty butthole. That’s never a good look.
As for the penis question, I don’t look at it in one way. It’s a constantly changing being. Sometimes it’s semi hard, sometimes if totally limp. Other times I have full erection. I gauge my penis for what it is at that moment. Right now? comfortably limp.

If you had to encounter one

Would it be a ghost or an alien?

I feel like both have a stigma for being negative so it kinda depends where they’re coming at me from. I feel an angry/violent alien could do more damage , where as a ghost will fuck with you but they can’t actually murder you. They can make wind chimes shake and make you feel really uncomfortable but an alien could rip your head off.
At the same time, if neither of them were particularly violent or mean spirited, i’d definitively take the ghost cause I’m pretty sure we could communicate. Assuming the ghost speaks english. I bet you could learn a lot about the meaning of life from a ghost. After all, he/she was once alive and literally knows what happens after you die. It would definitely clear up all religious questions one might have. Where as an alien probably doesn’t have any clue what I’m saying which would be pretty annoying after a while. Like asking for directions in english in france.

if you had to bang

A huge ugly fat chick that smells

Or a hot tranny with boobs but still had her dong but was super hot and girly ?

That dong would be a deal breaker.
I mean, let’s be honest, my dick’s not getting hard for either of these people (though the tranny blow job might be pretty amazing, to be honest). I’m not into anal, especially with men who have tits and fucking a girl who smells legit bad (regardless of what she looks like) would be pretty difficult. Add on she’s fat and ugly, well, go fuck yourself, bro. How bout I just blow my brains out instead of both these options, deal? Deal.

Rapping Basketball players: Who’s the best?

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1994 , to many, is the greatest year of rap music of all time. Some of our most beloved classics dropped that year, often on the same day. However, not everything that came out that year was a 5 star album. If you’re old like me, you might remember “Basketball’s best kept secret”. It was an album that featured current (at that time) NBA players such as Jason Kidd, Shaq, Gary Payton and a host of others, getting their rap on. I’m proud/ashamed to say I’ve now owned this album for 20 years. Not only that, I actually listened to it (then and now). Even by “basketball players rapping” standards it’s pretty bad. I think what leapt out at me the most about it was the heavy west coast bias of the production. That probably has to do with them not wanting to use many samples but , still, it always surprised me. Another thing that jumps out is that, while 90% of the songs have a positive/mellow air to them, my man J.R. Rider came through with a straight up gangster joint. Curses beeped an everything. I bring this album up cause I recently saw a video of New York Knick Shooting guard Iman Shumpert rapping. As always, I was ready to laugh at it but, you know what, he wasn’t THAT bad. I’m not sure if this is my brain adjusting for the curve of “Rapping basketball player” or if he actually isn’t terrible. Whatever it is, it got me thinking about the history of rapping basketball players. A few have made waves beyond just random videos and mixtapes .Shaq is probably the most “successful” as , not only did he drop multiple albums, I believe one of them went gold. Allen Iverson got a lot of heat for his shit talking raps and Kobe is Kobe. So, I wanted to pose the question to you , the reader, which Basketball player/rapper is the best…OF ALL TIME! I’ll give you the options, take a listen and then vote. I realize this is kinda like voting for “favorite place to get a paper cut” but I’m curious what the consensus will be. This is actually one of the rare times on this blog where I honestly don’t know myself so I can’t exactly try and lead you to an answer. So, here are the nominees. I’m sure I will forget a few decent ones but, gimmie some slack, I’m my own research team and I’m very lazy.
Okay…

1)Shaq

2)Allen Iverson

3)J.R Rider

4)Stephen Jackson

5)Dana Barros

6)Iman Shumpert (Shump comes in at 1:55)

7)Ron Artest/Metta World Peace

8)Cedric Ceballos

9)Kobe Bryant

10)Kevin Durant

Phew. That was tiring. For me, I’d say it’s between Shumpert, Stephen jackson and Iverson…but what do you think?

Answers for questions Vol. 190

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What’s up everyone. Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You ask’em, I answer them. So very simple. Here’s the thing, you gotta send me questions though. So, either send them to my email phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Everything is anonymous, in case you wanna get weird with it (seriously, feel free to get weird).
Let’s hop into this weeks batch…

The frequent topic of the demise of old New York has come up frequently on your blog. Various reasons and or causes have been questioned and brought up. Sex in the City, hipster types riding the wave of gentrification, the inevitable yuppies that they turn into, or the ones that have been attracted to the old neighborhoods after they have been homogenized, all have been mentioned and it got me thinking about another possible reason/cause that as a non- New York person I am curious about.

Do you think the events and aftermath of 9/11 had anything to do with it? Perhaps the desire to rebuild and re-image NYC as a safe and successful metropolis eased the path for big chains to replace the small local businesses? Maybe it was just a the right mix of people dealing with fear and uncertainty along with profiteers wanting to make a buck giving people a new shiny and safer city? Or was the process already happening before that day? If so, did it maybe accelerate things? Or did it have nothing to do with it in your opinion?

I’d say the process was already happening in 2001. A random way I can relate it is with the emergence of fast food places in Manhattan. There was always Mcdonalds in NYC. That was the one. But, prior to the very late 90’s, places like Burger King, Taco Bell and Pizza hut were scarce. They existed more often in the outer boroughs and MAYBE in midtown by Times Square but, by and large, they weren’t really that visible. I clearly recall when the first Burger King moved into my neighborhood and thinking “whoa…that’s different.”. At the time i was excited cause, well, i was like 20 and that was some great affordable food for my broke ass. Looking back, it was a sign of bad things to come.

flash forward 5 years after that and , all of a sudden, fast food spots were everywhere. To me, that’s a sign of the city changing in a bad direction. From what were once privately owned, ma and pop stores to fast food spots to lego land like fast food spots they just popped into to any empty store front they would find. Eventually, Banks and Drug stores moved in to every other vacant area as well and that was that.

Do I think 9/11 had something to do with it? Eh…I wouldn’t be shocked but I definitely don’t see it being the main culprit. The fact of the matter is, manhattan is some of the most expensive square footage on earth. It got to the point here the only people who could/can afford to start a business here are companies with endless money. So, that’s who generally gets to open businesses. Those businesses don’t even have to do well cause they’re probably tax write offs for whatever billion dollar company owns them. The Irony of all this is, post 9/11, housing prices were low cause people were scared to live here. That’s when I bought my place. It might be the only time in my life that I can say NYC was even remotely affordable (comparatively, cause, let’s be honest, it’s never been THAT affordable in my lifetime). That phase ended and the prices shot back up but, still, for that reason alone I don’t think we can really place much blame on 9/11 for making NYC a shittier place. If anything, that fear induced window might have helped a little.

When you’re outside and thirsty, do you ever catch yourself thinking “mmmm…vitamin water…..” since you’ve had your adulthood druggie getaway?

Hahaha…Just for some background, this question is referring to a thing I wrote about going to the country with a bunch of my friends and doing drugs. Turns out, Vitamin water is delicious on drugs.
Anyway, I actually haven’t craved it at all. What’s funny is that, when Vitamin water dropped, i was obsessed with it. They used to have a green tea flavor that was my shit. In fact, I’m pretty sure I thanked them in the liner notes of one of my albums (I think the first one). Scratch that, I KNOW I did cause I got like 5 free cases of that shit back in the day. Not sure what happened, but I got sick of it at some point. Too fake sugary tasting. Nowadays, I rock hard with Honest Tea. So, if those people wanna give me free crates, I’m right here waiting for you. I’ll promote you anywhere and even wear your t-shirts. I love you like that, guys.

Alex Trebek. Do you think he’d be a dick in real life? Yes or No.

Here’s the conundrum , he’s canadian. So, there’s a good chance he’s actually super nice. That said, he’s got all the symptoms of a dick. He’s a know it all who talks down to people. It would be hard for me to imagine him not being one of the more patronizing people on earth. It kinda makes sense though cause, shit, if my job was asking people hard questions that I had every answer for, I might feel a little like god.
I would like to see how well he’d fare on his own show though. Uppity Prick (or not).

You seem like a good eater, so do you think you’d be able to complete a “Bang-Bang” Louis CK styles?

I eat EXTREMELY fast. It’s something I’ve always done and , honestly, i have no control over it. I’ve tried slowing down but it’s almost a compulsive urge to alway have food in my mouth while eating. no breaks. I don’t talk much while devouring. I barely even drink fluids while eating. I don’t doubt it will all come back to haunt me via my asshole one day but, until then, let your boy cook.
As for the “bang bang” (which is when you eat two huge meals back to back), I couldn’t do it. I’m a speed guy, not a quantity guy. Also, because I eat fast, sometimes my fullness is delayed. When I’m in full beast eating mode, I’ll finish a huge meal and sit for ten minutes then be so uncomfortably full, my night is ruined. There is simply no way I could follow that with another meal. Not my lane, in terms of how I eat. But i’d say that’s a good thing.

If your building was on fire, like raging fucking inferno status, what one thing would you risk your ass to save from your apartment? (assuming your girl and your computer were already safe)
My girl and my computer would be the only things I’d risk anything for. I mean, my wallet and phone would be crucial too but losing those two things wouldn’t be the end of the world. Honestly, I don’t own a lot of shit. Losing all my cloths and my sampler would hurt but there’s no way I’d risk my life to save them. Well, maybe my favorite pair of jeans, some t-shirts and my favorite sneakers. I need those, bro. But, ultimately, I’m not in the life risking for material objects business.

Question:

What is your estimation as to the number of PhatFriend readers who have tried sticking their dicks into a grapefruit in the privacy of their own kitchens? (since your bobcat post)
Oh man, I hope someone did it. In fact, if any of you have done the grapefruit technique, I’d love to hear about it. Men or women. So, if you did, write in about it and let us know. Was it a success or did you get citrus-y pulp your peehole and ruin your life? Inquiring minds want to know.
Edit: Someone sent me this today-
Eh Block, thought I would give you some insight on the grape fruit technique. I must say I laughed my ass off when I saw that video and showed a girl that I’m hooking up with right now about it. So we tried it with an orange cause lets get real grape fruit tastes like shit. It was not a very pleasant experience. Mostly because we failed to do one thing, get it warmed up before you do that shit. And the clean up afterwards requires a shower unless your girl is a human fucking vacuum cleaner and sucks all that shit up. I wouldn’t be against trying it again but I can tell you this I won’t ever be saying “damn, I could have been fucking a grapefruit this whole time.”

Hey block/tony. Your album the music scene was playing the entire time when my house was raided back in may 2010. I know great way to start this question. Anyway I remember sitting there in handcuffs as my apartment was turned inside out and four walls comes on about twenty minutes into the search. All I could think was damn…have I ever wanted to be out of four walls more. After the ordeal I couldn’t listen to the album for a while, then eventually realized what an idiot I had been in the first place, only to come back and realize what this album meant to me. Its now one of my favorites ever and a symbol of growth and positive change in life for me. So I guess my question is, is there any music in your life that has had the same effect of symbolizing growth or just a profound “lightbulb” moment?

I can’t really say I’ve had a song change my life. For me, there are more songs that capture a time for me and cause deja vu every time I hear them. Like Sly Stone’s “Family affair” reminds me of making out with my first girlfriend cause we used to play that song all the time.

or this song my dad used to play by Duke ellington called “The Maletabo Spank” brings me back to being around my dad in his studio while he worked on art.

Things like that.
As a fairly spiritually dead person, I don’t really have those “life growth” moments. And any “lightbulb” moment I’ve had while listening to music is typically an idea for something to do musically. Like when I heard this “possibly maybe” Remix by Bjork, it made me wanna make an insanely slow , spaced out and plodding beat. The beat it inspired eventually would become “A Better Place”.

Answers for Questions vol. 189

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Hello to all. It’s june. That means ,if you live in a place with real weather cycles, you’re pretty psyched. If not, business as usual.
Anyway, this is that thing where you guys ask me questions and I do my best to answer them. It’s really the life blood of this entire blog/website so never stop asking me shit. If you’d like to join the fun, send me questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. I take all comers. But i appreciate you creative/weirdo types even more.
Okay, let’s see what we got this week…

I have a really serious (ha!) advice question for Dr. Tony:

Really looking forward to the summer (like everyone else) and I’ve been daydreaming about it today. In my head, I’m like, “I’m gonna make this summer really count, enjoy it EVERY DAY” -but then I realize I have always said that before every summer too hahaha.

Anyways, I really enjoy playing soccer, always have, but I’ve never been much of a spectator. Not because watching it bothers me, but I just tend to not watch sports that much in general. What DOES bother me though is this looming feeling of the faux worldcup culture invading town and tainting summer for everyone! I know it won’t be as annoying in my city as it will be in nyc, but still, it’s gonna be bad. If the WORLD CUP were a holiday, it would totally be ST. PATRICK’S DAY…but the thing is….St. Paddy’s is only a day whereas the World Cup is so so much more than a day. Do you have any coping tips for me, Dr. Tony?

I don’t think this qualifies for a Dr. Tony question cause, while it’s advice based, it’s also retarded (no offense, as I have a feeling this was asked by my most consistent contributor).
As someone who loathes soccer, perhaps our coping mechanisms will be similar. For me, i avoid it all costs and it’s incredibly easy. Here’s what I do:
1)Stay out of sports bars ESPECIALLY in the morning/early afternoons. That’s when all the prime games were last time. Luckily, unless you’re a fall down drunk, doing this is incredibly easy.
2)If you see a crew of dipshits rocking soccer based shirts, barreling down the street, cross the street.
And there you have it. That’s how you avoid World Cup Fever in major cities in the US. In other words, just go on living you life like a normal, sane person and it won’t be an issue at all. It’s really not even close to a big deal.

idk if you’ve ever tackled this one, but, do you/have you ever thought/tried to make a beat(s) or work with an artist that would propel you into mad money? has crossed your mind: compromising your artistic integrity n walking away with mad cake ?

This has come up a few times in this column in slightly different incarnations. My answers is , if I could do what I do (meaning, make sample based hip hop beats without having to change my shit up or get it tampered with by record label people) then I’d be down. This is my job and that kind of pay day could keep me set for years. The publishing money on a pop song alone often means a 5 figured check 4 times a year for doing nothing. That’s something I would very much be into. I figure, as long as I’m not watering down what I do, it’s just someone purchasing my services. It’s kinda like back when I used to sell random people beats when I was younger (I’ve since stopped that). I didn’t love some of their artists I did that with but it wasn’t killing me creatively to give them a track for money. As long as they wanted the track that I had made, we were all good. The way I see it, as long as I keep up the quality on my end, no one can say shit to me. The second I make some bullshit in an attempt to find a new audience, then you can start yelling “Sell out!”. Speaking of people yelling “Sell out!”, it never anyone who’s livelihood depends on it. If you’re working a dead end desk job and yelling at some musician cause he made a shit ton of money off of music you don’t like , you got your priorities fucked up. That dude is living his dream but it’s still his job. As much as I think guys like Will.I.Am or DJ Khaled are hacks and the definition of “sell outs”, I’m in no place to knock them. Making a career out of music, ESPECIALLY in 2014, is not easy. By any means necessary. Some people are just willing to bend their morals a little further than some.
All that said, this imaginary conundrum will never be realized cause there are no huge pop stars out there knocking down my for for beats. Turns out, sampling limits what you can do on a massive level right now. Who knew?!?! Oh wait…everyone. Oh well!

What kind of tv watcher are you? Obviously there are shows that you need to watch in sequence in order to understand the plot, but with a show like “Louie” for example, are you a jump-arounder with the episodes or are you adamant about watching things in order?

I definitely keep close tabs on the shows I like. I kinda think of it in tiers. There are the shows I watch when they air (when possible) that have my full attention (The “Wire”, “game of thrones”, “Louie”, “breaking bad”, “True Detective” type shit) THen there is a second tier of shows I love (some are guilty pleasures) but I don’t fiend over them (many of which I watch with my girlfriend). Those I watch when I get a chance and enjoy greatly. Shit like “Top Chef” or “The real world”. “Catfish” is another one.
Then there is a third tier of shows I kinda watch but I don’t care about. That’s like any show on the Showtime network or “True Blood”. Those shows I watch in the background, typically while I’m playing around on my phone. I follow them but I don’t give a shit. They’re time passers before I go to bed or while I’m eating lunch.
With all of these shows , though, I definitely watch them in the order they come out. I mean, with the exception of stuff like South Park or Catfish, most of these shows are in a particular order so you can’t really skip around anyway.

Whose lifestyle would you prefer to have – Anthony Bourdain’s or Derek Jeter’s? Basically, what’s more information to you Blockhead – SEX or FOOD?

Oh man…thing about this is that one guy eats the best food and the other has sex with the hottest women. That’s really tough. I might cheat here and pick Bourdain cause , while he gets the best food, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t slacking on the ladies either (prior to marriage). I imagine that wasn’t the intention of this question but, seriously, I’d kill to live either of those guys lives so fuck you!
This is also a question that will change over time. The older I get, the less I’ll care about the sex, while good food will become the highlight of my existence. God, I love food.

Why do you think NBA players enjoy their tattoos more than any other professional sport?

Well, without delving too deep into a sociological discussion I have no leg to stand on it, I’d say cause they’re the one sport that has the most exposed skin. You see their arms, shoulders and necks clearly. So , it makes sense. I’d venture to say Football players are covered in tattoo’s as well, you just don’t notice it as much cause they’re covered up.
Also, it’s clear that we, as a nation, have become a culture of followers. There was a time when tattoo’s were more alternative. Like the people who had them were either bad asses , people who felt very strongly about something or true skin art enthusiasts. Then they got more popular and it just became a thing people did cause…why the fuck not? The second Justin Beiber got a full sleeve, the whole game should have reevaluated itself. While, at one point, the only people who had them were outsiders, it’s flipped to the point where the most basic, bro , douche bag will be covered in tattoos. It’s unfortunate for all those people out there who are really bout it.
I feel as though, with basketball players (as well as other athletes, actors and musicians) it’s just a bunch of dudes following. I’m not saying all of them, but a large portion of them are. You can tell by dumb ass tattoos they get. Some of these dudes should be ashamed of themselves. I mean, JR smith is an incredibly entertaining moron but look at this fucking guy’s back tattoo…
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I love pumping canadiana at you for some reason, ha. What’s your favourite Canadian”ish” thing out of the following options *William Shatner *Kids in the Hall *Emmanuelle Chriqui *Vice *extreme niceness *Poutine?

In order:
1)Emmanuelle Chriqui (I fucking love her)
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2)Kids in the hall (Classic show, though I haven’t seen it in years. I wonder if it’s aged well)
3)Vice (Although it’s become something like a monster, it was once the best. My bathroom is still filled with old vice mags from the early 2000’s/late 90’s.)
4)Poutine (It’s delicious)
5)Extreme niceness (It’s always pleasant but it’s also unsettling after a while)
6)William Shatner (I don’t give a fuck about William Shatner)

Hey Blockhead, how are you?
When I first listened to Eminem’s Rap God, I thought of you. Was it you that used this Captain America sample first in a song or is it a common sample? And if it was you, how did you feel? Pissed or vindicated that someone so popular used an idea of yours? I mean you share this kind of thoughts with funs so that’s why i’m asking, i don’t mean to be rude or anything.

I’ve been asked about this a few times outside of this blog so I might as well address it here. I feel no sort of way about this. People using the same samples is a thing that’s been happening for years in hip hop. In most cases, it’s never on purpose. In fact, it’s typically a case of two people having the same record and the second person not even being aware of the first person using it. I’d say with the upmost certainty that this is one of those cases. I doubt Eminem is bumping much “Music by cavelight”.
I feel as though, any producer worth their salt will never re-use a sample they’ve heard already used. It’s kinda just the code of originality. Sure, it happens (in the early 90’s, producers reused samples all the time) but nowadays? It’s generally just a case of coincidence.

Answers for questions vol. 188

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What’s up,
Welcome back. I hope your long weekend was satisfying. Mine was extra long as my brother got married. Congrats to Nice and Michelle! In other news, it’s warm out.
So, this is where you guys throw me questions and I answer them. The thing about this column is that it cannot exist without you. so, if you’d like to become part of the magic, I’mma need to to send me questions. Either leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Either or. Be creative. Be weird. My answers are only as good as the questions you ask.
So, let’s get into this weeks batch.

How do you “feel” about the following term?
feminist

Hmmm…I don’t really feel one way or another about it. It’s a word that has so any different meanings to so many different people it’s kind of impossible for me to pin point a feeling it gives me. For every Gloria Steinem there’s a Courtney Stodden, and both of them consider themselves “feminists”. Who’s to say what it really is? (Though, I’d guess it’s leaning HEAVILY towards Steinem and away from the demented child bride with the huge fake tits).

I doubt you’ll answer this question but, I’m assuming you quit weed, but when I smoke it helps me create really interesting beats and melodies. Have any other drugs inspired your music (not saying that marijuana is necessarily an inspiration for your music)? I’m just curious because I feel that marijuana can help create some pretty dope music, by helping bring out several ideas in such persons mind. I really like how your music kinda has this underlying melancholic feel to it.

The only thing weed ever did for me, musically, was either help me enjoy listening to it more or help my freestyles when i used to rap. Back when I smoked, I tried making beats and they never came out well. While i was making them, in my mind, I was making the best shit ever then, the next day when I’d revisit them sober, I’d realize they were not only bad, but they were mixed terribly and out of tune.
As for other drugs, I never tried or wanted to. It’s not like I’m gonna pop some mushrooms and then make a beat. If I’m tripping on shrooms, I’m gonna wanna be doing other shit. Though, I have often wondered what the outcome of that would be. I recall trying to write rhymes when I was shrooming and that didn’t work at all.
Basically, I’m just not one of those functional drug guys. If I do them, I’m not trying to add any element of responsibility or focus to them. And under rated thing about making beats (for me at least) is that there’s a type of math involved. Critical thinking as well. And I’m trying to do either of those things when I’m high.

If the following individuals can be so bad at their respective ages, why you gotta be such a wimp about getting old at 37?

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Well, for one, I’m not them. That’s a start. I can’t even touch my toes. So those old flexible motherfuckers are just a different breed of human than me. As for buff senior guy, that looks photoshopped. I really hope it’s photoshopped. Or, better yet, he’s only 35 and has just lived a drug fueled party life and his face has aged terribly. Also, genetics.

Hypothetically, who would be a more inappropriately matched celebrity couple to you – Orlando Bloom & Selena Gomez or Miranda Kerr & Justin Bieber?

Bloom and gomez. Sure, he’s a older than her and probably very different in all ways but men have been known to “date cute”. A really handsome dude dating a very cute (but not stunningly beautiful) girl is not abnormal. Meanwhile, A 6 foot tall model dating a 5’7” wigger asshole was only really a thing in the 90’s. Beibz couldn’t bag a girl like that. He does way better with girls who are shorter than him that pose on instagram in their underwear. I feel as that most women, past a certain age, see through the “Bieber mystique”. He’s like a “rebel” in the eyes of girls who have never met a real rebel. He’s basically the pop singer version of this little prick:
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Have you ever been chubby? What age were you when you were at your heaviest?

You mean aside from this very moment? Yes.
In 5th grade, before i started growing, I was kinda chubby.
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I was also one of those slob ass kids who refused to bath regularly and wore the same clothes for a week in a row. My principal actually pulled me into her office once and told me “Look Tony, You’re a cute kid but you gotta get it together. You’re dirty and your clothes are disgusting…” It was surreal…but, on the same tip, my friends older sister saw my unintentionally ripped jeans and told me they were really cool so, you know, there was definitely two sides to it.
But the heaviest I’ve ever been was 210. Probably 5 years ago. I generally weigh between like 198-204 so, thus far, it’s never gotten totally out of control. That said, I’m in the midst of a serious long term injury (torn abdomen muscle) that’s made it impossible for me to exercise with any regularity since the beginning of the year so i might top that 210 in the very near future. Yay! Kill me.

Just saw a documentary about The Big East Bball leauge the players were amazing, coaches were characters and the games were insanely entertaining with the rivalries and so on getting so intense. Did you go to or watch any of these games what was it like vs a regular NBA game?
Who did you root for?

I don’t fuck with college sports at all. Not in the slightest. Not even the final four. i tried watching a little of it but it was simply just not good enough basketball. The drop off in talent between that and pro basketball is so vast, it’s crazy. I get that people like the “rough around the edges” and the “at least they’re not overpayed athletes!” aspects of it but, for me, I want to see the best players play. Not a bunch of kids who took a science test earlier that day.

I’ve got a really really pressing question:

I use last.fm to track my music and check my profile every so often to make sure I’m keeping my hipster cred (although never actually tell me I’m a hipster, I’ll deny it). Recently I’ve been having an issue where I’ll be listening to an artist whose name is shared with a modern, more popular artist. As an example, I love “Ball of Eyes” by the jazz-rock band Placebo, but it scrobbles as being by some alternative-rock band. Similarly, I’ve been bumping “Original Man” by the prog-rock group Riff Raff, and I’m sure you can see the problems I get into there.

I don’t really have this issue with the bulk of my music, since U.K. Garage and Witch House producers usually have the decency to at least pick a name that no sane artist trying to get ahead would have.

What should I do to fix this situation? I’m loosing hipster cred by the minute. Please help!

Oh man. That’s tough. How have you been able to sleep at night? What will your witch house friends think? Holy shit, can you imagine what they say about you at the bi-weekly Witch house tea party? I bet they’re all like “umm…did you see Kyle’s LastFM scrobbles? umm…hellooooooooo….not even half of them had upside letters and spell black like “BLVCK”.” Dude, I feel your pain. I think what you might need to do is just stop listening to the prog rock Riff Raff and just take the loss. Otherwise, who are you really? I’ve seen people get their cool guy license revoked for less!

Answers for questions vol. 187

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Hey there. Is it summer? Starting to feel like summer. More importantly, is it bare midriff season yet? I hope so. Not for me to wear them but, you know what I mean.
Anyway, welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You ask, I answer. If you’d like to take part in this legacy, join in. Send me questions at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or simply leave them in the comment section below. I accept all questions but prefer ones with a little creativity. Come on, you know you can do it.
So, let’s get into this weeks batch and see what’s popping.

Would you rather have all of your clothing come from Hot Topic so you look like some lame ass 90s Raver for the rest of your life OR would you agree to eat your own feces once a year. No one would know you had to eat it so socially you’d be OK but each year on New Years Eve you would have to sneak off and consume your own shit?

This is tough cause, while dressing like a 90’s raver would be humiliating, it would also be extremely comfortable. I was speaking to a friend just yesterday who was talking about how the 90’s is coming back, style wise, and all I could think about was “Oh man…the comfort of baggy clothing…I miss it so much”. As for the shit eating, it depends how much shit. Like If I could swallow a capsule full of it once a year, I might be willing to do that. I’d imagine , even that would make me pretty sick though but that would easily be better than looking like an old raver until I die. But If I had to eat an entire dump with a knife and fork (or maybe even just a spoon), that would be a problem for me. I’d Imagine I’d get sick before, during and after. Like, REALLY sick. Hmmm…You know what, I think I’ll go with the raver clothing and just try to own it. I’d be that guy in his early 60’s , rocking JNCO’s and a visor. Killing the game.
Side note, I wonder what the cut off in age for is in the rave world that old dudes can still get laid within that scene? Sometime , shows I play are strangely rave like and I’ll see some people a good ten years older than me , dancing and dressing like children. If THOSE guys are still getting action than that makes the first option even more doable.

What’s up Blockhead, I was just wondering how your music sounds so clean and polished. I know a lot of that comes from the mixing and final mastering, but since your music is mainly sample-based how do you get that to sound so clean? I don’t hear any of the vinyl crackle or anything and it frustrates me trying to get my samples to sound so clean in my sp-404. I realize this might be one of those secrets to keep to yourself but if you could shed any light on how to get sample-based productions to sound polished or where I could go to learn about it, I would really appreciate it.

I never really thought about that. I guess it’s clean cause, if I come across a particularly crusty record, I don’t sample from it. I actually like a little vinyl crackle mixed in there. Another thing you might be ignoring is filters. They make a huge difference when cleaning up sounds. Basically, if you have a sample and want a certain aspect of it to be the focal point, you can filter out highs, lows, and mids accordingly. That can definitely help tidy up a crusty ass loop.

No one can know for sure, yet I just have this “feeling” that the type of pain women feel when they’re period cramping is exceptionally similar to how men feel when they’re hit in the balls. For funsies…can you please describe what it feels like to get sacked in that area?
(In my mind, the range of pain is different: I think women can feel it very mildly with light cramps all the way to (probably) excruciating with contractions – whereas it would be more of a consistent level of pain for men – but I think the sensation is most likely the exact same.)

I would argue that the pain men feel when being hit in the balls is MUCH more extreme when the contact happens but , obviously, way more fleeting. I say this cause if women felt like they got kicked in the balls during period cramps, you’d see women rolling around on the ground holding their uterus all over the place. Like grocery store isles and waiting on line at the bank. Unless you ALL do that in the privacy of your home. Do you? If so, that’s an amazingly well kept secret of suffering.
As for how it feels to be hit in the balls. It fucking hurts. It’s immobilizing (that’s why you ladies should do it anytime a dude is attacking you. No man can not feel it so it’s fool proof). It’s a swelling plain that crescendos. At first, there is the immediate pain but also a bit of fear cause you realize what’s in store. As the body realizes what has happens, the pain vibrates in your nutsuck and seemingly sends pain every which way. Your groin feels it but it really settles in your stomach. It doesn’t feel like some one punched you in the stomach. It feels kinda like there is a hand inside your gut aggressively rattling your stomach muscles. All you can do is wait it out. The best I can describe the pain is “vibrating”. It goes in waves and it’s relentless until it finally fades. I should also add that getting kicked hard and getting lightly tapped in the right spot hurt the same. Only difference is the hard kick will hurt for longer. The light tap on the nuts is almost work cause that pain swells when you expect it not to. A good visual to explain the pain would be like ringing an old bell. The way that sound resonates is very similar to how our balls feel and how the pain lingers.

I have seen Aesop live twice now, and one thing that has struck me unique about his on-stage style is the way he moves his body. Hard to put into words – but it’s like he subtly moves his arms/legs in order to tap into this intrinsic metronome to get into that certain head space (no matter where he’s playing). At first I thought it was for nerve-calming, which I bet it is, but the even “realler” reason is to calm higher order brain activity in order to recall all that lyrical material. Anyways, I’m obviously not a rapper but (ahem) I am seriously one of the baddest bitches when it comes to memorization skills. And what a lot of people misunderstand about that is they assume when I’m put on the spot to recall things, that I’m trying to get my brain to work so hard, when in reality it’s the total opposite.

So…TWO QUESTIONS:
A) What is your take about how Aesop Rock moves on stage? Do you also think it’s related to calming his nerves & the ability to concentrate?

B) Has he ever had a physical injury that you know of while being on tour or doing a show that has ever affected his performance?

Very strange question. Have you not seen many rap shows? Rappers all have a style in which they move on stage and body language while delivering their lyrics. Aesop’s is actually a style I’ve seen MULTIPLE rappers bite. It’s actually an underrated aspect of his live performance cause people have been copying it for years. As for your questions,
1)I think he looks cool up there. I don’t think it’s nerve related whatsoever. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing and has cultivated that style over the years. While, Im sure part of it, stems from the type of rapping he does (I mean, shit, can you imagine remembering all those fucking words?!!?) but , to me, it’s a presence of full on confidence. I’m sure concentration comes in there too. Ever see Percee P rap? He does this finger pointing thing where it looks like he’s playing an air saxaphone with every syllable. I’d imagine that’s just how rappers visualize their words sometimes. Go to around 1:19 and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

2)Hmm…not that I know of. He’s been hurt and sick before but I can’t recall him being on the road with a serious injury. But, then again, he and I have only toured together once so I really couldn’t tell you with 100% certainty.

Which classic girlfriend trait would you say is more irritating or annoying to you:

A) “I’ll be ready to go in 15mins!* just need to change outfits and put on some makeup” *Otherwise known as 37-42 real time minutes

OR

B) Sneaking in a comment/joke* while watching an episode of his favorite show
*mostly staying quiet, but mentioning one or two things juuust at that moment where it ruins the subtle nuances of an intense scene

Oh, A by a landslide. I LOATH waiting. But worse than that, I hate poor time management. Reason being, I’m one of those early to everything types (I’m actually highly OCD about being timely so it’s even worse for me) and I’m generally ready to go in like 2 minutes tops. Like, if I had to gather all my shit and be out the house in 5 minutes cause there was a fire, I could do that easily. I’ve never had a GF who didn’t take a long time to get her shit together and it’s always annoying. Not just girlfriends though..girls in general. I realize they need more time for prepping but I just wish they’d learn to start earlier than they think they need to…cause , like the question says, 15 minutes is never 15 minutes.
The second thing is annoying but I don’t really think of that as a classic girlfriend trait. I actually know way more dudes who do that. Or the variation of it where you’re trying to watch something with a group of people and that one asshole is clearly too ADD to focus so he tries to carry on conversations during crucial parts of the show. That shit is fucking annoying…but at least dvr exists now. I can always watch it again. Where as, waiting to leave? I’ll never get that time back.

what albumed song of yours took the most amount of working hours to make? least amount?

whats an imaginary genre of music you think might exist in say 2050?

I honestly don’t know. My songs get made over long periods of times and out of order. When I make an album, I’m usually pulling from a well of finished beats I had worked on since the last album…so that work was done a long time ago. I will say that , on my last album, the song “Beyond reach” took me a long time to put together.

I had some major issues with the break between the verses that I had to really figure out like a math equation.
As for least amount? It’s hard to say. A Song like Serenade was pretty simple. It had like 3 parts and all I had to do was find the right sequencing.

As for the second question, I bet the genre’s that exist with be mostly drone like. Like , for mellow people, a one note hum sound with some sort of sparse percussion on it. Think “Bjork but with less musicality”. Or for the more aggressive people, it’ll be like a static sound with industrial drums. In other words, music is gonna REALLY suck in 25 years.

expanding on the idea of you putting out your next album on your own (if it comes to that) – why wouldnt you just do that? cut the middle man and just bandcamp it or something.
in this day and age is the label doing much to even earn that cut? seems like you’ve developed a pretty loyal fanbase, and have also fostered a really strong social media relationship with them (via this, FB, twitter, etc) – such that it would be pretty easy / lucrative (?) to just drop it and promote it yourself?

I would rather not do it cause it’s a pain in the ass and I’m lazy. I didn’t get into music to have to deal with the business side. It’s unavoidable but, if I can, I like to limit that aspect of it as much as possible. Also, it costs money. I mean, i could just put an album out into the ether and a few people will check it out. I might sell a few thousand copies with no promotion outside of myself…but I’d rather spread the word further and that can’t be done without spending some money. The idea of losing money on an album is infuriating. I’ve only just come to terms with accepting that, as a musician in this day and age, no one buys shit and albums are basically just promotional material for touring but to lose money on the actual art I create? Fuck that. I’d rather break even with a label and make my money touring than cover all the costs myself (Press, getting vinyl/cd’s made, etc…). as well as deal with all the minutia (radio play, licensing, artwork, getting it on digital download sites) that you don’t even consider when making music.
That said, we shall see. If I put it out myself, it’s cause that was my only option. I’m hoping that won’t become a reality but if it does, I’ll deal with it. It’s not the end of the world.

Answers for questions vol. 186

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Welcome all! To you non-east coast people, this will mean nothing but, summer is here! At least for the day or until it starts pouring rain again. But ,hey, we take what we can get.
Anyway, this is where you guys ask me stuff and I answer it. This weeks batch is actually a great example of interesting questions. They’re all over the place and never trite. If you’d like to join the fun, please do! Send questions to my email phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below.
Both work equally well.
So let’s get into it…

Real question:
I’m going to visit New York for the first time ever for a week in June (Brooklyn to be specific). What are 5 cool things I should do? (Or not do?)

I’m way too out of the loop to tell you cool places to go. I mean, bars? Restaurants? Those are fun. Brooklyn is full of them. I’ve never been one for museums or…well…really anything in that realm. I can tell you a few things not to do.
Unless you’re dying to see central park, there’s no reason to go above 23rd street in Manhattan. Avoid midtown like your life depended on it. Don’t go on those weird “hip hop” tours in the bronx where they drive you around and show you the projects all the dudes who started hip hop lived in. Those are a rip off. On the same note, don’t go on the west village walking tours where they walk you around Greenwich Village and make up lies about the old buildings. I was coming home from my mom’s house a few weeks ago and passed one of those tours and overheard this leader tell the group that a certain house (on the corner I grew up on) was where Miles davis and Woody Allen once roomed together in the 60’s. Spoiler Alert: That house was built in the last 20 years. Those tours are BULLLLLLLSHIT.
Let’s see…what else…Skip going to the empire state building. It’s just a business building. My accountant works there. No need to see the statue of liberty either. It’s a long way to go to see a statue.
My advice for a good time in NYC is to simply explore different neighborhoods by foot. Take the train if it’s too far to walk. Walking around is key though. There’s no city like NYC in the US, in that respect. You’re gonna be in brooklyn though , so I’d guess you’re staying with some hipster friends…which is good. Just let them take you to their local spots. I’m sure it will be fun. Bring an umbrella though cause it’s supposed to rain.

Question:

Do you think people who are into celebrating ‘four-twenty” are the corniest people alive or are you totally indifferent, royal-baby-wedding styles?

PS: I have definitely been a corny-ass 420 celebrating motherfucker in the past, so I personally am not allowed to judge anybody in this manner.

Well…yes. I think adults acting like weed is a lifestyle instead of simply something you smoke when you feel like it, are corny. From owning High times magazines, to making it a conversation piece whenever they can to celebrating 4:20. I feel the same way about wine connoisseurs and Cigar aficionados as well. If you love that stuff, more power to you. But celebrating it like it’s your first time doing it every time is some amatuer hour shit.
I think weed should be legal. Well, lemme amend that…I don’t give a fuck about it enough to think it should be legal or illegal. I don’t smoke so it’s of no concern to me. But, I think it’s not dangerous and would help the economy.
But back to the question, if I’m in a room with someone and they’re earnestly carrying on about the significance of 4:20, best believe my soul is rolling it’s eyes. You wanna smoke, go for it. Don’t be held down my a time constraints, maaaaaaaaan.

Out of these options, which would you pick to have for a month:
1.) The constant feeling of soap in both eyes
2.) Really itchy balls
3.) The feeling that you’re starving to the point that your stomach hurts(even if you just ate)
4.) Or have to tell everyone you encounter in any way that Lil Wayne is God and that you love him

I like a “would you rather” test as much as the next guy but, goddamn these things. They’re always generally 2-4 things that no human could ever live with. For instance, this is a choice between 1)constant sharp pain 2)constant discomfort and embarrassment 3) Constant stomach pain and nausea and 4)constant humiliation.
All those choices would ruin my life in one way or another and I’d probably just kill myself to make it stop. But, if I HAD to chose, I guess I’d chose #4 cause it wouldn’t be physically disabling. While it would make me a shut in and ruin every relationship I have on earth, but ,at least, I’d be pain free.

Have you ever played basketball against a woman who was an equal or better player than you? I don’t know if this a laughable dumb question or not…I know zero about basketball! I just know that whenever I’ve played soccer with guys, as a girl, I’ve taken pride whenever I’ve been better than some of them.

I’ve played basketball with a few women here and there in my life. Mostly pick up games. In my experience, none of those women were very good. At best, they were serviceable. So, no, I’ve never personally played with a girl who was better than me. In fact, in general, the whole mood of the pick up game changed and they generally got treated softly. Like no ones trying to set a hard pick on some girl playing pick up basketball.
That said, clearly, there are some amazing female basketball players who would destroy me with ease if we ever played.
I actually think women have gotten much better in the last 20 years. Probably due to the WNBA existing and expanding basketballs popularity amongst women. I remember watching a WNBA game when it first started and being pretty sure that, if you put me in that league, I could average 20 rebounds a game. I felt that way mostly cause , aside from the point guards, most of the other players payed like stiff frankenstein’s and none of them could even slap the backboard. I was young and could jump out the gym at the time and, honestly, at that age, I think I coulda done it. Nowadays? These girls are soooo much more athletic and bigger. They got power forwards who can run and shoot now. It’s a different ball game altogether.
All that said, the WNBA is still boring as fuck though.

This is obviously uber hypothetical and would never actually happen in real life as we have never even met, but THEORETICALLY… if you and I played a game of tennis against one another, who do you think would win? I think I would. I’m younger than you are, probably a lot quicker and more agile, and competitive as hell when it comes to playing sports. Plus, I’m a lefty, and that throws a lot of people off. What do you think?

This is impossible to say cause I have no idea how good you are. I also haven’t played tennis in like ten years but, when I did, I was pretty good. But yeah…how on earth would I be able to know that. That’s like asking me “who makes a batter brownie? Carly Simon or this girl you know from high school?”.
But don’t sleep on my first serve. It goes in like 15% of the time but that shit’s an ace EVERY time it lands.

From reading your blog, I know that little things don’t tend to affect you too much and that you can be often be described as “indifferent.” But come on…you aren’t a robot! So what sorts of things make you feel embarrassed?

Plenty of things make me feel embarrassed. But I don’t think that feeling and being indifferent share the same space. I’m indifferent about things on a larger scale. Shit that doesn’t effect my life. Like, as I said earlier, weed. I truly don’t care about weed. On another tip, say I hear about an armed robbery in the middle of america that went wrong, I don’t have feelings of empathy about it. My indifference is more on the sociopathic spectrum. I’m removed from things that aren’t around me. But personal embarrassment? Sure. All the time. Saying some dumb shit. Tripping when I walk down the street. I mean, none of this is life altering shit that matters but , in the moment, it’s slightly embarrassing.
To be honest, I find myself more embarrassed and uncomfortable when I’m with someone who’s acting like an asshole. Other people are far more embarrassing to me than I could ever be. Like a person who is rude to a waiter. That shit is mortifying. Really, anyone who thinks they’re above another person and tries to display that in public. Those motherfuckers can eats infinity dicks. Aside from the basic humanity they lack, the idea of being affiliated with them is what makes me feel so humiliated.

For questions and answers.
Had you have grown up in the high speed hardcore internet porn era, how do you think your sexual preferences would have evolved?

Bro…yes. I thank the lord satan himself every day I grew up when I did. In my day, we had to earn the porn. Trading tapes, finding it on the street. And what was on those video tapes probably guided our sexual tastes to this very day. Luckily for me, I saw some decent/normal shit. If I had come up in this era where anal gaping is as normal as kissing, I’m pretty sure I’d be a different person. If i had had access to literally millions of scenes at all times from age 12? I would be a sexual disaster. When you’re that young, you’re brain isn’t ready to go that deep. hell, at age 12, most little boys are able to jerk off to bra ads in a sears catalogue. Do you know how pure that is? Replace that with two dudes double stuffing some girl and spitting in her mouth while slapping her around and you’re gonna have a fucked up deviant who never even had a chance to be normal about sex. And it works both ways…the girls see that shit too and it can only warp their ideals as well.
Porn is porn. It serves it’s purpose but , much like drugs, it’s something you’re better off embracing when you’re old enough to know your limits and understand it better. A 12-15 year old boy who’s never kissed a girl watching the kind of porn that’s out today is a scary prospect. If I grew up in this era, it frightens me how fucked up i’d be. Who knows, if that were the case, I might have shit on my chest and full erection at this very moment.

too much of a good thing cake

Feel free to judge me

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It’s strange that it’s gotten to this point but the phrase “you’re being judgmental” , when typed on the internet, has become one of my least favorite things said by assholes. Wait, is calling people who say that on the internet “assholes” being judgmental? Yup. Very. Here’s the thing though…we are all Judgmental. You. Me. Your mom. Your shrink.That cute old lady. Everyone. Some people are better about it than others and some people take it way overboard but , the fact of the matter is, it’s human nature. To look or hear something and not react to it in some sort of way would be strange. One can simply not care but even that person is judging in some fashion.

So, as a person who writes stuff on the internet as well as makes music for public consumption, I’m pretty used to being judged. For better of for worse. Now, with music, it’s an unavoidable pitfall. I don’t think anyone ever tells budding musicians “Hey, enjoy the creative freedom of making music but just know that you’re entire existence will hinge upon the judgment of others. ESPECIALLY strangers.” That’s something you learn as you go along. In the same sense, you learn to either be affected by it or not. I will say, it’s hard to not feel it at least a little. After all, this is your art. This is what you spend hours working on alone in a room (or where ever you make it). But the domino effect of that process is that, down the line, someone is going to tell you what they think whether you like it or not. That’s just a part of making music. Especially in this day and age when any asshole with an internet connection can bootleg an album, skim through the first 15 seconds of each track then go on a message board or youtube and tell the world how much it sucks. Are they being judgmental? For sure. But that’s just humans being humans. While I think these types are generally pieces of shit, you can’t scold the fish for pissing in the ocean. It’s just how things are and we have to begrudgingly accept it.

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On paper, this should infuriate us all. But the thing about being judgmental is that, if you take a stand against it, you are in fact being judgmental. You are judging the person who you accused of judging something else. The internet is a never ending spiral of this. People calling out other people for doing exactly what they are doing.

As someone who writes dumb tweets daily, I come across these types of people fairly often. They love nothing more than to get up on their virtual soapbox and tell me exactly what a judgmental asshole I am. Admittedly, I invite it with some of the things I may write from time to time. But the irony of them pointing the finger is lost on them. The thing about this whole mindset is that I struggle to see what universe it’s based in. Surely not this one…Not the planet I live on where every single thing a person does, that involves the looking eyes of another person, is somehow scrutinized. It’s not just in a negative sense either. You walk an old lady across the street, people who see you doing that are gonna judge you. The ruling might be “He’s a good person”, but it’s a judgement nonetheless. Judgment is important. It separates people from other people. If we didn’t judge things, people, foods, situations, we’d just walk around like huge bricks of motionless soy products with faces on them, smiling and talking about the weather. As bad as someone judging someone can be, it serves it purpose. It is short sighted to look at a stranger and, based on their outfit, draw an opinion on them. But, at the same time, some people are asking for it. As dangerous as “reading a book by it’s cover” is, I’d guess it’s probably got an 80% success rate. And the fact that we, as humans, have brains that react that way is really not in our control. The best we can do , in attempts to seem like better people, is keep these judgements to ourselves. But to say you don’t have them? Bullshit. No typical person is that zen on the internet or in life. It’s impossible to be. I think that’s what gets me most about the anti-judmental judges. It’s as if they think they live in a world where no one looks at other people and evaluates. unless you’re a buddhist monk, I don’t wanna hear that shit.

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Even the most peaceful, human loving, good natured hippie on earth judges. He may be a lot less of a dick about than say, me, but if you think he’s living life , walking around and not constantly judging everything that goes on around him, you’re insane. I’m sure he saw those new sandals you bought and told you they’re awesome (that’s a judgement). But, on the low, he thought they were simple okay. What a dick.

I embrace being judgmental. It’s how I guide my way through life. Without it, I’d have shitty taste in music, movies, food and friends. Call that being elitist but I question anyone (As well as judge them) who doesn’t do the same. It’s called having taste. It’s called knowing what you like and dislike. To be a person who doesn’t do that…I don’t even know what the point of living would be. Perhaps just living to die without any thoughts in your head or, even worse, ignoring the natural thoughts that run through your brain constantly in an attempt to seem “fair and balanced”.
The idea of being “accepting” of everything is cute but not realistic simply cause most of “everything” is pretty shitty. It’s our job , as humans, to make our own minds up and pick and choose. I’m sure it’s been going on since the caveman days. You think Grog didn’t judge Throlg’s cave art? Of course he did (Grog was a known prick).
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So, as much as it pains me, get your judge on. You’re judging this right now and that’s fine. It’s how this works. Love it or hate, I Accept it. Just do me a solid and NEVER scold me for being judgmental. Not cause it’s not true but because you’re no better than me , no matter what you think…cause you think. Just like me.

Answers for questions vol. 185

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Or not…isn’t this some made up holiday that only americans celebrate on behalf of latinos? I could be wrong. In fact, I probably am so , please, feel free to not correct me on that cause, seriously, I don’t care. Do you. Drink some beers during the day. That’s what Cinco de mayo is all about, afterall.
Anyway, welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You ask. I answer. I’m always looking for new and interesting questions so, if you’d like to join the fun, send them my way. Either email them to me: phatfriendblog@gmail.com Or leave them in the comment section below. Both options have a 100% success rate.
So, let’s get into this weeks batch…

Being interviewed. I’m sure it isn’t one of your most favorite things, but what can an interviewer do to make the experience more enjoyable on your end? Can you give some tips for….
A) phone interviews?
B) in-person interviews?
C) in general?

This question feels strangely meta.
I think tips for both phone and in person interviews are the same…
Interviews generally go one of three ways.
1)It’s a person who kinda knows about you, did a quick internet search about you and asks very basic questions like , for me, “Where did your name come from?” or “What’s it like working with aesop rock?”. I’d say most interviews fall into this category and are painless but extremely boring. At best, they’re familiar with one thing you did (with me, it’s my first album. Always).

2)it’s a person who has clearly never heard of you (these are generally for corporations or larger publications) so the questions are along the lines of “What kind of music do you make?” and “Who are your influences?”. These are ALWAYS shitty cause neither you nor the interviewer really wanna be there and you both know that it’s pointless. No one is gonna read that interview and come away from it a new fan or even remotely interested.

3)A person who is actually a fan and they have interesting questions to ask. It’s often nerdy but it’s the best. Honestly, just answering questions that you can tell the person asking is excited about is nice. These tend to go longer and I feel like I get to be myself. The other two kinds generate more “stock answers” while this type of interview is more conversational.
So, basically, the best way to interview someone is to know what you’re talking about, know about their history and don’t ask played out questions. Have your own angle. Unfortunately, I’d say about 5% of all the interviews I’ve done have gone like that.

Hey Block,

Recently I read your movie preview reviews and noticed there weren’t any super hero flicks included. Though you don’t strike me as a comic book geek, I was wondering what your thoughts are on that whole movie sub genre.

With a few exceptions, I don’t give a flying fuck about comic books or comic book movies. Sure, a few of the newer Batman movies were cool (I’m not even remotely into them on the level most people I come across are though). The Avengers was fun. I actually enjoyed a few of the X-men movies the most of all. But, really, when it comes down to it, it’s just not my lane.
I actively loath all things superman and spiderman. Always have. Not to mention they’re really starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel with some of these newer superheroes they’re trying to make happen. Like there is gonna be an “Ant-man” movie? What the fuck is an ant man? It’s a good thing Entourage already deaded “Aquaman” ever happened cause can you imagine what a load of shit that would have been? Yikes.

I’ve seen you write that SATC ruined NYC, could you elaborate on this, if you haven’t already? I’m the kind of dude who likes to have a girlfriend (weird, eh?), and thinks it’s good to do stuff she likes once in a while (especially if it’s watching a tv show, then I can just get a nap if I don’t like it), so I’ve seen a fair share of SATC (actually most of it tbh). It’s not great, it can be super lame, but I also think it has it’s funny moments.

Where I live (Denmark, Europe), I think it influenced a whole generation of young women, in a mostly positive way, so I think it would be interesting to hear a New Yorkers perspective on it.

I’d like to point out that this is the second Sex and the City related question is two weeks. That’s so fucking weird. That shows been off the air for like a decade now, right? And I’m a male adult. Anyway…
I think most men who had girlfriends at that time can relate to being forced to watch a decent amount of Sex in the City. You are not alone, my friend. Though, it sounds like , you secretly kinda like it. Only god can judge you, bro.
Anyway, when I say that SITC ruined NYC , it’s hyperbole. Many things have knocked NYC down a few pegs but SITC is more just a detail. The shittiness that SITC bought to the table is nothing tangible. I think, it showed NYC in a particular light. A glamourous one of expensive martini’s and horse rides through central park. People all over the world saw this and were like “Hey, I wanna live like that!” and decided to move here. Problem is, the majority of NYC isn’t even remotely like that. In fact, all the best parts and aspects of the city could not be less like that. So, these people moved here (by “these people”, I’m speaking mostly of corporate working women from the middle of nowhere and vertical striped shirt wearing grown frat boys who could best be described as “basic”) based on those ideals. It happened at such a fast rate that NYC started adjusting for them. In the past, NYC would just do what it does. You didn’t like it? You didn’t move her. But with this influx of dipshits who , honestly, would never have wanted to live here pre-1999 , the city started changing. It started to become more like SITC and less like the actual city it got famous for being. Now, to say this is all because of SITC is ridiculous but it’s definitely an element and, more so, it’s a metaphor.

Hey block,

I know you’ve already covered yung lean and probably don’t want to give him any more attention. But he’s got a tour all over Europe scheduled now. So what’s the deal? Is he for real? Does he even know what is going on? Is he doing this intentionally like some people think

Someone like 3pac is intentionally bad, that’s easy to tell. Riff raff probably started out unintentionally bad, then recognized what was going on, and now people actually like him for who he is. But with yung lean I just don’t know what to think. I like his beats and his videos are alright, maybe if he was rapping in swedish and I didn’t know what he was saying I wouldn’t be bothered so much by this.

I wrote about him a while back and , to this day, I get a comment or two every day from Yung Lean supporters telling me to go fuck myself. In fact, I’ve stopped even approving comments cause it’s pointless.
http://phatfriend.com/2013/07/24/hey-guys-lets-not-make-yung-lean-a-thing-okay/
The funny thing is that, while I definitely dismiss his music in the article, it’s clear that most of the people commenting didn’t even read it cause they all seem to overlook my point entirely (That being that I was asking the blog media to not make him “A thing”) and just leave super involved messages about how I’m a hater and how Yung Lean is the truth. You can tell a lot about an artist by their fans. I have my share of stinkers (have you read my facebook comments lately?) but this dudes fans are mostly clueless children with bad taste who lack the gift of self expression through the written word.
But, Like I said, I’ve written about him already. My stance hasn’t changed. His newer video isn’t exactly setting my world on fire but, hey, he seems to be settling into a world with a bigger budget.

It should be noted that , as he gets older, it’s clear he’s getting less weird and more just “whatever” as a rapper. He’s always sounded like other rappers but now he’s just sorta sounding typical to his genre. That strangeness is going away. Which kinda disproves anyones case who was saying he’s innovative in any manner whatsoever. He’s just a swedish kid who raps , guys. Sorry.

Quick fire round:
Have you ever been caught masturbating?
No but once my mom walked in while I was scratching my nuts and abruptly left the room cause she assumed I was. That sucked just as much as being caught though.

What’s your personal record for amount of times masturbating in a day?
10 or 11? I was like 12 years old. I think my friends and I used to challenge each other to see who could bust the most clear nuts (when you’re 12, not much real sperm comes out). Then we’d report back. I recall a friend saying he went 14 times. A boy going through puberty’s drive to bust nuts is truly next level. Any time I see a group of 13 year olds I try and avoid getting anywhere near them on the street cause I assume they’ve got sperm all over them.

Favorite porn site?
Depends. fuq.com is good cause it’s like a data base for all the smaller sites. It’s overwhelming sometimes but good if you’re looking for a specific category/person. Otherwise, I just use youjizz.com. It’s used friendly and generally has a few good scenes on the front page so I don’t have to go down any weird rabbit holes to find a good clip.
Man, there is nothing like speaking about masturbation as if it’s a day at the office. I feel like I just wrote a short Yelp review.

Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

I’ve definitely had those “This shit is haunted!” moments but I like to think I don’t actually believe. Thing is, if ghosts exist then that opens doors to a bunch of other shit I definitely don’t believe in (heaven, hell, god ,satan). It would be hard to have one without the others. That said, i definitely believe in the possibility of ghosts way more than those other things so, you know, you never know. But I’m a fairly skeptical person in general so, until something like this is proven to me, I’m not buying it. (just in case though, that was NOT an invitation for some fucking ghost jerk offs to make themselves known in my house. I already got mice. I’m good.)

Have you ever commented on a youtube video that wasn’t related to your own stuff (i dunno if you have your own channel or not)? I have never commented on a video in my life but I’m always curious to know if others have. Are you a youtube commenter, Blockhead?

I think I’ve commented on like two videos in my entire life. One was correcting an incorrect fact about me (I don’t post as “Blockhead” though so who knows how that went over) and the other was me complimenting something or another.
As we all know, youtube comments are where happiness goes to die. Mix that with the fact that I’m prone to getting into pointless arguments on the internet and you’ve got a problem. Because of that trait, I avoid them. I read them at times but, especially where my own music is concerned, I keep my mouth shut.
A word to people who do leave youtube comments: Your parents failed but don’t blame them. Just know, you and only you can make yourself an asshole. It’s a choice. Be a better humans and stop starting arguments over everything. You’re not clever. You’re not interesting. You’re bored and stupid. And that’s a terrible combination.

Answers for questions vol. 184

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Whattup.
How was your week? mine existed as well.
Anyway, this is where you guys send me questions and I answer them. As you will be able to tell from this weeks batch, I take any and all questions. If you’d like to participate, please do! Leave questions in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. I always need them so don’t be shy, guy. Without your questions , this cannot exist. You are my blood.
Let’s check this weeks bounty.

A confession: 10 years ago, I used to be a huge SATC fan. So much so that I could obnoxiously tell you that it’s (ahem) Sex AND the City, not SITC. You’re very welcome!

I remember…having a poster up of SJP in my room (next to Audrey Hepburn, naturally). Anxiously awaiting for my download to finish from a thing that rhymes with “schlymewire.” And even occasionally posting quotes from the show as MSN messenger statuses. Sidenote: I know I’m starting to sound “old” but I actually prefer the term “seasoned.” Blockhead, do you think I will always have somewhat terrible taste in pop culture because of this terrible transgression? Can I ever recover??

I’m assuming you’re a girl so, no, this is just a phase some girls go through when growing up. SATC clearly has some allure that draws girls in. The cloths? The fast city living? The incredibly terrible writing and jokes? I dunno. Maybe a little of all that. But , whatever it is, it taps into something. But, let’s be honest here, it’s one of many shows like this. Bravo’s entire network is pretty much made for people who once liked SATC. Also, I should add that there are shows like this that men seem to feel the same way about. It’s called sports.
Can you recover? Sure. As long as you can acknowledge that SATC is a)not realistic 2)a guilty pleasure 3)we all like bad things when we’re young you should be fine. We all make mistakes and if that’s one of your worse ones, then you’re doing okay in life (and you’re a blindingly typical white girl from the late 90’s/2000’s).

On a scale from 1 to 100, how does this -> http://www.buzzfeed.com/krystieyandoli/how-much-of-a-new-yorker-are-you -> Buzzfeed Quiz make you feel?

As it has been documented, forced NYC centric things like this are typically the bane of my existence. But, am I TRULY mad at it? Nah. It’s the worst. I mean, holy shit…it’s bad. I scored a 78 on it but even that was kind of offensive. I think about all the shit it’s asking and it’s kinda comical. It’s pretty much half things ONLY tourists do/tolerate. There are like 7 broadway show related questions for christs sake. But, yeah, this is bullshit and obviously written by a total new jack asshole who’s lived here for 10 years. For instance:
“You’ve had delicious slice of pizza for 99cents”
Nah, son. That Pizza is garbage. I’ve had it…it sucks. It’s what homeless dudes eat and regret.
“Spending 12 dollars in a cocktail doesn’t seem like a lot of money”
Actually, that’s fucking crazy and the second I walk into a place like that I leave.
“You’ve gotten drunk at a bottomless brunch”
This is amateur hour shit right here.
“You’ve taken a ferry to the statue of liberty”
This one is the dead giveaway that a non-new yorker wrote this quiz. No people who are actually from here give a shit about the statue of liberty.
“You’ve spend $5 for a cro-nut” “You’ve gone to magnolia bakery”
again this is literally something only tourists do. The rest of us know better.
“Fuggetabouit is one of your go to saying”
I’ve NEVER heard a person say that seriously in my entire life.

So, on a scale of 1-100, I’d say this pisses me off 78.

Your production pops up on NPR shows every once and a while. I’ve caught it on both “This American Life” and “TED Radio Hour,” which are the top two most popular podcasts on iTunes. Did they seek your permission or did they just sample you?

I don’t really know. I imagine on shows like that they just pay me a little publishing every time it plays. It’s not like it’s a commercial or the theme song to the show. It works similar to if it got played on the radio. fractions of a penny every time my songs get played.

Yo Block, I’m just curious as to what the process of “shopping a new album” is like? By that I mean finding a distributor. I notice that there’s always a considerable amount of time spent between you finishing a project and figuring out who actually releases it. Is it just a lot of bureaucratic bullshit, or do labels really take that long in deciding whether or not they want to put out your music? Specifically, it always seems that Ninja Tune ends up releasing it anyway, so what are they really waiting on? You appear to be a pretty bankable artist for them at this point.

As it is something I’ve doing right now I can tell you all about it.
At this point, I can honestly say Ninja Tune is not going to put out my next album. We had a great run and I got love for those dudes but they’re going in a different direction and the amount of sampling I do has always been an issue. The thing is that , in 2014, the majority of money labels make off of music is done through licensing. When you (or, I) sample, it makes those songs pretty much impossible to license. That’s why you’ve never heard “Insomniac olympics” on a commercial or in a movie. So, while i have been successful for Ninja tune (My records alway recoup and I tour well), on the other side of things, I haven’t done too well. So, I get it, no hard feelings and I’m sure we’ll maintain a good relationship beyond this.
Now, as for shopping the new album, it’s basically in the hands of my manager. I finished my new album late last year and it’s been making the rounds. I won’t lie. The sampling is always gonna be an issue for most labels. So, it’s taking a little time. My manager basically is in contact with a few different labels and trying to feel out what the best option will be. A lot of these labels have schedules they need to work around and tons of shit on their plate so it’s never a quick process.
Worst case scenario, no one wants to put it out and I just do it myself. I’d rather not but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Though, I’d like to think it won’t come to that. We shall see. Some cool labels are sitting with the album right now so hopefully one of them will go for it.

Yo block, just saw you for the first time this weekend. What was with all the electronic drums substituted in songs? Didn’t think I heard the breaks you used on your albums. And no vinyl? Maybe I’ve been out of the hip hop loop, but is it all electronic controllers and stuff now?

Do you know what a “break” is? My live set is 90% break beats. Most of which come from my albums and others that are some of the most well known breaks in hip hop history. I barely have an electronic drums. Maybe you saw someone else’s set and thought it was me?
As for vinyl, I’m not a DJ. Never was. To pull off what I do live with vinyl would be 100% impossible. I get that you’re old school or whatever (I am too) but times are changing ,bro. This is what electronic/dj music looks like now.

I bet most reading this blog would easily self-identify as being funny or good in bed… but I don’t think a lot of ppl would consistently identify themselves as being smart. Do you agree? I’ve always grappled with that word, I don’t even know what the fuck it really means! Aside from extremes at both ends, I think the majority of people could be characterized as intelligent, depending on what criteria you use.

For example, at times I can be smugly impressed with myself at what my brain is capable of understanding and memorizing. At other times…I actually surprise myself with how dumb I can be…so so stupid & dumb (and not in a charming/cute way). And I am deeply insecure about the things that I am not good at. I think a lot of other people feel this way too. What do you think? And what does “smart” mean to you?

I bet if you ask Snookie “hey, are you smart?” she’d give you a resounding yes and an eye roll. I can only think of a few times where I’ve come across people who honestly have said “I’m not very smart” when referring to their true level of intelligence. I think almost everyone I’ve ever met thinks they are “smart”. Thing is, they’re all basing it on the characteristics they deem important. For instance, I’m a college drop out who, if you put a science related book in front of, will lose focus within 5 seconds of reading. I’ve met people who are brilliant students that have multiple masters degrees but, socially, they’re pretty much mongoloids. Because my brain works the way it does, I value social smarts more than those of people who are good at school. It’s all just different wiring. To me, I see a person who is quick witted and funny , and that’s smart to me. I’ll take cleverness/creativity over book smart any day. That said, cleverness isn’t gonna remove my appendix if I ever need the operation so , obviously, both types of smart people are important.
This all boils down to something the poet laureate Ghostface Killa referred to as “Smart dumb niggas”. The world is full of them.

While I don’t like talib, I don’t find him to be entirely objectionable and/or horrific. Would you mind explaining your vitriolic dislike of him?

I definitely go overboard with my disdain of him but that more has to do with his fans and a very particular era of hip hop. For the record, I don’t hate kweli. I don’t even know him. I bet he’s a good dude. I just am not a fan of his music.
Let me give a brief history of my opinion of Kweli.
I first heard him on the stretch and bobbito radio show when he went to the studio with Mikah 9, and tash from the alkaholiks. They all freestyled and he was so out of his depths it was hilarious. I recorded it off the radio and got so tired of his verses, I re-recorded the whole session without him so whenever I heard, one of the good rappers verses would end and you’d hear like two words of Kweli and it would cut out. This youtube clip is actually LITERALLY the recording I did. Apparently that recording has spread thanks to years of tape trading back in the late 90’s.

So that was my intro to him. I forgot about him completely and then he dropped a 12” years later that I actually liked.
“2000 seasons”, was my shit.

That said, it was mostly cause of the beat but I liked this song. I thought Kweli was okay. His voice was weak and his flow had issues but the song was dope. Then he dropped “Manifesto” and I was like “hmm…he got better…”

It was kinda like he found his voice as a rapper. He even flowed better and sounded confident.
And that was it. He had peaked. He always had a tendency to say corny shit and his flow was always very forced but, for some reason, after that, it just got worse. Maybe it was cause he got paired with Mos Def who, while I don’t love him either, is a clarly natural and gifted rapper. When place next to a guy as vibrant as Mos, it really highlighted Kweli’s flaws. So, really, my issue with Kweli’s music is all technical stuff. His voice, lyrics and flow are not good, in my opinion. Somehow he became the underground poster child and a name that people who were new jacks would pull as their “underground rap guy” and it was always a telling choice. Really, it’s not his fault. It’s his fans. He did what anyone would do and had/has an unbelievably successful career. I’m not mad at him at all for that and , in fact, would go as far to say that he’s a dude who went way farther than I ever thought he could. So, in that sense, props to him. But I still don’t ever wanna hear his music.