Answers for Questions vol. 133

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What’s crackin’ people. I had a great weekend doing shows for the people of NYC, Philly and RIchmond. Thanks to all those of you who came out (especially those of you who read this blog and told me so at the shows. I love that.). I got Shows in Portland, Seattle and SF next weekend. More info HERE.
Anyway, two weeks in a row…STILL NOT SICK. Trying to set a record up in here.
So, as you probably know, this is that thing where I answer questions sent into me by my readers. I can always use more. If you have an itch that needs scratching in the form of a question, send it my way. Either leave it int he comment section below or email it to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com
Yay!

What do you think is behind the “white rap voice”? Do you think it’s just guys who don’t speak with any sort of street in their voices who all of a sudden find rap and decide to try it? Obviously the essence of it is over-pronunciation of all syllables and a general higher voice/whine, but why do you think this happens so much and with such consistency?

I think the “White voice” is deeper than that. I think that, while it’s a mixture of the things you listed (Over pronunciation and lack of street authenticity) what REALLY makes a white voice white is the whininess. A successful rap voice usually requires presence, command and something about it that sounds cool (the kids call it swagger). Think of dudes like Big Daddy Kane or Rakim. Chuck D. Even a dude with a lisp can sound cool if his voice happens to hit those buttons in your brain. Also, part of rappers sounding good is effortlessness. Whenever I hear someone trying really hard, it’s obvious. A lot of white dudes don’t have any of those qualities and , on top of that, sound like they’re struggling just to stay on beat. The same could be said about someone like Kweli. His voice is fairly weak and his flow has never sounded natural to me. So, if you’re feeling like I’m picking on just white guys, rest easy cracker. It does go both ways. But let’s not fool ourselves, it’s called “white voice” for a reason.
I think a large portion of white guys are just predisposed to having voices that don’t sound good in the context of rapping. We may be better suited for singing over quietly strummed guitars. Take a dude like John Darnielle from the Mountain goats. He’s got a serious white voice but he finds a way to use it in music so it sounds cool.
But, really, when it’s all said and done, it’s all genetics and DNA. Whites be white, yo.

This is kinda off topic but it’s tour related. So you are going to play a festival called “Lightning in a Bottle” in Temecula California in July. That’s the closest you have come to San Diego (about 30 min) that you have come in a long time. This is definitely one of those hippie rave type festivals that you mention you get billed on from time to time. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely don’t blame you for playing when and where you can and for having an eclectic fan base. I would be down to wade through the sea of tie die & glow sticks to see your live show in a minute but, this being a pretty large festival, even a day pass is almost $200. Now, I dig your music and have been a fan for a while but that’s pretty steep especially considering I can almost guarantee that your performance would be the only thing I would be in to.(Except maybe scoring some shrooms or some Molly! Hehe)Seriously though I can’t think of anyone I’d pay $200 to see except like a Doom/Aesop/Wu-Tang/Billy Woods/90′s ATCQ fantasy line up thing. Has anyone ever mentioned this to you before? OR do some harcore Blockhead fans( that aren’t of the Patchouli wearing-fuzzy pant-rocking variety) really shell out over a hundo to come see the god? I imagine playing these types of shows are good for you. Getting paid, getting exposed to new fans, and the rest but do you ever resent it? Do you wish you could be maybe opening up on a tour with a rapper you know? I just ask mostly because youve said that these shows really aren’t your thing as far as a scene goes. Or does it not matter and a show is a show?

I can’t say I spend much time thinking about it. As far as festivals go, I’ve gotten to the point where I just suck it up and do them and end up having a good time. The thing is, while that’s not my scene, the people are generally very nice and the promoters are accommodating (except this one TIME.
While i’m sure there is a decent proportion of my fan base that is in the same boat as you, there are also others who love to go to festivals and relate my music much less to rap than someone who’s been listening to me since the early 2000’s. What I’m saying is, I do have a decent sized burner/electronic festival type following. While this surprises me as I think of my music as very much rooted in hip hop, I’m not about to be a dick about it and try and pick and choose fans. Everyone is welcome.
As for the hip hop festival idea, I don’t think it would work. My set , at the end of the day, plays better to people who are trying to dance or bug out. Hip hop crowds that stand and stare, while occasionally pumping a fist are not who I wanna play for. That may be more my personal scene (though, going to rap shows in 2013 is a fucking nightmare for me) but my fan base is something totally different, in general.

Did you ever bump into Eyedea or meet him? He’s an incredibly dope freestyler and I know he’s done some sessions/tracks with Aesop, Illogic, and that whole crew. Ever been present for a Rhymesayers freestyle?

I chilled with Eyedea around 2000. He and slug came to NYC for the Rock steady rap festival and we hung out and recorded some songs together. This is one of them:

The original version of “Bent Life” featured slug and Eyedea is another we did

Here’s a pic of him at my old crib kicking a rhyme to my inflatable doll/beer cozy
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I think after that weekend, I saw him maybe once or twice again but he was a really good dude and one of the craziest freestylers I’ve ever witnessed. RIP

I know you’ve talked about not wanting to grow older and dying while you’re still young (young in the relative sense that you’re not some mentally/physically deteriorating mess with all sorts of old people problems). What do you think is the sweet spot age-wise for death? Don’t you think that you’re always going to have that self-preservation where in the moment, you won’t want to die?

I think it depends on a lot of factors. Do i have a family that needs me? Am I bored? Do i have plans for the future? In my mind, how long I’d want to live is directly related to how functional I am. If I’m ever at the point where I can’t wipe my own ass ever again, put me in a wheelchair and roll my ass off a bridge. Once that’s gone, so if your soul. But, seeing as that could happen tomorrow or in 50 years, I really can’t call it. I basically only want to live if I’m relatively physically functional. I don’t need to be doing wind sprints when I’m 70 but I’d like to be able to walk up some stairs if I need to. I’d like to not be the age that, if I trip, I might paralyze myself.
I often thought that I’d rather live a full life that ends the age of 40 than live a lame life to the ago of 80 but, as I’m nearing in on 40, I dunno if I agree with that anymore. I think a happy medium works for me. I have no interest in being an old, decrepit burden on anyone. So, if I live till 60 in generally good health and die mid-orgasm or something, I’m fine with that. Much better that than dying of starvation, half cocked off a toilet seat with a half wiped asshole cause my back gave out and I live alone.

do you say pop or soda? i think saying soda is weird, like calling kids children or cars automobiles. i hear some people in the south call all soda pop “coke” which seems ignorant as fuck. anyway pop or soda?

Pop is some midwest shit. I hear someone call soda “Pop” and , much like the words “hella” or “wicked”, I basically know where they’re from. Me and everyone I’ve ever met on the east coast call it “soda”.
The funny thing about your reasoning about why it’s weird to you that people would call it “soda” is that you’re saying that the full name of it is supposed to be “Soda pop”. Perhaps that might have been the case in the era of “Happy days” but who on this planet has called anything a “soda pop” in the last 30 years? It’s “soda” because that’s what it is…literally. Carbonation and flavored water. While “Pop” has a nice ring to it, it also sounds like something only a child should say. us grown folks though? Soda, bro. All day, every day.

Oh, side note…I wanna give a special shout out to a kid that came to my show in Richmond. He was the first through the door and walked right up to me and asked me to sign something for him. I agreed and he pulled out this:
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(That’s what it looked like after I signed it)
But, yeah…Wow. In case you’re confused, that’s a pic of my that I posted on my instagram (@blockheadnyc) a few months ago for a #throwbackthursday. I was 15 in that pic…Killing it. This dude wins the grand prize for life. Props to you , guy. That made my night.

Yay or Nay? Spark Master Tape

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Typically, When I do these “yay or nay” pieces, I tend to have my own set opinion on the artist prior to asking you about it. In this case, I literally just found out about this dude yesterday. Dunno where he’s from or who he’s affiliated with. I just know he really loves the pitch shift effect and probably drinks copious amounts of syrup.
So, really, I’m entering into this just like you, with a clean slate.
I definitely have my reservations. The pitch shift thing for whole songs is a bit odd and it’s very Spaceghost purp influenced but it can’t call it just yet. I like the beats more than the raps but, most of all, I’m curious what his real voice sounds like. But perhaps this is a new way for white (is he even white? I honestly dunno but every picture online seems to be a lighter skinned dude…I have no cue what’s going on here.) rappers to get around the whole “White voice” things. Just pitch it down a bunch and everyone sounds like James Earl Jones.
Regardless, for all it’s possible downsides, there is something intriguing about it all as well. Also, he uses clips from my video “The Music Scene” in his video “syrup Splash” so that’s kinda cool.
Anyway, Peep it…



So, what do you think?

Pixar ain’t for you, old person.

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This will probably go down as one of the least popular posts I’ve ever written but I don’t give a fuck. It needs to be addressed (actually, it really doesn’t but that makes it sound important). I’m fully prepared for the backlash. *deep breath*

When I was a kid, I used to watch cartoons. Good ones. Bad ones. Really, any cartoon that was available. While I watched your typical Bugs bunny and Road runner fair, I also watched that bullshit Gummi bears Cartoon and the USA Cartoon express which featured such third rate characters as Jabba jaw and Hair bear. I watched them all and loved them equally. Why? Cause I was a kid and I didn’t know shit about anything.
Nowadays, I still watch a few cartoons. Mostly just South Park and some things on adult swim but I’m not opposed to watching a cartoon that’s aimed at my interests. There are plenty of off beat and hilarious cartoons that speak to the man in his mid 30’s. What I do not watch, however, is Pixar movies. Why? Cause I’m not a child.

There are two main types of adults when it comes to Pixar movies. Those who ride or die for them and those who can’t fathom why anyone would give a that much of a shit about a movie that specifically for children. I don’t think anyone hates Pixar movies. I certainly don’t sit around cursing their existence while wishing more Muppet movies would get made (though, that would be kinda great). I simply don’t find wonderment in these films. They are no doubt impressive. I mean, coming from an era when some of the cartoons I watched had the same background scenery for 15 years, the things animators are capable of now is pretty amazing. Kids today, as they say, don’t know how good they have it. But, still, I’m not a child. I require adult stimulation. That doesn’t mean I can only watch porn and gore to quench my entertainment needs. I mean , I need something that speaks to my interests. I want to laugh. I want to be scared. I want to think. I require layers. Even some low brow shit that’s made for adults can still have a certain depth to it. I most certainly do not wanna half chuckle at some joke made by a dorky penguin and then go “Aww……”.

The thing is, if i had a kid, I’d be all about these movies. Not in that I actually enjoy them greatly but that they’d be a great meeting point between me and the kid. I’m sure, compared to having to sit through Thomas the tank engine cartoons and whatever else bullshit kids are obsessed with, I’d say Pixar movies are like welcome upgrade. I’ll be the first to admit these movies are totally watchable. There’s nothing offensive about them (I mean that in artistic sense) and kids lose their shit over them. It’s perfect for that. There’s a reason they all make a billion dollars. It’s cause families go see them. Over and over again. Kids love repetition. And seeing any Pixar movie will always >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>seeing some new disney bullshit or a movie about Justin Beiber.

My issue with these films is when grown ups start holding them up in high esteem and acting like these movies are as good as actual movies made for people over the age of 12 (this is the part where Pixar fans get very defensive. I accept your anger…). Every year, critic made year end lists of top movies come out and, inevitably, a few pixar movies will pop up. Keep in mind, these are adult critics. People whose job it is to evaluate cinema. Most likely, they went to school for this shit. And, somehow, out of the hundreds of movies they saw over the course of that year, they decide to give a nod to the movie about some random animal or robot who gets lost or floats away or who gives a shit. It’s a kids movie! It’s made to be enjoyed by kids! Keep in mind, I’m aware I’m in the minority here. I know that if I were to ask like my ten favorite comedians what they thought the best movies of 2012 were, undoubtedly over half of them would throw “wreck it ralph” in there. I get that. And that’s kinda why I’m writing this cause, while I get it, I don’t really “get it”.

A common angle people who love these movies will take is that the humor of these movies speaks to both adults and children. Sure, there are tons of lame ass (or “cute” if you’re being nice about it) kids jokes but every now and then you get a subtle tip of the hat for all the adults out there. A not-so-dirty almost dirty joke that might make two adults watching it together give each other a “Oh no they didn’t!” look cause they’re so shocked that an animated movie would even hint at something not pure as the undriven snow.
It’s one of those jokes that’s extra crazy in context of what you’re watching but, in reality, it’s just a harmless joke that would go unnoticed in the most trivial of PG-13 rated comedies. This “tip of the hat” style is something the Muppet show mastered and did better than any Pixar movie ever could. They did it without being coy but more by being referential to things only an adult could know. It wasn’t dirty or trying hard. And, most importantly, it was legitimately funny. Yet another reason that The muppet show will always be a billion times better than any Pixar movie. But that’s a whole different subject.
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Another issue I take with these movies is that they work within very strict character stereotypes. Now, let me clarify, I’m not against stereotypes. In fact, I often find over the top generalizations to be hilarious (That’s basically the backbone of this entire blog). My issue is that , most of the time, they just seem lazy. Any Pixar movie that involves animals will usually have some sort of jamaican speaking animal (this usually come with subtle nods to weed…HILARIOUS!), some sort of latino animal, often a jewy animal and, without question, a wise old , typically large animal that has the voice of a black man/woman. And that’s just the basics. What i’m saying is that a lot of these movies have interchangeable characters. I will say that the recent boom of more human based pixar movies has done a better job at finding unique characters but still…that doesn’t make these movies any less for children.

So, I try to rationalize the adult love for these movies…
I dunno. Maybe I just don’t embrace my childhood like others. I don’t feel a resurgence of youthful bliss when I watch this kind of thing. I gotta think that is some of the allure for adults when enjoying these types of films. I get that there can be a comforting effect but so much so that , when the movie is over, you’re willing to say it’s one of the best films you’ve ever seen? That shit is strange to me.
Sometimes I think adults are enamored by the animation itself. The spectacle of it. I mean, shit…we live in an era where special effects have been raised to a level so high, it’s hard to tell what is and isn’t real (with the exception of old man make up in movies which, for some reason, will always be terrible). As impressive as the animation is, by the same logic, some shit like Avatar would be the greatest movie ever to these people…well, maybe it is (it is not). Who knows. But, really, who cares?
When I really think about it, what it comes down to is these movies are like an imagination running wild. Because they’re animated, you can do literally anything. There are no boundaries and that is admittedly cool. Except there are boundaries. Those boundaries being that , once again, these movies have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. No, not teenaged girls (they’re a close second though), but your typical child. And that’s simply very limiting. No matter how I rationalize it, it always comes back to that. Trust be told though, if they were to make an R Rated Pixar movie, I kinda think it would suck regardless.

Listen, I’m not writing this to shit on the grown folks who love these movies. I have many close friends who I love and respect who get full on erections every time a new Pixar movie drops. And, like i said, I don’t hate these movies. They’re perfectly fine for what they are. In fact, I’d even say they’re great for what they are. But that doesn’t change the fact that what they are is a fancy cartoon made to appeal to the sensibilities of a people who haven’t figured out long division yet. They’re certainly not a slap in the face of intelligence like most of the Tv shows on the Disney channel. When you boil it all down, Pixar movies are high end children’s programming and not much more. Listen, I think YO gabba Gabba is awesome but only cause of what it is. Love them or hate them, that’s what they are. But , hey , love what you love. I’m gonna go chill out and watch Mcgruber for the 200th time.
3q305f

Demo reviews Vol. 21

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Hi everyone. Back again for another round of Demo Reviews. The gift that keeps on giving…and taking.
If you’re new to this part of my blog, this is where readers send in their music for me to review. The point is not for me to shit on their dreams (though that often does happen) but for me to be 100% honest with budding musicians. Like I said, I don’t wanna be an asshole here, just truthful. After all, if you sent me a demo, you’re asking for my opinion. well, you got it!
To those asking about sending demos in, I’m afraid the doors are closed for the time being. I have a lot of submissions left to review so I won’t be taking new ones until this batch is all gone. I’ll definitely alert you when that time comes but , until then, don’t send me anything. If you do, I won’t even open the email.
Anyway, these song are judged as follows: I write a brief review of my thoughts as I listen to the song then grade them on a scale of 1 to 10 in these categories:
Production:

Vocals:

Listenability:

Originality:

Just a heads up, if you get a 5 out of 10, that’s actually decent (comparatively). So don’t be too sad. Okay? great. Let’s do this.

Artist:Adam Selene
Song:History of silence


I honestly have no clue what this dude is saying but judging from the delivery, it’s pretty fucking important. It sounds like he has an accent but, more than that, he’s using that “warlock in a rush” rapping style. I dunno. I’ve reached a point where I can’t really tolerate rapping voices that are too affected. Maybe it’s just me. But stuff like this is hard to sit through.
The beat is as basic as it gets. Classical music sample over non-discript drums. Not offensively bad or anything but very run of the mill. It sounds dated too.
Production:
3.5 out of 10
Vocals:
3.5 out of 10
Listenability:
3 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist:Groove Cereal
Song: We could drive all night


This is some stoner shit. By that, I mean it was very likely made by a stoner. I can tell cause the main groove that makes up half the track isn’t even really a groove. It’s a weird sound that, if I was high and heard while making beats, I’d be like “That’s crazy”. Then realize the next day it was just kind of a sound effect that doesn’t work as a center piece of a track. When it eventually does switch up, it’s actually pretty cool. Very mellow. I’d just say to either get to that first switch up earlier or make the first half more interesting. Also, the drum break, while chopped, it’s the substitution break. One of the most used breaks in the history of sampled music.

I think we can stop using that break now.
Production:
4 out of 10
Vocals:
N/A
Listenability:
4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist:Jermsicle
Song: Loud


Off the bat, this one is all sorts of pitchy. None of the sounds sound like the should be be playing together. sounds/samples being out of key is probably my biggest peeve ever. That’s a bad look as this is music and things being harmonious tends to be the starting point for most good music (I’m assuming this isn’t a free jazz song). So, yeah…that’s the beginning and end right there.
Production:
2 out of 10
Vocals:
n/A
Listenability:
2 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Indigo Kids520
Song: for posterity


Definitely a sample I always wanted to fuck with. I kinda wish they had taken it a little farther than just adding a bass line and some tinny drums. The rapping is fine. It’s not particularly interesting but not bad either. Kinda reminds me of a second rate Living legends song. Fun song though just more of a lost opportunity for something beyond that.
Production:
3.5 out of 10
Vocals:
4 out of 10
Listenability:
4.5 out of 10
Originality:3.5 out of 10

Artist: Kev Sez
Song: Jupiter


That is a bugged out beat. Very interesting. Big points for that cause it’s rare i hear a track that doesn’t really sound like anything I’ve heard. The rapper is confident but a little to spoken word-ish for my taste. He’s decent though and I appreciate him trying something different.
Production:
5.5 out of 10
Vocals:
4.5 out of 10
Listenability:
5 out of 10
Originality:5.5 out of 10

Artist:Alan Olvera
Song:Spike


This kinda sounds like those on of those NBA commercials that’s in slow motion, showing a dude drive the lane mad slowly and then it says “NBA: where magic happens” or something like that. It’s dramatic and serves it’s purpose but it’s nothing really new to my ears. Outside of dramatic slow motion, I don’t really know where music like this plays.
Production:
4 out of 10
Vocals:
N/A
Listenability:
5 out of 10
Originality:2 out of 10

Artist: Sm^th
Song:Confetti at the VFW


This builds nicely. The break is awesome too. It’s almost like a song by the Avalanches in how it changes. Nothing major happens most of the time but lots of details are thrown around. Then the big change happens and it seems natural leading into the big closing. Well done.
Production:
6 out of 10
Vocals:
n/a
Listenability:
6 out of 10
Originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist:Ephen Stephens
Song: Primate


Quite a departure from the previous song…Different strokes, i suppose.
While I hate these kind of beats (lazy drums and boring synth sounds seemingly just thrown together) I gotta say, the rapping is pretty good. Someone should remix this or something.
Production:
2 out of 10
Vocals:
5 out of 10
Listenability:
3.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Halp meh!
Song: Conquer.Weak.Defeat.Rejoice.


This beat is kind of a mess. Pick a key and stick with it. It’s not out of tune with itself as much as just meandering aimlessly. Also, the drums are pretty bad as well. The dubstep breakdown isn’t helping anything either. Then again, that’s more of a taste thing with me.
The rapping…it’s white. Very white. I’d go into more detail but “white voice” is easily the most covered topic in “demo reviews”.
Production:
3 out of 10
Vocals:
3 out of 10
Listenability:
2.5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist:Piccolo
song: Rest of your life


This is fine. Nice little jazzy groove. Not much happens beyond that though. I dunno if I’d call this a song as it is just some drums, a loop and a few minor additions. Still, it’s okay for what it is. As always, when I hear a track that’s kinda bare but good like this, I can’t help but think how much better it would be with vocals on it.
Production:
4 out of 10
Vocals:
n/a
Listenability:
4.5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Now, you tell me what you think…

Answers for questions vol. 132

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What up. Back again…Mark this day down cause I’m actually not sick! Feels good, man.
My back is fucked up though so, you know, life goes on.
Btw, I got shows in NYC, Philly and RIchmond this week. for more info, peep HERE. I’d love to see you.
Hey bro. Hey gurlll. You got any questions you wanna ask me? Well, this is your chance. Either email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below. I’m game for almost anything so feel free to get weird.
Now, on to this weeks questions…

What do you think about the gun control situation in America? Cause there’s some people making guns using 3D printers. To me that just sounds absolutely ludicrous. Any dimwit who can get there hands on a 3D printer can now potential access a gun regardless of their criminal history.

Wait…what? Who’s making guns out of 3d printers? and it’s such a widespread thing that it somehow enters the conversation about gun control? If that’s true than just abandon all hope and hide in your basement until you die of starvation. I’m not up on much but that sounds kinda farfetched. It sounds like it’s as much a problem as, say, people making Macgyver-like bombs out of gum and a toilet paper roll.
As for gun control, I’m the first to admit that I’m not very schooled on the issue. All I know is that a bunch of crazy people have been going crazy lately. Does that mean all guns should be banned? I don’t think that’s realistic. The best thing we can do is to make guns extremely hard to get. Like an adoption. Then it might cut down on the crazies going nuts. But, even then, people will find a way. This is one of those problems that, while it could be helped by a new plan, is never going to just go away. When people are motivated , they can achieve a lot. Unfortunately, that goes for people who want to do bad things just as much as people with good intentions.
I’ve always liked the Chris Rock Idea of making Bullets ridiculously expensive.


So I have been playing guitar for a long time now. I got into production trying to record my guitar sounds over a MIDI drum track. Gradually over the years, I got to enjoy the process and I started to become more ambitious about music production. I spent a lot of time developing my skills in Ableton and other DAWs and VSTs. However, I feel I have forgotten the kind of musician i started out to be. With so many different production tricks to learn and so many new genres to incorporate into my production style, my shit has turned too technical. I can’t feel the groove in my music anymore. My production ambition seems to be going nowhere. I don’t make any money from my music. I am almost 27 and there is family pressure on me to start thinking about my “real” career (I have a bachelors in engineering). I don’t wanna be the 30 year old guy who is pretending to make music (Thats how I assume other people will think of me). But there is this little voice inside of me that says that I cannot quit after coming so far and so close. There are days when spending hours on my laptop producing music seems so worthless. Yet, sometimes a song will gradually develop over months into something that even surprises me in a nice way.

I have thought about DJing for quick money. Sadly, I hate DJing that is popular in my part of the world. DJing here means mixing a few local language songs with a stupid little European house beat that drunk people like to shake their asses to. It has the perfect formuliac build up, the drop and what not. It makes me wanna puke when I am not drunk. Rarely, I end up dancing to this stupid shit when I get shit faced. Then, it makes me wanna cry the next morning. I don’t know what is wrong with me. Why am I so hung up on making good music or what I think is good music. Should I lower my standards and sell out? Should I quit music altogether and just make it a thing of my past (like my dad’s long hair phase from the 70s)? Should I take the risk and try to make “good” music even though most people don’t give a shit about it? In that case, I will probably be broke eternally for the sake of not selling out as an asshole DJ. Help.

I don’t know why everything has to be so black and white. You could get a job and still make music. Whenever people ask me for advice about being a musician for their career, I always tell them to not bother.While that seems grim, the reality is it’s simply to much of a dice roll. I’m existing doing what I do for a living because of lucky circumstances and good timing. My “talent” is completely secondary. There are plenty of people out there that are far more talented than I am that will never release anything simply because they never got that break. Or their timing was wrong.
So, I’d say keep making music if that’s what you like doing. Having a creative outlet is crucial to keeping sane. But don’t put much stock in it ever becoming a thing you can live off. It’s one of those things that, if it happens, accept it with open arms but never expect it…especially at your age. That said, I was 26/27 when I quit my last job to do music full time so it’s not impossible…just HIGHLY unlikely.
As for the DJing, I’d say if you value your sanity and you desire to not kill people, avoid it. DJing is the fucking worst for any with original thoughts towards music. Unless you’re just spinning stuff you like in a tiny lounge or something, it’s a nightmare that will make you question humanity on a nightly basis. For more on that, read this:
https://phatfriend.com/2012/02/01/no-requests/

Do you remember the stuff you dream at night ?
Are your dreams visual or are there sounds/music in your dreams as well ? what about movements and smell or taste ?
what is the most bizarre thing that ever happened in your dreams ?

I almost never remember my dreams. I don’t know if it’s cause i sleep so lightly or cause I just ignore them. When I de recall dreams, they tend to be both realistic and boring. Like I’ve literally dreamt I did my laundry. I woke up thinking “Oh cool, I don’t have to do laundry today” only to find that I hadn’t done my laundry. Mind bending stuff , I know. I’ve also dreamt of hearing some salacious gossip about a friend and woken up thinking it was real for like 5 hours. Shit like that. I certainly never have crazy, out of the ordinary things happen in my dreams. Which is too bad cause that kinda sounds like fun. Like an acid trip in your sleep.

Do you maintain a library of samples to use for songs or do you just keep it in your head and pull out records when you need them?

Over the last few years I’ve been sampling way more mp3’s (cause buying the records I’d need to sample would cost way too much so I download from rare music sites). Because of this, I’ve been able to come up with a highly organized system for possible samples I might use. Everything is in I-tunes. I organize them by type of sample (drum, something I’d use as a layer, or a main part ) and by what instrument they are. But that I mean I mark off the sample as “Piano” or , if it’s got multiple sounds I’d write “Horn/percussion/bass”. That way, when I’m making a beat, if i need a certain sound, I can just go through that section of my files and hopefully find something that works. This also helps with keep track of what I’ve sampled in the past so I don’t resample the same thing.
Before I did this whole I-tunes thing, I used to stick post it notes on records saying what songs on the record were good and what instruments they were. This is just a much more organized and upgraded version of that.

Seeing how women have decided to own the word “Bitch” (“I’m the baddest bitch in the room”), and calling someone a “Ho” doesn’t quite have the same impact it did 20 years ago (I blame this entirely on the Rap music), what is the most offensive word you could call a female in 2013?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate women. I’m talking about a completely hypothetical scenario like if your girlfriend of 3 years had sex with your best friend, gave you crabs, went AWOL, maxed out your credit card, huffed some dust cleaner, then wrapped your car around a light pole.

Do you just add a “hard r” to “Ho”? Do you get all English, and say the “C word”? Is there something entirely more offensive that I have never heard off?

What if you really want to insult a dude? Do you call them a “Douche Bag”, “Asshole”, “Fag” or “Cock Sucker”?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate gay people either… but those last two are hard to give up if you’ve used them once. (no homo?)

“Cunt” is clearly the winner of the offensive woman word(unless you’re in the UK where they use it like we use “Jerk”). I’d imagine they don’t wanna be called “twat” either. But, really, it’s more how you say it than what you say. I could playfully call a girl a cunt and get away with it but if I stress the word “Bitch” right , it will cut deep. Honestly, I think, more than any of those words, calling a girl “fat” will get the biggest rise out of them. Even worse “Fat cunt”. Hell, some girls lose their shits over being called “thick” and that’s typically a compliment. Any time you attack someones insecurities, that’s what’s gonna set them off. I do think it’s funny to call a really skinny girl a “fat bitch” though cause it’s such a curveball. Same with calling a group of guys “dykes”.

As for dudes, it’s the same thing. If someone calls me a “fag” or a “cock sucker” or “asshole” I can’t really say it’ll get much anger out of me. It’s just a word. It’s all about context and what the person is saying. I’m a straight white male so it’s basically impossible to offend me. I’m only offended by some shit where the persons attack either has merit or is so off base it’s makes me think the person is slow. But no single word is gonna set me off ever.

So what great rappers do you think have fallen the farthest from grace? Either from making one great album and never matching it or having a reign of greatness and then just slowly becoming a pathetic shell of their former self.

I mean, it’s gotta be KRS-One , right? In a world full of formerly great old school rappers who are now totally mediocre, he seems to take the cake. Not only did his rapping wear thin but he just seems like a crazy old cult leader now. Anytime I see a current interview with him he’s just rambling on about some bullshit that only norwegian break dancers would ever care about.
The thing is, old school rap dudes love to talk. They have some crazy stories and,if you’re a fan, that kinda shit is awesome to listen to. But once the stories end and the life lessons begin, you realize that lots of these dudes are just bitter old assholes trying to stay relevant. I con’t even blame them as the nature of life as a musician can be pretty brutal. But, the fact of the matter is, we all fall off eventually.

Yay or Nay: Intuition

intuition-and-equilibrum-first-day-of-summer
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might be familiar with Intuition. He’s an L.A. Based Mc by way of Alaska (indeed, he is the rap game Mario Chalmers and Carlos Boozer). I’ve known him for a while and we’re buddies. But before I ever met him, I was down with his music. While it is often lady friendly (which , at times, can be the kiss of death for male enjoyment of rap music) he manages to keep a nice balance between the soft shit and the real shit. He gets a little emo without going overboard. In a world full of wimpy cutters doing weep-raps, I think we can all appreciate “rapping about feelings” when it’s done right. Well, maybe no all of us but surely most of the people that read this blog. Beyond all that, he’s got a way with words and a smooth , meticulous flow for all you rap nerds out there.
I should also add that his producer Equalibrum is fucking dope. If you’re a good rapper in the L.A. area, get at that dude.
Anyway, Even though he’s been covered on this blog extensively and has been making music for a long time, I don’t see a reason to not push him a little more…Here are some videos:
This is an early one that doesn’t really reflect what he’s doing now but, fuck it…I still like it.

Here’s some more recent shit though:



So, Yay or nay?

Ask Dr. Tony Vol. 25


Ahh yes…time to dole out that sweet sweet advice to the youth of the world.
You wrote me and asked for my help so, with that, I give you my version of “help”.
For those who are unfamiliar, I’m not a doctor but I play one on the internet. I’m just a man with common sense that likes to give strangers tips on love and life.
If you’re a human who needs help in this department, please write me and ask me anything. Send the questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com. The questions are answered anonymously so, don’t worry about that. No one will know your dark secrets…cause I don’t know you.
So, yeah, send me stuff so I can fix it.
Anyway, this weeks theme seems to be mostly friends and lovers. Or, I should say, how confusing the two can be. Let’s see what we got going…

I have one more for the doctor!

first of all, excuse my bad english… I hope you understand everything!!

the story is very long but I’ll keep it short and try to make more a “global question”

I had this girlfriend for like 7 months but it’s over (she left me). Our relationship was awesome, like good friends too, it wasn’t only attraction, so I’m not mad at her or anything and I’m really up to being friends (seriously) cause we like similar things and we always talk lots about music and I love to hear her opinions about my artworks etc…

anyway, It seemed that it could work but I’m not sure anymore because sometimes I feel angry when she doesn’t text me back or shit like this. It is fucking stupid but I can’t control it. Sometimes I’m not sure if she really wants to talk to me and she just does it because she doesn’t want to hurt me or anything

I’m confused because I’ve been with a few (5+) girls since she left me 5 months ago, but somehow I guess I want to be friends with her cause I still like her… but I will always feel something for her, right?

so, what’s your opinion on being friends with an ex-girlfriend? bad idea? will be always stressing?
should I just move on and accept that she is not part of my life anymore?

I feel sad about losing someone who I like (not just because she is a girl and hot) but maybe I’m just a fucking hippy

I’d say what you’re going through is 100% typical of a person who got dumped. If it were up to you, you two would be together but she’s not into it. It sucks but it’s a reality. With that in mind, a “friendship” seems like something that might be impossible until you’re on equal ground. As long as you still, in the back of your mind, desire her to be more than a friend, you two can never really be friends. Ideally, friendship is being equals. It’s a give and take. If you’re gonna sit around and get salty when your “friend” doesn’t respond to some arbitrary text quick enough, you gotta understand that that’s your wanna be boyfriend brain at work. If you were really her “friend”, you’d shrug it off and talk to her when you talk to her. Real friend don’t sweat the small stuff cause we know it’s not a slight at us. It’s just something that happens.
My advice to you would be to remove yourself from the situation. I have no doubt she’s being nice to you to salvage your feelings so if you were to lessen contact with her, she wouldn’t be too upset. If your plan is actually be friends with her and never try to make her your GF again, then you’ll both need time and space. Otherwise, you’re just going to start to annoy her or you’ll end up being her weird lap dog who sits around her telling her how you don’t like the new guy she’s dating. Don’t be that guy. That guy is 100% a sucker, forever and always.
Surely you can find another lovely lady who can tell you how much she likes your artworks.

Hey! So I was dating this guy for about 8 months. Everything was going really great, getting pretty serious and I was really in love with him. Suddenly though, he started to get more distant and ended up breaking up with me. He definitely has some weird commitment issues… not just in our relationship but with his friends, school, work, etc. We had talked about it before when he disappeared one week and I found out he went to San Francisco and forgot to mention it. I’m really not a clingy person so it’s strange to me that he felt a little smothered. Anyway, after we broke up (about two months ago) he really wanted to stay friends. At first I was really against it but a few weeks ago I decided to try it. He came over to our mutual friends house to hang out and drink and everything was going well. We all ended up on the couch watching James and the Giant Peach (great movie) and he was extremely cuddly. It led to sex and the next night he called wanting to clear things up. I knew it didn’t mean he wanted to get back together or anything and that it just kind of happened but he kept saying how much he missed me and how seeing me took him back to when we were together,with that a ton of touchy feely mixed signals leaving me sooo confused. Do you think he’s just confused or just wants to get laid? I made it clear I wasn’t going to do the friends with benefits thing… that it was a relationship, just friends or nothing but he still wants to hang out with me… any insight?

He sounds like he’s one of those dudes who flip flops on his emotions. While this could easily be written off as him trying to get ass and being a good liar, for some reason, I get the feeling he’s just not sure of what he wants. Guys with commitment issues will often vacillate in their actions.
He also may be one of those “have your cake and eat it too” types.
Regardless, if this situation is black and white to you (you’re either friends or in a relationship) then there’s really no room for discussion, right?
LOL at “being friends” with this guy for all the reasons I stated in the previous question. Even if his intentions are good, will he be able to control those old feelings that eventually lead to you two fucking while watching pixar films? Probably not.
So, basically, this is what you make it. You can say you won’t be friends with benefits but , in a way, if you remain “friends” that’s gonna happen. So, either cut him loose completely or set serious ground rules that he most likely won’t be into. Either way, I’m guessing this one isn’t gonna turn out how you’d like it to.

Heyo Block, I have an issue, I would like your thoughts on please.
My best friend is a guy. I met him about 14 years ago when we went to school together for a few years,
before he left, but we have only been friends for like 3 years. Before we became friends, we met again
after a gap of about 7 years and there was this instant connection between us. We even lived together
for a couple of weeks, and that is how we became so close. Anyway I decided I fucking liked this guy,
but somewhere along the line, I made myself forget about me liking him because he always had a girlfriend.
But, turns out I still do like him, after 3 years, except I had been lying to myself so I wouldn’t get hurt.
So yeah, I still dig him, a lot and I told him that and because we are so close he understood and said that
is didn’t matter at all and even suggested a relationship slightly further down the track. We are real honest
with each other, me more that him though and he did admit to being sexually attracted to me and asked me
if I could see us having sex but I still feel like he had more to say…
Also, did I mention that we have hooked up, before I expressed any interest. I guess because we are both
sexually frustrated to say the least haha.
So now we are like 3 months since I told him how I feel and it was all normal and we were hanging out heaps
and went to a music festival together and our friendship was great, but suddenly he doesn’t answer any of my
messages via text, Fb or anything and I figure something is going on because we haven’t seen or talked to each
other in over a month, which is unheard of because for the entire duration of our friendship, we have hung out
almost every weekend and talked almost every night on skype, up until he got this bitch girlfriend like 5 months
ago who is real jealous of me (her friends told me), as girls are of each other often, I guess, and is super manipulative.
Maybe I am jealous of her too but I don’t think so…or at least I am not sure.
So I tried to say that we have hardly spoken of hung out at all for ages and he just goes “No, we haven’t lol”.
What the hell? I have really tried to talk to him and invited him places and asked to hang and visit him and stuff,
but also made sure I backed away a bit to give him space, but he just ignores me practically.
I can’t work out what is going on with him. He said he would never let these feelings get between our friendship
and there is nothing else that I can think of that I have done. All I know is that he said he feels guilty for kind of
unintentionally leading me on, or maybe on purpose without realizing it in a way, so maybe he is holding back.
Dunno. Advice/ opinion on this dudes brain would be awesomely appreciated. Thanks bro.

Oh man…so many things I wanna point out here. Where to start…
You wrote:
Anyway I decided I fucking liked this guy,
 but somewhere along the line, I made myself forget about me liking him because he always had a girlfriend. 

This has nothing to do with the question but I’ve always been blown away by this logic. That you can just “make yourself forget” that you like a person. How do you just turn that of, if not just naturally over time? The truth is, you liked him the entire time. Girlfriend or not. You still like him now. You will always like him until something drastic happens or you meet a new dude. It’s not easy to flick that light switch off. And, for the time being, it’s very much on.

Then there is this:
up until he got this bitch girlfriend like 5 months 
ago who is real jealous of me

coupled with this:
Maybe I am jealous of her too but I don’t think so

Umm…yeah…she may be jealous but I’d say it’s warranted as you are her boyfriends close female friends who’s openly had feelings for him and hooked up with him in the past. OF COURSE that’s going to make her insecure. You’re her biggest threat. In fact, I’d imagine it’s been discussed between him and her, as well as all their friends. So, if you’re wondering why he’s not responding to texts and fb messages…that’s why. It’s cause he’s being a good boyfriend to this girl and , most likely, following her wishes. Is it fair? Not really. Is she manipulative? a little. But , i dunno…I get it. No matter how much “friendship” talk you spew, the fact of the matter is that you want something down the line that is beyond friendship. how could that not be an issue to his current gf? Also, you are jealous of her and that’s okay. Even if you don’t see it, she has what you want. She’s taken away a guy who was a staple of you life. I’d say that’s proper grounds for jealousy. It’s not like jealousy is something we can control. If it’s there, it’s there.

Now, what I’m about to write is all based on nothing you have written me. I can’t call what really goes on within the inner workings of a long and complicated friendship between two people I don’t know…but just hear out this perspective.
As a dude who has always had a healthy amount of female friends, our relationships to them (the girls), as perceived by us, is often (not always though) very different from how the girls perceive them. I’ve had many conversations with girls I was friends with on a drunk nights where we made a retard pact to “get married if we’re both single as XXXX age”. Did they mean it? probably not. Did I mean it? No fucking way. All this “down the line” talk that friends of the opposite sex have is usually 100% bullshit. I don’t care if you two have hooked up, not hooked up or whatever. I don’t care if you guys have a “connection”. It’s people talking. Mostly out of their ass. So you can’t put any stock in those kinda vague yet heavy proclamations.

The bottom line is, if he wanted to be with you, he would be. But he doesn’t. He wants to be with the other girl. I’m sure he enjoys your company. I’m sure he truly does want to have sex with you. But I’d bet a large sum that he has no intention of every truly being your man.

So I’m a girl, in my very early twenties and I have this situation going on and I don’t really know what to think about it. A couple of months ago I started hanging out (read: having sex) with this guy I’ve known for like twelve years, since we went to the same school from elementary to high school. Not anymore since we both graduated last spring. We’ve never actually been that good of friends but like sometimes (I guess twice a year) the other one has asked the other one how they’re doing and stuff but nothing really deep.
I’m having my year off after high school and he’s in the army. It’s a sweet deal for me since I only have to hang out with him when he’s in the city for the weekends and that hanging out we do is pretty much having sex. I don’t have any problems with that since I don’t even care about his company that much but it’s nice to have a fuck buddy.
Here’s the deal: every week, (sometimes even twice or three times a week) even if he’s not in town, he sends me text messages and asks me how I’m doing and stuff and how my weekend was and monday and tuesday and oh fuck it… There seems to be nothing really wrong about it, but I think he’s getting too close. I don’t want him to ask me how I’m doing unless he’s in town, available and wants to get laid. I mean like why would he care what I’m up to if he’s not even in town. And after sex he likes to cuddle and hold me and kiss me and stuff, when I would just like to lie down for a minute, get off the bed, get dressed and do something else. I’m afraid he might have feelings for me, ’cause what else could it be? I would like it to be just sex and nothing else, and once after we had had sex I asked him if he thought I wanted anything more of him. He just laughed and said he didn’t think I wanted anything more. But he’s still texting me and wants to cuddle and all that shit so is it possible that he might feel something more for me? If he feels something more then I can’t keep on doing this ’cause it’s not fair because I haven’t got feelings for him. And just so you know I don’t have anyone else in the picture besides him because I don’t have that kind of time for more than one person. Now what’s the deal here? I know the only way to find it out is to ask him straight up about it but I don’t know if I’m ready to hear the answer yet if it is what I think it is. So what’s your opinion?

I hope you understand what I was trying to say (I just want to have a friend with benefits but I guess the guy might want something more)…

Well, this is a welcome spin on todays topic! Role reversal in effect!
Okay, so here’s what i think if possibly going on here. It’s one of three things
1)He does have feelings for you.
The thing about this is that it may be related to his situation. Sure, he likes you, but he also may be bored and lonely in the army and simply want to know that he’s got something waiting for him at home. OR he could legit have real feelings for you. I can’t really tell from what you wrote but both are possible for sure.
2)He’s on the same page as you and thinks that texting and staying in contact is a common courtesy.
Basically, he’s just being a gentleman. Checking in to make things are still cool as a means to make sure that, the next time he’s in town, it’s business as usual.
3) Maybe he’s just one of those dudes that likes to cuddle?
They exist. Just cause he’s all up in your shit after sex doesn’t mean he’s planning wedding vows. I mean, there certainly is a case to be made for a guy who does this that might lead one to believe it’s more than just sex to him…but, I’m just saying, it’s possible that’s just how he acts when he’s intimate with anyone.

See, what you’re going through right now sounds like a problem typical to guys. It’s happened to me, my friends and tons of other dudes I know. It’s the fear of someone you simply want to use as a human sized palm (or dildo in this case) actually catching feelings. So, instead of give you specialized advice cause you’re a girl, i’ll tell you what I’d tell a dude in the situation. After all, equal rights and that shit, right?
Ride it out until it gets too weird OR until he has “the talk”. Everything up until those points is fair game. You’re not being an asshole. You’re not lying. You’re doing what you’re doing and if he, all of a sudden, starts getting emotional, it’s not your problem or fault. That’s on him. Having sex with someone is intimate but it’s not grounds for “leading someone on” if that’s the basis of your entire relationship. Pillow talk is far more dangerous in situations like this.
If things do reach a boiling point, the only thing you can do is cut him loose as to not draw out the pain. Otherwise, keep doing what you’re doing. You clearly like fucking the guy so I’d say don’t rock the boat until you have to. Just keep an eye on it though as these kinda things tend to spiral out of control kinda quickly.

Capture the sun is out today!!!!

images
Ohio rapper Illogic and I have been working on an album together for a few years now. We released two free Ep’s on bandcamp (you can get those HERE). Well, today our full length “Capture the sun” drops on Man Bites Dog records. It’s a 16 track album entirely produced by me with Illogic rapping, featuring Slug, Blueprint, Abstract Rude and others.
Anyway, instead of me explaining it in depth, peep this ARTICLE on Amoeba.com
Also, Tune into WFMU.org this week to hear the entire interview with Illogic and myself with host Billy Jam on “Put the needle on the record”. The show is on friday from 7-9.

As for the album and where you can get it, it’s available digitally
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/capture-the-sun/id633769116
and also on Amazon (might not be available today, but it will be soon)

If you’re more of a hard copy kinda person (god bless you!), you can get the cd at Amazon.com, at ughh.com and FYE online and mom and pop stores all over the US.

If you’re into limited edition kinda things, you can get a cd with a bunch of cool “capture the sun” beach stuff over HERE. These are very limited edition so you might wanna get on that if this interests you.
illogic-_full

Or you can just buy the cd here:
http://www.manbitesdogrecords.com/2013/04/illogic-blockhead-capture-the-sun-cd-cd-only/
Also, people have asked me about if this will be released in vinyl or if there will be an instrumental version available. As of now, the Vinyl is up in the air. There’s been talk of a special , very limited run or even some 7” records. I’ll certainly let you know as soon as I find out. Same goes for the instrumental version. Both would be small runs and come with a T-shirt so, keep an eye out for those.

Lastly, if you’re one of those people who only buys stuff after listening to it, you can peep the album streaming in it’s entirety right here:
http://www.mtvhive.com/2013/04/09/illogic-blockhead-capture-the-sun-stream/

I think that’s everything. If you have any more questions (and are on twitter) direct them to @manbitesdogrecs. He’s your answer guy.
So, go get this album in some form and enjoy it! And thanks for listening and supporting from both Illogic and myself.