Answers for questions vol. 144


Whattup everyone,
I’m back from a west coast excursion and , gotta say, it’s really nice to be back in the sweltering and oppressive heat of NYC. Nothing like walking two inches and sweating through your shirt. I may talk a lot of shit about how great NYC is but, without question, our summertime weather is not one of those talking points.
Anyway, you got questions for me? Are you not boring? Well, then I have a deal for you. Send these questions to me at OR leave them in the comments below. i will answer them. That’s how this works.
This weeks questions will be really interesting to fans of my music but not that interesting to people who read this blog to chuckle at stuff. If this is a problem for you, I’d advise you to write in and ask me questions that may lead us down the more comical paths in life. Cause, at least for this week, the music nerd questions are reigning supreme.

You’ve mentioned numerous times that you don’t listen to instrumental music so I’m curious to know what made you decide that you wanted to make a kind of music that you don’t even like to listen to?

I think it just kinda started by accident. I had never considered making instrumental stuff but I always had a surplus of beats that were either too slow, too fast or too weird for rappers. I made “Forest Crunk” on the Daylight Ep and liked the freedom to just take the song anywhere.

Then someone asked me if I’d be interested in doing an instrumental album and I was like “Why not?”. In a way, I think the fact that I had heard so little of that genre prior to making my first album was a blessing cause I wasn’t trying to sound like anything else. I made that first album with my own idea of how instrumental albums were “supposed” to sound based entirely on nothing.
So, to answer the question, the freedom to just do something on my own and expand what I do as a beat maker is why I started doing the instrumental stuff. Unlike being a god rapper, I don’t necessarily think one has to be to immersed in that genre to do it well. and to be honest, 99% of instrumental music really bores the shit out of me.

What do you think about female MCs? Do they work for you? They seem to be more gimmick-y, and for that reason I’ve ran across many people who simply write them off because they are female.

I think female mc’s are comparable to female comics. There are very few good ones but , the ones that are good, are really talented. It also should be added that , percentage wise, there are waaaaaay less female rappers than male rappers so that kinda makes them seem worse than they are. But, I can’t front, I could count the female rappers I REALLY like on one hand and I could count the rest I don’t particularly enjoy bumping but willingly admit they are exceptionally skilled on the other.
I think Jean Grae is awesome. I loved Lauryn Hill before she went nuts. Mc Lyte was a beast. Roxanne Shante was great. Still…I don’t think there’s a female MC that would make it into my top 50 mc’s of all time.

This could maybe be a “Dr. Tony” question but does it seriously weird you out if you see a couple with a big age difference? My parents were 13 years apart so I tend to catch myself being attracted to guys in their 30s when I’m barely 20, but I guess it just doesn’t seem too weird to me having grown up with my parents like that. I see this even more with people of fame. Ok, I’ll admit, that guy from Green Mile with the teenage bride is kinda creepy but for some I guess it makes since. The entertainment industry in a sense is about youth so maybe it’s not as weird in that sense? Would you ever date someone more than 10 years younger than you? And do you think there’s kinda a double standard, like it’s only normal if the guy is older? Do I automatically have “daddy issues” because I like older men? What do you think of the couples? Okay, that was like a million questions, sorry but it’s a topic I’d like your opinion on.

I think old dudes who only date young girls are kind of creeps and also kind of losers. However, I get it on a short term level. Young girls are hot. They are low maintenance. As an older dude, you can control them easier. So, if you’re a guy who feels the need to have those kind of dynamics in your relationship, then it’s perfect. However, if you’re a guy who wants to actually connect with a like minded human being on the same level as you, it might not be the best move. I’m not saying a 20 year old girl and 30 year old guy CAN’T be soul mates, I’m just saying it’s far less likely than someone who is closer to your own age. Keep in mind, I’m the son of a 20 year age difference between my parents. They loved each other very much and got along great. They also didn’t start dating when she was 19. I think that’s an important part of it. Once a girl is past a certain age, anything is possible. A 30 year old girl can date a 50 year old dude and it could work. But a late teen/early 20’s type of girl? They have no idea what the fuck is going on in life (neither do 20 year old dudes but this isn’t about them). They’re simply eye candy for older dudes or a prize that shows off that they “still got it”. Any old guy that seriously dates girls that age when he’s in his 30’s is asking for it. I mean, what the fuck do you talk about with someone who was in kindergarten when you were in high school? Your reference points are all fucked up. They don’t know about cassette tapes and a time before cell phones. That’s just weird.
To clarify, fucking them makes total sense. It’s just the idea of getting into a committed relationship with someone ten years your junior. I dunno…it more often than not reeks of an old dude taking advantage of a girl who doesn’t know any better.
And , yeah, daddy issues are usually why that shit happens. Thank god for daddy issues cause a lot of guys would still be creepy virgins if girls didn’t have them.

Do you like graffiti, or have you ever done graffiti? Graffiti seems to be associated with hip-hop is why I ask, plus I know your dad was an artist of sorts. I go out and tag and take an artistic approach to it but it seems to be one of those art forms people either love or hate.

I’m fairly indifferent. I think some pieces are very impressive. I think tagging just to get up is kinda lame. I was never a dude that did any Graf cause I have no artistic skill whatsoever in that arena. I used to scribble jokey shit on desks in high school but I never got even close to serious about it. Not to mention, in the early 90’s, people were getting fucked up over graffiti. The majority of the low level gang shit popping off in high school was graffiti related. My pussy ass was not trying to catch beef over drawings or writing my fake name on things.

We’ve all heard The Tugboat Complex Pt. 3, but what happened to the other two?
They are on different albums.
one was on a compilation put out by Foolblown records

and the other was on Appleseed. An Ep Aesop made before “Float”.

Hey Block, you know how you found success working with Aesop, El-P, camu tao and these great artists in New York. BluePrint and Illogic also came up together both coming from Columbus. Eyedea with Slug, Ant, Brother Ali, P.O.S all coming from the same area. And it’s also true in more mainstream music like Snoop, Nate Dogg, and Warren G. Also obvious in all bands. Any ways my question is how important do you think it is to have people on similar creative levels working together to find success and is it essential to have people with which you work and throw ideas off of to be successful? Also did you have anyone that was absolutely vital to your success?

I think being a part of a collective is a good thing but not always something that HAS to happen. Plenty of artists have come up with loose affiliations to people and have had great success. That said, timing and who you know are as vital a part of musical success as talent. If I had never met Aesop, who knows where I’d be now. If he had never signed to Def Jux there’s no telling what direction his career would have taken. That’s just the nature of music.
I do think it’s important to surround yourself with like minded people who will be honest with you. The worst shit you can do is have a bunch of yes man telling you every thing you make is amazing. That’s how people who sing like mongoloids on american idol are born.

10 thoughts on “Answers for questions vol. 144

  1. “And , yeah, daddy issues are usually why that shit happens”. haha. no other reason. that’s it. end of conversation.

  2. You can just one off answer this if you want. I’m just curious as to what you think of the new KA album the Night’s Gambit? I know you are a fan of his and want to hear your take. It seems to be one of those polarizing love/hate albums from the reactions of my friends and reviews I’ve read on the internet. It’s definitely unique. I’m still a little on the fence about it. I mean, I’m so used to hearing strong bass kicks in rap. Especially streetish kind of rap like KA. It’s nothing new for him but this album really has beats that are unique and really barely use any drums.

    Not to compare the 2 but you did a great job with having the 3 tracks songs on Dour Candy have muted hollowish drums with very little or no kick . Especially placing those tracks at the begining,middle,& end.It works perfect in the context and composition of the album.

    Do you see not relying so heavily on strong drums for beats as an innovation? I mean, rap without strong drums seems counter-intuitive. Still I think it shows some forward thinking and it works. Although it definitely takes some getting used to. Could you see more artists gravitating toward this style? Who knows maybe the next Yeezus wont have any drums on it whatsoever

  3. Okay, I’m trying out a “psychology couch” type question on you:

    You have claimed to LOATHE all things cat-related on many an occasion. And, yet… your seemingly deepest (or at the very least, most notorious) friendship is with a Man who, to use examples… performs in public wearing kitty art t-shirts [1], a Man who executes superhero moves with a cat in his arms while shouting “LEISUREFORCE!!!” [2], a Man who grants the time and dedication to knitting a scarf appropriate for a cat’s neck and then teaching said cat the PROPER way to unbox Skelethon [3]. What do you think this deeply stark, yet very unique contrast tells you about yourself as a person, Tony?


  4. If you had to run for any U.S political office what would it be? As president you get the prestige of being the face/voice of the country, as VP you get to be important and have people bend over backwards for you without really doing much, as a member of congress you get to make a living off of being an asshole, as a local representative of sorts you get a little more power/money than the average person, therefor opening the door for some sexy mistresses. Obviously, this is so not real life. You’re not a political guy and because of that, imagining you in office is humorous in a way.

  5. Can you please depict how excited you are for the arrival of the royal baby? Please utilize examples of things you are more excited about than the arrival of the royal baby.

  6. Why are the track orders for Music by Cavelight different between the UK and North American versions? I thought my track order was fucked up only to find out that Insomniac Olympcics doesnt start the NA version?

    • The NA version is the order I wanted and it has extra songs. The Euro version was Ninja tunes order. They wanted to lead off with “Insomniac olympics” cause it was one of the stronger songs. I felt it worked perfectly as the album closer.

  7. Forest crunk is one of my favourite track of yours… More generally I do really enjoy the contrast between your introspective, melancholic, sometimes sad music and your fun and not so serious personality on your blog. Therefore, I enjoy posts explaining your music 😀

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