Biters Welcome

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

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

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Answers for questions vol. 226

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How would you respond

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

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

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



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

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

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

Answers for questions vol. 225

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answers for questions vol. 224

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Hi guyz. Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”.
How bout that superbowl? If I cared about football I would be Livid/ecstatic. Fuck the patriots though.
Anyway, you know the drill. You ask me stuff, I answer it. If you’d like to participate, PLEASE DO! Ask me anything. Leave questions in the comments or email them to at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Have fun with it. This week batch is actually a great example of questions. It’s all over the place and fun. Be like that.
Okay, let’s do this.

What habits do you have or phrases do you use that annoy you?

Umm…Things that I do that annoys me? I generally try and stop myself from doing things that annoy me.I’m assuming this is a ESL question gone awry but, just in case, I’m gonna answer it as it’s written. Maybe this is more existential than a typo.
The only thing I can think of is I have tendency to let a nervous giggle out for no reason. I wouldn’t mind not doing that any more cause, honestly , I don’t even know why I do it in the first place. But other than that, I like me.

Do you think electronica will survive ?
In some form, yes. It’s gonna keep doing what it’s been doing. A “genre” will get popular, sprout a ton of off shoots and then those genre’s will thrive and become the next big genres. Meanwhile, people will reach back in time and take something that’s already been established (Trap is a good example), give it a new angle and call it “new”. Music , in general, is a bunch of cycles. Everything has been done, on a popular level, so all we can really expect is variations of those things.
People are way to computer reliant for music being made on computers to cease being a thing. If anything, I could see instruments, as we know them, fading away.

Imagine you were dying in the most heroic way possible. What are your last words?
I guess it depends how I’d die. That would have a lot to with what I’d say. Like, if i died jumping off a building to catch a falling baby, I’d yell “You are not the fatherrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Or if I died taking a bullet for someone maybe I’d say “You owe me one!”. It’s all very situational and , also, depends who I’m saying it too.

What do you have against sunglasses? (why don’t you like wearing shades)
Personally, they give me a headache. I wear hats and don’t mind squinting so they don’t really serve a purpose to me. But, in general, I’m not too big on extra shit. I don’t wear jewelry or watches. I just don’t care about that stuff. When I do wear it, I feel strange. Sunglasses fall into that category with me. Extra shit. They do serve a purpose though so I’m not gonna judge anyone who wears them. Unless you wear then indoors or at night. Then you’re a shithead.

Have you ever met someone face to face and after talking to them for awhile, thought to yourself, “this is the the type of person who could possibly be a troll online”…?
YES! Oh, so many times. Online trolls in person have a very particular way about them. They’re generally socially awkward (Shocker!) but friendly enough. However, the more you talk with them, they will throw strange little barbs every now and then that you can tell would only come from the mind of a troll. A common thing they do with me is try and get me to talk shit about people I’ve worked with/am friends with. Like I’m gonna be like “Oh totally, complete stranger! Lemme dish some dirt to you about my friend!”
I’ve even had some admit it to me, which is funny cause those dudes are generally more bashful about it. Like, they feel shame. Which is good, cause they should. Online trolling is so lame that anyone who is prideful about it should have their laptops taken from them and be forced to go to a “how to use the internet” class, like someone who got a DUI, but with computers.

I’m not sure if you really cook, but what’s the best snack you could quickly whip up for drunk and hungry people at your home?
I can’t cook for shit. I’m all microwave. That said, I can make some good simple sandwiches. My all time go to is the breaded chicken cutlet with provolone on a roll with mayo. It’s simple but it’s perfect. I recently expanded my horizons and made a grilled cheese with ham where I toasted the bread, put mayo on that toast then added some ham and turkey that I melted cheese on to. it was great. Normally I’d be lazy and microwave the bread but I got all classy and shit with my toaster.

What’s the worst sunburn you’ve ever had?
Hmm….damn, I haven’t been sun burnt in so long. I think the worst was when I was like 11 or 12 and I went to club med in mexico with my family. I got sun poisoning and the skin of my back was literally bubbling. I had to stay in for a few days cause of that one. In general though, I’m a fucking vampire so sunburns aren’t something i’ve had a lot of trouble with.

Who is worse regarding acting ability?
Keanu Reeves or Nicholas Cage

I’m gonna say Keanu. Even though cage is now a fucking joke, he has been good in things before. Raising Arizona, Leaving las Vegas. Keanu is pretty bad and the only roles he ever really excelled in, in my eyes, were Bill and ted’s excellent adventure and Parenthood where he played a really dumb teenaged stoner.So, it wasn’t much of a stretch. Keanu in Devil’s advocate is quite possibly one of the worst performances ever given by famous actor (Forrest Whittaker in “Species” is close though). As bad as Cage has gotten, he’s never be THAT bad.

Answers For Questions vol. 223.

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What’s up everyone? I just wanna send a shout out to all the people who came saw my shows in the midwest this week. I hit a few places I had never played before and it was awesome to meet you guys. I hope to be back at all those places (Wichita, Kansas city and Covington) in the near future.
Annnnnyway, this is answers for questions. You asked stuff, so I answered it. Simple.
if you would like to join the fun, please do! Send me questions. Leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. I’m all ears.
Let’s check what we got going on this week…

I read an article about Aesop Rock having the largest vocabulary in hip hop recently. I don’t know if you heard that or not or read the article but I was wondering what your thoughts were on that? He is hands down one of the best Mc’s out there still doing it proper and your latest collaboration confirms that. But do you feel that it’s accurate in telling you who’s a great mc vs someone who’s wack? They mention Dmx as being on the bottom and to me it explains why I don’t like him and why I thought his hook was as shitty as the No Limit camp that was popular for a short minute. And Wu-Tang literally took up the top spots as well along with other east coast Mc’s, which didn’t surprise me. I always felt east > west.

I think that whole study was pretty ridiculous and completely pointless. That’s not a slight at aesop at all, by the way. He is obviously gifted when it comes to words and how he uses them. I think my issue with that study is just that. It doesn’t account for how the rappers use these words. There are plenty of rappers who use big words but have no idea what they mean. Some Wu-tang members are perfect examples. but to say DMX is wacker than another rapper simply cause he uses less big words is short sighted and lacking an understanding of what makes a good rapper good. Words are just one part of it. It’s the voice, delivery, and cleverness in how that rapper uses to words he does. I’d much rather listen to a rapper who, even though his vocab might be a little limited, he uses his words intelligently and with conviction , instead of some dude who sounds like he’s reading the dictionary to me.
That study was cute and it’s impressive that it even happened but if it has any bearing on how you feel about an artist, you should stop listening to rap and just read books instead.

How much downtime is there when you are on tour?
Depends what you mean by downtime. Most of touring is travel. So, technically, that’s a lot of downtime but it’s not exactly freedom.
I’d say it breaks down like this (at least for me and how I tour):
I spend the day getting from one place to the other. This could mean anywhere from a 6 hour flight to a 1 hour drive. Either way, the goal is arrive in said city before sound check. Once I arrive in whatever city I’m playing in, I tend to check into the hotel. If there’s time, I’ll just chill in there and relax. That’s always nice. Cause traveling sucks and you need to decompress. If there’s no time, I head straight to the venue to sound check. Soundcheck can be quick but it’s generally a whole lot of sitting around and waiting. Waiting for the sound guy to show. Waiting for the stage to be set up. Waiting for a chord or a wire that is necessary to make the sound work. Waiting for pretty much anything you can imagine. It’s almost unheard of to arrive at a venue at the correct soundcheck time and just walk up, do the sound check and be done with it. That’s like finding a unicorn wrapped in four leaf clovers.
After the soundcheck, I generally go eat. Depending on time constraints, I seek out something special or eat whatever is closest. After that, i go back to the venue and chill. hopefully, the doors have opened by then. I may hang backstage for a bit but, ultimately, I go set up my merch table and just chill there all night. Backstage is boring as fuck, especially when you’re out there alone. If i’m tour with a group and we’re hanging, it’s different but I’d rather be out front selling stuff than sitting on a couch alone in a room checking my phone for 3 hours. After the show, I wait some more to break down the equipment (that takes me like 45 seconds) and then I wait to get paid. By now, it’s usually 2-3 am and I head back to the hotel to go to bed , so i can wake up fairly early the next day and go wherever it is I gotta go. Yes, it is a glamourous lifestyle.

You as a successful person have to deal with a lot of people. How is your social competence? Is it easy for you to get in touch with people or handle all kinds of people? Aren’t there some weird moments sometimes where you just don’t know what to say…this kind of embarrassing moments?

Not sure if this is pertaining to regular life or when I’m around fans and stuff.
I’m pretty comfortable socially. I get along well with others and generally don’t have many awkward moments. I mean, sure, there are times at shows when I’ll meet fans who are drunk or over zealous and things might get a little awkward but that’s more on them than me. Not to mention, that kind of interaction isn’t exactly natural. In real life, it’s never an issue and if someone is acting weird around me, I’m pretty certain it’s them not me so I just sorta cautiously roll with the punches.
I feel as though doing shows and interacting with fans has made me decent at handling and recognizing certain social red flags. Much like how a bartender might have the same skill set. I can talk to a person briefly and get a read on them.
As for not knowing what to say , sure. We all have those moments. I’d imagine if I was a single guy who was out looking for ass all the time, those moments would be slightly more regular but , being wifed up allows a certain level of “eh, who gives a fuck…” about many situations that might otherwise lead to an awkward exchange.
Basically, I’m typically slightly less awkward than the person I’m talking too but , if you’re being a weirdo, it’s hard for me to not follow suit on some level.

do you pick your nose? if not, does it disgust you when others do? if so, do you do it freely or discreetly in front of your lady/homeboys? do you roll-and-flick or deposit each one in a tissue (only savages wipe them on furniture)?
I do. I enjoy it. It’s satisfying. When I was a little kid, i ate boogers like a boss and didn’t give two shits. When i realized that was gross, I moved on to wiping snot on things. In college, I had an area in my dorm room that had a low ceiling (it was right over the door when you walked in) and I made that a booger collection. I’m not proud of it but I was a disgusting 17 year old and it happened. Weird thing is, no one EVER noticed it. It looked like jackson pollack painting but it completely went under the radar.
As for my current style of nose picking, yes, I try and be discrete. I also try and dispose of the boogers in a safe and nonchalant manner. Tissues, garbage cans, sinks, toilets. I’m far less the savage I once was.

What would happen if you saw a woman getting beaten up on the streets. In this hypothetical situation you have no phone and the guy is slightly bigger and stronger than you

I’d like to think I’d try and break it up on some level. At least remove then dude from the woman. In reality, i don’t know what my reaction would be. I’ve seen all sorts of crazy shit happen on the streets and you never really know what your instincts will have you do. What I’m sure I wouldn’t do would just start trying to fight the guy. I’m simply not a fighter. But getting him away from the woman seems like the logical move. I’m way better at rationalizing and calming people down than I am at fighting or taking a punch.

Do you have a favorite rap game parlor trick? On that list would be things like double time ala Twista, or dense-ass punchlines ala Vakill, (my rap status is c-section, cuz I’m a cut above you pussies. GET IT!?) Anything that a rapper could use as a “hack” to get themselves extra attention on a track.
I think the days of anything like that being valuable are long gone. Not only do people not care anymore but anything in that realm has been done to death at this point. I remember when I first heard fast rapping (Jaz and Jay-Z on “The originators” in 1990) I was obsessed with it. That lasted a pretty long time but now it seems like everyone can double time so that’s not even special. A good hack as an mc now is to actually give a shit about what you’re saying and how you present it. Not many rappers seems to do that anymore.

Do you think it’s ok to do the following things via text/social media:

-break up with a girl

-offer condolences to a friend for the death of a family matter

-make broad declarative statements, for example: “I quit drinking/drugs”, I am done with person(s)

1)break up:
Fuck no. That’s a cowardly way to do it. i guess it’s only okay if the relationship truly meant nothing to you and you don’t think that person is worth the common decency of a face to face. Like maybe you were fucking some guy/girl for a few weeks, it was kinda wack and they started being too up in your shit. Then I could see it. But a real relationship? That’s bullshit.
2)Condolences:
Sure. There’s nothing wrong with sending a text of condolences to someone. I’d even say it can be better cause, sometimes, that person isn’t trying to speak to anyone. I’d almost rather get a text in that situation. And giving condolences via facebook or twitter is fine too if you’re not super close with the person. It’s kinda distant but no different than wishing someone a happy birthday on facebook.
3)Airing people/yourself out:
Hmm…personally, I think it’s corny. Airing yourself and other people out on social networks is in bad taste. There are exceptions but, to me, it always looks like someone having a breakdown or a tantrum. Neither of those things are a good look for anyone. I mean, if you’re telling everyone you’ve been sober for 6 months, I don’t see a problem with that. It’s done out of pride in a job well done. But if you’re coming at social networks from an exploitive and negative angle, or simply doing it to blow up someones spot who you don’t like, you’re playing with fire.

Answers for questions vol. 222

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Whattup everyone? Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. It almost feels weird doing this cause I did a reddit AMA last week. I’ve answered a LOT of questions doing that but, on the bright side, the majority of those were kinda boring “What inspires you?” or “What’s it like to know aesop?”kinda questions that I generally avoid answering here so I don’t think there was much crossover. These questions are still far more silly and way more fun.
If you’d like to join this fun, send me questions! Either leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at Phatfriendblog@gmail.com. I can always use more questions. Don’t be shy.
Let’s get into this weeks batch.

Block, you have to make the choice to speak, exclusively, in either Snoop Dogg “izzle bizzle shizzle” talk, Das EFX “iggity” talk, or, say an obnoxious “Ha!” after everything you say, a la Juvenile/Kanye West/Ying Yang Twins etc… Which do you choose?
Man, that’s tough. I think I would chose “Ha!” simply cause it wouldn’t make me speak in an embarrassing baby talk. I could still get clear thoughts out of my mouth and, in fact, it would be great for making points. Like “Oh, you like that restaurant? Ha! I heard they got shut down last year for mass amounts of vermin, ha!”
With the other two, not only would I sound ridiculous cause both those types of “speak” are incredibly dated, but it would basically be like me speaking in pig latin.

Do you remember who put you on to a specific song? Its crazy – I can recollect being in 10th grade homeroom and the dude behind me handing me his headphones so I could bump this tune, however I cannot recall the last page in the book I’m reading.

Not with most songs but , sure, there are some songs that stick out.
To be honest, I was typically a guy who sought out music myself and would put people on to it. I don’t mean that in a bragging kinda way. In fact, it’s kinda shitty. Like I always wanted to discover things on my own and would sometimes not give things a proper listen if it played to me by a friend. Then, a few weeks later, I’d hear it again, pay attention and be like “This is dope!”.
One song I specifically recall being put onto was in high school. I saw kids crowded around a bench in the locker room. Like 4 kids were passing around headphones of a walkman. They were freaking out so I was obviously curious. I asked for a listen and it was “Crooklyn Dodgers” by Buckshot, Special Ed and Master Ace. The second I played it , I was like “Ohhhhhhhh…”. i clearly remember that feeling though.

Who do you think has a more difficult time in the heterosexual dating pool – extra short men or extra large women?

Extra large women, obviously. Men are generally far more shallow than women when it comes to who they seek out so I’d imagine being an extra large lady is pretty brutal. Being a really short guy much suck too but there are tons of short girls. I’ve seen plenty of handsome short dudes who get tons of girls. Even tall ones. But really large women? That’s tough. That said, there are men who love extra large women so I imagine part of the process would be seeking out those dudes. I’d be shocked if there wasn’t a website for men seeking big girls. If there isn’t, I’d like to make that website and become a millionaire. If you know how to build websites, holler at me and let’s get money (assuming that webstie doesn’t already exist ten times over).

I read your demo reviews and it’s pretty tough to get praise from you. How often do you listen to signed artists and think, ‘This is crap with few to none redeeming qualities’? Do you feel like most music produced by a real record label has some sort of redeeming qualities even if its not your jam, like at least being polished? Sorry if I have erred in my understanding of music industry terminology, don’t know how it gets produced, just like to listen.

The only difference between listening to demos and music that actually gets put out is generally how well polished it is. Very often, the demo’s will just sound slightly amateurish. That’s a huge separator. Beyond that, mediocre music is mediocre music. 95% of all music made, in my opinion, ranges from “meh” to “That sucks”. But, really, the majority of that music is simply half assed. It’s not terrible. It’s not offensively bad. it’s just some shit that exists cause someone made it. The demo reviews show that. That’s why if I give something a 5/10, it’s not a bad thing. It’s just more of a ” Eh, this is okay…nothing special but certainly not bad”. That’s a common rating cause that’s simply a common level of music made.

What are your thoughts on faking an orgasm? I know its different in a relationship vs random hookup. Lets say in a relationship- is it an awful thing that undermines the trust of the relationship, or is it a convenient white lie?

I suppose it depends. If the girl is a person who normally can achieve orgasm but is having a rough time one night or doesn’t feel it, then I don’t see a problem to throw one out there just to end what might otherwise drag on for her. She will rise again. That said, if she never cums and has been faking for the entire relationship, she’s not only giving the dude false security and teaching him how to have sex the wrong way but she’s also selling herself short. How’s a guy ever going to learn to please a woman if he thinks he’s got it down but doesn’t? This guys walking around thinking he’s rocking her world but, in reality, he’s failing on regular.
I think faking an orgasm should be only done in particular situations but it should never be the norm.

Which NBA team has the tackiest-looking logo? My vote is the Toronto Raptors FOR SURE…but I also only know of like, only three other teams.
I was going to say the raptors. But, and maybe I’m biased with this one, that smug prick on the celtics logo is mad annoying. Look at him.
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Nice sweater vest, guy. Cool bow tie. Even cooler paleolithic era walking stick. Fuck that dude.

while you’re shitting, you read more or just use your phone? Do you think the shitting moment is a sacred moment of relax and reflection?
Been a minute since a good shitting question. I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with you guys.
If I’m home, I’m the type of dude who will bring my entire laptop to the bathroom with me. I’ve made beats while shitting. Granted, I’m most likely sterile because of this but that’s what I do.
When I’m at an an away toilet, I use my phone. I used to read magazines (my bathrooms are littered with old vice, while you were sleeping, xxl, and urb magazines to this very day) but I’d be lying if I said I had looked that them in the last few years.

Answers for questions vol. 221

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Whattup everyone?
So, every now and then, my question box gets low. This is one of those times. I need questions! Time to come out of hiding and let them rip. I’m also in need of new “Ask Dr. Tony” questions, so , anyone looking for advice, I’m your guy.
Send all questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments section below. It’s anonymous and for the love of the sport.
I should also mention, I’ll be doing a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) on thursday. 3pm eastern time. I’ll have more details on that later in the week so check back on my twitter/facebook.
Okaaaaaay? Word.

Do you think the term taking a procreative dump to describe childbirth is too crass?

I’d more say that’s not a term and simply something you made up. Conversely , I’d be curious to know what the equal “term” would be for taking a dump , in comparison to having kids might be. “Dropping the kids off at the pool” is a famous one but maybe we could think of one slightly more poetic. I’m open to suggestions.

If you were to write a self help book, what would you name it? What new and unique idea would be this books selling point?

My self help book would be called “Get over yourself, no one cares” and it would be aimed at people who think that they matter, in the larger scheme of things. People who think the minutia of their dumb lives have any bearing on other people around them whatsoever. This would include chapters on “You and your kids”, “Your relationships” , “Your Job”, etc…
I think the selling point would be to remind people that we are all just grains of sand on a giant beach and, eventually , a wave will come wash us all away. With this in mind, stop being a self righteous dip shit about everything and just live your life…cause , in general, no one gives a shit.

I recently went to one of your shows and thought the visuals were pretty sweet (you had some video footage mirrored across the center). Do you do all of your own visuals? If so, what do you use to make them? How specific are they to the song? Do you make any attempt to sync whats happening on the screen with the changes in the music?
My most recent visuals were made by this dude Big mention out of Wichita , KS. He’s a music and visual artist I met while doing shows. He basically put together all the images, fucks with them, and sends me a DVD. The Images are definitely arranged arbitrarily but I’ve found that that kinda works on a few different levels. Sure, it’s not always gonna make sense with what music is playing at every moment but, being that my set changes show to show, I couldn’t have a definitive visual dvd I tour with.

When you’re playing ball do you allow yourself one wild/forced shot (mine is typically a drive) per game, being that if you make it you’re then granted one (MAYBE two) more? This is extended to all team members.
I mean, bad shots happen. Kinda depends where I land in the pecking order of scorers on whatever team I happen to on.. If I’m one of the top two scorers on the team I’ll most likely be taking more shots. If I’m taking more shots, I may force a few here and there. I’m far more likely , at this point in my life, to force up an ill advised jump shot than do a crazy drive that leads to a circus shot. I simply don’t take it to the hole like that anymore. But , in general, I don’t actively think about getting off a wild shot once a game. If it happens, it happens and I generally end up being like “my bad” to the rest of my team after I miss it.

hey, blockface,

i’m a long time listener, first time colander…

what’s your initial response when you hear the news that some well known rapper has died?

is it any of the following: (?)

1. “thank fuck they’re gone”

2. “i don’t recall ever caring about them”

3. “that name reminds me of a typo i seen on a twitter comment once”

4. “i better paypal some cash to the deceased rappers family member so they can bury him/her”

5. “i haven’t listened to their album since the 80s”

6. somethin else

Depends on the rapper but, generally, i don’t get too sad about the passing of famous people. Unless I know them personally, it’s kinda sad but…you know, shit happens. It really only effects me if it was someone I greatly respected and who was still in their prime. Like when Patrice O’neal died, I was pretty bummed.
I tend to be pretty annoyed by the outpouring of fake digital tears that follow the deaths of famous people. People almost treat some of their deaths like it’s a cause or that it only happened to them. Everyone has to say something or write a long winded facebook post about what that person meant to them. Unless you personally knew the person, I think anything beyond a simple “RIP” isn’t really necessary. But, hey, that’s just me.

Yo Tony, I just did a 2 year prison stint down in Mississippi….it was horrible, considering their judicial system and such, plus most people in the delta are fucking retarded. One of the worst parts of it was missing out on Phatfriend shenanigans! I sincerely missed this shit…..that is until I got a hold of a cell phone, but blogging loses it’s charm when you’re worried about a corrections officer sneakin up and slappin that contraband charge on ya!!

But…i’m out now, and it’s awesome. don’t worry, it wasn’t over anything sketch, just abunch of weed and mushrooms. Have you ever had to deal with corporal punishment?? If you had to go do time for any reason at all, do you think you could handle it? what would you do, you think? Become a born again christian? join a white supremacy gang? sell cigarettes? gamble on basketball games? Play chess? God forbid this ever happens to you, but what do you think you would do in that situation???

Welcome home, bro. That’s ridiculous you did two years over a drug charge but hopefully things are changing for the better where those matters are concerned.
Anyway, I’ve never had any issues with the law. I’ve never been arrested. I’ve always been pretty law abiding but, more so than that, I’ve just been very careful. I don’t know when it got instilled in me but I’ve always done things with the consequences in mind. That’s stopped me from doing all sorts of shit I might have otherwise tried.
If I had to go to jail, I don’t know what would happen. you hear the stories and see the things on tv then assume it’s a constant race war and rape factory. If that’s the reality, I’d imagine I wouldn’t last very long. I’m definitely not a white supremacist and doubt i could even fake that so my only chance for safety would be out the window. I’d like to think I would keep to myself and stay out of the way of everyone. Just try to do my time and quietly as possible. You know, like a real pussy. I 100% would not find god. Perhaps I’d read a lot. I hear people play scrabble in jail , so I’d become part of the scrabble gang.I’m already pretty god at it so maybe those skills would elevate me through the ranks into a boss of the scrabble crew. That or I’d get shanked and murdered the first week. You never know. All the more reason for me to never ever find out. #pussylife is a free life.