Answers for questions vol. 191

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What up world,
Summer is knocking on the door down which means my allergies are coming out to play as well. Nothing like a teary eyed, snot filled nose in hot humid weather to really get your mind in a good place.
Welcome to another edition of “answers for questions”. You ask, I answer. Nothing is off limits (unless it’s too personal but that’s rare). If you’d like to become a part of the magic, send me your questions! Either email them to me phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Go nuts.
This weeks batch of questions are actually a great example of the variety and quality of question I look for. They’re all great so thanks to all those who contributed. Use this weeks selection as a guide, even. It’s great.

Alright Block, here’s a question…do vegans sit on leather couches?

Sure they do. They also wear leather shoes/jackets and tons of other things that conflict with their ideals. Obviously not all of them. But some of them? For sure. Thing is, i don’t have an issue with vegans, in the sense that they are adults and entitled to make their own choices. What they eat doesn’t effect me or my life. It’s only a problem when they’re the preachy kind who will talk your ear off while you’re eating a burger or a fucking piece of cheese. Those kind of vegans can go fuck themselves, on a leather couch with a dildo made of animal byproducts.

I’m not a fan of Deadmau5, or that genre in general, but I really liked this open letter he wrote calling out DJ/producers for exaggerating what they do on stage. The real art takes place in the composing of the songs, and not just triggering on stage. I thought the new SNL skit was pretty spot on (and hilarious) as well. What are your thoughts on the subject? http://deadmau5.tumblr.com/post/25690507284/we-all-hit-play

That was excellent and 100% on point.
In fact, my upcoming albums title, “Bells and whistles” is somewhat related to this. I’ve been touring for years and I always keep it simple. My computer, a trigger pad and , if possible, some visuals. Cause what I do live is literally triggering samples. Granted there are hundreds of samples in my sets but I work within a frame work that ensures the set stays on time and moves along properly. Over the years, I’ve toured with lots of people, opened for lots of people and had lots of openers of my own. One thing that has been consistent is seeing people who bring way too much shit on stage. ESPECIALLY openers. I get it more with established acts or people who actually play instruments but the amount of acts I’ve seen setting up for their 9 pm set ,that begins as the doors openm with like 5 trigger pads, synths they barely use and weird little electronic gadgets that I’m fairly certain don’t even really do anything, is astounding. It’s all, well, bells and whistles. If you’re an opening act, you should have a set up that requires no soundcheck is needed, not an extra power strip and two more tables.
As someone who has come up before electronic music was what it is today, the whole thing has always befuddled me, from a “live music” perspective. I’ll be the first to admit, my live show is not best “watched”. You come see me play and just watch me intently all night, you will be bored cause I’m just pressing buttons. I’ll never understand those people who come to the front row just to stare at me. It’s actually kinda creepy. My live shows are more for people to dance to, check out some visuals or just just vibe out to the music itself. If you like my music, you’ll be into it. The music itself is at the forefront. Not the performance. I think EDM artists (though I definitively do not consider my self one of those) are all about over compensation cause it’s not a natural thing to perform. They (we) are creatures of the studio. We’re more performing on a “DJ” level than a rock band level and sooner we just accept that, the better. Trying to make it something it’s not with all this extra , pointless theatrics makes sense but it’s also complete bullshit that, when stripped down, is usually just a dude on his computer.
I’m glad the music has reached a point where this kind of performance is acceptable and people come out and see us. Hell, it’s literally how most of us make our living. But, personally, I will never be that overhyped dude acting like me pushing that button is some skill set. I’m more focused on making sure I push the right button, to be honest.

When you read the following acronym – ATM – what’s the first term that pops into your mind? “At the moment” or “ass-to-mouth” or “Automated Teller Machine?”

The first thing I think of is the money machine. Then ass to mouth. “At the moment” has never popped in my head ever when hearing those three letters.
In general, when I say the sentence “I need to find an ATM” I’m obviously referring to those walk up prostitutes booths most corner stores have where you dip your penis in their butt, then in their mouth and they give you 80 bucks. No receipt though, thanks, I’m good.

block

you said in a demo review a while ago something like ‘these samples gel almost too well; if they’re all taken from the same track it’s kinda creatively bankrupt.’

what about same album or same artist etc? i recognize that it takes a lot more time and dedication and is more impressive, but is the crate-digger, hunt-and-gather process essential to the integrity of sample-based music?

I mean, people can do whatever they want. There are plenty of great beats out there made out of different parts of songs. I think it’s lazy , from a creative stand point, but it’s not against the rules. I will say that, it’s different when it’s done on a rap beat or on an instrumental beat. With rap beats, you got some leeway cause it’s background music for someones voice. But, if you’re instrumental track is just the same song cut up into 4 different parts, you didn’t really do shit but remix a song. There’s no originality in that.
As for taking multiple sample from different songs on the same album, I have no problem with that. Meshing parts from different songs, to me, is where the skill set is. Taking things that were not meant to be harmonious and making them that way is the name of the game (for me at least).

Folder or buncher, left or right hand? How exactly do you clean your poop? Also, do you see the penis as semi-flaccid or half hard?

I’m somewhere between the two. I don’t fold it so much but I also just turn it into a ball. That seems like it would lead to all sorts of wiping mistakes. You can’t be too cavalier about how you wipe. If you’re a folder and you don’t make enough layers, you could have the dreaded “poke through” where one of your fingers pokes through the paper right as you’re wiping resulting in a finger being launched right into your shitty butthole. That’s never a good look.
As for the penis question, I don’t look at it in one way. It’s a constantly changing being. Sometimes it’s semi hard, sometimes if totally limp. Other times I have full erection. I gauge my penis for what it is at that moment. Right now? comfortably limp.

If you had to encounter one

Would it be a ghost or an alien?

I feel like both have a stigma for being negative so it kinda depends where they’re coming at me from. I feel an angry/violent alien could do more damage , where as a ghost will fuck with you but they can’t actually murder you. They can make wind chimes shake and make you feel really uncomfortable but an alien could rip your head off.
At the same time, if neither of them were particularly violent or mean spirited, i’d definitively take the ghost cause I’m pretty sure we could communicate. Assuming the ghost speaks english. I bet you could learn a lot about the meaning of life from a ghost. After all, he/she was once alive and literally knows what happens after you die. It would definitely clear up all religious questions one might have. Where as an alien probably doesn’t have any clue what I’m saying which would be pretty annoying after a while. Like asking for directions in english in france.

 

Defending my tweets Vol. 8

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Welcome to another edition of “Defending my tweets”. It’s where I get to take the long rout in explaining what 140 characters couldn’t cover. I’m not so much “defending” them as i am just giving more insight into the brain farts I have on twitter. Cause, lord knows, brain farts need explaining.

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When I tweeted this, I believe it was the day after Beyonce had dropped her new album (out of thin air, apparently). Basically, I woke up (like this), went online and saw my entire twitter and facebook timeline splattered with girls gushing uncontrollably about Beyonce. The love was real. I might also add , these were adult women. Not teenagers. So, this kinda explosion of love isn’t exactly common on my social network existence. Personally, I’m okay with this. Beyonce is talented, she’s one of the hottest women alive and she works hard. I’m more bringing this tweet up cause of the reaction it got. That being a whole bunch of girls being “Not me! fuck Beyonce!”. Now, whatever. You don’t like Beyonce? That’s fine. I mean, it’s not like I’ve ever even come close to having a song she’s even on enter my Ipod. It’s not my thing and I’m waaaaay out of her demographic. But the pure unadulterated hate that I saw was something else. People weren’t just disagreeing, they were writing long winded explanations as to why Beyonce was a terrible person. As if they knew her or something. And that’s the problem. People can’t simply just “not be into it”. Every one feels like their opinion has to be an extreme. I realize this is part of growing up. When I was 22, I had strong opinions on things that didn’t warrant them. I’m sure , if you asked me about Puff Daddy in 98, I would ranted about how he was ruining hip hop culture blah blah blah…but then you get older and you’re like “eh, who cares?”. In the case of the Beyonce haters, these motherfuckers were bringing up her parenting skills, choice of husband/baby name and wardrobe as reasons why she is a piece of human garbage.
The word “hater” gets thrown around a lot and , more often than not, it’s misused. If I tell you I’m not a fan of the music of a particular artist, I’m not hating. That’s just my opinion. If I can vocalize legit reasons as to why that persons music is not to my liking, it’s not hating. Again, it’s an opinion. But if I start explaining the reason I don’t like that artists music by bringing up everything EXCEPT their music? I’m hating. Cause, really, I’m just grasping at anything I can get my hands on to prove my thinly premised point. The second your reason for disliking an artist strays away from their music, you lost me and you also have exposed yourself as a bitter ass hater. Something no one should aspire to be.

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I wrote this after watching a really random interview with basketball coach George Karl. He’s a 60 something year old man and was asked who his favorite rappers were. First off, why? but secondly, what!??!
Anyway, he did what everyone who’s never had a real opinion on the subject has and rattled of the two most famous dead rappers. He’s not alone. It’s a political move done by basically anyone who’s asked that question, ranging from an elderly basketball coach to 99% of rappers in interviews.
This brings up two things
1)It’s bullshit. As someone who grew up during the era, no-fucking-body rode for BOTH these dudes. Not to mention, before he died, Pac was a regional favorite. You could make the same argument for Biggie cause I’m pretty sure, out west and down south, not many people were calling him the best rapper ever. Even after he was killed. So, by throwing both those dudes in your “top 3”, you’re basically playing it as safe as possible while also being totally full of shit.
2)If someone puts BOTH of those guys on their list, that list is made for pandering and that list is not to be trusted. Either that, or they simply are uninformed. Cause, by choosing those two guys, you’re admitting that you were listening to rap from that era, which would make me presume you had heard other rappers…not just those two. Which would lead me to believe that there was a strong chance you’ve heard a better rapper than one or both of those guys. I’ve heard dudes who are 22 years old throw Pac or biggie in their list and I’m like “whaaaaat?”. Not cause I disagree (even though I do, strongly) but cause that means these dudes are basically just going by what was handed down to them by their basic ass elders.
What I’m saying is putting both these dudes in your top 3 is Basic. Like saying Star Wars is your favorite movie or that Mcdonalds has the best hamburgers. It’s not categorically wrong (after all, there are no wrong opinions, just shitty ones) as much as it’s lazy. If you got one of them, then I can see that being real. You’re picking a side. West coast dudes who put Pac in their top three? No doubt. Brooklyn guys who ride for Biggie? Obviously. But both of them? Get the fuck outta here.
For the record, I think Biggie was Awesome. He’s not one of my all time favorites but he’s at least very much in the discussion of “greats”. East coast bias and whatever but let’s not pretend rap didn’t start here and all that. As for Pac? He was okay. He was more a movement than an actual talent as a rapper. He certainly wasn’t bad. Just not great. I’d take a guy like Snoop over him any day and snoop , if you think about it, is the definition of style over substance. But, hey, that’s just me. If you feel obligated to put dead rappers in your top 3 list than more power to you. But to me, deadness doesn’t really come into play when factoring talent and legacy.

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I’m not sure if those ad’s are nation wide…i hope for everyone’s sake they aren’t. But, to clarify, I’m talking about the anti-smoking ads where they show people with holes in their necks, screeching out gurgled words of wisdom like “I wish I quit smoking…” or people with 2 fingers left and one leg that all had to be amputated due to smoking related issues.
Listen, i get it. This is a “scared straight” tactic for smokers. But, here’s the thing…smokers don’t give a fuck. Smokers gonna smoke. How much more shit do you have to put in their face to remind them how terrible that shit is for them before your realize that people generally only quit on their terms. I remember being in europe and they literally had dead fetuses on the cigarette packs…didn’t stop those chimney ass motherfuckers. You know what’s been the most successful way I’ve seen to get people to stop smoking? By jacking up the prices to the point where a dude is smoking 75 cents with every cigarette. Watching people try to bum cigarettes nowadays is on some road warrior shit. But I digress…
I say all that to say this: Those graphic ads are disgusting. I get that , maybe, they’re there to scare kids from even starting. And, honestly, that might work. But, for the rest of us (especially the non-smokers), we gotta sit through those fucking things. Well, we don’t really…i just change the channel. I’m sure everyone does that actually. Why would you not, when those ads are 100X grosser than any horror movie death.
I suppose, if those ads keep one kid from never smoking , they’ve succeeded (which, I’m sure they have) but they’ve also literally made me put down food I was eating and shut my eyes in disgust. Can’t they just show those things in schools or something, cause , I assure you, adults aren’t trying to see or listen to that shit, no matter what side of the coin they are on.

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Let’s start this off by being clear: Iggy Azalea is pretty shitty at rapping. I mean, she can rap, in the sense that she has rhythm and her words rhyme but, artistically, she’s not exactly killing the game. Lie, if you know all the words to an Iggy Azalea verse, I’d be very impressed but also kinda sad for you. Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about her rapping accent. She is Australian. When you’re from Australia, you tend to have a certain accent. Let’s call it an “Australian accent”. Now, at some point, she moved to the united states and, all of a sudden, she’s up in the trap…She’s a real southern girl! So, when you mix that accent with an australian accent, you have this strange hybrid accent that I like to call “A white girl from australia doing her impression of how southern black american people talk”. I trademarked that so don’t bite it. To put it lightly, it sounds fucking strange. It reminds me of a time I was in Russia and this one dude kept calling me his “Wu-tang nigga!”, even though I’m not affiliated with Wu-tang and, clearly, I have not earned my N-word stripes. To just hear certain types of words and dialects when they are expressed via certain accents, it doesn’t sound or feel right. Azalea’s rapping voice (MUCH different than her speaking voice, btw) sounds like she’s trying as hard as possible to keep her tongue in the back of her mouth cause, if her tongue extends, she won’t be able to stop her natural accent from coming through and might even let a “g’day mate!” slip out uncontrollably..

but when she speaks normally

I realize the “blackcent” is what white rappers do. They have been for decades. Some more naturally than others…but when you got an australian girl rapping like she was raised in the hood in ATL, it’s too much. The only explanation , outside of her being full of shit, is clearly that she gained those powers by ingesting the sperm of enough southern rappers that it shifted her DNA and she gained trap powers. I have no proof of this and , clearly, I made it up but I think there is something to it. Any doctors out there willing to do a study? Holler.

Peep “Sumofitsparts” By Marq Spekt and I. Album coming soon!

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You may or may not be aware that rapper Marq Spekt and I have been making some music together over the last few years. We’ve had a few songs drop via video but here’s the first official leak off the album we did , Justplaywitit, called “Sumofitsparts”.
The album is set to drop july 29th on Hipnott records. Preorders are available on I-tunes and Bandcamp
Here’s the new song:

Also, here’s the press write up about it:

Hot off his 2011 collaboration album with Cunninlynguist producer Kno (“Machetevision”), Philly emcee MarQ Spekt teams up with New York producer Blockhead (Aesop Rock, Illogic, Murs, Atmosphere) for one of the grilchiest Hip Hop albums of 2014; JustPlayWitIt.

Representing a certain aggression that is lacking in today’s culture, JustPlayWitIt showcases MarQ Spekt’s bizzarly verbose wordplay over Blockheads’s sirty yet sophisticated production. MarQ Spekt throws a little dirt on the game with JustPlayWitIt; as he walks into the current house of Hip Hop, tracks mud on the rug, sits on the couch and puts his soiled boots up on the table.

and , shit, while I got you here, here’s a few songs Spekt and I have done together already


I’m real psyched for this album to drop. It something a little different from me and Spekt is a beast. Check it!

Rogglecast 14- No apologies

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This week, Pollyne and I apparently left the filter at home. Maybe we were both in “a mood” or “Felt some type of way” but, whatever it is, the gloves were off.
We discuss topics such as the different variety of shitty parades we must deal with as people living in Manhattan, how conspiracy theorists are more dumb than crazy and how celebrities never need to say they’re sorry, no matte show shitty they are.
Download it on the soundcloud page or just go to I-tunes. Subscribe even!
Okaaaaayyyyy…

Rapping Basketball players: Who’s the best?

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1994 , to many, is the greatest year of rap music of all time. Some of our most beloved classics dropped that year, often on the same day. However, not everything that came out that year was a 5 star album. If you’re old like me, you might remember “Basketball’s best kept secret”. It was an album that featured current (at that time) NBA players such as Jason Kidd, Shaq, Gary Payton and a host of others, getting their rap on. I’m proud/ashamed to say I’ve now owned this album for 20 years. Not only that, I actually listened to it (then and now). Even by “basketball players rapping” standards it’s pretty bad. I think what leapt out at me the most about it was the heavy west coast bias of the production. That probably has to do with them not wanting to use many samples but , still, it always surprised me. Another thing that jumps out is that, while 90% of the songs have a positive/mellow air to them, my man J.R. Rider came through with a straight up gangster joint. Curses beeped an everything. I bring this album up cause I recently saw a video of New York Knick Shooting guard Iman Shumpert rapping. As always, I was ready to laugh at it but, you know what, he wasn’t THAT bad. I’m not sure if this is my brain adjusting for the curve of “Rapping basketball player” or if he actually isn’t terrible. Whatever it is, it got me thinking about the history of rapping basketball players. A few have made waves beyond just random videos and mixtapes .Shaq is probably the most “successful” as , not only did he drop multiple albums, I believe one of them went gold. Allen Iverson got a lot of heat for his shit talking raps and Kobe is Kobe. So, I wanted to pose the question to you , the reader, which Basketball player/rapper is the best…OF ALL TIME! I’ll give you the options, take a listen and then vote. I realize this is kinda like voting for “favorite place to get a paper cut” but I’m curious what the consensus will be. This is actually one of the rare times on this blog where I honestly don’t know myself so I can’t exactly try and lead you to an answer. So, here are the nominees. I’m sure I will forget a few decent ones but, gimmie some slack, I’m my own research team and I’m very lazy.
Okay…

1)Shaq

2)Allen Iverson

3)J.R Rider

4)Stephen Jackson

5)Dana Barros

6)Iman Shumpert (Shump comes in at 1:55)

7)Ron Artest/Metta World Peace

8)Cedric Ceballos

9)Kobe Bryant

10)Kevin Durant

Phew. That was tiring. For me, I’d say it’s between Shumpert, Stephen jackson and Iverson…but what do you think?

Answers for questions Vol. 190

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What’s up everyone. Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You ask’em, I answer them. So very simple. Here’s the thing, you gotta send me questions though. So, either send them to my email phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Everything is anonymous, in case you wanna get weird with it (seriously, feel free to get weird).
Let’s hop into this weeks batch…

The frequent topic of the demise of old New York has come up frequently on your blog. Various reasons and or causes have been questioned and brought up. Sex in the City, hipster types riding the wave of gentrification, the inevitable yuppies that they turn into, or the ones that have been attracted to the old neighborhoods after they have been homogenized, all have been mentioned and it got me thinking about another possible reason/cause that as a non- New York person I am curious about.

Do you think the events and aftermath of 9/11 had anything to do with it? Perhaps the desire to rebuild and re-image NYC as a safe and successful metropolis eased the path for big chains to replace the small local businesses? Maybe it was just a the right mix of people dealing with fear and uncertainty along with profiteers wanting to make a buck giving people a new shiny and safer city? Or was the process already happening before that day? If so, did it maybe accelerate things? Or did it have nothing to do with it in your opinion?

I’d say the process was already happening in 2001. A random way I can relate it is with the emergence of fast food places in Manhattan. There was always Mcdonalds in NYC. That was the one. But, prior to the very late 90’s, places like Burger King, Taco Bell and Pizza hut were scarce. They existed more often in the outer boroughs and MAYBE in midtown by Times Square but, by and large, they weren’t really that visible. I clearly recall when the first Burger King moved into my neighborhood and thinking “whoa…that’s different.”. At the time i was excited cause, well, i was like 20 and that was some great affordable food for my broke ass. Looking back, it was a sign of bad things to come.

flash forward 5 years after that and , all of a sudden, fast food spots were everywhere. To me, that’s a sign of the city changing in a bad direction. From what were once privately owned, ma and pop stores to fast food spots to lego land like fast food spots they just popped into to any empty store front they would find. Eventually, Banks and Drug stores moved in to every other vacant area as well and that was that.

Do I think 9/11 had something to do with it? Eh…I wouldn’t be shocked but I definitely don’t see it being the main culprit. The fact of the matter is, manhattan is some of the most expensive square footage on earth. It got to the point here the only people who could/can afford to start a business here are companies with endless money. So, that’s who generally gets to open businesses. Those businesses don’t even have to do well cause they’re probably tax write offs for whatever billion dollar company owns them. The Irony of all this is, post 9/11, housing prices were low cause people were scared to live here. That’s when I bought my place. It might be the only time in my life that I can say NYC was even remotely affordable (comparatively, cause, let’s be honest, it’s never been THAT affordable in my lifetime). That phase ended and the prices shot back up but, still, for that reason alone I don’t think we can really place much blame on 9/11 for making NYC a shittier place. If anything, that fear induced window might have helped a little.

When you’re outside and thirsty, do you ever catch yourself thinking “mmmm…vitamin water…..” since you’ve had your adulthood druggie getaway?

Hahaha…Just for some background, this question is referring to a thing I wrote about going to the country with a bunch of my friends and doing drugs. Turns out, Vitamin water is delicious on drugs.
Anyway, I actually haven’t craved it at all. What’s funny is that, when Vitamin water dropped, i was obsessed with it. They used to have a green tea flavor that was my shit. In fact, I’m pretty sure I thanked them in the liner notes of one of my albums (I think the first one). Scratch that, I KNOW I did cause I got like 5 free cases of that shit back in the day. Not sure what happened, but I got sick of it at some point. Too fake sugary tasting. Nowadays, I rock hard with Honest Tea. So, if those people wanna give me free crates, I’m right here waiting for you. I’ll promote you anywhere and even wear your t-shirts. I love you like that, guys.

Alex Trebek. Do you think he’d be a dick in real life? Yes or No.

Here’s the conundrum , he’s canadian. So, there’s a good chance he’s actually super nice. That said, he’s got all the symptoms of a dick. He’s a know it all who talks down to people. It would be hard for me to imagine him not being one of the more patronizing people on earth. It kinda makes sense though cause, shit, if my job was asking people hard questions that I had every answer for, I might feel a little like god.
I would like to see how well he’d fare on his own show though. Uppity Prick (or not).

You seem like a good eater, so do you think you’d be able to complete a “Bang-Bang” Louis CK styles?

I eat EXTREMELY fast. It’s something I’ve always done and , honestly, i have no control over it. I’ve tried slowing down but it’s almost a compulsive urge to alway have food in my mouth while eating. no breaks. I don’t talk much while devouring. I barely even drink fluids while eating. I don’t doubt it will all come back to haunt me via my asshole one day but, until then, let your boy cook.
As for the “bang bang” (which is when you eat two huge meals back to back), I couldn’t do it. I’m a speed guy, not a quantity guy. Also, because I eat fast, sometimes my fullness is delayed. When I’m in full beast eating mode, I’ll finish a huge meal and sit for ten minutes then be so uncomfortably full, my night is ruined. There is simply no way I could follow that with another meal. Not my lane, in terms of how I eat. But i’d say that’s a good thing.

If your building was on fire, like raging fucking inferno status, what one thing would you risk your ass to save from your apartment? (assuming your girl and your computer were already safe)
My girl and my computer would be the only things I’d risk anything for. I mean, my wallet and phone would be crucial too but losing those two things wouldn’t be the end of the world. Honestly, I don’t own a lot of shit. Losing all my cloths and my sampler would hurt but there’s no way I’d risk my life to save them. Well, maybe my favorite pair of jeans, some t-shirts and my favorite sneakers. I need those, bro. But, ultimately, I’m not in the life risking for material objects business.

Question:

What is your estimation as to the number of PhatFriend readers who have tried sticking their dicks into a grapefruit in the privacy of their own kitchens? (since your bobcat post)
Oh man, I hope someone did it. In fact, if any of you have done the grapefruit technique, I’d love to hear about it. Men or women. So, if you did, write in about it and let us know. Was it a success or did you get citrus-y pulp your peehole and ruin your life? Inquiring minds want to know.
Edit: Someone sent me this today-
Eh Block, thought I would give you some insight on the grape fruit technique. I must say I laughed my ass off when I saw that video and showed a girl that I’m hooking up with right now about it. So we tried it with an orange cause lets get real grape fruit tastes like shit. It was not a very pleasant experience. Mostly because we failed to do one thing, get it warmed up before you do that shit. And the clean up afterwards requires a shower unless your girl is a human fucking vacuum cleaner and sucks all that shit up. I wouldn’t be against trying it again but I can tell you this I won’t ever be saying “damn, I could have been fucking a grapefruit this whole time.”

Hey block/tony. Your album the music scene was playing the entire time when my house was raided back in may 2010. I know great way to start this question. Anyway I remember sitting there in handcuffs as my apartment was turned inside out and four walls comes on about twenty minutes into the search. All I could think was damn…have I ever wanted to be out of four walls more. After the ordeal I couldn’t listen to the album for a while, then eventually realized what an idiot I had been in the first place, only to come back and realize what this album meant to me. Its now one of my favorites ever and a symbol of growth and positive change in life for me. So I guess my question is, is there any music in your life that has had the same effect of symbolizing growth or just a profound “lightbulb” moment?

I can’t really say I’ve had a song change my life. For me, there are more songs that capture a time for me and cause deja vu every time I hear them. Like Sly Stone’s “Family affair” reminds me of making out with my first girlfriend cause we used to play that song all the time.

or this song my dad used to play by Duke ellington called “The Maletabo Spank” brings me back to being around my dad in his studio while he worked on art.

Things like that.
As a fairly spiritually dead person, I don’t really have those “life growth” moments. And any “lightbulb” moment I’ve had while listening to music is typically an idea for something to do musically. Like when I heard this “possibly maybe” Remix by Bjork, it made me wanna make an insanely slow , spaced out and plodding beat. The beat it inspired eventually would become “A Better Place”.

Song of the day 6/6/14


Bless ya life By KGB
http://www.sendspace.com/file/ipkenj
It’s been a long time since I did one of these. This actually might be a song I’ve given away here before but, if I did, it was a long time ago so don’t sweat it, guys.
Anyway, I was walking home last night, listening to my Ipod and this song popped on. Sometimes you will forget a song existed until you hear it again but, when you do, it transports you to a very particular time or moment. As soon at the opening sample plucked away, my mind immediately jumped to being a year out of high school, listening to the Stretch Armstrong and Bobitto radio show one late thursday night. This song came on and I was immediately obsessed with it. Thing is, back then, there was no way to find out what a songs name was or who the artist was unless you were told. Even after hearing their names, it was still a bit of guess work. I recall once hearing a demo from a group I understood to be called “Squire and Pony D”, later I’d find out they were Siah and yeshua DaPoEd (these guys). I had tapes recorded off the radio full of made up names that , to this day, I truly don’t know how correct they are. But I digress.
With this song, there was no announcement as to who made it so , in a time before google, I had to do what we did. Go to local record stores and describe the the song. This was always humiliating cause, well, I’d basically be rapping in a record store to a clerk who didn’t care.

After months of searching , I had given up. I assumed this was just a demo or a super small release that only 5 people owned. Then, one day, I’m in this record store near my house that was more known for dance and reggae music.I wasn’t a fan of either of those genre’s but they would often get early releases of albums on cassette (I got a copy of “Illmatic” there 5 months before it was released publicly). So, I’m sorta casually flipping through new releases and I see it. A song called “Bless ya life”. The group name “KGB” made me suspect that this was just some weirdo german house music. I asked the dude at the store to pay it and, blam, there it was. I bought it, took it home, and made love to it.

I tell that long winded story just to give some perspective of how things were back then. You had to often be a patient detective to find new music. While nowadays, anyone can find anything via Shazam or google, it took a certain type of obsessive person to thrive in being a hardcore music fan. So, to those people who remember that time, I say Bless ya life. While it’s far easier now and everything is accessible, music will never be as satisfying as it was when you had to actually work to get it.

Demo reviews vol. 49 (Now accepting demo submissions!)

Accepting_Submissions
Whattup everyone…It’s the moment all the self loathers have been waiting for! I’m opening up the flood gates once again for demo submissions. If you have a song you’d like me to review, now is your time to both shine and possibly get shit on as well. However, before you just submit me something. There are rules. PLEASE READ THESE CLOSELY BEFORE SUBMITTING ANYTHING TO ME. They are crucial to your demo even making it to the review process.
1)The header on the email must say “Demo review”
2)If you’ve already submitted, DO NOT submit again. You had your fun now it’s other people’s turn.
3)Send me ONE SONG. Pick your song that is your favorite or the one that best exemplifies your music and shoot it over here. I’m not going to listen to your whole ep.
4)This time around, I’ll only be accepting songs that can be heard via a link. So, no loose mp3′s or myspace pages. I want soundcloud, bandcamp or you can even upload it to an upload site (like divshare.com, hulkshare ect…) that allows the songs to stream. Basically, the streaming part is crucial. If this is something you cannot do, you probably shouldn’t be sending me music in the first place. Also, i accept Youtube links but think it’s weird when that’s the only way you have your music on the internet.
5)Demo MUST contain original production. I don’t want mixtapes of you rapping over other peoples tracks. I want actual songs.
6)Don’t just send me some random beat you made. I want a finished product. If your shit is called “Untitled beat” I will throw it right in the trash. If the entire track is a loop with drums, it’s not a song. I want songs, not some shit you’re workshopping.

That’s about it for the rules. But there’s more…You must also accept that I will be reviewing your music honestly. I don’t know you. You aren’t my homeboy. I may write some shit you don’t wanna hear/accept. That’s fine and all but just know it’s possible. Butthurt responses will be clowned on properly. Trust me, I’m as familiar with internet criticism as any person who makes music for a living. It sucks but it’s part of the deal. After all, you’re sending me your music so I can review it. what else do you expect? By submitting, you’re pretty much agreeing to possibly being let down.
It should also be noted that , genre wise, I’m a rap guy. I like rap music. This can work both for and against you people sending me rap as I will be highly critical of it but there’s also a chance I might actually like it. Where as with other genres (particularly instrumental music and electronic type shit) I don’t really listen to that kinda stuff. Feel free to send it but just know my ceiling of enjoyment for that kind of music is typically pretty low. Ironic, I know…but it’s the reality of things.

Got it? good.
So, send away to my email
phatfriendblog@gmail.com

As for this week, It’s business as usual. As always, the reviews are done in the form of brief write ups and 1-10 ratings in these categories:
Production
Vocals
Listenability
Originality

So, let the good times roll!

Artist: Params
Song: Y inductance


I like the production value of this and it’s well made. It’s not my cup of tea musically though and it definitely feels like background music in a movie about robot love in the future. I guess I can file this one under “good but something I would personally never listen to”. Which isn’t a bad thing, really.
Production:6 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:5.5 out of 10

Artist: Logikk and Reason
Song: My Rant (ft. Pink FLoyd)


Holy shit, dudes! I can’t believe you got Pink Floyd to guest on your demo! Huge pull.
Word to all artists out there: just cause you sample someone doesn’t mean you did a song with them. I have a feeling these guys are kidding with that credit (I REALLY hope they are) but still, people do actually do this all the time and it’s retarded.
As for the song, the rapping is painfully white and amateur. Dude sounds legit uncomfortable rapping. He has some lines that actually aren’t even that bad but the delivery buries them. The beat is a pink floyd sample so…yeah.
Production:2 out of 10
Vocals:3 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Connect and FTdubs
Song: Mindless Radio


This is pretty basic underground rap. The beat is pretty cool and the rapping is fine but, ultimately, uninteresting. His voice kinda sounds like a slightly lower and less refined Alaska from Hangar 18 (and friend of the blog). Not much to say about this. My advice would be to work on that chanting hook. It’s not working and sounds clunky.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: The Haze
Song:Two steps back Ft. Slick rat


The beat is the star here. There’s nothing particularly great about it but it’s executed excellently. Well mixed, good nuances and , over all, just put together really nicely.
The rapping is okay. Again, it’s just not that interesting. It’s not their fault. It’s really fucking hard to be interesting as a rapper nowadays. You need that thing that separates you from others. So, if you have a serviceable voice and an okay flow, it’s simply not enough. At least for me…but I’m also a jaded asshole so, you know, take that for what it is.
Production:6 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: AB2G
Song: L’hermes Express


This builds nicely. Again, not really the type of music I listen to but it’s well made and arranged. The ending is especially a nice little bug out. I always wonder where this kind of music is applicable in life. Not in clubs or places where people dance. You know where? Sushi restaurants. I know this cause that’s where I hear my music all the time. Basically, Japanese restaurants are where instrumental music goes to die.
Production:6 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Introgression
Song: Whistles will be the end of me


See, now this is the other side of electronic music. I don’t get it. There’s definitely a mood but that mood is confusion. I don’t feel like I ever feel like listening to music that’s actively trying to be confusing. Not to be confused with music be challenging. That’s a different thing altogether. I dunno, it’s not poorly made or anything but the vibe of it overall is just something I wouldn’t ever want to invest my time into. It’s like free jazz electronica.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:N/a
Listenability:3.5 out of 10
Originality:6 out of 10

Artist:Young Descent Lamar
Song: My daily bread


This guy is a big Tupac fan. Tupac and god. That’s what i got out of this.
As a non-religious person who could give a shit about Tupac’s entire discography, I might not be the right audience for this. From a technical standpoint, the beat is okay but a little to far out on the generic blues side of things. The rapper does say some cool shit but his style is just to much of a rehashed thing for me to get into it.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist:Ckeelay
Song:Human Nature


I think the beat is pretty cool. i don’t love the drums but the musical aspects of it are pretty cool. I do not like the singing. Mostly cause the dudes has a pretty shitty voice. Now, the rapping is way better. Good voice (kinda sounds like Tajai from souls of mischief) and an urgent presence. A little Eminem-ish at times but he’s got something that definitely separates him from , say, the other rappers in this weeks demo batch. I really wish the singing part wasn’t in there though. It kinda fucks the whole song up, which would have been otherwise pretty good.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:4 out 10

Artist: Kid Stupid
Song: Goldie I


The beat has a lot of promise. in fact, the whole song does but it’s just slightly on the amateur side. The vocals are recorded kinda wackly and the mix of the song, in general, is not great. But, as it stands, the beat is pretty good. The rapper isn’t very great but his voice is okay. He’ll get better with time and some reverb on the vocals will help him a lot. I’d also advise him to stop trying to rap like other people. Borrowing from your idols is never wise , especially when your idols are super famous. I’m not into listening to rappers who, just from hearing a verse, I can tell exactly what’s in their Ipod.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

So, what do you think?

Rogglecast 13- Pokin’ Po

MODWresltemaniaIV1
This week, Pollyne and Tony Discuss how to remain a person of dignity while being on social networks. They also break down the top ten things we’ve learned about Pollyne since the inception of this podcast.
As always, if you’d like us to discuss anything particularly , let me know. Send me questions and ideas to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below.
Also, be sure to subscribe to this podcast on I-tunes. Cause, you know, it’s there.

Yay or Nay: Rast RFC

RFC_615x615
A reader put me on to this guy a few weeks back and, since then, a few more friends I grew up with have alerted me to him.
This is an interesting one. Rast is a dude from Downtown Manhattan who started the Graffiti crew/gang RFC that was very prevalent during my years growing up in Greenwich Village. In fact, I’m fairly certain one of these times I got robbed, it was by a few of their members. I could be wrong about that but I do vaguely recall that name being thrown around during the mugging. Whatever the case, that crew definitely had a name for itself in downtown Manhattan. While , looking at him, Rast’s face doesn’t ring a bell, a friend reminded me of the one time he came to my house and allegedly stole a bunch of coin rolls I had wrapped up , ready to be taken to the bank. I say allegedly cause I honestly don’t remember it but it’s certainly possible cause I think I bought weed off him and you never know. Whatever the case, he was around. Flash forward to 2014 (this is basically 20 years later) and I find out he’s now rapping and writing. His stories are pretty nuts. If you got time, I highly suggest you read this:
http://massappeal.com/rast-rfc-running-from-cops-a-hip-hop-odyssey/
I gotta say, being from that area , during that era, I feel as though he paints a picture of the village as a war zone. I’d argue that it wasn’t anything like that but, hey, I also wasn’t doing dirt back then. I also knew to avoid the corners that he hung on so maybe that’s part of it too. Walking by the West 3rd street Mcdonald’s in 1993 was definitely a terrible life choice for anyone who wanted to keep their wallets/hats/sneakers.

Anyway, turns out he’s got an album
http://www.audiomack.com/album/nahright/across-west-3rd-street
Now, at first listen, I definitely felt it was some home made demo steeze cause…well, it is. The vocals sound recorded on lap top speakers and the beats, while actually kinda dope, seem firmly planted in 1990. That’s not a bad thing cause that’s pretty much my favorite era of hip hop but I could see those two things bothering younger listeners.
As for the rapping, on first listen, he sounded sloppy. That’s partially the recording though. He also sings. A lot. But not on some Brian Mcknight shit. He’s very reminiscent of early 50 Cent. The more I listened, it all started clicking for me. This is some serious DIY shit done for no other reason but to vent and be heard. He’s a former thug with lots of stories to tell. Sure, it’s a little weird to speak of downtown like he does , after all, it was a somewhat affluent area filled with artists and yuppies in the early 90’s (the artists have since left). But, I suppose , the way he lived down here dictated how he saw it.
I kinda expect most of you to not like this. Mostly cause you guys have proven to not be into thuggy shit , as well as the recording quality might not be up to snuff for all you dicks that complain about bit rates. But I think you should give him a chance cause, if nothing else, this guy delivers a clear snap shot into a very particular time in place in NYC history. One I can honestly say no rapper has ever really touched on.


So, what do you think? (you can pick more than one choice)