Peep this remix of Jidenna’s “Classic man”

jidenna I’m not gonna lie to you guys. I’ve been on the road a lot the last year or two and this had led to me being less prolific than I’d like to be. More than once, I’ve gone a month without even making a beat. So, every now and then, you gotta create to stay sharp. One way I like to do that is take a song I’m currently listening to a lot and try and remix it. This isn’t always possible as acapellas can be tricky to come by. I was lucky enough to be sent this DIY acapella (Shout out to Ryan for that) and the rest is history. In the case of this remix, we find a song that I’ve been strangely obsessed with. Funny thing is, it’s some random R&B song…which isn’t typically my flavor but, hey, music works in mysterious ways. If you’re not familiar with Jidenna or this song. He’s a new artist Janelle Monae is putting out. I could ramble on about him but I think it’s best you watch the video of the original version of “Classic man” to really get where he’s coming from. Me simply saying “Yo, his clothes are nutty!” wouldn’t really do it justice. Part of the fun with remixing tracks is taking the originals away from their intent. If you’re familiar with other remixes like this I’ve done (Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple or  Bobby Shmurda) , I generally take upbeat or hi energy songs and make them somewhat melancholy. That’s my thing….and this one is no different.  I should also point out, this was done for fun on my part and with no consent from the artist. I’m not selling it. I’m simply putting it up on soundcloud. So, I hope Jidenna doesn’t mind. My guess is, he’ll never even know it exists. Oh well. So, here it is. Enjoy! Side note, saying “I can pull the wool” is an amazing way to describe getting girls. Not sure if it’s something a classic man would say but I enjoy it.

Edit:

Here’s a download link cause the soundcloud downloads expired. Enjoy!

http://www34.zippyshare.com/v/jZzNQl4N/file.html

Answers for Questions vol. 232

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What up every one? Welcome to Answers for questions. You ask, I respond.
If you’d like to join the fun, I’d love it. Send me questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or simply leave them in the comment section below.
Side note, I just wanted to shout out all the people who came and saw my shows the last few weeks. I had a great time touring with Arms and Sleepers. Really good dude as well as a talented musician. I hope you all had fun as well and , if we took a pic together, lemme have it. I wanna post it in my facebook album dedicated to that tomfoolery. I got a ton more shows coming up with Mono/poly. Hitting spots all over North america so check my website http://blockheadmusic.com/ for more info and tickets.
And with that, lets get into it…

What’s your stance on Starbucks chains?
My Stance? Well…From what I can tell, they make coffee. A lot of people love coffee. Some like to go to smaller coffee shops, some will get their coffee from anywhere. Then there is a whole portion of people who like to go to this place called Starbucks cause they make milkshakes that taste like coffee. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee, none of this concerns me. If I drank Coffee, I’d imagine I’d go to starbucks on occasion. Like at airports on in small towns.
I don’t get involved or have any interest in the politics of chains. Sure, it bums me out when a store/restaurant I loved closes and a starbucks opens in it’s place but that just an unfortunate aspect of being alive in 2015. But, in general, I don’t go to many chain stores. Not cause I’m taking a stand against them (though I do boycott all 7-11’s in NYC) but cause I live in a city where there are always other options.

Do you still get nervous when YOUR about to play in front of a large group of people? Do you find that after years of PLAYING, it gets easier as time goes on? Do you have any rituals you do before to overcome nerves? What about public speaking? If you’ve done that, has it come easier to you, from your years of performing in front of people?

It definitely gets easier. I don’t have rituals , I just go up and do it. I will say that, the times I’m most nervous depend on the crowd. Like if I’m playing a huge room, I’ll be more nervous. But, at the same time, if I’m playing a show that’s a total dud and no one is there, I’ll also get nervous. The shows that fall between those sizes, I’m generally pretty calm about.
The only time I get nervous outside of that is if there’s something wrong with the show itself. Like the stage is open so there’s people walking behind me the whole time (I hate that the most) or if the lighting is fucked up and I’m just standing there, with no visuals behind me and a spotlight on me. That shit is not ideal.
Public speaking is a different story. It’s one thing for me to get on a mic and talk to a crowd. I can do that with no problem. I may not be great at it but it doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable. But if I have to remember something or give a speech, then I get nervous. For instance, when I spoke at my brothers wedding and my arms was shaking. It’s also one of the reasons I never excelled at rapping (aside from a lack of skill). I had trouble with memorization. That’s what makes me nervous. So , when that is in play, it will definitely mess with me.

If you had to swap buttholes with one of these people for 30 days, which would you choose?

1. Someone climbing Mt. Everest, that has run out of toilet paper.
2. Female porn star, that does not do anal.
3. Someone competing for the world champion hot dog eating contest.

I think I’d go with the female porn star who doesn’t do anal. I’d imagine they’re buttholes get treated like kings. Pampered even. Definitely licked. And considering that a lot of those girls are on diet pills and other drugs, they probably don’t even shit that much. So, in a way, have that butthole would be like a vacation for my actual butthole, who has been through some shit both literally and figuratively.

how does one appropriately dance to your music? Ya beats put me in-da-couch dude, but I mean that in a extremely good way. I want to be an active audience member but don’t really uh know how to do anything then bob my head, or bang it sometimes.

At home? I have no idea. I don’t really make specific dance music. I’d argue that there are some very danceable songs in my catalogue but, overall, that’s not its main purpose. I mean, it’s got a constant drum beat, right? So , technically, if you have rhythm , it’s all danceable in some way.
My live set, however, it a little faster and more energetic so it’s not hard to dance to at all. Basically, if you’re able to dance, you can generally find a way to move to anything. Watching the crowds at my shows has definitely taught me that. It also taught me that spinning around with your arms out is a type of dance. Who knew?

Are you planning on playing at any of the big festivals this summer in the US? If so can you drop a hint? I haven’t seen ya on any of the lineups.

Nope. Nothing lined up that I know of. I’ve toured like crazy this past year so I’m probably gonna take some time off from doing shows for a while. I need to start making new music again.

What’s the deal with Stacy Dash…why do you think she sucks so much?
Do I hate her so much? I wasn’t aware. I haven’t been keeping close tags on her but, from what I’ve seen, she’s a republican. So, that’s kinda weird. But, other than that, she was a super hot woman who aged incredibly well but, in general, was never that much of a factor either way. Certainly not someone I dedicate any daily thought to. I have definitely jerked off to her in playboy though. So there’s that. #memories

When I got into your music I was also introduced to the likes of Blue Sky Black Death and Little People. Since then I’ve always wondered: do you keep tabs on fellow instrumental producers? Is there any sort of mutual acknowledgement or even knowledge exchange? Are there any you are especially fond of?
This is a very well covered topic on this blog but, to be honest, I don’t really listen to any instrumental music in my free time. The only way I peep artists like me is when I tour with them. Because of that, I know that Little People is awesome. BSBD is also awesome but I know them more for the beats they’ve done with rappers.
But, in general, I’m not checking for my peers that much. Not cause I don’t respect them, it’s simply not a genre of music I listen to in my free time. I will peep a soundcloud stream or a new video here and there but , outside of that, it doesn’t really find it’s way into my rotation. I probably wouldn’t listen to my own instrumental music if I wasn’t made by me. That said, I know a shitload of talented producers out there whom I’ve met on the road. There’s a pretty large talent pool out there.

These are the people in your Neighborhood (if you live in an airport)

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I travel all the fucking time. And not in that “Me and my friend hopped on a place and spent the weekend in Miami!” kinda way. There are no vacations, just flights. I stay up in airports, eating badly and searching for power sources not already teeming with people just like me. I realize talking about airports is pretty hacky territory but , right now, I’m sitting in a hotel room , awaiting the next flight I’ll be taking later today so, fuck it. Cause This blog always needs content and because I feel like this is something many of you can relate to…lemme tell you about the people at the airport. This is all airports. Doesn’t matter if I’m flying NYC to LA or Prague to Kiev.

1) The “Wait…what is airport security and how does it work?” person.

This is the person in front of you on the security line. They look befuddled by them even being in the airport. When they get to the point where it’s time to remove shoes and place things in bins, it’s as if they’re learning to walk again for the first time. Now, in some cases, this person is often a foreigner who is clearly flying for the first time. So, to them, I give a pass. It’s weird to be on a plane for the first past the age of 50 but, hey, everyone lives their own lives so I can’t really judge. But, more often than not, it’s someone who has clearly flown before and they can’t grasp the concept that there are constants with this whole “airport security” thing. Yes, dickhead, you must take off you shoes. Yes, moron, this is one of those wacky airports that requires you to remove all metal objects from your pockets.  I see this person probably 50% of the time and I honestly wouldn’t even have assumed they still made people like that in 2015. But, clearly, they do…all the time.

2)The BIG family

Nothing promotes never having kids in your life like a trip to the Airport. Seeing couples with one or two kids struggling to do the  most simple of tasks is rough. You genuinely feel bad for the parents, as their 2 year old decides he wants to lie face down on the filthy airport carpet and scream instead of boarding the plane. But, unfortunately, that’s the life for people traveling with kids. Anyone who’s ever condemned parents for plopping their kids in front of an I-pad for 3 hours on a flight needs to shut the fuck up and understand that’s those kids parents being considerate to all the other people in the place. I salute you, I-pad parents.

But, this isn’t about the small families. This is about those play-doh baby factory ass families that have 4 to 8 kids all within a year of each other. What the fuck is wrong with you? Stop making kids. And, if you’re gonna make kids, stop filling up airplanes with them. Get a bus or some shit and tour around the states like the partridge family.

I’m not an unfair person. i realize we all gotta travel and even people with a whole baseball team in strollers have their needs. But, seriously, you people having more than two kids are not helping anyone. Mind you, I’m the youngest of 7. But you best believe I never traveled 7 deep ANYWHERE.

3)Random hot girl who works in the airport

There’s not ALWAYS one but it’s not uncommon. You’ll be walking by the Panera bread or the place that sells those greasy pretzel bites and be taken aback by beauty wearing an uncomfortable polo shirt and a visor. I’ve been many places where stunningly hot girls work weird, low end jobs but that’s mostly out of the states. Toll booth collectors in France, The security people in Tel Aviv, Cab drivers in Romania (though, that was a fluke, I’m sure). But , i dunno…there’s something about seeing it in the states that’s crazy to me. Pretty people have such a natural advantage in the job market. It’s like “Oh, you’re dumb as a bag of rocks but you look good? Here’s have this job serving booze to rich people…” But these girls somehow landed working a gig in their local Airport at 5:30 am on a Tuesday. Surely, Applebee’s was hiring? Something. Anything other than the airport. i dunno…Maybe I’m reading too deeply into it but it’s never not shocking to see.

4)The “I’mma charge my phone even though it’s on 95% power” guy/girl.

I don’t know why some airports like to make it so there are as few power sources as possible. While some have gotten hip to the needs of traveling humans and placed power sources all over the place, there are still a large amount of airports who have like 4 places to plug in anything in an entire terminal. In places like that, it is full on panic mode for anyone with less that 40% power on their phones. This results in plug hoarding. Where a guy/girl will post up (usually in one of the uncomfortable places where the randomly decide to put the power source like behind a vending machine or under a bridge) and just lock it down forever. They might have a 3 hour layover. Well, that means three hours of charging their phone and i-pad at the same time. I get that it’s first come first served but  I’ve looked over a peoples shoulders to seen their power well over 80% while I’m shutting my phone off at 8% so I have enough power to call my friend when I land. It’s all very lord of the flies. I’d imagine, if they don’t start bringing more plugs into all airports, there will be a murder that occurs over this very topic. Granted, it will be in an airport so it won’t be done with weapons…and that’s even scarier. Imagine being stabbed to death by a plastic fork over 40% power on your phone.

5)Ladies who looooove sports

This is a random one that I just noticed for the first time and I think it’s specific to airports in the midwest.  I ate at a few sports bar type places between flights (Better than fast food) and they were stuffed to brim with girls with baseball hats on,college team sweaters and filled beer mugs, cheering on whatever was going on tv. ANd they weren’t all together. They were just random girls, loving sports at a bar in an airport. You know the types…they’re very common. You can find them in every sports bar across this great land. But there was something so strange about seeing so many in airports. It was as if they made plans to meet and watch the Final four at the Minneapolis “O’houlahan’s in terminal c”. Nothing wrong with any of this…it just jumped out at me.

6)Overly comfortable guy

Nah dude, it’s cool…take you shoes off. Lie down, even. It’s not like this is a public place where common space is of any importance. I understand that sometime layovers can be a nightmare. I’ve killed 8 hours in a few airports before and it’s not fun. But these guys aren’t that. The layover from hell people generally seem more like refugees. They’re huddled in corners trying to both sleep and protect their belongings. You can spot them from a mile away and it’s hard to not feel bad for them. But these creature of comfort guys? They’re just assholes who view everywhere on earth as their den. Laying on the stomachs, typing on their laptop as people basically have to step over them to pass by. Shoes scattered around them like they just got home for 5th grade. These dudes (almost always dudes, btw) need their shit kicked around and taken just for being that frivolous with how they use common space.

7) Teen tour people who love jesus

They all are wearing the same baby blue T-shirt that says something about god on it. They’re all between the age of 13-18. Many of them are blonde. They are a bubbling couldron of hormones and emotions being stifled by the fear of eternal damn nation. All that equals out to the loudest group of human beings you can ever imagine. The girls Squawk. The men grunt. They are EVERYWHERE at all times. I gotta think , if there really was a god, he’s be looking down at these kids like “Ughh…”. As he should, after all, he made them. They’re his fault.

8)The fashion show

You know how in college there were two types of girls. Ones that wore sweatpants to class and looked constantly hungover and ones who treated it like the club and wore make up to an 8 am class. Airports are exactly the same. while most people are smart and dress for comfort, there are still a decent amount of people who get decked out just to sit on a plane for 5 hours.  Sometimes i assume they must have an important meeting that takes place in the airport they’re flying too or maybe they’re going directly from the plane to the club. It’s possible. Either way, these are people who have no respect for simplicity and comfort. These are not my people.

9)Chatty Southern people

Southern people are very friendly. It’s nice. As long as the convo stays pretty surface, it’s never an issue. Place these friendly southern folks in an airport and give them ample downtime and, boom, you got a person who is basically a terrorist who kills you with conversation. Ever spoke to a stranger about the weather in their part of the country for 45 minutes? I have. Ever tried to explain to a 65 year old daughter of people who definitely owned slaves what “Making a beat” is? I’m familiar with this process. It’s as if they are unable to quietly sit and be by themselves. It’s always and quick head turn and “So, where you headed to?” and so it begins. Sure, I’m wearing headphones and making no eye contact whatsoever but, fuck it, let’s have an extensive and boring talk about nothing.  I don’t know why it’s always southern people but it is. Sometimes, you can be too friendly.

10)The worst human on earth…the Plane boarding cheater.

I’m a person who’s never flown first class. I’m also a person who’s typically in group 3 or group c when boarding a plane. Meaning, I’m waiting , impatiently with my bags in my hands praying that there’s overhead space left when it’s my turn to get on. That said, i follow the rules. I don’t try and swindle my way on the plane. For every person like me, there is another person who simply will not deal with the cards he was dealt. No, he will try to sneak on ahead of his group. Sometimes the person taking the tickets won’t notice and he is victorious. Other times, they will be paying attention and they’ll call him out. He’ll be like “Oh, sorry…I thought you called my group.” Nah, b. They’re boarding army vets and gold star plus members right , not group D back of the plane ass dudes. The guys are savages. That said, if I had the nerve to be one of them and it would work, i’d probably do that shit too. Sadly, i have a conscience.

There are so many more but that’s all I can think of right now on this morning. If you’re in an airport in the near future, feel free to make a scavenger hunt out of this list. And say hi to me if you see me. I’m the guy with the hat on eating something terrible, hating my existence.

So this new Earl Sweatshirt album..

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It’s been a big week for releases that everyone is losing their mind over. Kendrick dropped an album and the internet exploded. Apparently, it’s the best album ever made. I haven’t heard it but , honestly, I’m just not really into him. Dude is an exceptional rapper and has a very strong vision that I respect greatly but I simply never feel like listening to him. It’s not him, it’s me. Action bronson also dropped a new album. I haven’t peeped it yet either but with Bronson, you kinda know what you’re getting. He’s funny and strange and has a good ear for beats. I’mma definitely check it but there is less urgency there.
The last dude to drop something new is Odd Future’s pride and joy, Earl Sweatshirt.
It’s streaming here:
http://www.rapfavorites.net/earl-sweatshirt-i-dont-like-shit-i-dont-go-outside-stream/
Now, i don’t typically write reviews on this site. As an artist, it’s just kinda shitty to do. Let the people who don’t make music have all the opinions, right? It’s just so easy to be biased , as an artist. That said, every now and then i get inspired. It’s not usually for good reasons though. it’s usually cause people are freaking out and I have it engrained in me to be like “Hey, chill out..it’s not that good or bad…”. I’mm libra, yall! I did it with “Yeezus” and I did it with Earl’s Debut “Doris”. Doris was okay. it had some good songs but, overall, earl seemed bored and a little all over the place. It was kinda like an album made by someone who didn’t really want to make an album. With his second album “I don’t like shit, I don’t go outside” it feels like we’re getting the album we had hoped his debut might have been. All the complaints about his first album (he’s got no energy, the beats are meh, the songs don’t go anywhere, wasted talent, etc…) are pretty much fixed on this album. I’m not saying this is perfect album or even close to that but it’s definitely very good and huge improvement.
As a dude who always pays attention to beats, the initial thing that jumps out to me is the production. I could be misinformed but I heard that Earl himself produced the majority of this album. That’s pretty impressive. It’s got a very specific sound and it feels as though earl, by making his own tracks, is able to be himself musically. Sure, he can rap on menacing Tyler the Creator beats but he’s clearly way more at home over slow, somewhat off kilter jazzy beats. He likes rhodes and pianos. Simple melodies really but when you rap as well as Earl, that’s all you really need. He even delves into some instrumental stuff as some of the songs trail off into totally different , all musical parts. In general, he creates a pleasant backdrop for him to do as he pleases with. And that leads me to the next improvement. Earl has always been a great rapper. When he first came out, i was writing on this very blog about how he may be the best 16 year old rapper since LL cool J was rapping in Krush Groove. On “Doris”, that skill didn’t go away. He could still write and rap in a way that was often so good it slipped by you without resonating. I’ve definitely had moments listening to songs off “doris” that I hasn’t given much thought to when, all of sudden, it would hit me “Damn..he just murdered that verse” why did I overlook it? Probably cause he rapped with the enthusiasm of a kid reading aloud in class. On his new album, it seems he’s got a little energy. Sure, there are some songs where he’s still the quiet and reluctant rapping earl but having the tracks where he actually raises a voice a little bit really evens the whole thing out. It’s like if Eminem had only rapped like Triumph the insult comic dog on HALF of his songs, that album might have been more palatable. Nah, it would have still sucked but you know what I mean.

Another thing this album has going for it is great guests. Last years rapper of the year (in my opinion) Vince Staples returns to do what he does. Ratking’s Wiki pops up out of nowhere for a bi-coastal song that was a joy and surprise to hear. and then you got the two dudes I’ve never heard of…Dash and Na’kel. No clue who they are are or where they’re from. They could very well just be dudes Earl smokes weed with but, whoever they are, I like them. I can’t say either will be a star but what they contribute on the album definitely adds to it as a whole. That’s what posse cuts used to be like. Instead of gathering famous rappers to spit throwaway verses, dudes would just let their unknown boys get off a verse. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad but it was always interesting to hear.
Another thing I really like about this album is that it bends for no one. Earl basically made an enjoyable rap album of somewhat depressing songs about being anti social. There are no singles. So much so, the first song he dropped, “Grief” may be the least accessible song on the whole album.

I almost feel like he dropped that first just to be like “Fuck yall”. I know when I first heard it, i was like “hmm…i like the rapping but that beat isn’t really my shit…” but , when heard in context with the album, it makes a lot more sense.
The final thing I’d like to point out is how goddamn listenable this album is. Not just musically.It’s a great length (pause). It clocks in around 30 minutes. You can listen to it twice in an hour. That’s no filler right there.
So, yeah…Good job Earl!

Answers for questions vol. 231

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Hi there everyone. After some technical difficulties yesterday, I’m back. I’m out west right now in the middle of a two week tour. So, you know, pardon the lack of content lately. You boy is kinda busy.

Anyway, this is Answers for Questions.  Strangers send me random questions about anything (most are music, food or shitting related) and i do my best to answer them. If you’d like to join the anonymous fun, fire away. Send me questions phatfriendblog@gmail.com OR leave them in the comment section below. No pressure. This column is as fun and interesting as you make it. Ask me anything.

Let’s delve into this weeks batch.

If you had to choose between your favorite pizza or your favorite sandwich, what would you choose and why?  Also, describe what you think is the perfect pizza and sandwich is like. 

Man…this is difficult. I love both of those things so very much. On one hand, A great chicken parm sandwich is the perfect food to me but pizza…pizza is an unstoppable force of carbs and cheese. I think, if I really weigh out the pros and cons, I gotta go with sandwiches cause variety always wins. Sure, You can put anything on a pizza but that doesn’t mean it will work. With sandwiches, things like BBQ will actually make sense. Hell, you can even make a nutella/banana sandwich or an ice cream sandwich if you feel like dessert.

I’ve already described my perfect sandwich above but for pizza? I might actually be very simple about it. Just a real fresh slice the perfect sauce and cheese, some grated parmigian cheese and maybe some crushed garlic. It’s all about the ingredients that make the plain pizza good. Toppings are great and all but, without that strong foundation, it doesn’t matter. Motherfuckers out here putting hamburger meat and buffalo chicken on their pizzas are missing the point, if their crust , sauce and cheese are mediocre.

 Have you ever smoked DMT? What happened?

Nope. I’ve had it described to me by a bunch of people and I think I’ll pass. I enjoy mushrooms on occasion but I’ve never been one who’s looking for the life altering trip. I just wanna bug out and laugh. DMT sounds way too intense for me, No matter how many people tell me it’s life changing, I’m good with my life. It doesn’t need THAT much changing. I don’t like the idea of any drug I can’t be somewhat social on. Sitting on a couch , watching the walls melt and figuring out if my dad ever loved me is not a good time to me. I’m a person who likes to always be in control of my faculties , at least  a little bit.

You often say that you dont listen to downtempo or however the gender of your music has to be named. Do you like YOUR music? I mean when you make it do you like it? Or is it more like having a feeling that everything is in its place?

“Liking” ones own music is a tricky conversation. I mean, of course I like it on some level cause it came from me. It’s my brain and ears at work. I can’t say I’d bump my own music if I didn’t make it cause I honestly don’t know. I don’t listen to any instrumental music. It generally bores me. That said, my music doesn’t sound like most instrumental music. It’s way more ADD, which I could see appealing to me on some level. But, i dunno…this is one of those questions I don’t really know how to answer. I think every artist should like their own music. Even self hating artists, deep down, should appreciate it enough to feel confidant in releasing it into the world. But I do think that artists who listen to their own music like it’s not their own music are fucking weird. We all bump our own shit but we listen to it from a place of judgement. When I’m making an album, I relentlessly listen to demos of each song and figure out what works and what doesn’t. It’s part of the process. But once that album is mixed and done? I’m not trying to hear that shit anytime soon.

When you’re at a show–not on stage because I know you’re usually pretty in the zone then–but just hanging around, do you ever think that you could have given advice to that guy over there regarding the girl he’s with? Or answered the absurd question of the girl in the front row? When you’re at the merch table, do people ever reveal themselves to be the person who asked that question?

I don’t think about it ever but that’s a funny concept. I mean, it’s possible.

I’ve had a few people reveal themselves as folks who have asked me questions or submitted to “Ask dr. Tony”. I actually had a dude come up to me recently and ask me if I’d answer a Dr. Tony question right at the merch booth. And, assuming there’s not people waiting to buy some shit, I would. I love that kinda shit.  unfortunately, the dude never got around to asking me the question.  It’s too bad cause I was prepared.

If tacos were suddenly made illegal and they actually cracked down and put people in jail for eating tacos. Would you eat out a sweaty Oprah Winfrey (once a year) for unlimited tacos for you and friends/family?

I would miss taco’s dearly but, alas, life would go on. So much good food exists that , even if tacos were banned, i’d be fine. It should also be noted that I live in NYC where, until about 3 years ago, we had only shitty tacos. so, you know, them vanishing wouldn’t be that strong a blow to the manner in which I stuff my fat fucking face. You take away pizza? I might have a go at oprah’s b-hole for that.

 Plain, old, and simple, I want to produce electronic instrumental music, much like your taste. I understand it takes time and practice makes perfect, but where do I start? Frankly, I beatbox a lot and think of different beats all the time in my head. I sometimes record myself thinking I should turn this into a real song on a computer. I don’t play any instruments. I know fruity loops is a popular software, along with pro tools, and I know about ableton launchpads. What has come to mind is maybe buying a keyboard, start there, connect it to my computer and see what I can come up with, maybe an ableton launchpad too? Or should I practice on using software before hardware? I’m just lost and looking to follow a path. 

I should create a FAQ segment of this blog. The “I wanna make music , what should I do?” question is one I’ve been getting for years. Sadly, there’s no real answer for it.  You kinda just have to pick a medium and dive in. Whatever is in your price range and available, get that and just start working on it. I use abelton and it’s awesome. I know people who make great beats on fruity loops. It is what you make it. If you can possibly link up with a friend who makes music and look at what he does, it might give you some ideas. But I don’t have a definitive answer.  It all depends on your money, what kinda music you wanna make and how much you’re willing to learn. When I started, I put a sampler on lay away and paid for it for 8 years. I knew i wanted to make rap beats and I had heard the RZA used a certain sampler, so I go that one. I could have easily gotten a different one and still made the same kind of beats. The point I’m saying is just pick something and go with it. You can always upgrade or change equipment later, once you have things more figured out.

Ask Dr. Tony vol. 44

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The Doctor is in. I just put on my lab coat and adjusted my stethoscope.
This is “Ask Dr. Tony”. I’m Tony. I’m not a doctor. In fact, I’m a college drop out with not medical training whatsoever. However, I am honest and will shoot straight with you about your problems. If you need some guidance from an impartial stranger, I’m your guy. Send me questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below. The questions are always anonymous so this is a safe place.
This week, we got back to back questions that feel like they were sent down from heaven.

Yo Dr. Tony,

My girl and I have been together for a while. I love her to death there’s no question there. But she does this thing where she says, ‘I love you” every fucking five minutes. I’d feel like a shit if I didn’t say it back but I get tired of saying it over and over. It starts to just be a call and response how often it happens. It’s not that the feeling is not there, just the words have no meaning anymore. Also it’s just annoying. How should I deal with this?

This kinda thing drives me crazy. I usually lend it to one of two things: She’s insecure about your relationship and she constantly needs you to reinforce how you feel about her or she is just seriously , head over heels in love with you and can’t contain the feeling or a little of both. Either way, it can be pretty annoying and , you’re right, the words lose meaning when being repeated over and over again.
Sadly, there really is no way to deal with this that won’t start a bigger and more annoying conversation. if that annoying conversation doesn’t frighten you then, by all means, have it. It may be for the better. Tell her what you wrote me. That the repetitiveness of the statement makes it feel meaningless and perhaps even ask her why she feels the need to say it over and over again. You know, honesty. This could easily backfire and you will probably be dealing with tears by the end of it so I wouldn’t blame you for taking the cowards route.

I’ve said ‘i love you’ but my bf has not. We talked about it and the words mean a different thing to him than to me. To me, they’re about how I feel. To him, they’re about stating a commitment. I think we both understand this. He said he was glad I told him how I feel, and things are good between us.
So everything’s good, right? Pretty much. But it still makes me feel a little vulnerable to have that hanging out there. What are your thoughts on those words and our situation? A little context: we have not been dating that long, so I may have been jumping the gun a bit with the feelings. But things are definitely moving fast and we are both exhibiting enthusiasm towards the relationship.

I’ve got a follow-up to this question. Given that we are at this place where I’ve said it and he hasn’t, can I say it when I want to without being pushy. Not at the end of every text but saying goodbye before a weekend apart or just when I want to. I don’t want to give the impression in any way that I’m waiting for him to tell me he loves me, and I can’t tell if saying it myself would be putting pressure on him. On the flipside, is it weird never to say it again after I said it once? Does it seem like maybe I didn’t mean it?

This is amazing. What are the chances of getting these two questions back to back. Wow.
So, this is the female perspective on this very same question from above.
As a guy, i can only tell you that hearing “i love you” fairly early into a relationship is a little much. Unless you’re one of those “all in from the jump” type dudes, then it’s like the sound of sweet music to his needy ears.
To answer your question, I think things are fine. He’s going at a normal speed. If you guys are getting along well outside of the “I love you” not being returned, it’s seemingly okay. That said, i don’t doubt for a second that he’s feeling a little overwhelmed. It would be one thing if you were together a long time but , for many guys, hearing that phrase early is , quite honestly, terrifying.
Patrice O’neal had a whole bit about this comparing women who said “I love you” to rapists. Clearly, it’s just a joke with a lot of hyperbole and O’neal was nothing if not a misogynist but it’s also not 100% wrong either. I wish I could find a clip but a youtube search is coming up with nothing. This one is relevant though. When you tell a guy “i love you” over and over , you’re forcing his hand, regardless of how he really feels. It’s pressure. If he’s unsure of how he feels and not a liar, how can he respond to that? That’s the funny part of this. You want a man to be genuine in his feelings but throwing unrequited “I love you” at him is basically asking him to lie (assuming this is early in the relationship). Or , maybe he DOES love you but he’s not comfortable saying it. Certainly wouldn’t be the first guy to ever feel that way (I’m guilty of this for sure). But to continually say it to him over and over with no response isn’t good for either of you.
So, yeah, it’s weird to say it over and over again, ESPECIALLY if he’s not returning the sentiment. It just comes off as very insecure and needy. The problem is that him not responding to your declaration only makes it worse and then results in your saying it more. So, it’s a whole downward spiral of mixed up emotions and feelings being thrown around.
All this said, you have free will to say whatever you want to him. if you’re overwhelmed with love towards him and want to let him know, let it fly. If he doesn’t like it, he can address it or move on. just be warned, he might not like it. But if you’r using those words as a litmus test for his feelings, stop it. It’s not fair to either of you.

Here’s my problem: I’ve had a wonderful 2 year relationship with an awesome guy. Except he’s deeply bipolar and had a year and a half episode of depression. (Yup. That’s a long time in a 2 year relationship)
I have taken a lot of crap, forgiven so many things because he sometimes loses his shit and can’t even control or remember what he’s doing, but we ended up breaking up.
He actually broke up with me through Facebook while I was abroad (classy classy) It’s been 4 months now, and he’s getting so much better, he really got his shit together, started working again, getting out, seing friends, eating, sleeping, simple stuff that he didn’t do while we were together. I still love him. He wants me back. There’s no “cure” for bipolarity, the treatment doesn’t control half of the problem. I’m so desperate that I’ve listened to “Too Lost In You” from the Sugababes. Which is an insult to my self-respect, to my ears, to humanity. HELP !

This is tough. I know there is part of you that wants to take care of him and even fix what is unfixable but, it’s not gonna happen. He may one day get his shit together on some level but, like you said, there is no “cure”. It’s fucked up to say cause I know some Bi-polar people who I care deeply about but, in terms of dating? Just cut your loses and go. I realize that , when he’s good, he probably awesome, but that down swing is always around the corner. You might get back with him have a few good months but you and I both know that , within the year, he’ll be back to treating you like shit and hating himself. i say, let him be someone else’s problem. But , if you can, remain friends with him. It’s the dating aspect of this that’s impossible. Once you’re not his sole shoulder to lean on, you guys might actually get along better than ever.

Help me Dr. Tony!

I just got out of a 3 year relationship, and I don’t know how to handle this breakup.

As far as the relationship went, this was my first ever girlfriend which is probably significant. By the end of it, it was pretty bad. I’m not going to demonize her as I know I wasn’t the perfect guy either, we both made a lot of mistakes and did many stupid things. On a positive note, I’d say we both learned a lot and are better people now. On the other hand, I think our biggest mistake was dragging out the relationship when we both knew it wasn’t going to work. The last 6 months we never even had sex, on our anniversary she spent the whole day hanging out with her friends. I stopped caring about doing the little things that made her happy. Anyways…

She broke it off, and even though I KNOW it’s for the better and even though I’ve secretly wish I had the balls to have pulled the trigger sooner, I’m super depressed now, I miss her and I don’t know what to do. She wants to stay friends, and I want to as well because at this point 90% of my social circle is her original friends and I think I’d be even more depressed if I had to give that up as well. What fucks me up the most is that now I see posts on facebook/instagram of her out having fun and it makes me jealous that I’m not invited. Or else when we do hang out she’s got a new guy hanging off her, or else she talks about all the guys that are messaging her and wanting to date her, when I’ve got shit-all for women since we broke up.

At first I was drinking my sorrows away like every night but I realized that was pretty unhealthy and not helping so I stopped that. But at this point I’m still so depressed and I don’t know what to do. I feel really isolated because I’m so used to being out doing things with her but now I’m at home my myself almost all the time. I try to at least go and work out but even then I’m by myself at the gym and it’s lonely. When I was in the relationship I craved having time to just chill out and play video games or listen to music by myself. But now it’s swung so far the other way that I sometimes text her just fishing for an invitation to whatever thing she’s up to.

Why am I so unhappy so much now when I should be ecstatic that I’m out of a relationship that wasn’t healthy? How can I still be friends with her without the insane jealousy? How can I keep myself in my social circle with minimal awkwardness? Am I just blowing this all out of proportion?

Any advice is really appreciated!

This is your first real relationship. That alone is part of the reason. You know damn well it was a shit relationship but I think you’re in love the with the idea of being with someone. She’s obviously checked out and it’s bugging you how easily she did it. I don’t know if you’re jealous of the other guys she’s with as much as you’re jealous of her re-assimilation into her social life. From the sound of it, you may have been a loner prior to dating her (Just a guess, as you said all your friends were from her side of things). It’s real easy for me to tell you “Fuck it! go out and make friends!” but that’s obviously not something normal people just get up and do.
My advice is to do the following: Avoid her social networks. If that means unfollowing her, so be it. You can’t be friends right now. Maybe sometime down the line but you’re far too obsessed with what she’s doing and not thinking about what you should be doing. People work at different speeds. She was probably aching to jump ship for a while and already had the social circle to jump right in. Unfortunately , you do not. But the worst thing you can do is hang around her and text her all the time when she’s clearly checked out. Leave her be. This will all get better. This is your first relationship. They always end hard. You definitely need something to take your mind of it but i dunno what that is. A new girl. a hobby. Work.

Honestly, you sound like a lonely guy. you’re probably somewhat shy and not exactly socially dynamic. So, this process is going to take longer for you. But, it will pass. there will be a time when you look back on this girl and that relationship and laugh to yourself about it.
I’d also like to add that her bringing other dudes around you is pretty shitty but, at the same time, she’s making a clear statement: move on. It’s all you can really do.

Yay or Nay: Wati Heru

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Wati Heru is a Brooklyn rapper who got a little shine a few weeks back from mass appeal.
He interesting to me for a few reasons. For one, he seems to be going through changes right now. Looking into his older stuff (the second and third videos i posted) he sounded like a throwback rapper. Now, I don’t mean on some joey badass shit. In fact, what he was throwing back to was very particular. It’s wasn’t the typical 90’s boom bap that seems to be the go to sound for all revivalist rappers. Heru actually sounded more like some deep cut super underground shit from the mid 90’s. Stuff that I’d imagine most people aren’t even aware of existing but any east coast rap nerd my age can spot immediately. I’d venture to guess that this isn’t a case of a rapper emulating older styles but more just the cycles of music over turning and someone landing in a place that’s been filled before. That said, it’s different and he does it well. Flash forward to the new video (the first video at the top, BKWYA) and you can see him evolving. From the production he’s choosing to the way he’s rapping, this has all the makings of a rapper who’s kinda on the verge of figuring out his sound and direction. It’s really the mark of someone who might actually have longevity. That jump we go from “just making songs” to “crafting songs with a purpose”. It’s funny cause, doing these “yay and nay” columns, I’ve seen this a fair amount. The newest video is an artist finding their groove and the old ones are kinda amateurish but likable enough. So, when judging Wati Heru, I suggest peeping all the videos and admire the progress.




Here’s his whole new ep with producer Kashaka:

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