Answers for questions vol. 184

How was your week? mine existed as well.
Anyway, this is where you guys send me questions and I answer them. As you will be able to tell from this weeks batch, I take any and all questions. If you’d like to participate, please do! Leave questions in the comment section below or email them to me at I always need them so don’t be shy, guy. Without your questions , this cannot exist. You are my blood.
Let’s check this weeks bounty.

A confession: 10 years ago, I used to be a huge SATC fan. So much so that I could obnoxiously tell you that it’s (ahem) Sex AND the City, not SITC. You’re very welcome!

I remember…having a poster up of SJP in my room (next to Audrey Hepburn, naturally). Anxiously awaiting for my download to finish from a thing that rhymes with “schlymewire.” And even occasionally posting quotes from the show as MSN messenger statuses. Sidenote: I know I’m starting to sound “old” but I actually prefer the term “seasoned.” Blockhead, do you think I will always have somewhat terrible taste in pop culture because of this terrible transgression? Can I ever recover??

I’m assuming you’re a girl so, no, this is just a phase some girls go through when growing up. SATC clearly has some allure that draws girls in. The cloths? The fast city living? The incredibly terrible writing and jokes? I dunno. Maybe a little of all that. But , whatever it is, it taps into something. But, let’s be honest here, it’s one of many shows like this. Bravo’s entire network is pretty much made for people who once liked SATC. Also, I should add that there are shows like this that men seem to feel the same way about. It’s called sports.
Can you recover? Sure. As long as you can acknowledge that SATC is a)not realistic 2)a guilty pleasure 3)we all like bad things when we’re young you should be fine. We all make mistakes and if that’s one of your worse ones, then you’re doing okay in life (and you’re a blindingly typical white girl from the late 90’s/2000’s).

On a scale from 1 to 100, how does this -> -> Buzzfeed Quiz make you feel?

As it has been documented, forced NYC centric things like this are typically the bane of my existence. But, am I TRULY mad at it? Nah. It’s the worst. I mean, holy shit…it’s bad. I scored a 78 on it but even that was kind of offensive. I think about all the shit it’s asking and it’s kinda comical. It’s pretty much half things ONLY tourists do/tolerate. There are like 7 broadway show related questions for christs sake. But, yeah, this is bullshit and obviously written by a total new jack asshole who’s lived here for 10 years. For instance:
“You’ve had delicious slice of pizza for 99cents”
Nah, son. That Pizza is garbage. I’ve had it…it sucks. It’s what homeless dudes eat and regret.
“Spending 12 dollars in a cocktail doesn’t seem like a lot of money”
Actually, that’s fucking crazy and the second I walk into a place like that I leave.
“You’ve gotten drunk at a bottomless brunch”
This is amateur hour shit right here.
“You’ve taken a ferry to the statue of liberty”
This one is the dead giveaway that a non-new yorker wrote this quiz. No people who are actually from here give a shit about the statue of liberty.
“You’ve spend $5 for a cro-nut” “You’ve gone to magnolia bakery”
again this is literally something only tourists do. The rest of us know better.
“Fuggetabouit is one of your go to saying”
I’ve NEVER heard a person say that seriously in my entire life.

So, on a scale of 1-100, I’d say this pisses me off 78.

Your production pops up on NPR shows every once and a while. I’ve caught it on both “This American Life” and “TED Radio Hour,” which are the top two most popular podcasts on iTunes. Did they seek your permission or did they just sample you?

I don’t really know. I imagine on shows like that they just pay me a little publishing every time it plays. It’s not like it’s a commercial or the theme song to the show. It works similar to if it got played on the radio. fractions of a penny every time my songs get played.

Yo Block, I’m just curious as to what the process of “shopping a new album” is like? By that I mean finding a distributor. I notice that there’s always a considerable amount of time spent between you finishing a project and figuring out who actually releases it. Is it just a lot of bureaucratic bullshit, or do labels really take that long in deciding whether or not they want to put out your music? Specifically, it always seems that Ninja Tune ends up releasing it anyway, so what are they really waiting on? You appear to be a pretty bankable artist for them at this point.

As it is something I’ve doing right now I can tell you all about it.
At this point, I can honestly say Ninja Tune is not going to put out my next album. We had a great run and I got love for those dudes but they’re going in a different direction and the amount of sampling I do has always been an issue. The thing is that , in 2014, the majority of money labels make off of music is done through licensing. When you (or, I) sample, it makes those songs pretty much impossible to license. That’s why you’ve never heard “Insomniac olympics” on a commercial or in a movie. So, while i have been successful for Ninja tune (My records alway recoup and I tour well), on the other side of things, I haven’t done too well. So, I get it, no hard feelings and I’m sure we’ll maintain a good relationship beyond this.
Now, as for shopping the new album, it’s basically in the hands of my manager. I finished my new album late last year and it’s been making the rounds. I won’t lie. The sampling is always gonna be an issue for most labels. So, it’s taking a little time. My manager basically is in contact with a few different labels and trying to feel out what the best option will be. A lot of these labels have schedules they need to work around and tons of shit on their plate so it’s never a quick process.
Worst case scenario, no one wants to put it out and I just do it myself. I’d rather not but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Though, I’d like to think it won’t come to that. We shall see. Some cool labels are sitting with the album right now so hopefully one of them will go for it.

Yo block, just saw you for the first time this weekend. What was with all the electronic drums substituted in songs? Didn’t think I heard the breaks you used on your albums. And no vinyl? Maybe I’ve been out of the hip hop loop, but is it all electronic controllers and stuff now?

Do you know what a “break” is? My live set is 90% break beats. Most of which come from my albums and others that are some of the most well known breaks in hip hop history. I barely have an electronic drums. Maybe you saw someone else’s set and thought it was me?
As for vinyl, I’m not a DJ. Never was. To pull off what I do live with vinyl would be 100% impossible. I get that you’re old school or whatever (I am too) but times are changing ,bro. This is what electronic/dj music looks like now.

I bet most reading this blog would easily self-identify as being funny or good in bed… but I don’t think a lot of ppl would consistently identify themselves as being smart. Do you agree? I’ve always grappled with that word, I don’t even know what the fuck it really means! Aside from extremes at both ends, I think the majority of people could be characterized as intelligent, depending on what criteria you use.

For example, at times I can be smugly impressed with myself at what my brain is capable of understanding and memorizing. At other times…I actually surprise myself with how dumb I can be…so so stupid & dumb (and not in a charming/cute way). And I am deeply insecure about the things that I am not good at. I think a lot of other people feel this way too. What do you think? And what does “smart” mean to you?

I bet if you ask Snookie “hey, are you smart?” she’d give you a resounding yes and an eye roll. I can only think of a few times where I’ve come across people who honestly have said “I’m not very smart” when referring to their true level of intelligence. I think almost everyone I’ve ever met thinks they are “smart”. Thing is, they’re all basing it on the characteristics they deem important. For instance, I’m a college drop out who, if you put a science related book in front of, will lose focus within 5 seconds of reading. I’ve met people who are brilliant students that have multiple masters degrees but, socially, they’re pretty much mongoloids. Because my brain works the way it does, I value social smarts more than those of people who are good at school. It’s all just different wiring. To me, I see a person who is quick witted and funny , and that’s smart to me. I’ll take cleverness/creativity over book smart any day. That said, cleverness isn’t gonna remove my appendix if I ever need the operation so , obviously, both types of smart people are important.
This all boils down to something the poet laureate Ghostface Killa referred to as “Smart dumb niggas”. The world is full of them.

While I don’t like talib, I don’t find him to be entirely objectionable and/or horrific. Would you mind explaining your vitriolic dislike of him?

I definitely go overboard with my disdain of him but that more has to do with his fans and a very particular era of hip hop. For the record, I don’t hate kweli. I don’t even know him. I bet he’s a good dude. I just am not a fan of his music.
Let me give a brief history of my opinion of Kweli.
I first heard him on the stretch and bobbito radio show when he went to the studio with Mikah 9, and tash from the alkaholiks. They all freestyled and he was so out of his depths it was hilarious. I recorded it off the radio and got so tired of his verses, I re-recorded the whole session without him so whenever I heard, one of the good rappers verses would end and you’d hear like two words of Kweli and it would cut out. This youtube clip is actually LITERALLY the recording I did. Apparently that recording has spread thanks to years of tape trading back in the late 90’s.

So that was my intro to him. I forgot about him completely and then he dropped a 12” years later that I actually liked.
“2000 seasons”, was my shit.

That said, it was mostly cause of the beat but I liked this song. I thought Kweli was okay. His voice was weak and his flow had issues but the song was dope. Then he dropped “Manifesto” and I was like “hmm…he got better…”

It was kinda like he found his voice as a rapper. He even flowed better and sounded confident.
And that was it. He had peaked. He always had a tendency to say corny shit and his flow was always very forced but, for some reason, after that, it just got worse. Maybe it was cause he got paired with Mos Def who, while I don’t love him either, is a clarly natural and gifted rapper. When place next to a guy as vibrant as Mos, it really highlighted Kweli’s flaws. So, really, my issue with Kweli’s music is all technical stuff. His voice, lyrics and flow are not good, in my opinion. Somehow he became the underground poster child and a name that people who were new jacks would pull as their “underground rap guy” and it was always a telling choice. Really, it’s not his fault. It’s his fans. He did what anyone would do and had/has an unbelievably successful career. I’m not mad at him at all for that and , in fact, would go as far to say that he’s a dude who went way farther than I ever thought he could. So, in that sense, props to him. But I still don’t ever wanna hear his music.

12 thoughts on “Answers for questions vol. 184

  1. The playoffs are here and the Knicks are garbage. Who do you cheer for? Brooklyn? Anybody who is playing against Boston/Miami/LA? Or do you have a secret second favorite team?

    • Due to me answering questions in the order they’re received, i feel like this will get lost in the shuffle.
      So, I’m definitely NOT rooting for the Nets. Fuck that team. I suppose I am kinda rooting for an upset. I’d be happy to see the wizards make a run. The warriors…the blazers. Those teams are fun to watch. i just want Miami to lose pretty much.

  2. No one can know for sure, yet I just have this “feeling” that the type of pain women feel when they’re period cramping is exceptionally similar to how men feel when they’re hit in the balls. For funsies…can you please describe what it feels like to get sacked in that area?
    (In my mind, the range of pain is different: I think women can feel it very mildly with light cramps all the way to (probably) excruciating with contractions – whereas it would be more of a consistent level of pain for men – but I think the sensation is most likely the exact same.)

  3. I’m not normally one to point these things out, but “Mongoloid” might not be the best word to use in that context.

  4. I’m curious, you’ve spoken numerous times about the difficulties of licensing sample based music, but, I’ve heard RJD2’s music in commercials for years, now. And I’m talking shit from Dead Ringer.

    Is that something you can speak on, or, is it just different circumstances?

    • He had samples cleared or even replayed. it also depends on if an artist is willing to throw caution to the wind and be like “fuck it…if they catch me, they catch me!”. I don’t think RJ did that but I’ve seen others who have to both good and bad results.

  5. Which classic girlfriend trait would you say is more irritating or annoying to you:

    A) “I’ll be ready to go in 15mins!* just need to change outfits and put on some makeup” *Otherwise known as 37-42 real time minutes


    B) Sneaking in a comment/joke* while watching an episode of his favorite show
    *mostly staying quiet, but mentioning one or two things juuust at that moment where it ruins the subtle nuances of an intense scene

  6. expanding on the idea of you putting out your next album on your own (if it comes to that) – why wouldnt you just do that? cut the middle man and just bandcamp it or something.
    in this day and age is the label doing much to even earn that cut? seems like you’ve developed a pretty loyal fanbase, and have also fostered a really strong social media relationship with them (via this, FB, twitter, etc) – such that it would be pretty easy / lucrative (?) to just drop it and promote it yourself?

  7. what are your thoughts on joe budden taking a battle? i’m a battlerap nerd, i won’t bore you w it. but it’s significant bc the last faded mainstream artist to try was canibus. and he got his ass kicked so bad he forfeited.

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