Yay or Nay: Where are they now?

This one is what “Yay or Nay?” is all about.
It’s been about four years since I heard the name “Skipp Coon”. In fact, I think he might have been one of my first “Yay or Nay?” subjects ever. Last time I wrote about him on this blog he was an southern rapper with a shitload of potential who seemed to tip toe the line between being fairly mellow and being almost punk rock. In 2010, He dropped an ep called “Independents day Ep“, It featured a song like “it is what it is”, that had the feel of being on front porch, casually sipping lemonade.

It also had a song like “Fight” that showed a completely different and far more aggressive side of the mississippi rapper.

Well, it’s four years later and the man is back with 9 song album. It would seem that the time passing has edged Skipp over more towards the experimental side of things. In fact, way further than I expected. His new album (That you can peep here and download for free) is an interesting combo of styles and sounds I didn’t expect. Listening to it, it feels like a mix between Killer Mike, KA, Armand Hammer and Shabazz palaces. That’s a pretty impressive list and I honestly doubt Skipp Coon even listens to most of those names. It’s more a testament to the abstract direction he has taken with this new album. Aggressive, pointed rhymes. Beats that are , at times, super minimal and , at other times, challenging and chaotic. I generally tend to gravitate toward the more minimal stuff but, overall, it’s a really interesting listen. More than anything, it’s not at all what I expected from the southern MC. I dunno, i think it’s pretty cool for someone to return after 4 years of silence (as far as I was aware of at least) and bring it back with a whole new game plan. Here are some tracks from the album I’ve been fucking with”

So yeah, if you like some fairly off center hip hop, this will be your shit. Download it. Support the men. Hell, if you like it, you can “name your price” and give the dude some money. That’d be nice of you!

Answers for Questions vol. 206

Yo yo, welcome to another edition of answers for questions. You ask, I respond with honesty. If you’d like to be a part of all this fun, join in and ask me anything. Either leave questions in the comment section below or get fancy and email me one at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. All I ask is that you be creative and don’t treat this like a high school newspaper interview.
Okay, here’s this weeks stuff…
Hey Blockhead,
I have this question about sampling, and I figured that in light of your recent blog post and deciding to put out your album on your own, it would be pretty relevant. So, I make some sample based hip hop too, but I’ve been, well, less than proactive about getting permission to use my samples. I haven’t gotten in trouble, but sometimes I get worried that I’ll end up getting sued or something. I don’t really know many other producers who do sample based stuff, and I thought I’d hit you up about it especially since you’ve been in the game so long.

So, when you worked with ninja tune did they clear every one of your samples? Did you ever have to scrap a song because you didn’t get permission to use a sample? Have you ever gotten into any legal scuffles over that stuff?

I’m basically wondering if it’s worth it for me to try to clear samples if I’m not making money and I’m not famous, you know? I don’t want to have to give up some of my tracks because an exec wants $1000 for an old obscure ass sample, and I feel like I might put myself on their radar for asking in the first place you know?

I’m just releasing shit on my own right now, I pressed 500 records a couple years ago and I’m on spotify and iTunes and stuff. Like I said it’s a small operation but I’m trying to put out a new record and Any advice you could give me would be awesome.

Let me first just say that, considering the level you’re on now, you don’t need to worry about clearing samples at all. No one is tracking you down to sue you for that beat you made. It only becomes an issue when you either make money off a song with a sample in it or you begin licensing music to commercials and film. While it’s still technically illegal prior to that, so is jay walking in NYC and no one’s getting a ticket for that. So, basically, this is something you do not need to worry about any time soon. I gotta say, if it’s on your mind already though, you may wanna start sampling less from the jump. I can certainly attest that it is limiting, in terms of what you can do with the music after it’s made. I love samples but I’ve also been doing it for 20 years. Perhaps starting off not having to rely on them is not the worst way to get going.
To answer your specific questions, Ninja would clear some samples. It really depends on the song and the sample. But in general, they didn’t clear most of them. Simply cause, with my music, that would be way too expensive and most of those songs are gonna just fly under the radar anyway. Like I said, you’re gonna get sued when the money starts rolling in. My records have done okay but not so well that I need to worry about being sued or getting a cease a desist. I’ve gotten caught for a few samples here and there and , in my experience, the people were actually really cool about it. We just gave them some of the publishing rights to that song and both sides were happy.
“Uncle tony’s coloring book” was a limited edition, US only release because of the samples. Ninja didn’t want their name on it cause they were justifiably nervous about all the crazy samples on it so, instead, we pressed 5000 cd’s and only released it in the states. That’s why it’s not on Itunes or any of those other sites in it’s complete form. So, for me, that’s a worst case scenario. But that happened and now that album is like a collectors item. So that’s kinda cool.
Sampling is great but it certainly has its downsides. You do have to be careful. But, until you’re making money, don’t sweat it. No one is gonna sue you if you have nothing to be sued for.

Not really sure if this question has been asked before.
For me there are a few things that make me automatically think someone’s a douchebag or shallow just by looking at him/her; wearing headphones in public (when you’re a guy, if a girl does it, it depends on how cute she is, I’m a hypocrit and I know it), wearing flip flops in public (unless at/near a beach/pool or on a quick trip from home maybe), dudes wearing button-up shirts with shorts, and the worst one: girls walking with a purse on their elbow and a cell phone in their hand. I know you agree with me on the flip flops. How do you feel towards the other ones? In which cases do you feel strongly negative towards a person based on appearance only?

Wearing headphones in public? How is that douchey? That’s just a person listening to
music. Maybe it’s an NYC thing but that’s par for the course for any trip outside the house that’s gonna be more than 15 minutes. I rock earbuds but only cause I don’t wanna be carrying around big headphones all day.
Anyway, I used to be way worse about this. Most of the things you listed were , at one point, things i would have looked at, rolled my eyes and immediately written the person off. While those things still aren’t looks i hold in high regard, I’ve gotten softer in my older age. Not everyone who wears flip flops is an idiot. Not everyone wearing a shirt with vertical stripes and shorts is a douche. Not every guy who wears those super tight sweatpants that get baggy around the crotch is a total piece of shit. I may hate those outfits, but I’m also not the fashion police. Let them live, shitty wardrobes and all. That said, my judgmental streak has shifted to gauging other humans by their opinions on very particular things. Like if someone just , across the board hates on “South Park” but loves “Family guy”? That’s a huge fucking moron. If someone loves Talib Kweli to the point where they’re willing to argue about it, I don’t think that person and I are meant to be friends. If you think the movie “Macgruber” sucks, I question everything you understand about what makes something funny. If you’re a grown man in your late 30’s who grew up loving hip hop and you go out of your way to love shit like Future or Cheef Keef, I’m judging the fuck out of you and your pitiful grasps at staying relevant in the eyes of a bunch of dumb teenagers. Stuff like that. It’s admittedly short sighted on my part but I think the things people love and are passionate about speaks much louder than how they dress. I know way too many people who simply just dress a certain way cause it’s easy and they don’t give a fuck. I respect that. But your interests should be deeper.

How would you react if someone came to the front of the stage during one of you sets, then dropped their pants and just started jerking off furiously?

Obviously , I’d finish him off with my mouth. He payed for a ticket, it’s the least i can do.
Nah, I would hope that person would be tackled by security. If not, I’d probably just keep rocking the show but if he got near me, I’d kick him in his dick.
Some of these venues I play at don’t exactly enforce much security. I was playing a show in Seattle once and this girl crawled on stage and just lay down underneath the table I was playing on. She was there for like 2 songs until she popped out and tried to talk to me like I wasn’t in the middle of playing a show. I quickly explained to her that she had to go but it didn’t really sink in. It’s a safe bet she was high as a motherfucker. Let’s just say, if she was a male jerking his dick near me, I wouldn’t have been as patient.

Since you don’t listen to instrumental hip hop, where do you find the inspiration when creating your own music? Are there certain producers or albums you listen to? If so, who are they? Is there a specific zone your looking to get into as well, or maybe doing things like walking around your neighborhood late at night listening to music, maybe going to certain clubs/bars at 3:00am and trying to capture that vibe?

This is gonna be a huge let down but I don’t ever step into making music trying to create a mood. I just sit down, listen to songs and look for a sample that grabs me. Once i have that, I build around it. There’s no inspiration, outside of the samples themselves. I’ve never been one to look for other music , as a fan, as a means to inspire me. The music I love is separate from the music I make. In fact, I try to limit outside influence as much as possible cause the last thing I wanna do is sound like someone else. I do see the irony of all this cause I’m an artist who mostly samples but , in my mind, it makes sense.
I’d also add that I’ll never understand why people are so interested in the “inspirations” of another person. I feel as though that kinda thing isn’t palpable and certainly not something you should be able to explain. It’s like being “spiritual”. Most people who harp on it are kinda full of shit. It’s something that happens in your subconscious that shouldn’t really even be something you can pin point. Whenever I hear someone listing stuff they’re inspired by it’s either random parts of nature (yeah bro, sure your EDM dance album was inspired by that sunset you saw in Thailand) or it’s other artists, which leads me to believe they’re kinda biting those “inspirations”. I dunno…it’s one of those questions I’ve been getting for years that I’ve never seen the point of. It’s fluff to me.

squatting verses sitting? Do you practice proper poop posture? …ah, I love alliteration.



Devices such as the Squatty Potty and Nature’s Pedestal make the average person’s shit stance more advantageous, to say the least. Give it a try and tell me it doesn’t change your life.

Man, it had been a while since I got a shit related question. I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with you guys.
As for squatty potty, Umm…wow. I guess this kinda makes sense but, obviously, I have not tried it. Honestly, the name alone would keep me from buying it. Not to mention, I could just make my own at home with a few phone books. Tell you what, i’ll give it a whirl (with the phone books) and see if I notice a difference. It’s definitely gonna get in the way of my laptop though.

If you couldn’t live in the States, where would you live?
Montreal or Toronto would be my first choice. English speaking would be crucial so maybe London or melbourne. I think it might be fun to live somewhere in eastern europe for a year cause i had lots of fun out there when I played shows. I still contend that Cluj, Romania has the hottest girls I’ve ever seen. If i was single, i’d probably just go live there for a year.
But, realistically, Toronto, London (or another UK city), and Melbourne would be my top choices.

Send me your demos! Now is the time!

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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. The further the genre is away from hip hop, the less likely I am to not only be about it but give it a worthwhile review. I don’t know enough about those genres to really have perspective enough to review them.
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

Fuck yo’ birth , bro!

“Hey, when’s your birthday? No, really, tell me. I’m super curious. Oh, not cause I’m interested in astrology. Nope, cause your birthday is just really important to me.”
That was an excerpt from my upcoming novel “Things no one has ever earnestly said or thought in the history of the human race”.

Let’s be honest, the sooner we, as a civilization, accept that no one cares about your birthday but you, the better. Okay, maybe your mom cares. She might. After all, it is the anniversary of you coming out her vagina like the kool aid man. How could she ever forget that. In fact, your birthday should be a day you buy her gifts. But I digress…

I’ve been thinking about this lately cause my birthday is on the horizon (october 8th guys, what are you getting me!?!?!?!). I’ve never been one to care that much about my own birthday. I definitely celebrate it but that’s generally an excuse to eat a good meal or get a bunch of my friends together and get drunk. Not cause I actually care that I’m turning one year older. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I celebrated on my actual birthday. Once every seven years? It’s completely arbitrary.

To be clear, this isn’t about getting older. That’s something totally different. It’s no secret that getting older is a bummer. At least for people over 30. But, no, this is about the birth day itself and peoples seem to think other people have to give a shit about it.
How many people (Ahem…girls…cough…) do you know that decide their birthday is , all of a sudden, a week long extravaganza of celebrating their existence? This includes free meals and friend duties that can only be compared to that of a bridesmaid, It’s quite possibly the most unjustifiable thing a person can do to their friends outside of making them go to a musical with you. Fuck all that. It’s YOUR birthday. Not mine. It changes nothing for anyone except you. It has no effect on anything outside of your answer to “How old are you?”. Birthday entitlement is something i feel even the people who have it probably realize they’re full of shit but , yet, they persist. What are we really celebrating? You being born? EVERYONE IS BORN. There is nothing special about it. That’s like me celebrating learning to walk or the first time I ate solid foods.

Comedian Patton Oswalt had a bit about how people should only celebrate particular birthdays. Milestone years. I think that’s a great idea. I’d also add that presents should stop after 21 as well. Too soon? fine. 25. If you’re still angling for presents from your parents, family and friends after 25, you need to chill the fuck out. You know what people over 30 ask for? Socks. underwear. dishes. The most boring shit on earth cause, by that time, you have most of what you need and really just ask for that kinda crap cause you’re too lazy to go get it yourself. It’s basically just making your friends and family run your unwanted shopping errands for you. That’s another level of this entitlement. Expecting gifts. You already got Christmas/Hanukkah. How much more do you need? You’re a grown ass man/woman. Come on, son.

I remember , when I was a kid, my brothers birthday was exactly half a year from mine. So, as a means to shut me the fuck up , my mom would get me a “half birthday gift. This was to curb the jealousy of seeing my bro cash in on whatever the hell it was he got for his special day. Thing is, I was a child and had no common sense or decency. Also, i wanted everything. So, it makes sense. Flash forward 30 years and I would literally forget it was my birthday if it wasn’t for a Facebook reminder.

Now, to be clear, I have nothing against a party. Parties are fun for everyone. The are beneficial for all. It’s a great excuse to get old friends from the different social circles you inhabit and bring them together. But that’s it…one night. One party. Maybe go out to dinner with a small handful of close friends. After that, your day is done. your time is over. The second that dinner bill gets covered, your friends are no longer obligated to give a flying fuck about your or your dumb ass birth. Duty has been served.

Speaking of Facebook, it has opened new doors to how we half ass celebrate a friends birthday. A simple “Happy birthday!” on the wall and we’re good. I’m all for this. It’s a gesture as as empty as the desert sky but, hey, it’s the least you can do. I mean that literally. THE LEAST. Outside of ignoring the persons birthday completely…which is also fine cause, like I said, who cares? Oh wait…some people do actually care. They care a lot. I know people who get legit butthurt about people forgetting to wish them a happy birthday. Those are people i like to call “Dickheads”. If you have a friend like that, you should stop taking them seriously this instant. I’m not saying cut them off but if they can’t handle you not remembering the day they were born, then imagine what a mess they’d be if you actually forgot something that mattered in the slightest. It’s a small thing but it does speak volumes about a person and how self important they are.

So, yeah, fuck your birthday. Fuck my birthday. Fuck’em all. Let’s all be the adults we claim to be and just treat it like what it is. Another day. But , still, have that party. People need a reason to leave their house.

Ask Dr. Tony Vol. 39

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Hello there and welcome to another edition of “Ask Dr. Tony”. This is where you ask me for advice. Why? No clue. I’m not a licensed anything and have no background in this sort of thing. However, I am someone who will be honest and give you an opinion or advice without
any agenda. I don’t know you or your girl or your friends. All i know is the words you send me. I’m here to help. Well, as much as a stranger on the internet possibly can via an advice column on his blog.
You need any life guidance? Don’t hesitate to ask. Send me questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below. Don’t be shy. This is all anonymous. I promise to never blow up spots in here. That would defeat the purpose.
Anyway, lets check this installments batch out. Let’s fix lives, guys!

So there’s a girl who I asked out about 3 months ago. She has similar interests as me and we went out (basically a walk tru the woods.) We just talked and such. I later asked her out to lunch and same thing. Again I ask her out to lunch and 30 mintues after the time she texts me to say she didn’t have her phone on her and had to stay after work. She then rescheduled same time next week. So we meet and talk, etc. At this point I feel like shes not the slightest bit interested and havent talked to her since. I don’t know if thats the case or not because she is incredibly shy. She never contacted me outside of of the times I contacted her. Im still interested in her, but I don’t want to bother if she shes not interested. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Sounds to me like she’s not feeling you, bro. If she’s shy, she’s also probably very nice which means she’s not trying to hurt anyones feelings. So, when she’s accepting date offers (even creepy walks through the woods) she’s most likely doing so cause she’d rather not let you down and come off as rude. At least in person.
One simple thing I’ve learned about gauging another persons interest is that if they want to see you, they will see you. They will make time. They will return texts and calls. They will , regardless of schedule , find a way to make it happen cause they truly want to be around you. People are busy…but very few people are THAT busy. You can always tell a relationship is coming to an end when one person all of a sudden becomes super “Busy” and they no longer can make time for you. That’s just them creating distance and leading into you two having a talk about how this isn’t working out. Depending on level of cowardice, this could last anywhere from a week to a year.
In your case, you didn’t even get to that part. She went on that date, wasn’t into it and that’s that. So, if I were you, I’d drop this one completely and keep it moving.

Hey Block,
Here’s my dilemma, I met a girl on a plane last month and a couple weeks after that she came to visit me. We had a great time together even though we only saw each other for less than 24 hours. (I like her as well) We still talk every day and she’s expressed how much she likes me several times. She plans on visiting again in a month. She lives in Hawaii and will be returning to school in Sweden where she still has another year or two left.

Two weeks ago I met a local girl and I’ve taken her on a few dates and we hit it off pretty well, she’s not nearly as attractive as the Hawaii girl but we have a lot in common and its convenient. We made out on the second date, but when I invited her to my place she refused and wanted to take it slow.

I don’t really want to take it slow with the local girl (I’m not a relationship type person at all) but I also would like to stay in touch with her after the girl from Hawaii visits in a month.

I’m not really sure how to move forward with all this, I kind of feel bad about hooking up with another girl while the girl in Hawaii is really into me, but at the same time we’re not in a committed relationship.
Should I be upfront with the local girl next time I see her and tell her I’m not in this for a relationship? Or let this ride out to see where it goes?
Am I an asshole for leading two girls on?

Unless you’re leaving certain details out, I wouldn’t say you’re leading either of these girls on. You’re a single guy being single. You’re “dating”. In the case of the hawaiian girl, you don’t really have to explain anything to her. She’s a girl you could never date seriously, due to distance, so all you gotta do with her is be cool and see her when you see her. She definitely doesn’t need to know about any other girl. With her, it should all be about fun. For both of you. When you hit it off with someone who is an impossibility, it’s almost like having the best parts of a new relationship without all the pressure and expectations. Just ride that out and enjoy it for what it is.
As for the Local girl, yes, you should tell you’re not into being in a relationship. You should do that with EVERY girl you date if you’re gonna be one of those guys. Especially if she’s already asking about it. Clearly, she is asking for a reason. If you lead her on, you’re a liar. Back in the days of yore, when I was single and not looking for anything serious, I was always very clear about my intentions. It may seem harsh but it made my life exponentially easier. Sure, it meant i didn’t get to have sex with a girl here and there but those are the breaks when you’re a single guy not looking for anything serious. If the girl isn’t down for that, you can’t trick them into it just so you can bust a few nuts. Eventually, the shit will hit the fan when you toy with peoples emotions.
Side note about this, this reminds me of a situation I had in college. There was this girl I hooked up with the last week of school. I had a huge crush on her and pretty much spent the latter year of my freshman year chasing her. So, as the school year ended, I headed into my summer pretty happy we hooked up. Problem was, she lived like 7 hours away. But there were plans to meet over the summer. At this point, I had already dropped out of school and knew I wasn’t going back so, even though I was excited to see her, I also was crazy to think it would become anything more than casual. Still, I was 18 and 18 years olds aren’t exactly logical when it comes to their emotions. That summer, I was working at a record store and one of my co-workers was this super cute girl who liked me. I was into her but always kept a distance cause of the girl from college. I basically passed up on the co-worker girl, who live in the city I lived in, simply cause my basic ass mind thought it would be unfair to the college girl I had no future with. To this day I look back on that and kick myself.
My point is, if you’re single, you’re single. If you’re the type of guy who doesn’t want a relationship, then live that way for real. Just don’t lie to girls about your intentions cause then you’re an asshole.

So i’ve been talking to this guy I met on twitter, who I also text with, for two years now. 100% sure he’s not a catfish. Everytime we talk it’s always small talk bullshit and/or flirting. Which is okay but i’m kinda tired of it now. I’ll sometimes ask em if he wants to talk on the phone but he never wants to. I wanna have actual conversations with him and it just never happens. I doubt we’ll ever meet each other. But I just wish he’d open up more, n actually wanna talk. I feel like I want more of him than he’s willing to give. I feel like I care about this dude more than he does. Females huh..Honestly I don’t know why i’m even trippin off him. I met him on twitter LOL. Should I even trip is my question?

Uh…yeah. This dude doesn’t give a fuck. If i had to make a guess, he’s a scum bag on twitter who’s looking to get laid. You’re only as important to him as you are near to him. If he thought he could hit it, he’d probably be a lot more willing to chat on the phone and put in the work. I’m assuming you guys don’t live near each other so he’s probably just doing just enough to keep you around on the off chance you’re even in the same place at the same time. You know, real gentleman stuff. Also, you never know what his situation is. For all you know, he might live with his girl or have kids. After all, this is twitter. A place where liars flourish and fake lives are the norm.
So, to answer your questions, no, you should not trip. You shouldn’t even give a shit in the slightest. He’s a dude you met on twitter, for christ sake. Do you go to sleep staring at his avatar? All this should be to you is fun flirting.
Also, think of it this way. If you’re talking to him on twitter, imagine how many other girls he must have around him in real life and on other social networks. Twitter isn’t exactly a place where long lasting couples have met and flourished. All I’m saying is temper your expectations of anyone you meet via 140 characters or less.


What are signs you’re dating an asshole? What are signs you’re dating someone who isn’t a good fit for you?

Thanks. You’re a hero.

Well, one sign would be asking this question. I’m willing to bet you are dating an asshole if you’re willing to take the time to send me this questions in the first place.
I’d say signs of dating assholes are fairly obvious. Ask yourself these questions
1)Do all your friends not like him/her?
2)Does he/she make you feel like you’re always wrong
3)does he/she talk down to you?
4)Does he/she never bring you around their friends?
5)Is he/she far less available to you than you think they can be?
6)If you removed sex from the equation, do you think this person would still want to hang out with you?
Man, reading that list reminds me what a complete shithead I was in my early 20’s, Ouch.
Now, being an asshole and being a “good fit” are two different things. It’s very possible for someone to be a bad match for you and not an asshole. I feel as though a lot of people sometimes date just for the sake of dating. They’ll let a relationship last way longer than it has any reason to simply cause they want it to work. Dating people who you don’t have much in common with and who don’t really mesh with your personality is not at all uncommon. Usually, it’s just two people who are attracted to each other who have no business being anything more that fuck buddies. So, if you and this person simply “get along”, that’s not enough. I get along with the dude at the deli on my corner, that doesn’t mean he should be my best friend.It just means we’re both civil, polite people. So, apply that to how you and this guy/girl get along. Can they definitively hang? If not, it’s not meant to be. Don’t take it hard. Some people simply love to be in love but they often force the issue and end up in a relationship that should have never started in the first place.

Peep my new song “On the back of a golden dolphin”

Leak leak leak…
Here’s a second song off my upcoming album “Bells and whistles”. It’s called “On the back of a golden dolphin”.

The album drops november 18th. Be about it, guys.
Also, in case you missed it, here’s “Kaput!” , which I leaked a month ago.

Answers for questions vol. 205

Back from the first leg of my tour. Thanks to everyone who came out. I had a great time and my apologies to the places I played with no merch. I sold out early which is a good and bad thing I suppose. I’ll pack accordingly next time, I promise.
Anyway, welcome to another edition of “answers for questions” You ask it, I answer it. If you’d like to join the fun, send me questions. Either leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. As always, be creative. We’re 205 volumes deep. Strive for originality.
Here’s this weeks batch, biatch.
I remember in the past that you saying that don’t get anything mastered (but as i’m typing this i sort of half remember you saying something to the contrary more recently?) – if you do, what was your reasoning behind choosing that particular person, and how involved in the process are you?

I’m pretty sure most music that gets released and isn’t some mixtape shit gets mastered. All my albums have been mastered. In the past, Ninja Tune had a guy they used and my ony job would be to hear the masters and approve them.
With my new album, I had to find a guy on my own but I know enough people at this point where that wasn’t hard. You basically go off the word of others. My involvement was pretty much going to the studio and listening to masters. Other than that, i just let the guy do his job but lead him in the direction you prefer, sound wise.

How do you usually deal with an average A-hole on the streets of New York who says something that makes you want to punch, but you don’t? I know you don’t. It’s you.

First off, I’m the most polite person ever. No lie. I’m highly aware of that kinda stuff when out in public and make an effort to never be an asshole to anyone. I’m a follower of the rules of engagement. So, you know, blow me.
This is like asking a person from boston “How do you deal with all that clam chowder and baked beans you must eat?”. There are dickheads all over NYC but it’s not like people are just walking around starting fights or being rude to one another for no reason. The “new yorkers are rude” claim is one of the most bullshit theories ever. We’re actually pretty helpful and nice. What we do is mind our own business and keep to ourselves. That’s what happens when you live on a tiny island with 8 million people on it. But, compared to a place like, say, paris? We’re an entire island of Mother Teresa’s.
So, when I over hear someone say some dumb shit, I let it go. Maybe I quietly laugh at that person to myself and tell a friend about it later. Being that I’m a civilized human being, I try not to go around punching every person I come across who says dumb shit. In fact, I avoid that at all costs. And, shockingly, it’s extremely easy to not fight people constantly.

Since you don’t drive, or drive much, do you ride a bicycle? If so, how is that in the crazy busy streets of New York?
Nope. I walk and take the subway. Sometimes cabs. But that’s it. I don’t ride bikes. I don’t skateboard. I don’t ride horses. I don’t stand on the roofs of cars and ride them like a surfbort like Teen Wolf. I’m all feet, all the time. In general, If I’m the one controlling them, I don’t do wheels.

I’ve read a little in the past, but forget. What is your approach to a lady you’re really interseted in? This is most likely the past for you anyhow.
This is definitely in the past for me. But, if i can recall, my approach was to flirt and plant seeds. Be charming, read signs. Basically be an intuitive person. It was a slow burn technic but it also had an extremely high success rate. I was never a “meet a girl, bag a girl, fuck a girl” kinda guy. I’m just not that aggressive. I’d imagine, if I were single now, the internet would play a huge part in getting girls. How could it not? Back in the myspace days, it certainly helped so i can only imagine how much it would play into that kinda stuff now.

If New York broke out with the start of the Zombie Apocalypse, where would you go? How would you react?
I lack some serious gumption so I’m pretty sure i’d hide until I got to hungry and then get killed within moments of leaving my hiding place. The only thing that might keep me alive is that I’m a fairly lucky person. So, perhaps, I’d get by on that for a while. But, yeah, I would not be one of those dudes who is around to restart civilization after brad pitt saves the world.

How did you go about learning production – ie, amplifying / lowering specific frequencies, and all of the more technical aspects of sound production? I really don’t know much more than applying high/low frequency filters appropriately and moving sounds around to different areas so as to not mud together. I want to make my shit sparkle, and do all my own mixing & mastering, but i’ve got this mental block caused by me knowing that there is a lot I don’t know. I just want to make my stuff sound as good & full, or at least close enough to the stuff that’s made in studios, and not sound like it was made in a bedroom, even though it is.

I learned through years of trial and error. I’d imagine it would have been much quicker for me if I was able to read instruction manuals and understand what they were talking about, but I’m not. That’s a language I don’t speak. So, I would just tinker around till things started to make more sense. Because of this style of “learning” it took me about 10 years of beat making before I felt I was happy with the sound I was creating. So, albums like “Float” , “Music by cavelight” , “Labor days” and even “Downtown science” were made before i really felt like i fully knew what I was doing.
I think people get hung up on technical aspects way too much in general and overlook the bigger picture of the music they’re creating. Of course you want it to sound good but the song itself being good is so much more important. I’m a firm believer in lo-fi shit. I’m still making music in my bedroom. If you wanna get it to sound good, find the right sounds. Don’t settle for stock keyboard/drum sounds. Seek out great drum sounds. Create your own. But, most of all, get someone else to mix it who knows what they’re doing. A good mix can change a lot of issues you might have had with the music when it was just you and your monitors in the bedroom.

Volume 200, eh? If I do the math, that’s a whole lotta questions. But a lot of them have to be repetitive or similar in theme. How many “archetypes” of questions could you categorize, that you’ve been asked over and over again?
Hmm…so many questions. Lemme just rattle off the first ten that pop into my head
1)”bad interview” questions. Those are things like “What are your influences?” and “What inspires you?”. These questions suck always and I really wish people would stop asking them. It’s arbitrary bullshit like “what’s your favorite color?” or “Bacon or sausage?”. Who gives a shit? I refuse to believe anyone reads answers to these types of questions and is like “Holy shit! that was interesting!”. I think, from now on, when I’m asked those questions in interviews, I’mma just list one person. “On, my greatest influence and inspiration? hmm…I gotta say, without questions, it was Richard Moll. Yes. The actor who played Bull on “Night Court”. He’s everything to me.”
2)”Do you like_____??” which is where some one asks my opinion on a specific artist or movie. I hate these cause they’re always just someone trying to justify their own taste by using me a barometer. Little do they know, I’m a terrible barometer and I most likely have very different musical taste than they think I have.
3)Tons of beat making questions.
4)”would you rather?” type questions. These can be fun but most of the time it’s me picking between the two grossest things on earth that, in all reality, I’d rather die than do in the first place.
5) People will throw a random topic at me. I like these questions cause they give me room to get a nice rant off. Like “What do you think of new moms?” or something like that. Very basic but very easy to sink my teeth into.
6) “Where did your name come from?” is a FAQ
7)Basketball questions. i’m fine with them but I realize, when I answer them, half of the readership skips over them. I’d actually imagine the same thing for any technical music questions as well. Can’t please everyone, I guess!
8)TV show questions. These are kinda like the opinion questions but more pointed. The problem with them is that they’re typically dated by the time I get around to answering them.
9)”state of hip hop” questions. It baffles me that people still pine over this topic but apparently, they do.
10)”Why do you always wear a hat?” Clearly, cause I was born with it attached to me head. Duh.

Too much ass? Say it ain’t so.

I haven’t done a nice rant in a while so forgive me if this is all over the place. Lots of things to compute right here…

Remember the “latin craze”? If you’re under 23 you might not. This was a time during the late 90’s/early 2000’s when , all of sudden, any and all things latino related became cool in the eyes of mainstream media. Marc Anthony was killing it. Ricky Martin reclaimed his Menudo glory. J-lo , who is both a terrible singer and awkward dancer, was praised for her singing and dancing. It was as if the illuminati had sent a letter to the 7 jew bankers who run the world that read “Hey guys, latinos are the new thing…make it happen!”
Or how about the late 90’s boy band explosion? That was when the Backstreet boys blew up and , in a wink of an eye, every remotely not ugly , mediocre singer from florida was shaved down and placed in a group with 4 guys just like him. Forced to dance and sing to teenaged girls about deep love, even though they most likely were about 29 years old and into some pretty fucked up things , sexually.

With popular culture, there are always these phases. They come and go and are typically replaced with something even more trite the next time around. It’s only a matter of time before someone does a song about giving hand jobs , it becomes a hit and , all of a sudden, we will be inundated with songs about giving hand jobs. It’s a follow the leader mentality at its finest. It’s gotten to the point where you can spot the beginning of the trends.
Right now, we’re in an ass renaissance.Sir mixalot was the man who set the wheel spinning and it has found it’s way into 2014 at break neck speeds. The powers that be have shaken their magical 8-ball and it landed on “ASS”.
Nicki Minaj Busted it open with her video about her ass. An ass, I might add, that is both insane and as real as unicorns. (side note: I REALLY wanted it to be real. I think a lot of us did…but it just can’t be. Sorry). I never thought ass implants would be a real thing that non-crazy people did. But, that’s where we are. Ass implants. Fake asses that are not really that frowned upon. Kate moss wept.
Today I watch this new J-lo/Iggy azalea video and I’m basically feeling like it’s the opening scene of a porn where the girl dances around in front of a pool right before it cuts away to her on a couch, reevaluating her life choices on camera.
Listen, I’m a fan of ass. I love it. But , dare I say, it’s almost too much?
I think the thing that gets me about this video (other then there is a scene where oil is dripping on the basically bare asses of two of the most famous entertainers alive today) is that it makes me feel like “Wow…it’s come to this…”. Lemme explain. J-lo’s booty has been a thing of worship for about 15 plus years now. She’s been known for it and has rode that wave for as long as I can remember. With that in mind, there was always an air of mystery to it. She never would REALLY give up the goods on film. Her older videos would show flashes of it. But never anything you could really sink your teeth into. It was almost as if dat azz was not meant to be seen as much as it was there to tempt the imagination of young men everywhere. It was the lochness monster of asses. Flash forward a decade plus and the stakes are no longer the same. Gone are the days of paparazzi photos of J-lo at the beach, giving us a voyeuristic look into this famous ass for a brief flicker of time. Now, it’s on display. And, it’s not only on display, it’s covered in baby oil and shaking directly into a camera for a what seems like hours. Now, it should be noted that J-lo probably looks better now than she’s ever looked. She’s a freak of nature. But I gotta think that this exposing of her holy grail ass was not something she totally wanted to let go. No, I think it’s more a “keeping up with the joneses” kinda thing where Minaj basically put all female singers on notice like
“Listen, we live in a fucked up world where we are judged by our sexuality, no matter how talented, rich and/or powerful we are. So, I’mma just go balls to the wall and do an entire video about my ass. Your move, bitches…”
What else could J-lo do? Well, I mean…I suppose she could just fall back, not make any more music and enjoy the millions of dollars she’s made over the years. Perhaps take a vacation with her young boyfriend. But, that’s silly. She’s gotta work.

It kinda reminds me of how every disney girl reacted to Miley Cyrus becoming the thing we know now. You can bet every aging disney/nickelodeon hoe on earth was checking their contracts the second the video for “We can’t stop” dropped. In this instance, I’d liken J-lo to Taylor swift.
In her essence, Swift is an asexual country singer who is more likely capable of human sacrifice than she is dancing on beat. She’s definitely said “ewwww…” when looking at penises before. But, country wasn’t enough and all of a sudden this poor girl is forced to try and become sexy and urban. Her hand was forced. It was a real “shit or get off the pop charts” moment for her and she did it. She shit all over the place. In J-lo’s case, that jump was to throw all mystery out the window and just bare it all.
I realize it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m really not. Seeing all this ass is a blessing for any guy out there who’s into that kinda thing (And I am into that kind of thing for sure). It just makes me wonder how far this will go. Clearly, tits are always in vogue. But 2014 is ass time. The sexuality of these artists is being pushed to such a point that I wonder what the landscape of music will look like in ten years. Will there be videos of billion dollar earning singers straight up blowing dudes between verses? How much more can this elevate?
I really don’t know what the ceiling for this will be but one thing is for sure, the huge space between “becoming a super star” and “becoming a porn actress” is lessening by the minute. Between these videos, sex tape leaks and stolen photos…shit is gonna hit the fan for real in the very near future. On the bright side, we get to watch it all happen. But, on the other hand, we also get to watch it all happen.

Demo Reviews vol. 56

Hi there and welcome to another edition of “Demo reviews”. You sent them in and I judged them like an asshole. That’s how this works. Although I’m not accepting demos right now, I will be soon so keep an eye out of that announcement next week.
Anyway, the review work like so: i give a brief write up and then arbitrarily rate the songs from 1-10 in these categories:

That’s about it. Let’s peep this weeks dump.

Artist: Nati
Song:Lekcija iz perspektive

This a light a breezy little jam. It has an strong air of “Made in europe”. I know that, considering the song and artist title, that’s obvious but musically it’s very much the type of thing I’d expect to hear in a cafe in dusseldorf and I’ve never been to dusseldorf.
It’s not really my thing ,taste wise, but it’s perfectly fine for what it is.
Production:5.5 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:4.5 out of 10

Song: Aliens approaching manhattan

This reminds me of one of those 8-bit songs but it’s not 8-bit. It’s a little grating on the ears. The break downs that aren’t the high pitched synths parts are okay but it all takes to long to form and , once it does, it’s still not really taking me anywhere particularly interesting.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Kirby Howarth
Song: Granddad Joe

This is one of those curious songs that i wonder how/why it was sent to me for a review. It’s so far out of the wheelhouse.
That aside, it’s very well recorded, the singer has a cool voice (sounds like beck on “Sea Changes”). The song is nice. I dunno…i don’t listen to this kinda stuff. It’s adult contemporary music. I know I’m an adult and I try to stay contemporary but, i dunno…this is not for me.
Production:6 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Tzee-Gun
Song: Tobin iz malu

This is pretty cool. Laid back but it has a nice urgency to it. I like the stuttering drums and the whole song moves along nicely. I’m not crazy about the instrument that comes in around 2:50. Sounds like a corny electro pan flute. I OD on flutes in my music but even I draw the line with pan flutes.
Production:6 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Wolrafxela
Song: Rescue

Weird. First off, the beat is pretty mediocre. It doesn’t bring anything to the table that would make me want to relisten to it. The rapper is a curious case. Good voice and he sounds confidant. Problem is, his lyrics. If feels as though, at times, he’s just freestyling. So, basically, if he tightens up his written lyrics, he’ll be good to go. Even though he leans on that “breathless” style that I hate ,at times. Stop doing that. It’s a really shitty way to rap.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist:Casey okane
Song: Digital dream

I know putting this kind of effect on your vocals seems like a good idea but it’s not. It never is. If you’re not the beastie boys in the 90’s, don’t do it. I’m glad it goes away but it gives a bad first impression. The beat is okay. It’s well made but, musically, isn’t hitting me in any way.
The rapper is adequate. He can rap but sounds like 85% of the demos I get. Not his fault…this is just how most underground rappers sound like.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Stereoma
Song: Thought you should know

Another band? What the fuck is going on here this week.
Okay, it’s a rock song. It’s okay I guess. Well recorded. The singer sounds like could be in an 80’s band.
Listen, It’s not like i don’t have the power to have opinions on new rock music I just honestly don’t care about it much so it’s hard for me to give a review that will give any insight worth hearing.
Production:5.5 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Retros finest
Song: hip hop pervs

Don’t think i didn’t notice you used those Jay-z drums, bro.
Kinda lame. The rest of the beat is decent. The song is put together well and sequenced nicely.
The rapper is like a good rapper who’s doing all the wrong things. He raps on beat and has an okay voice but his accent sound forced and his lyrics are super lazy. With some work he could be good. Sounds to me like he’s just gotta find himself as a rapper.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:3.5 out of 10

Artist: Shaggy Rogers
Song: Jekyll Hyde

This could very much have been a song I woulda bumped in the mid 90’s that I recorded off an underground radio show. Problem is, it’s 2014. That said, I actually like the mellow jazzy beat. The rapper is good but just has a very dated style and some dated similes.
This is a song trapped in a time capsule but, on the right side, there’s tons of people who still like this kinda thing and it’s well enough executed to be enjoyed by those folks for sure.
Production:5.5 out of 10
Vocals:5.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10
So, what do you think?

Yay or nay?: Clipping

Weirdo rap has evolved a lot over the last few decades. Once upon a time it was guys like Freestyle fellowship or latyrx, then it shifted into outsider stuff like Anticon and the later project blowed guys. There was a lull in weirdo rap in the mid-2000’s but with the emergence of groups like Death grips (who I don’t really care for) and shabazz palaces (Who I think are dope) it would seem people are back to wanting to take risks with how the present their rapz. In the case of Clipping, we got some bugged out tracks featuring a guy rapping in a somewhat traditional way (i mean, he’s not using a strange voice or rapping off beat) but what really jumps out to me is how he’s using the visual aspect of music. I can’t even front, the videos are what first got my attention. Just really creative shit. So much so that I’m not 100% sure that I’d be into this had I not seen the videos first. So, I’m curious, what do you think of clipping? Get you vote on below the videos.

So, what do you think?