Answers for Questions vol. 206

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Yo yo, welcome to another edition of answers for questions. You ask, I respond with honesty. If you’d like to be a part of all this fun, join in and ask me anything. Either leave questions in the comment section below or get fancy and email me one at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. All I ask is that you be creative and don’t treat this like a high school newspaper interview.
Okay, here’s this weeks stuff…
Hey Blockhead,
I have this question about sampling, and I figured that in light of your recent blog post and deciding to put out your album on your own, it would be pretty relevant. So, I make some sample based hip hop too, but I’ve been, well, less than proactive about getting permission to use my samples. I haven’t gotten in trouble, but sometimes I get worried that I’ll end up getting sued or something. I don’t really know many other producers who do sample based stuff, and I thought I’d hit you up about it especially since you’ve been in the game so long.

So, when you worked with ninja tune did they clear every one of your samples? Did you ever have to scrap a song because you didn’t get permission to use a sample? Have you ever gotten into any legal scuffles over that stuff?

I’m basically wondering if it’s worth it for me to try to clear samples if I’m not making money and I’m not famous, you know? I don’t want to have to give up some of my tracks because an exec wants $1000 for an old obscure ass sample, and I feel like I might put myself on their radar for asking in the first place you know?

I’m just releasing shit on my own right now, I pressed 500 records a couple years ago and I’m on spotify and iTunes and stuff. Like I said it’s a small operation but I’m trying to put out a new record and Any advice you could give me would be awesome.

Let me first just say that, considering the level you’re on now, you don’t need to worry about clearing samples at all. No one is tracking you down to sue you for that beat you made. It only becomes an issue when you either make money off a song with a sample in it or you begin licensing music to commercials and film. While it’s still technically illegal prior to that, so is jay walking in NYC and no one’s getting a ticket for that. So, basically, this is something you do not need to worry about any time soon. I gotta say, if it’s on your mind already though, you may wanna start sampling less from the jump. I can certainly attest that it is limiting, in terms of what you can do with the music after it’s made. I love samples but I’ve also been doing it for 20 years. Perhaps starting off not having to rely on them is not the worst way to get going.
To answer your specific questions, Ninja would clear some samples. It really depends on the song and the sample. But in general, they didn’t clear most of them. Simply cause, with my music, that would be way too expensive and most of those songs are gonna just fly under the radar anyway. Like I said, you’re gonna get sued when the money starts rolling in. My records have done okay but not so well that I need to worry about being sued or getting a cease a desist. I’ve gotten caught for a few samples here and there and , in my experience, the people were actually really cool about it. We just gave them some of the publishing rights to that song and both sides were happy.
“Uncle tony’s coloring book” was a limited edition, US only release because of the samples. Ninja didn’t want their name on it cause they were justifiably nervous about all the crazy samples on it so, instead, we pressed 5000 cd’s and only released it in the states. That’s why it’s not on Itunes or any of those other sites in it’s complete form. So, for me, that’s a worst case scenario. But that happened and now that album is like a collectors item. So that’s kinda cool.
Sampling is great but it certainly has its downsides. You do have to be careful. But, until you’re making money, don’t sweat it. No one is gonna sue you if you have nothing to be sued for.

Not really sure if this question has been asked before.
For me there are a few things that make me automatically think someone’s a douchebag or shallow just by looking at him/her; wearing headphones in public (when you’re a guy, if a girl does it, it depends on how cute she is, I’m a hypocrit and I know it), wearing flip flops in public (unless at/near a beach/pool or on a quick trip from home maybe), dudes wearing button-up shirts with shorts, and the worst one: girls walking with a purse on their elbow and a cell phone in their hand. I know you agree with me on the flip flops. How do you feel towards the other ones? In which cases do you feel strongly negative towards a person based on appearance only?

Wearing headphones in public? How is that douchey? That’s just a person listening to
music. Maybe it’s an NYC thing but that’s par for the course for any trip outside the house that’s gonna be more than 15 minutes. I rock earbuds but only cause I don’t wanna be carrying around big headphones all day.
Anyway, I used to be way worse about this. Most of the things you listed were , at one point, things i would have looked at, rolled my eyes and immediately written the person off. While those things still aren’t looks i hold in high regard, I’ve gotten softer in my older age. Not everyone who wears flip flops is an idiot. Not everyone wearing a shirt with vertical stripes and shorts is a douche. Not every guy who wears those super tight sweatpants that get baggy around the crotch is a total piece of shit. I may hate those outfits, but I’m also not the fashion police. Let them live, shitty wardrobes and all. That said, my judgmental streak has shifted to gauging other humans by their opinions on very particular things. Like if someone just , across the board hates on “South Park” but loves “Family guy”? That’s a huge fucking moron. If someone loves Talib Kweli to the point where they’re willing to argue about it, I don’t think that person and I are meant to be friends. If you think the movie “Macgruber” sucks, I question everything you understand about what makes something funny. If you’re a grown man in your late 30′s who grew up loving hip hop and you go out of your way to love shit like Future or Cheef Keef, I’m judging the fuck out of you and your pitiful grasps at staying relevant in the eyes of a bunch of dumb teenagers. Stuff like that. It’s admittedly short sighted on my part but I think the things people love and are passionate about speaks much louder than how they dress. I know way too many people who simply just dress a certain way cause it’s easy and they don’t give a fuck. I respect that. But your interests should be deeper.

How would you react if someone came to the front of the stage during one of you sets, then dropped their pants and just started jerking off furiously?

Obviously , I’d finish him off with my mouth. He payed for a ticket, it’s the least i can do.
Nah, I would hope that person would be tackled by security. If not, I’d probably just keep rocking the show but if he got near me, I’d kick him in his dick.
Some of these venues I play at don’t exactly enforce much security. I was playing a show in Seattle once and this girl crawled on stage and just lay down underneath the table I was playing on. She was there for like 2 songs until she popped out and tried to talk to me like I wasn’t in the middle of playing a show. I quickly explained to her that she had to go but it didn’t really sink in. It’s a safe bet she was high as a motherfucker. Let’s just say, if she was a male jerking his dick near me, I wouldn’t have been as patient.

Since you don’t listen to instrumental hip hop, where do you find the inspiration when creating your own music? Are there certain producers or albums you listen to? If so, who are they? Is there a specific zone your looking to get into as well, or maybe doing things like walking around your neighborhood late at night listening to music, maybe going to certain clubs/bars at 3:00am and trying to capture that vibe?

This is gonna be a huge let down but I don’t ever step into making music trying to create a mood. I just sit down, listen to songs and look for a sample that grabs me. Once i have that, I build around it. There’s no inspiration, outside of the samples themselves. I’ve never been one to look for other music , as a fan, as a means to inspire me. The music I love is separate from the music I make. In fact, I try to limit outside influence as much as possible cause the last thing I wanna do is sound like someone else. I do see the irony of all this cause I’m an artist who mostly samples but , in my mind, it makes sense.
I’d also add that I’ll never understand why people are so interested in the “inspirations” of another person. I feel as though that kinda thing isn’t palpable and certainly not something you should be able to explain. It’s like being “spiritual”. Most people who harp on it are kinda full of shit. It’s something that happens in your subconscious that shouldn’t really even be something you can pin point. Whenever I hear someone listing stuff they’re inspired by it’s either random parts of nature (yeah bro, sure your EDM dance album was inspired by that sunset you saw in Thailand) or it’s other artists, which leads me to believe they’re kinda biting those “inspirations”. I dunno…it’s one of those questions I’ve been getting for years that I’ve never seen the point of. It’s fluff to me.

squatting verses sitting? Do you practice proper poop posture? …ah, I love alliteration.

http://www.squattypotty.com/Articles.asp?ID=256

http://www.menshealth.com/health/pooping-wrong#mobify-bubble

Devices such as the Squatty Potty and Nature’s Pedestal make the average person’s shit stance more advantageous, to say the least. Give it a try and tell me it doesn’t change your life.

Man, it had been a while since I got a shit related question. I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with you guys.
As for squatty potty, Umm…wow. I guess this kinda makes sense but, obviously, I have not tried it. Honestly, the name alone would keep me from buying it. Not to mention, I could just make my own at home with a few phone books. Tell you what, i’ll give it a whirl (with the phone books) and see if I notice a difference. It’s definitely gonna get in the way of my laptop though.

If you couldn’t live in the States, where would you live?
Montreal or Toronto would be my first choice. English speaking would be crucial so maybe London or melbourne. I think it might be fun to live somewhere in eastern europe for a year cause i had lots of fun out there when I played shows. I still contend that Cluj, Romania has the hottest girls I’ve ever seen. If i was single, i’d probably just go live there for a year.
But, realistically, Toronto, London (or another UK city), and Melbourne would be my top choices.

Fuck yo’ birth , bro!

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“Hey, when’s your birthday? No, really, tell me. I’m super curious. Oh, not cause I’m interested in astrology. Nope, cause your birthday is just really important to me.”
That was an excerpt from my upcoming novel “Things no one has ever earnestly said or thought in the history of the human race”.

Let’s be honest, the sooner we, as a civilization, accept that no one cares about your birthday but you, the better. Okay, maybe your mom cares. She might. After all, it is the anniversary of you coming out her vagina like the kool aid man. How could she ever forget that. In fact, your birthday should be a day you buy her gifts. But I digress…

I’ve been thinking about this lately cause my birthday is on the horizon (october 8th guys, what are you getting me!?!?!?!). I’ve never been one to care that much about my own birthday. I definitely celebrate it but that’s generally an excuse to eat a good meal or get a bunch of my friends together and get drunk. Not cause I actually care that I’m turning one year older. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I celebrated on my actual birthday. Once every seven years? It’s completely arbitrary.

To be clear, this isn’t about getting older. That’s something totally different. It’s no secret that getting older is a bummer. At least for people over 30. But, no, this is about the birth day itself and peoples seem to think other people have to give a shit about it.
How many people (Ahem…girls…cough…) do you know that decide their birthday is , all of a sudden, a week long extravaganza of celebrating their existence? This includes free meals and friend duties that can only be compared to that of a bridesmaid, It’s quite possibly the most unjustifiable thing a person can do to their friends outside of making them go to a musical with you. Fuck all that. It’s YOUR birthday. Not mine. It changes nothing for anyone except you. It has no effect on anything outside of your answer to “How old are you?”. Birthday entitlement is something i feel even the people who have it probably realize they’re full of shit but , yet, they persist. What are we really celebrating? You being born? EVERYONE IS BORN. There is nothing special about it. That’s like me celebrating learning to walk or the first time I ate solid foods.

Comedian Patton Oswalt had a bit about how people should only celebrate particular birthdays. Milestone years. I think that’s a great idea. I’d also add that presents should stop after 21 as well. Too soon? fine. 25. If you’re still angling for presents from your parents, family and friends after 25, you need to chill the fuck out. You know what people over 30 ask for? Socks. underwear. dishes. The most boring shit on earth cause, by that time, you have most of what you need and really just ask for that kinda crap cause you’re too lazy to go get it yourself. It’s basically just making your friends and family run your unwanted shopping errands for you. That’s another level of this entitlement. Expecting gifts. You already got Christmas/Hanukkah. How much more do you need? You’re a grown ass man/woman. Come on, son.

I remember , when I was a kid, my brothers birthday was exactly half a year from mine. So, as a means to shut me the fuck up , my mom would get me a “half birthday gift. This was to curb the jealousy of seeing my bro cash in on whatever the hell it was he got for his special day. Thing is, I was a child and had no common sense or decency. Also, i wanted everything. So, it makes sense. Flash forward 30 years and I would literally forget it was my birthday if it wasn’t for a Facebook reminder.

Now, to be clear, I have nothing against a party. Parties are fun for everyone. The are beneficial for all. It’s a great excuse to get old friends from the different social circles you inhabit and bring them together. But that’s it…one night. One party. Maybe go out to dinner with a small handful of close friends. After that, your day is done. your time is over. The second that dinner bill gets covered, your friends are no longer obligated to give a flying fuck about your or your dumb ass birth. Duty has been served.

Speaking of Facebook, it has opened new doors to how we half ass celebrate a friends birthday. A simple “Happy birthday!” on the wall and we’re good. I’m all for this. It’s a gesture as as empty as the desert sky but, hey, it’s the least you can do. I mean that literally. THE LEAST. Outside of ignoring the persons birthday completely…which is also fine cause, like I said, who cares? Oh wait…some people do actually care. They care a lot. I know people who get legit butthurt about people forgetting to wish them a happy birthday. Those are people i like to call “Dickheads”. If you have a friend like that, you should stop taking them seriously this instant. I’m not saying cut them off but if they can’t handle you not remember the day they were born, then imagine what a mess they’d be if you actually forgot something that mattered in the slightest. It’s a small thing but it does speak volumes about a person and how self important they are.

So, yeah, fuck your birthday. Fuck my birthday. Fuck’em all. Let’s all be the adults we claim to be and just treat it like what it is. Another day. But , still, have that party. People need a reason to leave their house.

Answers for questions vol. 205

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Whatttttup,
Back from the first leg of my tour. Thanks to everyone who came out. I had a great time and my apologies to the places I played with no merch. I sold out early which is a good and bad thing I suppose. I’ll pack accordingly next time, I promise.
Anyway, welcome to another edition of “answers for questions” You ask it, I answer it. If you’d like to join the fun, send me questions. Either leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. As always, be creative. We’re 205 volumes deep. Strive for originality.
Here’s this weeks batch, biatch.
I remember in the past that you saying that don’t get anything mastered (but as i’m typing this i sort of half remember you saying something to the contrary more recently?) – if you do, what was your reasoning behind choosing that particular person, and how involved in the process are you?

I’m pretty sure most music that gets released and isn’t some mixtape shit gets mastered. All my albums have been mastered. In the past, Ninja Tune had a guy they used and my ony job would be to hear the masters and approve them.
With my new album, I had to find a guy on my own but I know enough people at this point where that wasn’t hard. You basically go off the word of others. My involvement was pretty much going to the studio and listening to masters. Other than that, i just let the guy do his job but lead him in the direction you prefer, sound wise.

How do you usually deal with an average A-hole on the streets of New York who says something that makes you want to punch, but you don’t? I know you don’t. It’s you.

First off, I’m the most polite person ever. No lie. I’m highly aware of that kinda stuff when out in public and make an effort to never be an asshole to anyone. I’m a follower of the rules of engagement. So, you know, blow me.
This is like asking a person from boston “How do you deal with all that clam chowder and baked beans you must eat?”. There are dickheads all over NYC but it’s not like people are just walking around starting fights or being rude to one another for no reason. The “new yorkers are rude” claim is one of the most bullshit theories ever. We’re actually pretty helpful and nice. What we do is mind our own business and keep to ourselves. That’s what happens when you live on a tiny island with 8 million people on it. But, compared to a place like, say, paris? We’re an entire island of Mother Teresa’s.
So, when I over hear someone say some dumb shit, I let it go. Maybe I quietly laugh at that person to myself and tell a friend about it later. Being that I’m a civilized human being, I try not to go around punching every person I come across who says dumb shit. In fact, I avoid that at all costs. And, shockingly, it’s extremely easy to not fight people constantly.

Since you don’t drive, or drive much, do you ride a bicycle? If so, how is that in the crazy busy streets of New York?
Nope. I walk and take the subway. Sometimes cabs. But that’s it. I don’t ride bikes. I don’t skateboard. I don’t ride horses. I don’t stand on the roofs of cars and ride them like a surfbort like Teen Wolf. I’m all feet, all the time. In general, If I’m the one controlling them, I don’t do wheels.

I’ve read a little in the past, but forget. What is your approach to a lady you’re really interseted in? This is most likely the past for you anyhow.
This is definitely in the past for me. But, if i can recall, my approach was to flirt and plant seeds. Be charming, read signs. Basically be an intuitive person. It was a slow burn technic but it also had an extremely high success rate. I was never a “meet a girl, bag a girl, fuck a girl” kinda guy. I’m just not that aggressive. I’d imagine, if I were single now, the internet would play a huge part in getting girls. How could it not? Back in the myspace days, it certainly helped so i can only imagine how much it would play into that kinda stuff now.

If New York broke out with the start of the Zombie Apocalypse, where would you go? How would you react?
I lack some serious gumption so I’m pretty sure i’d hide until I got to hungry and then get killed within moments of leaving my hiding place. The only thing that might keep me alive is that I’m a fairly lucky person. So, perhaps, I’d get by on that for a while. But, yeah, I would not be one of those dudes who is around to restart civilization after brad pitt saves the world.

How did you go about learning production – ie, amplifying / lowering specific frequencies, and all of the more technical aspects of sound production? I really don’t know much more than applying high/low frequency filters appropriately and moving sounds around to different areas so as to not mud together. I want to make my shit sparkle, and do all my own mixing & mastering, but i’ve got this mental block caused by me knowing that there is a lot I don’t know. I just want to make my stuff sound as good & full, or at least close enough to the stuff that’s made in studios, and not sound like it was made in a bedroom, even though it is.

I learned through years of trial and error. I’d imagine it would have been much quicker for me if I was able to read instruction manuals and understand what they were talking about, but I’m not. That’s a language I don’t speak. So, I would just tinker around till things started to make more sense. Because of this style of “learning” it took me about 10 years of beat making before I felt I was happy with the sound I was creating. So, albums like “Float” , “Music by cavelight” , “Labor days” and even “Downtown science” were made before i really felt like i fully knew what I was doing.
I think people get hung up on technical aspects way too much in general and overlook the bigger picture of the music they’re creating. Of course you want it to sound good but the song itself being good is so much more important. I’m a firm believer in lo-fi shit. I’m still making music in my bedroom. If you wanna get it to sound good, find the right sounds. Don’t settle for stock keyboard/drum sounds. Seek out great drum sounds. Create your own. But, most of all, get someone else to mix it who knows what they’re doing. A good mix can change a lot of issues you might have had with the music when it was just you and your monitors in the bedroom.

Volume 200, eh? If I do the math, that’s a whole lotta questions. But a lot of them have to be repetitive or similar in theme. How many “archetypes” of questions could you categorize, that you’ve been asked over and over again?
Hmm…so many questions. Lemme just rattle off the first ten that pop into my head
1)”bad interview” questions. Those are things like “What are your influences?” and “What inspires you?”. These questions suck always and I really wish people would stop asking them. It’s arbitrary bullshit like “what’s your favorite color?” or “Bacon or sausage?”. Who gives a shit? I refuse to believe anyone reads answers to these types of questions and is like “Holy shit! that was interesting!”. I think, from now on, when I’m asked those questions in interviews, I’mma just list one person. “On, my greatest influence and inspiration? hmm…I gotta say, without questions, it was Richard Moll. Yes. The actor who played Bull on “Night Court”. He’s everything to me.”
2)”Do you like_____??” which is where some one asks my opinion on a specific artist or movie. I hate these cause they’re always just someone trying to justify their own taste by using me a barometer. Little do they know, I’m a terrible barometer and I most likely have very different musical taste than they think I have.
3)Tons of beat making questions.
4)”would you rather?” type questions. These can be fun but most of the time it’s me picking between the two grossest things on earth that, in all reality, I’d rather die than do in the first place.
5) People will throw a random topic at me. I like these questions cause they give me room to get a nice rant off. Like “What do you think of new moms?” or something like that. Very basic but very easy to sink my teeth into.
6) “Where did your name come from?” is a FAQ
7)Basketball questions. i’m fine with them but I realize, when I answer them, half of the readership skips over them. I’d actually imagine the same thing for any technical music questions as well. Can’t please everyone, I guess!
8)TV show questions. These are kinda like the opinion questions but more pointed. The problem with them is that they’re typically dated by the time I get around to answering them.
9)”state of hip hop” questions. It baffles me that people still pine over this topic but apparently, they do.
10)”Why do you always wear a hat?” Clearly, cause I was born with it attached to me head. Duh.

Too much ass? Say it ain’t so.

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I haven’t done a nice rant in a while so forgive me if this is all over the place. Lots of things to compute right here…

Remember the “latin craze”? If you’re under 23 you might not. This was a time during the late 90′s/early 2000′s when , all of sudden, any and all things latino related became cool in the eyes of mainstream media. Marc Anthony was killing it. Ricky Martin reclaimed his Menudo glory. J-lo , who is both a terrible singer and awkward dancer, was praised for her singing and dancing. It was as if the illuminati had sent a letter to the 7 jew bankers who run the world that read “Hey guys, latinos are the new thing…make it happen!”
Or how about the late 90′s boy band explosion? That was when the Backstreet boys blew up and , in a wink of an eye, every remotely not ugly , mediocre singer from florida was shaved down and placed in a group with 4 guys just like him. Forced to dance and sing to teenaged girls about deep love, even though they most likely were about 29 years old and into some pretty fucked up things , sexually.

With popular culture, there are always these phases. They come and go and are typically replaced with something even more trite the next time around. It’s only a matter of time before someone does a song about giving hand jobs , it becomes a hit and , all of a sudden, we will be inundated with songs about giving hand jobs. It’s a follow the leader mentality at its finest. It’s gotten to the point where you can spot the beginning of the trends.
Right now, we’re in an ass renaissance.Sir mixalot was the man who set the wheel spinning and it has found it’s way into 2014 at break neck speeds. The powers that be have shaken their magical 8-ball and it landed on “ASS”.
Nicki Minaj Busted it open with her video about her ass. An ass, I might add, that is both insane and as real as unicorns. (side note: I REALLY wanted it to be real. I think a lot of us did…but it just can’t be. Sorry). I never thought ass implants would be a real thing that non-crazy people did. But, that’s where we are. Ass implants. Fake asses that are not really that frowned upon. Kate moss wept.
Today I watch this new J-lo/Iggy azalea video and I’m basically feeling like it’s the opening scene of a porn where the girl dances around in front of a pool right before it cuts away to her on a couch, reevaluating her life choices on camera.
Listen, I’m a fan of ass. I love it. But , dare I say, it’s almost too much?
I think the thing that gets me about this video (other then there is a scene where oil is dripping on the basically bare asses of two of the most famous entertainers alive today) is that it makes me feel like “Wow…it’s come to this…”. Lemme explain. J-lo’s booty has been a thing of worship for about 15 plus years now. She’s been known for it and has rode that wave for as long as I can remember. With that in mind, there was always an air of mystery to it. She never would REALLY give up the goods on film. Her older videos would show flashes of it. But never anything you could really sink your teeth into. It was almost as if dat azz was not meant to be seen as much as it was there to tempt the imagination of young men everywhere. It was the lochness monster of asses. Flash forward a decade plus and the stakes are no longer the same. Gone are the days of paparazzi photos of J-lo at the beach, giving us a voyeuristic look into this famous ass for a brief flicker of time. Now, it’s on display. And, it’s not only on display, it’s covered in baby oil and shaking directly into a camera for a what seems like hours. Now, it should be noted that J-lo probably looks better now than she’s ever looked. She’s a freak of nature. But I gotta think that this exposing of her holy grail ass was not something she totally wanted to let go. No, I think it’s more a “keeping up with the joneses” kinda thing where Minaj basically put all female singers on notice like
“Listen, we live in a fucked up world where we are judged by our sexuality, no matter how talented, rich and/or powerful we are. So, I’mma just go balls to the wall and do an entire video about my ass. Your move, bitches…”
What else could J-lo do? Well, I mean…I suppose she could just fall back, not make any more music and enjoy the millions of dollars she’s made over the years. Perhaps take a vacation with her young boyfriend. But, that’s silly. She’s gotta work.

It kinda reminds me of how every disney girl reacted to Miley Cyrus becoming the thing we know now. You can bet every aging disney/nickelodeon hoe on earth was checking their contracts the second the video for “We can’t stop” dropped. In this instance, I’d liken J-lo to Taylor swift.
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In her essence, Swift is an asexual country singer who is more likely capable of human sacrifice than she is dancing on beat. She’s definitely said “ewwww…” when looking at penises before. But, country wasn’t enough and all of a sudden this poor girl is forced to try and become sexy and urban. Her hand was forced. It was a real “shit or get off the pop charts” moment for her and she did it. She shit all over the place. In J-lo’s case, that jump was to throw all mystery out the window and just bare it all.
I realize it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m really not. Seeing all this ass is a blessing for any guy out there who’s into that kinda thing (And I am into that kind of thing for sure). It just makes me wonder how far this will go. Clearly, tits are always in vogue. But 2014 is ass time. The sexuality of these artists is being pushed to such a point that I wonder what the landscape of music will look like in ten years. Will there be videos of billion dollar earning singers straight up blowing dudes between verses? How much more can this elevate?
I really don’t know what the ceiling for this will be but one thing is for sure, the huge space between “becoming a super star” and “becoming a porn actress” is lessening by the minute. Between these videos, sex tape leaks and stolen photos…shit is gonna hit the fan for real in the very near future. On the bright side, we get to watch it all happen. But, on the other hand, we also get to watch it all happen.

Answers for questions vol. 203

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Hey there. Welcome to my monday morning ritual, “Answers for questions”. This is where you send me questions and I answer them. Duh. Some are strange, some are more straight forward. I take them all. If you’d like to join the fun, write me questions and send them to phatffriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below.
Side note, I’m hitting the road with Elaquent, Yppah , Muneshine and Lost Midas starting this wednesday. If you live in the US (or vancouver) peep these dates and come see us:
http://phatfriend.com/2014/06/17/my-fall-tour-dates-are-here/.
This also means that my output of this blog may be a bit spotty. I’ll try my best but , you know, shit happens. See you on the road and let’s peep this weeks quesitons.

How would you define and categorize an internet troll? Specifically, what exactly is a troll and how many different kinds of trolls are out there?

(as in, this comment section seems like one example and then there is the catfishing type of troll, which I think is a different type, but I’m sure there are others…)

I feel as though there are many different types of internet trolls. Too many to really wrap my brain around, actually. But , off the top, we got
1)The contrarian
This is a person who exists online to just disagree with everyone and argue about it.
They’re the people who , when you say anything based on opinion online (could be “Man, don’t you hate nazis!”) will find a way to disagree. In real life, they are also terrible people who hate themselves.
2)The character
This is the person who plays someone else online. And, shocker, that person is an asshole. I’m willing to bet , offline, some of these people are not even terrible but, online, they pretty much just like to push buttons for their own amusement. This type is fascinating cause it’s such a personal, masturbatory thing.
3)The focused troll
This is a person who pinpoints a person or website and makes it their life goal to just fuck with them. It could be a celebrity on twitter or simply the comment section of a website.
4)The bully
I’d say these are the most dangerous. They do typical bully shit but, if they also have some internet know how, they can ruin a motherfuckers life. They might relentlessly harass someone, then break into their private life and expose it for no reason. These people are terrifying.
5)nitpickers
If hyper judgmental moms were on twitter, they’d be these guys. They correct spelling. They correct typos. They just seem to get off on being smug about shit that doesn’t matter. They fucking suck.

Every type of internet troll is a loser. Across the board. Some are way worse than others but the binding force is that they enjoy fucking peoples days up for their own enjoyment with no sense of empathy. So, in a way, the one common thing that connects them is that they’re all a kinda sociopaths…on some level. But, most of all, they are bored losers.

On a scale from 1-11, how much do you enjoy a good shit?

Sigh. This question. You know, there are many questions I have been asked repeatedly over the years of doing this column. The most asked questions are probably “What is your biggest influence?” and “Where did the name “blockhead” come from. but third? This dumb ass question. It’s not really funny and offers no room to be funny. Yes, I love a good shit! How crazy is that?!? I’d rate a 12 if I could, AMIRITE?!?! Poop!
I realize this blog has the maturity level of a 4th grade locker room sometimes but the amount of shit related questions I get is concerning. For all parties involved, myself included.
That said, shitting is awesome and I’d give a good shit a strong 9 out of 11.

Why does the US have so many lawyers???
Probably cause it’s a high paying job and people want to make money. Also, there are a lot of scum bags in the world and when you can’t work on wall street cause you’re bad at math but you still are really good at arguing, being a lawyer makes all the sense in the world. If you think about it, we’re a country of blow hards who won’t ever just shut up so getting into law is only natural for those who can afford the school.

What are some telltale signs that make you aware that a girl is flirting with you?
Laughing at everything you say. Touching your arm when she doesn’t need to. Staring at you too long and often. Fellating you mid conversation while at a dinner party. Deep throating foods while making intense eye contact with you. Asking you if you’d like to go to the bathroom with her. Talking super close to you , to the point where your ear is in her mouth when she speaks.
Any of those things, really.

Block, do you have any friends that you think could really enjoy hip hop if they gave it a chance? How do you go about introducing people to new music? I know from experience that playing it to them at parties is just about the worst way.

I’m much closer to 40 than I am to 30, so my friends musical tastes are pretty etched in stone. That said, I don’t know many people who don’t listen to any hip hop ever. The thing is, no one my age gives a shit. I keep an ear out for new music but I also work in music. For people who don’t, past a certain age, it’s not a priority. Not even close. If I have a friend who’s curious about the new shit I like, I’ll make them a playlist or something but that rarely happens. In general, in regards to putting people on to music, I’ve always been a “you come to me and I’ll play you some shit” kinda guy. Pushing my taste on people has never been my style. I never wanna be that guy who corners people and forces them to listen to what they’re liking. I’ve been in that situation many times and it’s got a very low success rate.

Why is it that you and whoever your partner is choose to name your collaboration albums after whatever both your names are (Blockhead and MarQ Spekt, for example)? Have you ever thought about giving the duo a name?
In my mind, it’s not my album. It’s the rappers album. I just produced it. If we’re a group, then sure. But in the case of Spekt, Billy woods and Illogic, it was just a collaboration. Also, in all those cases, neither of us are big enough names to pull some “madvillian” kinda shit. If Spekt and I had called the album “Blockspeqt” or “Marqhead” , no one would have a clue what we were even referencing. I’m a fan of keeping it simple and
not trying to be all extra about shit.

I can’t remember if you’ve ever discussed the legalization of weed in Colorado and Washington before, so I’m wondering what you think about it. I know you don’t really smoke, but with your tour going through Colorado would you be more inclined to smoke there than in another state?
If I smoked? Sure. But i don’t so this legalization thing means nothing to me on a personal level. I would feel the same if it was legal to publicly shove radishes up your ass. It’s not something I do so it doesn’t effect me enough to care one way or another about it. I do think it’s a good thing in the sense it’s making a shit ton of money for those states and , in general, weed isn’t very dangerous , in my eyes. If anything, at it’s worst, it makes people kinda boring and dumb. but so does daytime television and no ones going to jail for that.

Answers for Questions vol. 202

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Hello everyone. I hoped you enjoyed your labor day. I waited till the final weekend of the summer to actually step into the sun and now my legs and arms look like red hots. Awesome.
Anyway, this is where you guys send me questions and I answer them. Simple stuff. If you’d like to join the fun, please do! email me questions at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave the questions in the comment section below. Br creative. Get weird. It makes it more fun for both of us.
Here’s this weeks batch…

Hey blockhead I’m a huge fan of both your music as well as phatfriend and a question id like an answer to is what (in your opinion) was the most freakishly bizarre thing that you’ve seen, heard, or experienced while touring? Im sure its been asked a million times but I really appreciate a good what the fuck moment.

I’ve actually had a fairly tame touring existence. I think that has to do with me not really hitting the road extensively till i was in my later 20′s. I’ve also been in a relationship for most of that time so that kinda wipes out any crazy/funny groupie stories that might happen otherwise. I’m always envious of people in their early 20s who tour. That must be so much fucking fun.
The only stories that pop into mind are ones about safety in cities I was unfamiliar with.
This one time I played a show in Detroit. I was staying in a hotel about 5 blocks from the venue. Being someone who’s used to walking everywhere, this was great for me cause I didn’t have to deal with taking a cab or getting a ride to the show. i could just pack up and make it there on my own. So, I walk to do soundcheck around 4 pm. I Do that and just sorta kick it at the venue till it’s time for me to play. I was an opener so I finished my set around 10ish. I get paid and I’m all ready to walk back to the hotel but the people working there are like “NO!!!!!”. They literally wouldn’t let me walk 5 blocks cause it was night time in Detroit. I tried to make a case of “It’s all good, I’m from NYC and this is how we get around” but I had a dude stand in front of the door like “No man, we’re calling you a cab. Trust me on this one”. So, I drive back (it’s like a two minute drive) and the streets are empty. In my mind, I could easily have just walked back with no issue. The next day, I run into a dude who was also performing that night and apparently he had gotten robbed and punched in the face…in the stairwell of the hotel we were staying in. Fair play to you ,Detroit. You are terrifying. i will never question your safety precautions again.
The other time that I recall is playing in Milwaukee. I finished my set and couldn’t get a cab cause there were too many people already getting cabs outside the venue. So, I did the thing I’d do in NYC and just walk up a few blocks and try and intercept cabs before they hit the main strip. So, I wander into what looks like a suburban residential area. Like nice houses with lawns and shit. I’m kinda drunk so my attention isn’t exactly laser focused. Out of nowhere pops two crackheads. A guy and girl. They start chatting me up and I’m just sorta casually shooting the shit with them. I’m pretty much just waiting to see if a cab comes by while these two crackheads ask me crackhead like questions that are basically working their way towards asking me for a dollar. It’s a dance I’ve done before and it’s no different no matter what city you are in. 5 minutes into this conversation, a little clarity takes over and I realize I’m standing in the hood. I guess I was so oblivious cause, well, it’s Milwaukee…but nah, this was actually a totally fucked up ghetto I was chilling in, on the street , at 2 am with two crackheads. So, I told one of them “Hey man, you find me a cab, I’ll give you 5 bucks” (to be clear, the crackheads were not a threat. They were old, small and cracky). He dashes off and two minutes later a cab pulls up. I honestly have no clue how he did it. I gave him five bucks, wished him and his lady well and got the fuck out of there. Right before the cab pulled up, I looked down the block and saw a mass of people moving my way. they were too far to really see what the deal was but I could tell it was a group of 10-15 people. By the time the cab got there, they were maybe a black away. As I drove by them, I saw a group of drunk teenagers kicking over garbage cans and pretty much just fucking up everything they passed. Like a dust storm of trouble slowly destroying everything in it’s path. So, basically, that crackhead saved me from a possible incident. So, in a way, hooray for crack!

Why do the men of NYC catcall to the extent that they do? It’s in a league of its own (when you compare it to any other major city within an English speaking country that is)
Is it worse here? I’ve never noticed. Clearly, I’m a guy so it never happens to me (except on gay pride weekend) but it’s not something I really pay attention to. Like , i walk by construction workers every day and never see them say shit to women. This in no way means I don’t think it happens (I know for a fact it does) but you’d think , if it was a prevalent ,I’d see it with some frequency. What I do see all the time is scum bags kicking it to girls on the street from their cars. That’s the worst. That and dudes who just creepily stare a hole into girl when they walk by them. I mean, shit, I look at girls when I walk around but I’m at least subtle about it. A quick glance and maybe a head turn if I wanna see the backside. But Some dudes will straight up stop walking and stare at a girl like she’s on fire. The funniest is when I see a gross middle aged dude stare at a wildly mediocre looking girl like that. That’s some “i just got outta jail” shit.
but why is NYC the worst about this? Probably cause it’s the most walkable city in the US and it’s full of people. That alone is gonna make any social interaction more common. Especially ones involving scum bag degenerates.

do have a least favorite follower? Be it twitter, Facebook etc

Like one person you’re like “holy fuck I hate this person “?

I don’t think I can pinpoint one person. I have a bunch of twitter and facebook followers who annoy me. Some say snarky shit for no reason (and aren’t funny). Some do that thing where they just reiterate a joke you just made right back to you. Others are just straight up weirdos who tweet cryptic nonsense at you all the time. Those people scare me a little cause they seem very unhinged. I’m a fan of sanity online so anytime someone comes at me from a weirdo angle, I tend to want that person to go away.
I think what happens is that I’m pretty accessible on those sites and people see I joke around so they assume they can fuck with me like they know me. Problem with that is , they don’t know me and that kinda shit talking (playful or not) doesn’t translate on the internet. It would be different if we were friends and had that familiarity but we are actually total strangers so it doesn’t work like that. I can’t tell when someone is being an asshole or just kidding. And cause there are so many real assholes online, I just assume people are being the worst at all times.
Also, anyone who has ever seriously said “first world problems!” to me after I tweeted a joke, I hate you so fucking much. Not only cause that’s a corny thing to point out on the internet (first world thing right there) but it just shows a lack of creative thought in how you go about interacting with people. Especially strangers online. Basically, it’s something dickheads say to make themselves feel better by trying to make others feel like shit. Fuck that. If you’re following me on any social network, there’s a 95% chance you’re chilling comfortably in the first world.

Which t-shirt slogan do you think best embodies the angle of your average bro on tinder?
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I’m not on tinder so it’s hard to say but, from what I’ve seen, it’s more douche bags than people who can’t speak correct english. So, I think I’d say the “Phat Dong” shirt is most indicative of tinder Culture. A bunch of dudes looking for the quickest possible route inside a strangers vagina. Dudes who wear shirts that reference their dicks generally aren’t the classiest fellows.

Hypothetical question: If sampling became completely outlawed, or for some strange and unimaginable reason it simply didn’t exist any more… Would you attempted to make non sample based music? or just bite the bullet and give up music?

I mean, it’s getting close to that point, isn’t it? People can still sample but making money with that kinda music is basically a wash.
To answer the question, i would be extremely bummed but I think I would push ahead. What I’d probably do would be align myself with some good studio musicians and just “produce” in the old timey sense of the word. I’d do the drums and whatnot but pretty much orchestrate the rest. It would certainly make creating music a pain in the ass and far more complicated but it would be better than nothing.

Answers for Questions vol. 201

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Hello and welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”.
It’s that thing where you ask me anything and answer it. A concept as old as time itself.
Anyway, if you’d like to participate, it’s extremely easy. Either leave me a question in the comment section below or email it right to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com.
It’s all anonymous and the more creative you get with the questions, the better.
Here’s this weeks crop.

How much makeup is too much makeup?

I’m one of those guys who barely notices when a girl changes her hair color, let alone puts on make up. But I will say that I think if you’re wearing enough make up to the point where I notice it, it’s probably too much. As a man who has no business talking about make up habits and very little understanding of all things make up related, my understanding is that it’s best when used lightly. Simply to accentuate certain features and hide others. No one needs to go all Kim Kardashian and have her face look like it just rested in a bowl of tobacco spit for 4 hours. In general, I’m a “moderation is key” kinda guy an that should definitely be applied to make up as well.

Have you ever had a vivid sexual dream about someone that you frequently interact with in real life (who you aren’t sexually attracted to) …and you forget all about it until you see them in person the next day… but then you remember said dream and a sudden rush of weirdness washes all over you???

I honestly haven’t had many vivid sex dreams in my life that I remembered. I’d say a more applicable version of this would be when I’ve been jerking off and a random girl I know that’s I’m marginally attracted to slips into my mind. That’s always a bug out. Though, it doesn’t really carry over into any awkwardness when I see them. It’s not like they know about it. Also, it will make me think “hmm…maybe i kinda wanna have sex with that girl and i never noticed…”
A real boss move would be to tell them and just make everything totally uncomfortable between us. What girl doesn’t wanna hear she was an unexpected guest in a guys random masturbation session?

Who looks the best in their glasses?

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or

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It should be noted that I do not and have never owned a pair of glasses of any sort in my life. So, you know, this isn’t exactly my specialty.
My Vote goes to T-Pain. I’m a simple man and those subtle yellow frames are the only pair, of the three, that don’t scream “somebody! Please look at me! I’m famous and , because of that, have been given cart blanche to look like a dickhead!”
Flo-rida’s are the worst. Those are sunglasses Chris Tucker probably wore in the “Fifth Element”. 2-Chainz hat/sunglasses combo is atrocious but at least he kinda looks like Sly Stone in some really abstract way.

How big of a bitch am i for getting salty that buying a vinyl copy of a newly released album from the artist/label doesn’t automatically include a digital download of said album? In order to get both versions, there is a price that essentially includes the cost of buying the digital version alone combined with the cost of buying the vinyl version alone, with a couple dollars knocked off. (i feel compelled to qualify my frequency of buying music, but whatever, it shouldn’t matter, in general i feel like that’s kind of a poopey deal, and kind of stings of pretentiousness. But that could also just be the smell of an artist trying to survive on their art)

I mean, you can always just illegally download the album, right? That’s still not hard to do. I do think that putting a digital download in vinyl is the right thing to do but not every person/label even remembers to do that. in fact, you asking this very question just reminded me that I should probably do that when I release my new album on Vinyl. Imagine if I didn’t have a blog that had an answers and questions segment! I would have 100% forgot. So, in a way, thanks!

What is the state of hip hop right now in your opinion? dying, thriving, what.. in 2014
So, people are still concerned over the state of hip hop? I can’t believe that’s still a thing. We’re so far past keeping any element of the “culture” intact that questions like this are basically comical. There is no “state of hip hop”. It simply exists for better or worse. It’s not like it’s ever going to just stop. There is good hip hop and bad hip hop. It’s always been that way. On a pop level, it’s pretty atrocious and rappers who are seemingly disabled have never been more popular but, at the same time, lyrical miracle underground rappers are just as boring. The bright side is that there will always be a handful of good rappers making good music. Some are creative and finding newer ways to express themselves and others are more traditional but just have the talent to simply rap well and keep things interesting.
Either way, anyone over the age of 30, sitting around worrying about “The state of hip hop” has got their priorities all fucked up.

What do you like better – the smell of your own armpits or the smell of your farts?

My armpits don’t smell, in general. But, when they do, it’s not a smell I love. My farts however, are terrible and I love them. Sure, they may one day be the reason I’m found dead in my bed with scissors sticking out of my chest at the hands of my girlfriend but, man, my own farts? Excellent and terrible. Who doesn’t love basking is their own farts? Savages, that’s who.

What season do you think is your busiest, in terms of your occupation? When do you think you have the least free time – summer, fall, winter or spring?

Fall is generally the busiest for me cause it’s when I do my most touring. Winter/early spring is a close second for the same reason. I dunno if being on the road makes me “busy” in the sense you’re asking cause it’s not like I’m creating music. In fact, creatively, it’s one of my least “busy” times. But I’m “working” the most. I’d say, creatively, I tend to make the most music in the beginning of winter. I’m usually just back from the road and somewhat inspired. Being on the road will do that to you. Summers too. The thing about the summer is that the only shows that exist are festival shows so I have tons of free time. It’s technically a great time to make music. Only problem is, it’s summer and I’m always trying to be out and about when I can so sometimes that takes over a little.