Tim and I discuss music and stuff: The final installment

169th FW Deploys to Afghanistan
Well, all good things come to an end. Tim and I have decided to call it a wrap on this little column cause, well, we loathe each other and he fucked my girl. Just kidding. To be honest, it just seems like we’ve said all we can say. By now, it’s clear I do not like heavy metal or most indie rock and tim hates the Beatles and Stevie Wonder.
So, as our swan song, we’re trying something a little different. A “best three videos of the year” close out. It was only right…cause, you know, the year is ending and shit.
So bon voyage! It’s been real.
http://www.syffal.com/tim-blockhead-best-2013

Answers for questions vol. 166

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Bon jour! I just got back from a week plus in europe. Thanks to all those who came out to the shows. As always, it was a good time. I’ll do a little write up of it later in the week.
I’m all sorts of jet lagged and have woken up and 5 am two days in a row. Shit sucks, bro.
Anyway, this is that thing where I answer questions that you guys sent me. I always need more questions so please do me a solid and ask me more shit. Get creative. Get weird. Either leave them in the comments below or email them to me at Phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Don’t be shy. Step up and get involved!
Here’s this weeks batch…

I was reading these black folk were picketing a rap concert somewhere
in your region trying to raise awareness to ban the word nigga…..at
a rap concert ….where the performers were black.

And they were saying how white people shouldn’t have access to the
word in their ears by black performers. But like nigga is kind of
embedded into hip hop culture. And how can you ban a fucking word?
Plus obviously the white folk listening to the music aren’t racist.

Since you are part of the hip hop community and a white dude do you
have any thoughts on this subject ?

I think any policing of vocabulary is fucking ridiculous. While I don’t think white people should drop N-bombs , trying to ban a word is retarded. How would you even enforce that? Not to mention, where would it end?
The whole line of thinking of taking that word away comes from an earnest place but it’s also some old type of thinking. Most of the people mad at that word (on that level) are from a different generation. A generation where that word had a much different context than it does now. How do you explain to an old black person who was scathingly called “nigger” to their face that it’s not that big a deal when an asian kid turns to his white friend and asks him “Yo, can you pass the milk over here , my nigga”? There are so many levels of youth culture and years of that wordsshifting in how it’s used , it’s futile to even try.
I feel those people are entitled to feel how they feel and I see why they do but, when it’s all said and done, they’re just out of the loop.
Word usage is on a person to person basis. If you feel like you can justify using a word , then do it. If someone calls you on it, be prepared to either explain yourself, apologize or fight for it. That’s the best kind of policing we can ask for.

Have you ever made a beat that you thought was so obscure no rapper would ever use it, but a rapper ended up using it to your surprise? Has the opposite ever happened to you?

Not quite sure what would make one beat more “obscure” than another. I’ve definitely been surprised by mc’s beat choices though. The most glaring was when Aesop picked “Daylight”.

I wouldn’t have guessed he’d be into a beat like that in a million years. Same when he picked “Cook it up”.

But that’s Aesop though…he’s never been predictable with his beat choices.
Another one would be when Cage picked “Scenester”.

I wouldn’t have pegged that as a cage beat. More recently, Billy Woods using “Central Park” seemed out of left field.

That beat sounds like some first album Kanye shit and Woods typically picks more aggressive, out there type tracks.
I will say this though, looking back at all these picks, they all resulted in songs I like a lot so maybe the lesson here is that, when mc’s go an unexpected direction, it’s a good thing.

What do you think of Heavily Tattooed women? Not circus freak tattooed but sleeves and good work, I guess the good work part is all based on opinion but basically no BS stupid tattoos.
Women that have sleeves done by good artists?
would it be a deal breaker for you? do you think it would be a deal breaker for most men?
opinions.opinions.

I’m not in love with heavily tatted women. I don’t mind a few but a sleeve is a bit much for me. I’m simply not a tattoo kinda guy in general. The level of the art quality really has no bearing on my opinion. Tattoos , like most art to me, are something I just never wrapped my head around , as far as how to appreciate them. I mean, I can acknowledge when one is absolutely terrible but, beyond that? It’s just drawings on skin to me. I don’t really give a shit enough about it to have an opinion if it’s good or bad.
Is it a deal breaker? I mean, if I were single, I can’t see it stopping me from wanting to have sex with a girl but it’s certainly not a selling point. Also, I’ve noticed that heavily tatted girls don’t really feel me in general so it hasn’t come up much.
I think I’ve mentioned this before on this blog but I have an unfounded and completely irrational idea that girl who are covered in tattoos have stinky vaginas. I don’t know what that’s based on but it’s always been a thing in my head. Kinda like a friend I heve who thinks all short girls have smelly vaginas cause , in his words, “their guts are closer to the opening”. Us men have some really great theories. You ladies are lucky to have us.

How did the collab with marq spekt come about? It’s pretty dramatically different from your usual collaborators, so I’m very curious.


I was a fan of Spekt’s for a while cause he had worked with my boy Omega one a while back. I don’t exactly know how he heard I liked him but it was as simple as a random email. He hit me up one day and was like “Yo, I like your work, let’s do something together” and I was into it. In the internet age, that’s how these things tend to unfold.

How do you feel about people downloading/buying/whatever single tracks from an artist or album? I ask because it seems like every girl I’ve been with does this, and it just confuses me. I can understand being interested in an artist based on a single track, but for me personally, that usually ends in me getting a couple records from them, not just the single. Whats your take on all that?

Men are generally more obsessive collectors than women. Sure, girls can get obsessed with an artist and buy all their shit but, I’ve noticed, that dudes are way more into “having it all” We want to know everything about the artists we love and make it almost competitive in how we gain and use that knowledge. Basically, we care way more about the shit that doesn’t matter. I’ve met female fans of mine who knew every song but not a single song title. In a way, I feel as though that fan-ship is more earnest cause it’s very basic. There’s no pretense. It’s like “i like that song and I will listen to it over and over again”. Where as dudes tend to need to be the master of knowing everything about everything to a point where the music itself might even become secondary.
Personally, I’ll buy one song is if it’s an artist I know doesn’t have a whole album in them who just happened to capture lightening in a bottle. Like that new Q-tip/Busta rhymes song.

I don’t trust that album to be even decent but that song is awesome, so i bought in on I-tunes. I could easily be wrong about the full length but, until i hear it, I’m not just gonna buy it sight unseen.

Relatively straightforward question this; I’m heading to NY for 4th July next year (or rather, I’m going there, and it happens to be on that weekend) – it’ll be my first time in the city and I’m torn between where to stay. I can’t think of any other New Yorker I’d rather get a location recommendation from, so can you help me out? I don’t want you to book my accommodation or anything, just a general area would be helpful. West Village? LES? Brooklyn? I’ll be doing all that touristy shit, so proximity to the ‘sights’ would be great. Oh, and are the Macy’s fireworks worth joining the masses for or is that best avoided for some low key type thing?

Well, I’m assuming price is not an option cause, bro, hotels ain’t cheap here. If you’re doing all the touristy bullshit than I suppose staying in midtown makes the most sense. That’s anywhere above 33rd street up into the 50’s. If you want to actually have fun, though, the clear choices are staying in brooklyn (williamsburg) or the lower east side. That’s where all the bars and good food is. it’s where young people hang out. I’m a very anti-tourist guy when I travel in the sense that I could give a shit about sight seeing. I want to see where people hang out and what the nightlife is like. I want to eat the best food I can find. If that’s no your bag and you’d rather walk around central park all day, then stay uptown. Otherwise, skip all that lame shit and see the real New York.
As for the fireworks, they happen on the water. I could be wrong but I think both the east and west side has their own (I’m not sure about that as I’m pretty over seeing the fireworks at this point). I dunno if Macy’s even does that to be honest. But, if you’d like to see them and you like crowds, just walk to the piers on either side of Manhattan and watch. If you can somehow lock down a well positioned rooftop though, that’s the move. Good luck and, seriously, skip the tourist shit and enjoy yourself.

My perception of you as a person is that you are a matter of fact type, humble at your craft (yet know your abilities), loyal to your fans and take a lot of time in engaging with them via internet & at shows. Was there ever a time when you met someone in the music industry being a fan and were either like, “whoa they were cool or man they can suck it with their attitude?”

In my experience, in general,rappers are kinda dicks. Most are self involved and think very highly of themselves. I’m speaking of dudes who I was fans of, not guys I came up with. On the other side of things, I’ve found that producers are generally pretty down to earth guys. You might even call some of them shut ins. I’m a little more outgoing than most of my peers but I’ve never not gotten along with anyone like that on a major level.
Beyond that, dudes in bands range from the best people on earth to the biggest cocks alive. But I have a feeling those dudes would be like that if they made music of not. Actually, i’d say that applies to most everyone on earth though. Assholes are gonna be assholes regardless of status. Some people just need the confidence of power/fame to let that inner dickhead become fully realized.

My old hip hop 12’s in the form of a compilation. Part 1

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I haven’t done a compilation in a minute and I know how much you guys like free shit. well, talk a walk down memory lane with me. To many of you, this mix with feature a bunch of shit you have never heard before. To others, you’ll have it all and not give a fuck. But, hey, can’t please everyone.
What this is , is a collection of indie rap joints I own or once owned on vinyl. The range from extremely obscure to pretty under the radar. The time line goes from a few in the early 90’s to some in the early 2000’s. This shit is all over the map. Because some of these are vinyl rips (some are even cassette rips cause that’s all I had left) the sound quality may vary. I know how upset you audiophiles get but tough luck, dude. In my day, we listened to 5th generation cassettes dubbed off the radio, filled with hiss and we loved that shit.
So, this is one of two mixes I’ve compiled. No order. No theme. Just rap songs from a different era. This first mix is more west coast heavy but that’s purely coincidence.
Here’s a track listing and download link:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/w4ozhl
1)Outside Looking in: Darc Mind
2)L’chemy: L’roneous
3)8 Step agenda: Latyrx
4)U can’t escape the hypeness:BLVD Mosse
5)You’re late: The Cenobites
6)I am a record: The Derelicts
7)Bless Ya life: KGB
8)More Cheese: Bashton
9)Do you wanna hear it: The nubian Crackers feat. The artifacts
10)Brainstorm: Latee
11)Dope fiend: Ill Bill
12)Settle the score: Mr. Lif
13)Survival of the fetus: Messiah
14)Tru day: Puppets of chaos
15)After Dark: Pep love

Tim and I discuss music Vol. 54

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This week, Tim AKA Alaska and I discuss the videos of The Step Brothers, I like science as well as some Vintage and fairly embarrassing old Mos Def music. We both subject each other to terrible music with awesome videos except I get accused of having shitty taste in rock cause I don’t like 1 straight minute of discordant noise. Not fair ,bro! My ears don’t lie!
http://www.syffal.com/step-brothers-i-like-science

Answers for questions vol. 165

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Oh hey…So, I’m in europe. Writing this from a bed in Vienna. It’s cold as fuck here.
If you have been following me on this blog you know shit got fucked up with my passport last week and I had to cancel two shows. As shitty as that is, I still made it out here for
the last four gigs. Brussels, paris and Bordeaux are later this week. If you live near there, COME OUT!
Anyway, this is that thing where I answer questions sent in by you lovely people. And guess what? I need new questions! My pile is running low so , please, hit me with your best shot. Get weird. Get creative. Whatever you do, just send me some Q’s to A. Either email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below. It’s all anonymous and it’s all good. But, seriously, send them…right now. Do it!
Here’s this weeks batch, for your mind!

Are there any rappers turned actors out there who have impressed or surprised you with their (acting) abilities?

I actually think rappers make decent actors. SOMETIMES. It probably has to do with most of them already being full of shit so lying on camera isn’t that big a stretch. Mos def has had some good roles. Cam’ron should have won an oscar for “Paid in full”. Snoop has had some mixed moments. However, when they are bad…holy shit. Dr. Dre in “Training day” jumps out at me. Busta rhymes has been pretty terrible too. And who can forget the master works of such thespians as LL cool J and Ice T who, somehow, have been in like 30 movies each without ever being even decent in any role ever.
My point is, Cam’ron gotta get a role in a real movie. Maybe playing a brain surgeon. That would be amazing.

I’m canadian and americans usually have this stereotypes that most canadians are overly nice and polite. What I want to know is if, in your experience, stereotypes of people hold true in any way at all when you’re dealing with online interactions versus real life? (i.e. canadians being polite)

In my experience, Canadians outside of the french parts, are unbelievably nice and friendly. Especially in person. Like , almost, annoyingly so. However, you add the anonymity of being online and all bets are off. Then, everyone is an asshole.
I was thinking about this the other day. It’s simply so much easier (and ,I suppose , more satisfying) to be an asshole online than it is to be supportive. Not looking people in the face changes everything. I think there is a safeness and power to being negative. For instance, say you and friend are talking about a movie. Your friend is like “I love that movie” and you respond “Eh, that shit was garbage”. Now, your friend kinda feels like shit cause you just took a hot dump all over his opinion and, for some reason, shitting on something tends to seemingly give an opinion more validity. You friend could go all day explaining why this movie is great but it wouldn’t matter. You put your stamp down and it’s tainted now. I think the internet and how we interact is similar to that kind of interaction but, instead of two friends, it’s strangers doing it to each other all fucking day long. Great work, life.

Time for some Rapid fire questions…

#1: How often are you recognized in public as “Blockhead”?
Depends where I am but almost never. But I’d say out west I get recognized more than I do in NYC.

#2: Best all night restaurant/diner in all of NYC

Do you know how many 24 hour diners there are in NYC?
Veselka on 2nd ave is always solid.
A real sleeper is “Coppelia” on 14th street. It’s a spanish themed diner that’s not only open 24 hours a day but when some shit like a blackout or hurricane happens, they’re the last to close and the first to open. Awesome food too.

#3: What method do you have for buying albums/records, especially for sampling material? Go out looking for specific artists, or buy the weirdest craziest album art? Do you shop for high end stuff, or try to get crafty with the bargain bin?

I used to go by the year it was released, cover art, record label (If i never heard of the label, I’m more likely to buy it) and what instruments are played on it. When you’re in the dark about a group, that last one can be crucial. You see “Banjos” on it, it’s probably gonna be wack. But, to be honest, I don’t buy records like that anymore. I simply can’t afford the obscure records I require and , because I only use them to sample from, spending $100 on a record where I might use 2 seconds of it and never touch it again seems pointless to me. Nowadays, I just go online and try to find rare music sites and download out of print albums from them. It’s free and , to be honest, I don’t give a fuck about paying some asshole record collector for some rare psych rock record that one him and five other people give a shit about.

#4: Sexiest actress of the 1980′s
I was obsessed with christie Brinkley when I was a kid. But, to me, I’ll take Phoebe Cates in “Fast times” over most girls ever. She’s pretty much a template for what gives me a boner to this day.

#5: Def Jux vs Stones Throw
How am i not going to say Def Jux? That’s like asking me “Who do you love more: Your mom, or someone else’s mom?”.
I’m obviously pretty biased.

Block, I’ve noticed and always been curious about an attitude you and some others in your profession have towards the music you make. You’re obviously a laid back and funny dude, so when I hear things I put it into perspective and realize you’re likely kidding to some extent. What I’m thinking of is the thought that artists who sample are inherently ripoffs, regardless of how well done it is and how creative it turns out. There’s obviously always been that argument outside of the inner circle, by music critics and the original artists, but more and more over the years I’ve heard it coming from a newer generation of producers.

I’ve just been thinking about it and was wondering what your true stance is on the talent behind sampled beats. What amount of credit should be due to the sampler vs. the creator of the source?

This is a tough one cause I see both sides. As someone who relies on sampling I’m fully aware that it’s my bread and butter. What I do is basically collage work. Sure, it’s more complex than that but I don’t look at myself as some sort of composer. If I’m in a room with someone who knows music theory and plays instruments, I’ll always assume they know more than me about making music in general. In fact, I don’t even feel really comfortable referring to myself as a “Musician”. I’m much more at ease calling myself a beat maker or a producer.
That said, there is undeniably a skill level that goes with making sample based beats. Sure, anyone can loop something. I think producers who loop one thing and add drums are generally lazy and often hacks. But part of being a person who makes sample based beats is having an good ear for what sounds right when played repeatedly. We’re based entirely on our taste. I like how certain things sound together and that’s why music sounds the way it does. My music is entirely based on my ear. I don’t have a composers mentality. Even extending to something like Instagram. I’d rather post funny pics I find online and leaving a funny caption than boring real life pics of food or sunsets. To me, it’s more satisfying to pluck already existing things and putting my spin on them than it is to sit and compose something I know won’t be up to par with people who actually are trained to do so. That’s not to say I can’t figure out a riff on a keyboard or come up with a baseline, but it’s not my natural inclination. And I find sample based , non-instument playing producers who try to go too far out of their comfort zone generally fall flat cause you throw those people in front of a keyboard and it exposes their lack of musical background pretty quickly.

I’d say a good sample based producer is a craftsmen. Like someone who can build something out of loose parts. Where a musician is a totally different beast. It’s funny though, you give a trained musician some sampling equipment and have them make you a beat, you’d be amazed how bad that shit sounds most of the time.

Yay or Nay: Big Baby Ghandi

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Big Baby Ghandi has been around for a little while. Probably best known for his affiliation to Das Racist, he’s a dude from queens who’s got a pretty straight forward style (I mean that in a good way). One of those “this is so simple I can’t believe no one thought of it before” kinda flows. I love that kinda shit. Thing is, I feel like people tend to take sides , where Das Racist are concerned. They either get it and like them or it offends their deepest hip hop emotions. Simply by affiliation, I have a feeling this might also carry over to Big Baby Ghandi, even though they sound nothing alike. While he does carry some of the non-chalant lightness that Das Racist had, he’s far more energetic and also has one of those unmistakable type voices you don’t hear very often. So, i ask you, random people reading this, what are your thoughts?
First, peep some music:
In fact , just peep his whole new album!
http://bigbabygandhi.bandcamp.com/album/debut



Shitty news. My Shows in Munich and Kiev are cancelled. Here’s why:

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Hey everyone.
There’s a good chance this post will have nothing to do with anything you give a shit about but there’s also some shit in here you may wanna know before you learn a lesson the hard way, like I did yesterday.
So a funny thing happened to me at the airport yesterday. I was there to catch a flight to Munich for a show that would have been happening today. As I rolled up to the ticket lady and placed my huge merch filled bag to get checked, She took a quick look at my passport and told me I can’t get on the flight. Wait…what? Surely my passport is valid. It expires at the end of this month. That’s in three plus weeks. Well, apparently, many countries in Europe won’t accept Passports with less than six months left of validity on them. Germany, Belgium, Hungary and france all being places that work under those rules. Also, places I am supposed to play over the next two weeks.I pleaded with the woman with hopes of finding any possible loop hole that could fix this problem. There was nothing. She told me, if I flew to germany with this passport, I’d be turned away and sent right back. She then tried to start booking me a flight for tomorrow like I can just make a new passport appear out of thin air but I stopped her cause it was useless. My show in Munich was/is a wrap. Now, this sucks for many people. The promoters, the people who were gonna come see the show, Dj Cam (who I was playing with) and myself. Aside from putting many people out, losing money of both my own and other peoples, it’s just an all around shitty situation. The whole thing is a fucking nightmare.
I raced home and , with lots of help of from my girlfriend, tried to get info on procuring a new passport first thing in the morning (it was already after 5 pm where I was). Munich was impossible but maybe I could still salvage my show the next day in Kiev. At this point, all the flights I had booked for me via the promoters and tour budget were fucked and I’d be buying whatever flight myself. Well, turns out, in order to get a passport in 24 hours in NYC, you need an appointment. There were no appointments in NYC until december 11th. So that was out. I was pretty much resigned to the fact that this tour I’ve been looking forward to was fucked cause of some random rule that I didn’t know existed. Had I known, I could have easily had a new passport by now. I mean, what’s the fucking point of having a expiration date if that’s not the expiration date across the board? I get they have their reasons but…jesus christ…fuck all that. They could see when I was returning. It’s not like I was gonna stay past that date. The return flight was booked!
But I digress…So, through the brilliance of my girls internet savvy , we found a way to get a new passport via the mail. Only problem is I won’t have until tomorrow morning. Meaning, I can’t leave the country until Friday which means my show in Kiev is also an impossibility.
Where it all stands now is that I’m waiting to get the go ahead to buy a flight to Budapest to do my saturday show in Pecs. Then continue on the rest of week as planned. As far as I know, that’s the plan going forward. Obviously, if these last few days have taught me anything, nothing is guaranteed so even the Pecs, Hungary show could be at risk. I won’t know till I book the ticket and receive my new passport. Can you even book an international flight without a passport? Shit. I guess I’ll find out.

I’ve missed shows due to weather and cancelled flights before and it’s never fun. When things are out of your hands like that, it’s definitely a helpless feeling. But this one stings more cause it was over some bullshit that should never have been an issue in the first place. Not a storm. Not a hurricane or a bunch of cancelled flights. It’s my fault but , at the same time, how the fuck was I supposed to know that was a rule? The whole thing makes me feel sick.
So, to anyone involved in the shows in Munich or Kiev and to the people who were going to attend, as well as DJ Cam and My booking agent , Lothar, I deeply and sincerely apologize. If there was any way to right this I would but the bureaucracy simply makes that impossible. Only in america. The irony is that, even though this rule is being enforced by europeans, had this happened to someone in a european country, they’d have a much easier time getting the super quick passport renewal. Ughh…
All i can say is I’m sorry and , hopefully, I’ll get to make it up to all people who were affected by this. If anything else falls apart concerning this, I’ll surely let people know. But, for now, I just hope to finish out the other dates the best I can. Updates will certainly follow.

Demo reviews vol. 37

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Hi there! Time for another edition of “Demo reviews”. This is where people who read this blog send me their demos to review. Thing is, I’m old and over it so I end up hating most things but, hey, people still send me shit so I guess it’s working for us all.
Anyway, I’m not accepting submissions right now so please don’t send them to me. I got a few this week and didn’t even open the emails. Just trying to keep order around her.
The reviews work like so:
I do a brief write up pin pointing my thoughts on the music then arbitrarily rate the songs from 1-10 in these categories:
Production
Vocals
Listenability
originality

Fun!
This weeks batch features a whole bunch of rappers who need to refine their skills and one song that may be my least favorite thing I’ve heard all year. Get excited! And vote for your favorite at the bottom…

Artist: Mysticism
Song: Mindfulness


This guys heart is in the right place but the rapping isn’t there yet. His ideas are bigger than his skill set at the moment. I feel like four years from now he will look back on this and feel deeply embarrassed about it. Not a diss really, that’s kinda par for the course for this kind of rapping. It’s a starting point. Also, if the rap name “Mysticism” sticks, I’d be shocked. The beat is kinda just there. It’s not good or bad.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:3.5 out of 10
Listenability: 4 out of 10
originality: 4 out of 10

Artist:C-O
Song: Mathilde


Well, this is just a beat with a few subtle switch ups (most of which that happen in the last 30 seconds). It’s all moody and shit but without vocals it doesn’t offer much. Even with vocals , it would only work as a “Times is tough” kinda anthem and that is pretty well worn territory at this point. The drums are kinda meh. I would suggest, if you’re using Hi-hats like these maybe don’t solo them ever cause you wanna kinda just have them in the background. No need to bring your weaknesses to the forefront.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:N/a
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Mass Confusion
Song: The Teachers


I seriously thought the first guy was Raekwon for a second. But, upon deeper listen he actually sounds like an obscure rapper from baltimore named Labtekwon.
Anyway, it all is very Wu-tang influenced. I’m not mad at it but I’m also not impressed either. The beat is cool if not extremely simple. The rapping is acceptable but also kinda forgettable. Not bad though. Bored Wu Tang heads should eat this up.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
originality:2 out of 10

Artist: Cabbage scratch Kid
Song: Orange Juice


Clearly, this out of my wheelhouse of music I’m into so, you know, take this all with a grain of salt. Sounds like a fun night in a european house party. Or low rent early Daft Punk. Either way, it just kinda is what it is. Not offensive in any way but, if I’m not dancing to it, what’s the point? (I don’t dance). The loop at the end is cool though.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:N/a
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Wesker
Song: Mr. Potter


While this song is completely different than the one I just reviewed above, it’s equally as far from my particular musical interests. It’s a not bad kinda dub steppy , somewhat electro, kinda down tempo-ish song. I don’t dislike some of the instrumentation but the drum sounds are kinda corny to me. The snare in particular just sounds too synthetic.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:N/a
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Uprooted
Song: Good old days


Oh jesus christ. No. Nope. Not even close.
I should preface this by saying that rap fusion music is probably my least favorite thing on earth. So, keep that in my mind.
Musically, it sounds like something that might play in the back ground of a racing video game from the 90’s. The rapping…well, it sounds like guys who play rock music rapping. Not off beat but just off in every other way. It’s all just beyond corny to me.
The fucked up thing is that , compared to the rest of the songs this week, it’s well made and actually arranged well. But, goddamn, do i hate shit like this. It just makes me want people to put weed down.
Production:3 out of 10
Vocals:2 out of 10
Listenability:1 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Wormwood
Song: Milky way Ft. Koan


There is something hilarious about an angry rapper who has deep technical flaws cause the passion is there but there is no amount of passion that can fool a listeners ears into thinking they’re good. This guy is trying very hard but he needs years more experience before he should be recording vocals and playing them for other people.
The beat is similar in that it’s trying really hard and I appreciate that but it just doesn’t work. i can’t even pin point a reason. it just doesn’t.
On the bright side, the name Wormwood is pretty dope.
Production:3.5 out of 10
Vocals:3 out of 10
Listenability:3 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Makeshift Frequencies
Song: Cats still sleep


Definite L.A. beat scene influence here. It’s not bad. I definitely hear the skill being bought to the table. I wouldn’t say it’s as enjoyable a listen as music like this typically tends to be but it’s well done. A little A.D.D. at point though in a way shows lack of understanding song structure. Still, if nothing else, it’s interesting and bugged out.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:N/a
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Optimus Crab
song:Kill the Carrier (w/ Slow life)


Rappers rapping! No one really stands out but they all got a few lines here and there. More than anything, it just sounds like a bunch of friends having fun rapping. That said, it’s not something I’d really come back to.
The beat is simple but , typically, posse cut beats tend to be like that. i don’t love the fuzzed out switch up for the last guys verse as it kinda doesn’t make sense in the context of this song.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Clemits
Song: No Nostalgia


This guy has pretty cool voice but his skills aren’t there yet. Doesn’t have that natural flow just yet and sound slightly uncomfortable. The beat is a bunch of parts from one song but I suppose that works in this instance. Not exactly re-inventing the wheel with straight loops but , i can’t front, that shit always does sound good.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

So, what do you think?

Music stuff…This and that.

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Whattup…So, I got a few new things to share with you guys and just a basic all around update music wise.
First off, Illogic and I will be putting out our final Ep (for now) called “After Capture” on December 17th. Before that, though, here’s a new song off it for you to peep.

If you wanna pre-order the EP, go here:
http://illogic.bandcamp.com/

In other news, The Album I did with Billy woods “Dour Candy” can now be owned in it’s instrumental form. The good people over at Backwoodz released the whole thing yesterday. For those of you that like my beats but aren’t really bout that rap life, this is your lucky day.
It’s available where ever Digital downloads can be found but here’s a link to their site if you’re into it…
http://backwoodzstudioz.com/blockhead-presents-the-dour-candy-instrumentals/
in case you forgot what those tracks sounded like, here are a few in their original , rappified form

In solo news, my New album “Bells And Whistles” is pretty much done. I’m still putting some final touches on the mixes and it should be 100% finished by the end of the year. I’m not 100% sure who is gonna put it out or when it will come out, but it’ll definitely be out in some form next year. I’m definitely really happy with it so keep and ear open for that.

My dude Marq Spekt and I have a finished album is well. We’re getting the details sorted but it should be dropping next year as well.
We’ve leaked a few tracks already so, in case you missed them, here they are:


as well as this song that won’t be on the Album:

Lastly, the album I’ve been working on with my group The Mighty Jones is also done and should be dropping next year. If you’re not familiar with this project, it’s Me, Singer joanna Erdos and musicians Damian Paris (He plays on all my instrumental albums) and Jeremy Gibson (AKA Sir Jarlsberg and the other half of PArty fun action committee).
Here’s a song we did a while back:

As well as a demo we made that won’t be on the album:

Okay! I’m off to do some shows in europe. If you live in Munich, Kiev, Pecs, Brussels, Paris or Bordeaux…Come see your boy.
https://phatfriend.com/2013/08/27/upcoming-blockhead-shows-tis-the-season/

Answers for questions vol. 164

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Whattup everyone,
I hope your thanksgiving was as good as mine. Mine was boring as fuck and spent in the suburbs of Maryland so , there’s a good chance you got me beat pretty easily.
So, this is that thing where I answer questions sent in by readers. I always need more questions so please send me more…In fact, I order you! Send me questions! Email them to me at Phatfriendblog@gmail.com or, if you’re too lazy for that shit, just leave them in the comments below. It’s all anonymous so feel free to get as weird as you can. I’ll answer pretty much anything within reason.
This weeks batch is a real soul searcher. Come take a dip with me into my inner minds third eye of enlightenment. Just kidding…Fuck all that noise.
Anyway, here’s this weeks batch of goodies…

What movie has made the biggest impact on you?

Impact? I mean, as far as how it molded my life, it’s hard to say. I don’t really ever feel that moved one way or another by movies. I love them but it’s not like I’ve watched one and it changed how I approach living my life. SO, in a way, I’d say the comedies of the late 80’s and early 90’s probably shaped me the most. I suppose that’s the foundation of many parts of my personality. Shit like Police Academy, Airplane!, and Caddyshack.
On a different tip, the film that moved me the most was one I saw recently. It is a documentary called “The act of killing” and it is truly horrifying (in the best way possible).

Extremely heavy and moving movie. When the movie ended, everyone in the theater just sat there in silence well past the normal time people would be gathering their stuff and leaving. Then, when I went outside, no one was saying anything. Everyone was just kinda looking at each other with dazed and distressed looks on their faces. If you like documentaries about the emotional consequences of years of brutal ethnic cleansing, this will be you kinda movie.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve never been one to heed that much advice. I’ve also never been one to be given that much advice. I don’t know why that is but, in general, not many people really try and give me any. At least, not in a “life time philosophy” kinda way. The things I’ve learned have been by just paying attention to people around me. I’m an observant learner. I was never one for direct lessons being forced on me.
One thing that stuck with was something my dad said when I was 16. I was at the dinner table with him , my brother , my mom and this girl I was dating. I was on some deep puppy love shit and she was, let’s just say, not as committed to the relationship as I was. Basically, it was a summer fling for her and I was ready to go half on a baby. So, we were eating and my dad must have noticed the look in my eyes. Honestly, I don’t know what he saw cause he was very old and basically deaf at that point but he picked up on something. The next day, he mentioned her to me and I perked up. He then just said to me “Don’t get too wrapped up in that one. She thinks she knows what’s going on but she has no idea”.
Now his intention was probably not to give me life advice and more to steer me away from heartbreak. However, for some reason, that statement stuck with me over the years and taught me that, in many cases, we will play someone up in our head based on our own expectations and ignore the glaring realities of that person. I’m certain that wasn’t his intent but that’s what i got out of it. That was an important life lesson that kinda happened by accident. I’ve definitely applied that to many people over the years and it’s come in handy when trying to understand the way people present themselves versus how they really are internally.

Do you ever think about growing old and being old? My dad’s 87, he’s healthy but he’s super difficult and annoying haha.. do you think you’re personality will change much? think you’ll be the same person?

I mean, all the time but more in the sense of “Man, it’s gonna be hard to play basketball in 10 years”. I don’t think about being really old though. I’d rather just ignore it. It’s depressing enough closing in on 40. Despite what people may sell you, getting old isn’t fun. More responsibilities, everything is more difficult physically,and life is less fun in general…but what you get in exchange is a peace of mind that you simply cannot have as a young person. So, in a way, that’s nice.
But personally, the idea of my body beginning to fail me is the worst. Aside from whatever illnesses I have in store for me, just the wear and tear of living is a depressing thing. I’ve thrown my back out sneezing. Putting on my socks is legit hard for me nowadays. I get fucked up by eating certain unhealthy foods. My hangovers feel like full blown AIDS. I’m pretty much just waiting around for my bowel movements to get a mind of their own and throw in the towel.
As for me being the same person and how I will change, I’d like to think I will be a wiser version of the person I am now.. I mean, you evolve as you get older but I don’t see myself going through some dramatic life change that causes me to be a different person. I’ve never been that type to just switch up and change everything. I’ve been a pretty consistent person my whole life. Most likely, I’ll just be crankier and more pessimistic. So, have fun with that one, friends and family!
I’ve always said that, once I reach the point where I can no longer wipe my ass, just put me in a wheel chair and roll me off a bridge. Trust me, I will have lived all the life I could have lived and , at the least, I’d be going out with some dignity.

Yo Block, I’m a Laker fan and I was wondering why you hate Kobe so much? Oh, and don’t give me any of that infidelity bullshit cause EVERYONE in the NBA is a cheating asshole to some degree. So yeah, what’s your take on the Mamba?

I could care less about his infidelity. In fact, judging professional athletes based on that would be like hating on birds cause they can fly. THEY ALL CHEAT. He got caught. I’m not his wife, why would I give a shit what he does off the court?
But , why do I hate kobe? Cause he’s a dick. He’s an amazingly skilled asshole. There is no denying that he’s one of the greatest players ever. No one is taking that away from him. And, because of that, I can see why lakers fans love him. He’s your guy. But he’s a conceited , selfish prick who no one that plays with ever likes. Is that not enough reason for me to not like him?
The thing about basketball players and how I perceive them is that I relate it to my own experiences. Anyone who plays ball gets well acquainted with all sorts of different personalities. Like, on my level, I’ve played with people who’s style of play and attitude (not to be confused with skill level, which is totally something else) are comparable to someone like Kobe. Watching him play, I know that guy. He’s an asshole. He’s a guy who is obviously amazing but I wouldn’t wanna be on his team cause I know that would entail him barking orders at me , rolling his eyes when I make mistakes and never passing. On the same note, watching a guy like Durant, he’s likable. The dude is next level talented but still manages to not be a dick about it. Kobe is not that guy. I bet Kobe jerks off into the mirror while his failed rap album plays in the background. He’s that kinda asshole. Fuck him.

In The questions you answered today (11/11) you said youd not be into
dating anorexics Or bulemics Cause you dont want to date a skinny girl
Or a fatty. Im just curious with The constant media attention on The
female form, what men actually think is “too fat” – especially since
The average Size of American women is constantly changing.
Also, what are your thoughts on The media backlash on “skinny” and How
media images of beauty shape What men find attractive? Do most men
think women in The media are something Other women should aspire to in
terms of their weight?

There is no clear answer to this…and to clarify to those who didn’t see the question this person is referring to, it was this ONE

Men like different things. There is no right weight or wrong weight. Sure, most guys will agree that a flat stomach, nice boobs and round ass are what we all desire. That’s a given. For me, i just don’t want extremes of anything. I’m as unattracted to a really skinny tall girl as I am a sloppy tubby short girl. Neither do anything for me. That said, i got friends who would gladly go there with both those types.
I think the media has obviously played a big role in fucking up peoples heads about the female form. For one, they set unrealistic standards by showing girls with bodies that simply aren’t normal. On the other side of things, you have high fashion where lots of the models are straight up gross looking. They’re being picked cause of how clothes hang off their bodies, not cause they’re the definition of beauty. Not to mention, when you let other women and gay dudes pick who is and who isn’t “beautiful” that sends all sorts of mixed up messages to girls. As straight men, we’re pieces of shit, but we’re simple. Most guys will happily take a chubby girl with a cute face. In fact, many might prefer it. The girls you see on TV and in print ads are not realistic and I think most men know this. I may think Megan fox is hot but it’s not like I’m basing who I’m attracted to in real life on her.
Like I said, we’re simple. The downside of all this is that it puts pressure on girls who think they have to keep up with these unrealistic beings. The reality is, if you wanna look good, you gotta eat right and exercise (or have astoundingly good genetics). There’s a difference between being “normal” and letting yourself go. It’s unfortunate women hold themselves up to these crazy standards but I see why they do it. They see men fawning over the types and think “He likes that…so i gotta be that”. But, I’m telling you, us guys are typically not that complicated and strict. The rule of thumb for all people of all sexes should be “Don’t be a slob”. Pretty simple really.

Who are some characters from movies/tv shows that you have found yourself relating to? stuff in common and such..

Dexter. Minus the whole serial killer part. Mostly cause I’m a pragmatist who likes a nice reggae tinged theme song.

Oh, by the way, I’d heading to europe on wednesday for two weeks so, if you live in Brussels, munich, paris, bordeaux, Kiev or Pecs come see me play music:
https://phatfriend.com/2013/08/27/upcoming-blockhead-shows-tis-the-season/

Also, because of this trip, my blog out put might be scattered. I’ll try my best though. See you on the otherside…