Answers for questions vol. 179


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Howdy. Shout out to Boise, ID. I played a show there for the first time this past weekend and you guys are more than just potatoes. Also, I’m playing in Asheville this upcoming sunday at the Asheville music hall. That’s right, a sunday show in Asheville! Be about it!
Anywaaaay,
Welcome to this weeks edition of “Answers for questions”. That thing where you ask shit and I answer it. If you’d like to be a part of the magic and feel like you have a unique question to ask (about ANYTHING) , throw it my way. Either email it to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave the question in the comment section below.
This weeks batch of questions is really good. Lots of variety and lots of info. Thanks to all those who contributed. Let’s do it.

entertainment can serve a great purpose. however, where does it cease to be entertainment and continues on as stupidity?

How’s that college philosophy class treating you?
Anyway, entertainment is what you make it. A stupid person is going to go about absorbing entertainment stupidly. Meanwhile, an intelligent person can watch the exact same shows the dumb ass watches and actually get something out of it.
I recently got put on to the instagram account of of this teenage girl from Ohio. She’s a tubby juggalo and her entire account is her taking selfies (many of them of her holding drugs) and her comparing her self to Beyonce even though she actually looks like Honey boo-boo’s mom (I forget the account name though…someone out there probably knows her from this description). Anyway she had like 25k followers. Half of them see her pics and are like “You go girl! Juggalos 4 lyfe!”. The other half are people who are amused by how insane this girl is who leave comments like “Lol!” and tag their friends in the comment section. Are the latter people stupid? Nope. Snobby hipsters, perhaps but not stupid.
So, my point is, entertainment is only as stupid as the person enjoying it. It really just depends on what side of the fence you’re on. Fortunately, stupid people don’t tend to think about shit like that so everyone feels good about themselves. AMERICA!

I saw a comment on Reddit talking about the people who used to be regulars in an AOL hiphop chatroom and was curious if you had any interesting stories or if it had much impact on your career?

(the original comment – http://www.reddit.com/r/hiphopheads/comments/1ypl7t/how_do_you_forsee_rappers_careers_ending/cfmoqt1)

“In the late 90’s I used to be a regular in the Arts & Entertaiment – Hip-Hop chatroom on AOL and a ton of underground legends used to frequent there. Sure at the time we laughed at them sometimes and told them they were wack or needed improvement or whatever but eventually they got good and proved people wrong.
You know who used to frequent that chatroom?
Blockhead
Sole (Anticon) – The infamous “Dear El-pee…” diss track STARTED in that chat room. Everyone in there got that shit emailed to them first after he was bitching about Def Jux not signing him. And if my memory serves me correctly he also met a few other members of Anticon in this chatroom as well and that’s how their group/label started.
Canibus – He used to keystyle battle people in that room. As corny as it sounds he was dead serious.
CrypicOne (Atoms Fam)
Yeshua
Despot
Lodeck
Cage
Sugarcuts
Selfsays”

How much do you feel internet hip-hop communities have helped you/other artists to get where you are?

Do you browse any internet hip-hop communities? (I think this has been asked before)

Oh man I was allllll up in message boards in the mid 90’s. Specifically, rec.music.hip.hop and Alt.rap. Those are two that I posted in daily and actually met a decent amount of people through. I didn’t frequent the chat rooms much but, the few times I did, I kicked it with some of the Atoms family dudes and i think Despot was there too.
As for funny stories, I was a total asshole on those message boards. A know it all, NYC hip hop head purist who would argue with anyone who disagree with me. Shocking, I know. I wouldn’t say I was a troll cause I actually meant what I wrote but I definitely was a willing participant in telling people they were wrong. That said, I was funny and some people agreed with me so it’s not like i was a hated character. I was just an extreme. I got into it with tons of people , including Sole and Pedestrian from Anticon. That said, Sole and I actually used to AIM sometimes so it wasn’t any major beef. Just two rap nerds arguing. The three of us got into a huge argument right before “Dear Elpee” came out. I forget what it was about and how it started but I recall Sole shitting on NYC hip hop and telling me anyone from his block could serve any new yorker (My recollection is EXTREMELY foggy of this so take this all with a grain of salt). That infuriated me and we got in this long back a forth about NYC Versus suburban rap. It was long winded and dumb and , in the end, I think we were both losers. Another funny thing I recall was Aim-ing with Sole before I had ever known what he looked like and I made a joke about “Hey, it’s cool you’re from Maine, it’s not like you’re a dude with a red headed pony tail” and he was like “actually, I am a guy with a red headed pony tail…” Then we proceeded to go back and forth for a while cause I thought he was fucking with me. When in finally saw a picture of him I almost died laughing. Awwwwkward!
I was on those boards for years and that’s where I started getting Aesop’s name out there. I actually sold his first cd’s directly of those message boards. Eventually , he got really popular and I started getting a little notoriety as well. Because of this notoriety, I found it harder for me to be a total asshole online cause talking shit about my peers (and those above me) was not a good look. So, i pretty much just stopped posting. It didn’t hurt that a new breed of posters had joined and they sucked so it made my departure a little easier.
As for current hip hop communities, the only one I fuck with is philaflava.com. I love that place. Though, I don’t really use it for hip hop. They have a bunch of different forums that cover various topics. Lots of funny posters and people who are up on new shit. That said, I’d advise against joining it if you’re at all sensitive or are someone who’s likely to feed into being trolled. Newcomers often have it rough over there.

I think it’s hilarious how artists who are on social media a lot these days (such as yourself) tend to get a lot of “when are you going to come back to this-and-this-city?” or “please please come play in so-and-so town!” from fans. As if the only thing stopping you from playing at a show is getting off of your couch and gracing them with your presence in whatever town/city they live in lolololol. What would you like to clear up for these people?

I would LOVE to clear this up cause it never fucking ends.
Here’s how getting shows work:
You get booked where there are offers. Meaning, if I get an decent offer to play in that city and the logistics work out, I go play that show. I don’t pick where I get to play. At best, i have the right to say “nah, I don’t wanna do that show” but that literally only happens when I either have prior obligations or it’s a travel issue. Most of the time, getting shows is in the hands of local promoters. If you live in, say, detroit and you’re wondering why I never play there, it is because no one ever asks me to. This could be due to lack of fan base there, no good market history in that area or simply none of the local promoters in that area are fans of mine and/or think I could make them money. No one’s trying to lose money here and it costs money to get me to play.
Another common thing people do is , when they see I’m playing at a city somewhat close to them, they ask “Hey, since you’re playing San fran, why don’t you come play in Arcata the day after?”. The thing with that is that shows need months of preparation. You can’t just do an impromptu show and actually get people there (and get paid, which is a crucial element of me ever leaving my house).
So, yeah if you’re one of those people on twitter or facebook who’s complained about me not coming to your city (or country), do something about it. Get promoters on it.
Here’s my booking agents info:
North america-Chris@autonomousmusic.org
europe-Lothar@dailyoperation-agency.com
Make it happen guys, cause all I can do is accept offers and show up.

If you had presidential power for a day (i.e: the power to change a facet of society), what would you change?
It can be as arbitrary as a “no socks and sandals“ law, or as controversial as foreign involvement.
Maybe a bit of both? Anyhoo what would you do President Block?

I’m so far removed from politics that this is a tough one to answer. On some real shit, I’d definitely try to move towards environmental issues cause I’ve been watching way too many things lately basically saying the world is gonna end in like 150 years cause of climate change and the rise in sea levels. Again, I’m very much not involved in causes or , really, anything…but if I had power beyond holding a picket sign and “liking” some link on facebook, I’d look into that pronto.
On some more petty shit, I’d definitely put in a “No open toed shoes for men in walking cities” law that would basically cause the country to explode. Also, I’d begin the war on pettiness. Similar to the war on terrorism, in that it’s impossible to win, I’d do it just to shine a light on how pathetic people who are petty really are. Presidential style. It would be worth it just for the state of the union speech alone.

What type of “ask dr. tony” advice would you hypothetically impart to Hannibal Burress’ fictional character on Broad City? Have you seen that kind of ‘fuck buddy zone, but in reverse’ type situation in your real life with friends?

Oh man, I legit feel bad for him on that show. He’s pretty much the most likable person ever. The advice I’d give him would be to keep riding it out. He does EVERYTHING right and , eventually, that’s either gonna flick a switch in the girl or she’ll end it. Unfortunately, I think that a dude in the fuck buddy zone with a girl like the one he’s dealing with, it kind of a lost cause but , if he really wants to be with her, he might as well just see it through. In the mean time, enjoy the no strings attached sex!
As for real life, no. I have never seen that. I’ve HEARD about it via girls who were talking about guys they’re fucking but I’ve never known a guy who was all hurt up cause his booty call wouldn’t be his girlfriend. I don’t doubt they exist but maybe they just keep that shit to themselves. As they should. Get a grip , dude.

The following question may make it seem like I’m super stoned, but that’s not true!
Okay – > Pretend that you have been flashforwarded into the future roughly 13 years from today. And shit in our world has become off the walls mad bananas… One quaint little example is that “the man” is now requiring all citizens to officially replace one letter in both their first and last legal names with a special character, for digitized identification purposes. (Kind of like how a number of logins have password parameters that require at least one special character nowadays). To illustrate further – you may have heard of a guy named “Ian Bavitz” – So, using his name, it could be a legal change along the lines of I@n Ba^itz or perhaps %an &avitz, for example. But what would you choose, given the following options??

– question mark (?)
– exclamation mark (!)
– ampersand (&)
– that pound key (#)
– an asterisk (*)
– percentage symbol (%)
– at symbol (@)
– that hat looking thing (^)
– underscore ( _ )
– the dollar sign ($)

(You need to pick 2…one for your first name and one for your last name)

So, you weren’t high when you wrote this? I believe you. Contrary to popular belief, some people are able to have random dumb thoughts completely sober. I know I’m capable of it.

I think I’d go with “T*ny $imon” cause it’s the least confusing AND who doesn’t want a dollar sign in their name. Ke$ha didn’t ruin it for everyone.

Oh, side note, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may be familiar with “sir Jarlsberg“. He’s the other half of Party Fun Action Committee and he’s insane. He’s playing a show in Brooklyn this wednesday and I can’t stress enough how awesome his live show is. If you live in the area, come down and check him out.
https://www.facebook.com/events/262929313880297/

18 thoughts on “Answers for questions vol. 179

  1. Do you have any pointers as to how a following of fans might approach a promoter and persuade them into persuing the proccess you speak of? Since most of this is driven by money (and that’s okay, everybody needs to make a buck) I’d guess that a promoter would sidestep specific personal taste to make a few dollars and increase their own local status. Incidentally enough, I know decent enough following in Detroit but I feel a lot of the local promoters push pretty poor talent that carries a shocking resemblance to mainstream success of the area and hustle a non-musical ‘perks’ to try and sell he same rehased shit over and over.

    • Not really. Just get in their ears and let them know you think there’d be an audience for me in places like that. Things is,I’ve played there before and it went well but when you have no history headlining it’s hard to sell it to the promoter that you can make them money.

  2. You. Yeah….you. Calling some of my sober thoughts dumb? How dare you. The War on Pettiness has officially begun!

  3. I was in the AOL Hip Hop chat back in the day. Between 1999 and 2001. You and I actually spoke at the time. You put me on Aesop but I didn’t really start paying attention until 2002 and always knew I had heard the name before then, but it took me finding out so many known heads used to frequent the place before I realized how I knew the name.

      • Here’s my lame-ass impression of philaflava, if philaflava were a person. Ready? 🙂

        “We don’t take too kindly to newcomers round these here parts” -Mcconnaughey’ish’ drawl

      • Honestly, there is a correct was to slip into philaflava. People make the mistake of trying to be a loud and popping shit off the bat , when really, you gotta slowly work your way in. learn the different personalities. Try and learn some of the history.

  4. Hey Block-

    I’ve read your blog for a while now (Two years? Used to read that ish in Google Reader before they 86ed it…) and you’re funny as hell. I had heard your production for awhile, but didn’t put a name with a person until I heard Aesop’s “Coffee” (Which, on the dumbass fan tip, is the best beat EVER. The bass line makes my head want to snap off. Slobbering fanatic switch is now off.) Just wanted to say that, and, in reference to question #1, I was really happy when I heard the song you did with my (real, not play) little cousin SelfSays. Love that track.

  5. Soooo..did you end up go to the Sir Jarlsberg show yourself? If so,how was it? Did you make a cameo appearance on stage?? Or at least, were you yearning to?

    • Of course I went. It was awesome. It always is. I did not make a cameo nor was i yearning to cause, honestly, I’m terrible at lyric memorization. I’m better suited as an onlooker.

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