Answers for questions vol. 212


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Whattup all.
You around this week? I’ll be doing shows with Elaquent and Muneshine in Boston, Brooklyn, Philly This weekend and then we’re out in Vancouver, BC, Seattle and Portland next week. Go to blockheadmusic.com for more info, I’d love to see your pretty or ugly face.
Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions” You ask , I answer. Would you like to join the party? YOU CAN! Send me questions! Either leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Get creative. My answers are as god as the questions.
Let’s peep what we got this week…

Yo Blockhead! I love what you do, and I love your blog blah, blah, blah.. Anyways, let’s get down to the question. It’s a 2 part question. First off, do you believe in ghosts? Or spirits that haunt the earth and shit like that? Secondly, If you were to encounter a ghost or some crazy, evil, haunting experience that was pretty much impossible to explain aka some phenomenon type shit, what the fuck would you do???! I like your stance on social issues but I was kinda high watching a horror movie and randomly thought, “what if ghosts were to start haunting me?” I don’t know why you seem like a good person to ask because shit, you may not even believe in the supernatural… let me know your thoughts. Thanks!!

From a logical stand point, I don’t believe in ghosts. I think when you die, you become nothing more than a lifeless hunk of meat. That said, it’s hard not to have those moments when you feel like you hear something, see something or feel something that is not of this existential plane. While I’ve never seen or felt anything, i’ve certainly heard shit that has made me be like “Umm…ghost?” but then I gather myself and rationalize that it’s probably something else that is easily explainable. So, I don’t believe in them but, at the same time, there is room for error on that opinion.
Now, if I were to experience a real, undeniable haunting? I’d get the fuck out. I don’t play that curious “let’s get to the bottom of this!” shit. The second I see furniture floating around, I’m packing up the minimal amount of shit I need and moving. I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would not do the same. I’d rather live under a bridge than in a haunted house. Unless, of course, the ghosts were chill. Like, if the ghosts in my house were like the mice in my house, I could live with that. They’re just living their lives (their undead lives!). But if they were actively trying to haunt me? Fuck all that noise.

As an instrument player starting to make beats n what not, I find most melody and harmony functions to be relatively easy but the drums on anything I’ve ever made are weak as shit… Rhythmically, mix-wise and the particular samples… Be it a loop or individual samples, I can’t quite get it… How’d you get to the next level of drum processing? Just practice, practice, and digging…?Give the people an exercise or some bullshit to get they drum game up

Honestly, I think being able to find/create drums sounds that work for electronic music has a lot to do with having an innate understanding of how those drums are supposed to sound. I can say, without questions, that making good drums is the hardest part of making beats. It’s way easier now than it was 15 years ago cause you could just go buy a pre-made set of drums that sound awesome. But, if you’re actually trying to make your own sounds, it’s no walk in the park. My advice to you would be to do what i did when I started. Look for open drums in other rap songs. It took me a while to be able to edit break beat drum hits to a level of them being okay. But open snares, hi hats and kicks on rap songs? They’re good to go. They’re a good jumping off point cause how they sound can guide you into the way you might want your original sounds to sound. Also, Layer. Adding an 808 to a normal kick does wonders and does layering two different snares.

#1
If Drake were to procreate with a famous lady… who do you think would make the most awkward-looking baby with him?

(I dunno why this worthless thought just crossed my mind, but it did)

Hmmm…I don’t know if this is acceptable cause it’s impossible but if he were able to have a baby with Frida Kahlo, that would be amazing. The baby would be all eye brows.

Which show do you think has a better chance of outdoing their corresponding previous seasons, Broad City or Inside Amy Schumer?
I like both these shows a lot. Broad city, however, is the fucking best. In a way, it’s first season being so good will make it hard to top. where as , Shumer’s first season was decent with lots of room for improvement. So, I’ll say Shumer’s show will improve more but Broad city will be better in general.

Have you ever been asked to make a beat for someone who really could not rap? Maybe even on commission or a friend way back? Did you do it?
Sure. A bunch of times. It’s kinda why I no longer do freelance work anymore. I get people asking for beats on a regular basis but it reached a point where I only felt comfortable working with people I know personally or who I’m a fan of. No more randoms. Not to mention the days of people paying a shit ton for a beat are over so the offers I get are laughable.
That said, if I know you and we’re cool, I’m pretty easy about it. I’ve given beats to buddies of mine who I didn’t think were amazing cause they’re my boy. It’s those strangers I avoid.

Yo Block, with your new album right around the corner, have you given any more thought to pressing CD copies as well; maybe a limited release like “Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book”?
Not really. I could always whip up a batch whenever if needed but I’mma see how the digital and vinyl go. I already have a house full of blockhead cd’s, I certainly don’t need to add to that.

Q:
You definitely strike me as someone who is cautious with their money (I don’t mean that in the cheap way, I mean it in the not spending on unnecessary things way). What age were you as an adult when you struggled to make ends meet the most?

I’d say, like most people, the brokest I ever was was my early 20’s. That’s a given. Especially for a college drop out like myself. Still, I’ve always been very careful with money and , in general, I don’t spend it frivolously. Back then, I worked at a bakery so I’d just eat there and take food home with me. The rest of my money went to bills , dollar bin records and going out a few nights a week. Very little has changed since then, in the sense that I don’t really spend money on anything crazy. I’d rather eat well than have new sneakers every few weeks.
I also hit a rough patch around 2008/9ish. I was making music but I hadn’t been touring much and making money off record sales had become a thing of the past. I actually thought I might have to get a real job. I reached a point where I was just gonna say yes to everything. Someone wanted to buy a beat for $300 bucks? Yes. Someone offered me a shitty show for a few hundred dollars? I’m in. In a way, that mind set actually saved my career. I soon started touring again and made “The music Scene”, which seemingly revived my entire career. But I definitely took a few manual labor jobs during that time just to stay above water.

9 thoughts on “Answers for questions vol. 212

  1. Never going to convince anyone unless they have an experience, but I believe in ghosts. To keep this short, partied at my buddies uncle’s house(he was staying there during his parent’s divorce). Spoon was thrown against the wall in the kitchen, cabinet doors were open, and I felt like someone was touching my shoulder. Later heard breathing and got massive chills, like 10 times stronger than you ever get normally(also had the same feeling when I got touched). That did not convince me it was a ghost though…what did though…when I first got to his place he said I could stay in the room next to the kitchen. First time I ever went in a room and it literally felt like The Shining in there, I don’t know what it was, I just didn’t want to be in there. Turns out, a year later, I asked my buddies Dad about it. He was laughing the whole time. When I finished I asked what was so funny….he said that it was the house he grew up in and his mom died in that room…BOOM…mind blown.

  2. What if your house was haunted by a ghost who was pretty chill and didn’t make a lot of noise but smoked weed all the time? Like the only result of this ghost would be that your house would smell like a bag of blunts constantly. Would that make you want to pack up and leave? What if the weed-smoking ghost was Biggie Smalls, does this change your opinion?

  3. this might be a question, at best it’s a few statements ended by question marks:
    saw a commercial for a Chevy or Gm car that clearly used a DJ Shadow track off his first album (Endtroducing), and given that it’s a blatant and unashamedly all sample album, does that give you any feeling of hope for the licensing of your music, or sample-heavy music in general? you’ve stated often that licensing is the most major income avenue for your style of music, and that hopes of that are slim to none, but this seems like a major break in attitude toward it by a major advertiser. made me feel all warm and giddy inside. i willingly sat through a commercial without hitting the mute button for the first time in years, for all 5 times it played during the hour show. that’s gotta be a win for somebody.

  4. Interesting you said you almost thought you would have to get a real job back in 2008/2009, because that is when my son was introduced to “Uncle Tom’s Coloring Book” his freshman year in high school and then passed it on to me. I know for like a month straight that is all we listened to around here.
    5 years later we would get to see you perform live in Atlanta and what would be our last show we attended together before he passed away. I will always remember that time and how kind you were to him. He loved your music Tony!
    The many Sunday mornings we spent alone while the other guys were at church and we would have church in his bed so to speak… We talked about life, I played many of your songs and I remember when I put on “Grape Nuts and Chalk Sauce!” He said, “ah yeahhh!” Thank you!

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