Answers for questions Vol. 74

Good day everyone. Yet another installment of the no holds barred inquisitive wonderland that is “Answers for questions”.
Listen, I’m not gonna lie…I’m running low on questions. So, go nuts. You can ask more than one at a time..they can be extremely silly. Whatever you want. So, if you got more questions for me, send them to or leave them in the comments below. Get on that yo!

I really enjoyed your post on common a few weeks back. It pretty much summed up the career of common perfectly. Krs has taken some knocks here. I was interested in hearing your take on Krs one.

Oh man. This might hurt me a little. There was a time when KRS was my #1 rapper. BDP was some life changing shit to me in my youth. Pretty much every album they made was great to me. I’d say my first worries came when he went solo (not that BDP wasn’t completely his group but, you know, officially solo). I feel like most people look at his debut album “Return of the boom bap” as a classsic…but I do not. It’s good. There are definitely good songs but much like Common’s “One day…” album , it was the first time I felt i noticed some chinks in KRS’ armor. He could still rap. The beats were still good, but he began to get a little too self aware and , most of all, it was the first time I felt he was beginning to become corny. That song about being a blunt was the tip off. After that album, while he still made some good music in to the mid-late 90’s, I just never felt like listening to him. It was like he was a characterization of his former self. Both albums “KRS-ONE” and “I Got Next” had a few decent songs and a lot of KRS just blabbering about himself and the spirituality of being himself in a way I found unappealing. I suppose it didn’t help that , in interviews, he was the worst. Just listening to him talk made my skin crawl. He was a ego maniacal corn ball and , in my eyes, the ship had sailed.
The whole church of hip hop thing was fucking creepy (they were like branch davidians who could break dance). He basically become one of those annoying old dudes you meet that only talk about “The four elements!” like that shit still matters anymore. I love hip hop, but the way people get so protective of the four elements is insane. I love rap music. I love beats. I love rhymes. I really could give less of a shit about the rest of it. Graf is cool. Breakdancing is cool. Djing is cool…but I don’t do any of those things and really never wanted to. KRS , to me, represents the kinda person I’d never wanna get stuck in an elevator with.
It’s sad…cause I genuinely love a lot of his material…but he’s tainted his legacy with how crazy and boring he’s become (Being both those things simultaneously is no east task) that I can barely even listen to his old shit any more. Bummer.

Who is your favorite NBA commentator, now or all time. Color or play by play guy. Maybe you could care less, but anyways, for me it would Huby Brown & Mark Jackson. I swear a good commentator makes my game watching all the more enjoyable, especially when i say something about the game then they say the exact same thing on t.v. and i look like a basketball genius to whoever is watching the game with me, but yeah i digress.

To me Huby brown you can tell he knows his stuff, he doesn’t get annoying or overy arrogant about anything, he just knows his shit. And Mark Jackson because i always agree with pretty much everything he says. But yeah, couple commentator questions for you. Maybe it is a total moot point because you watch ball with beats pumping and no volume on the t.v. but if you have a preference, who would it be?

Marv will always be my dude but that’s cause I grew up watching him. Lately, I get a big kick out of Jeff Van Gundy. Mostly cause , even though he’s not always right, he doesn’t pull punches.
However, if it were up to me, I’d like Charles, chris webber, and Kenny smith to do all the games. I don’t really need play by play. The banter is way more interesting to me and those dudes are a hilarious crew. Throw in shaq too…shit, even reggie miller and steve kerr are entertaining.

To fully appreciate the greatness of your beats I like to jam your music using my Sony MDR7506 headphones when I can so I was wondering…..what headphones do you use when you are making beats? Are they different from the headphones you use when you are not at home?

I don’t generally use head phones when I make beats. I prefer speakers. When I’m on the road or something, I’ll use whatever’s around though…Often that’s earbuds.
The thing about that is that, when making beats, as long as you can hear how everything falls into place, most sonic issues can be worked on in mixing. I don’t sit a tinker with kick drums for 5 hours when I’m putting a beat together cause, at that time, there are more pressing issues. That’s all mixing. When starting out on a beat, getting the mood of the beat and feel of the drums is far more important than ironing out mixing details. So whether I use $500 studio pro head phones, ear buds, or the speakers from my laptop (that I would never do) , it’s all the same until you take it into where it’s gonna be mixed.

how do you tell a rapper (or any musician for that matter) that you don’t want to collaborate with them / give them a beat without sounding (or feeling) like a dick? i imagine if its a no name mc its pretty easy to just ignore them or tell them to fuck off but what if its someone who’s sort on the same level (so to speak) of notoriety or success as you?

That’s tough. I would just say you’re really busy. That’s, of course, if you’re being a nice guy. If you’re more of a straight up kinda dude, then you can just flat out tell them you’re not into it. Although saying that kinda thing is never personal , it’s still a slap in the face…but at least you’re not pussy footing around the issue.

What I know: You don’t really go out of your way to listen to DJ Shadow’s music.
What I’d like to know: How do you react to the critical backlash against the instrumental hip/hop, layered/ sample esthetic? Shadow’s “The Less You Know the Better” was sort of panned and not a lot of people are talking about it. Does this show up on your radar as you get closer to releasing your next album? Did you ever peep Shadow’s newest one? I know you guys make really different sounds, but you would show up in the same bin at record store (if they existed), so I think it’s a fair question. (Also, Shadow has turned into a bit of a grump about the music scene and you’ve kept your head a little more. Kudos on that, yo.)

I honestly don’t think about any of this ever. I just make my music and keep it moving. I haven’t heard a shadow album in it’s entirety since “Entroducing”. Not cause I dislike his music but cause I just don’t really check for instrumental hip hop records.The dude is obviously an immense talent but it’s just not what I listen to in my own spare time. So, really, what he does, how his albums are received and what fans of his music think of his albums really has nothing to do with me. Like you said, at this point, we’re making extremely different music. So, yeah…It doesn’t show up on my radar at all.

Hey Block I love the blog. Are you the type of artist who can write a book? I ask because I think you have a great gift of gab. And also what other art medium do you excell at that no one else knows or sees.

First off, I swear I didn’t write this question to myself.
I love writing. It’s a fun thing to do to just blow off steam and be able to voice thoughts that would otherwise go unheard. Could I write a book? Eh…I mean, I could compile a book made up of stuff I’ve written on this blog but , beyond that, I don’t know. I can’t imagine writing anything cohesive that’s longer than a few pages. My attention span is like that of a newt , so the prospect of doing something beyond just random musings, is pretty daunting. That said, if someone wanted me to and had some money behind it, I’d certainly try!
As for other art mediums, I got nothing. I’m a terrible drawer/painter. I certainly did not inherit my fathers gifts in that respect. I think I coulda been a decent actor had I tried but, you know, acting is kinda bullshit anyway so that’s not saying much.

Just read the trending topics on the Grammy Awards….and I can’t agree more that it is a massive circle jerk of people that have been accepted by the masses that have mediocre talent….which leads to my question….if you were ever nominated for a Grammy would you go to the Award show?….would you accept the Grammy if you won?

Fuck yeah! I don’t have morals about things like that. First off, it would be fun to go to just to see the spectacle. Can you imagine the amount of hot ass at the grammies? jesus. I’m sure the parties are epic too. I’d most likely get too drunk and mouth off to the wrong person but it would be worth it. I mean, even having the chance to tell someone like LMFAO to go fuck themselves would be an honor in itself. I could probably masturbate to the idea of telling madonna she sucks. That’s how awesome it would be. Granted, I’m a pussy and would never do that but a dreamer cna dream, right?
As for winning a grammy, the idea of me winning a grammy is hilarious but, I’ll play along. I’d go up there and accept it like a bawce. One things for sure, I would not thank god.

17 thoughts on “Answers for questions Vol. 74

  1. KRS caught a boat to Australia and is doing a tour, first time down here because he hates flying.
    I was derided by an old scene dude when i told him i simply couldn’t be fucked paying $70 (that’s like 95 USD i think) to see him. Someone gave me a copy of his bible once and it’s really full on deranged. People hey.

  2. What up Tony. Got a few for ya.

    I know you like to use Ableton, what made you choose that program over others like Reason or Logic? Do you use any plugins along with it? Do you use it only for it’s live capabilities?

    Say a genie pops out of your bottle of lube after you get done jerking to Brazilian fart porn, which I know you love, genie says to you “Tony, if you vow to never jerk off/have an orgasm ever again there will be no more hunger or violence in the world…if you decide against it 10,000 more people will die a day and you will only live another 5 years..” What do you do?

    Oh and would you rather fuck Madonna without a rubber or be tied to a tree while a hungry grizzly bear licks honey off your nuts?

    Peace man!

  3. Yo Blockhead,

    I’ve scoured whosampled and other websites for hours but I can’t find what sample you used at the 2:32 mark of insomniac olympics. That’s my favorite sample for the album, any chance you could make that information public? Thanks.

    • That’s because I don’t even remember what it was. I’m assuming you’re referring to the vocal sample. No clue. I wasn’t really paying attention to samples sources back then (I made that beat around 99/2000) so , I’m afraid it’s lost in the ether.

      • Ahhh, that’s terrible news. But thanks, that sample murders that track. Do you usually just hit the 1 dollar vinyl bin at stores or hit a specific genre when you’re digging?

  4. How do you go about performing your tracks live, as in when you aren’t just DJ;ing. Do you use ableton / controller? Do you have your stems separated? How do you manipulate the tracks? Any insight would be much appreciated!

  5. The Music Scene was simply awesome when you dropped it, when can we expect your next instalment? Also the video for ‘The Music Scene’ is mind-blowing, who is the artist that did it and did you have any input into his creation?
    Finally, Spotify has all of your albums up there but no Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book, why is that and can you do something about that?

    Much love from the UK


  6. Hey Block We all know you hate the lakers but what do you think of the david stern veto now that 2 months have passed? The hornets are awful and have the worst record in the league.

  7. After much waffling, and a few free download searches..sorry..I drunkenly caved in and made an official ITunes purchase of music by cavelight and the music scene. I never heard of you before coming across your blog in a search for “scared straight 99” on google. I was hooked and now follow the blog religiously. That in turn got me interested in the albums, and I must say they are great. But it got me wondering, which would you prefer at this point? If you had a choice between me buying the albums once and never visiting the blog again, or never buying the albums but remaining a loyal reader, which would you choose and why?

  8. Do you ever see a time when you will not listen to rap? I mean I have listened to it for pretty much all of my 33 years, so lets say 20 or so have been listening to rap. Do you think our generation will be in retirement homes playing Ice Cube like the old people of today listen to jazz or whatever the fuck it is old people listen to now?

  9. Marv is the man for sure. I like Reggie Miller too commentating. and Jeff Van Gundy, especially the Mark Jackson Van Gundy tandem. Steve Kerr not so much for me, he’s too bland and acts like he knows everything.

    Also liked Bill Walton for entertainment purposes.

  10. SInce im here, i will ask a question.

    When do you think will be the next time the Raptors make the playoffs? Will they even be in the league for long? What would you do with the team if the GM?

  11. Yo Block!

    Have you heard and seen any of these Red Bull Music academy interviews?
    they are around 1 and a half hours long and its basically an artist interview in front of 15-20 of the dirtiest coffeeshop hipsters. throughout the interview they will play some songs that they were talking about in its entirety while the hipsters just sit and bop their heads. it can get pretty awkward but its still entertaining.
    the best ones:

    DOOM (Most awkward.. a lot of long pauses and silence) –
    Stretch and Bobbito –
    Clams Casino: –

    would you have the patience to do this? Would you find it awkward at some points?

  12. AfQs:
    Do you follow college basketball at all? Any teams you’re interested in?

    If your next album became enormously popular and you started to see photographers following you around every few days, how would you react to them?

    If you were given an offer to make new music for a television show or for a company’s commercials, would you take it? What kind of show or ads would you like to make music for?

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