Answers for Questions vol. 251

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Hi there and welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You guys ask me stuff, and I answer. If you’d like to join the fun, by all means, ask me anything. Either leave the question(s) in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. All I ask is that you try and keep it interesting. be weird. Think outside the box. It makes it better for both of us.
Let’s peep this weeks batch.

Every now and then (especially outside gigs) some guy will try to sell me his demo on the street. I never go for it, cuz I know most music produced in any genre is crap – but if it was free I’d totally be down to listen to it. This never made sense to me! Surely they’d be better off handing them out. Have you ever bought a demo like this ever in your life (I did once when I young and innocent)? If someone gave you one for free would you try it out?

This was a huge thing in NYC for a while. Dudes used to run up on you with cd’s and be like “Yo, you like hip hop?” then try and sell you their album. I have never bought one in my life and was always kinda offended , in general , by that type of salesmanship. The pushy “wheeler dealer” types of the world have always rubbed me the wrong way and trying to stuff your garbage demo down peoples throats on broadway and 14th street is just not a good look for anyone. It’s different than when dudes would sell cd’s outside Fat beats cause some of those guys were actually good rappers with some cache. Dudes like Percee P, Subconscious or Creature. They actually had a foot in the game, talent and fans. But random dudes who just burn a cd of their music you’ve never heard of? Fuck that noise.
I always made the joke that , asking a stranger if they like an entire genre of music, as a selling point, is kinda like me being like “Yo, you like food? buy this bag. There’s food in it!”
Thankfully, that era is gone cause nobody even listens to cd’s anymore. Those dudes have been forced onto soundcloud, i guess.

Is it pretty easy to figure out which borough a native new yorker is from based on their slang/accent?
It can be but, in general, i don’t think it’s that easy. it’s way easier to tell if someone if some Long Island or Jersey. Basically, if I hear an accent at all, I assume that’s there the person is from. They could be from Queens or Brooklyn too but that thick “New York” accent is usually not based in the city. Certainly not in Manhattan.

Are you a knicks fan? If so how do you feel about them for the last 10 years?
I am but I am a realistic Knicks fan. I have accepted that they will, in all likelihood, never win a championship while I’m alive. That’s just how it is.
The last ten years have been brutal. But, there’s a part of me that hopes they will have a Mets like resurgence one day. More than a knicks fan, I’m an Anti-net’s fan. Anyone rooting for that team that isn’t a carry over from Jersey or wasn’t born in the last 5 years is a total dipshit.

Blockhead Vs. Nature. Would you rather be viciously attacked by a polar bear, shark or snake?
I mean, I’d probably die in all these attacks. So, it comes down to which one would kill me quickest and with the least pain.
With a shark, you get torn up AND you drown so I’ll pass on that. With a polar bear, I’d get shredded and probably left to bleed out on a tundra somewhere. With the snake, I’m assuming it would be a poison based death. While that sounds awful, it would be less awful than having my limbs forcibly removed from my body. Dying in a poison induced paralysis sounds shitty but , compared to the other two options, it’s an easy choice. Snake, all the way.

Yo yo yo. What do you think about the whole “LA beat scene” that artists like samiyam,flying lotus and gaslamp killer have sort of created?
I think they make dope beats. I’m glad they exist and it’s cool that they made their own sound that rejuvenated the beat scene in general.
That said, I don’t really have a super deep opinion on it, to be honest, cause I don’t really listen to much instrumental stuff. I like when they work with rappers/singers though.

If Aesop moves back to nyc, would you do a podcast with him out of your living room?
I think we would, actually. That would be fun.

What do you think of statik selektah? Just wondering since you guys are both middle-aged white men from NYC who make sample based hip hop music.

When I ask for questions every week, I try to stress the “be weird/interesting” angle. I appreciate all people who send in questions, I really do. That said, these “what do you think of(rapper/producers name here)” questions are kinda the worst. Mostly cause they’re pointless. Either I like them or I don’t. OR I’m not that familiar with the artist. Whatever the case, I always feel as though this kinda question is baiting me to diss someone. Well, not gonna happen.
I think Statik Salektah is a good producer. he makes good beats. The spelling of his name is a touch cringeworthy but they guy certainly knows his way around a sampler.
But, seriously, stop asking me these types of boring ass questions. I’mma just start ignoring them cause, really, who gives a shit?

Demo Reviews Vol. 71

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Welcome once again to the not so wonderful world of Demo reviews. Stranger send me their music so i can give my worthless opinion on it. Why not?
I’m still accepting submission but you must real these RULES before sending me anything. Can’t stress the importance of those rules, bro! A few people this week clearly just grazed over them.
Anyway, the way this works is that I listen to the demo once, write a paragraph or two about it and then arbitrarily rate the songs from 1-10 in these categories:
Production
Vocals
Listenability
Originality

That’s about that. Keep your chin up. I’m not doing this to make you famous or to make you feel bad. I’m just being honest.

artist: Rootamus
Song: Blind Faith


This is a well made track. The beat isn’t incredibly interesting but it’s put together very nicely and it sounds professional.
The rapper is solid and has a cool voice that I think will get better as he keeps evolving. Kinda reminds me of a much more mellow Lakutis. His flow is interesting cause it’s almost simple but he does find some interesting pattern within that style.
Not too shabby.
Production:5.5 out of 10
Vocals:5.5 out of 10
Listenability:6 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Koolsamarkand
Song: Danger


This is okay I guess. It’s more a beat than a song. It’s got some little nuances here and there but overall needs more to it for me to consider it an actual track.
The drums are kind quiet and the “danger” sample is in the song way too long Drops! Peaks! Valleys! These are the the things that turn a beat into an actual song.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Son of 021
Song: The sound of sound


Okay listen…I think we need to have a refresher course on what is and isn’t a song. You made a beat. Just like the guy above you. It’s not a bad beat. It’s fine. But that’s all it is. I know the feeling of finishing a beat and being proud of it. you want people to hear it. But, please, for the sake of this column, don’t send me shit like that. I was music that stands alone as a song. Vocals are nice. If it has to be instrumental, it needs to go somewhere. These “loop, drums and slight alteration” tracks are not songs. Not even close. They may one day be songs, but until then, I don’t want to hear them.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:2 out of 10

Artist:Theeatrics
Song: Tuney Loons


I like the spirit of this one. It’s a decent idea and it’s well executed. Where it falls short is the actual beat and raps. Neither are bad but they aren’t great either. But, like I said, i think they’re onto something so keep moving forward. On a technical note, the kicks are peaking and that sounds like tiny farts.
Production:4.5 out 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Jayajamin & lyan rang
song: Luagh like that


Hmmm…Folk rap is hard to pull off. The uncluded are pretty much where it begins and ends. There’s an audience for this. I’m not part of that audience.
This is terrible it’s just some shit I can’t take too seriously.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist: Supranatural
song: Visuals


This kinda music makes me feel old. Like i bet these guys are way cooler than I am but I also bet I wouldn’t wanna be in a room with them for more than 5 minutes. So much neon!
as a song, I don’t like the beat but it’s well enough made. Same with the rapping. The guy can flow but it’s just not interesting to me, personally. Also, the way the song is arranged is a touch all over the place. I feel a song like this should have a tight sequencing cause that’s part of the point of music like this.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Mr Durden and The modest one
Song: Goons of the night


This is a real haunted house of a song. It’s scary. The vocals make my ears hurt and the beat is shrill as fuck. It’s all about how it was recorded and the effects used. It’s what headaches are made of. This is one of those “I dare you to listen to me!” kinda song. Well, I do not accept your dare.
Production:3.5 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:3 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: QM & Ben Waid
Song: I shoula been a surfer


Man, this week makes me miss samples…
That said, I like the rapping on this. Reminds me of being in the bay area with my nieces and nephews. I don’t like the beat much but it’s got a nice west coast gangster vibe to it. Like, if Vince Staples used it, I’d be okay with it. But as good as these guys are, they aren’t Vince staples.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:5.5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

What do you think?

Dr. Dre is finally dropping a new album. Do you care?

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It’s been over fifteen years since Dr. Dre dropped his last album. Since then, he’s become a billionaire headphone mogul and , seemingly, been lifting all sorts of weights. He’s “produced” a few songs here and there but, for the most part, he’s been fairly removed from the current music scene.
For years, people have been talking of his new album “Detox”. “It’s almost done!” was something that would pop up every few years to be followed up with nothing. While this sort of delay on an album is common to music, he’s more Guns a Roses than Despot or Jay Electronica cause he’s one of the most famous producers in rap history. He is basically our Quincy Jones. Thing is, if we’re both honest and have been paying attention the last 15 plus years, Dre isn’t exactly making beats anymore. It’s fairly well known that Dre has been using other peoples tracks for a long time now. Similar to what Kanye does. It’s truly taking the role of a “producer” in the rock and roll sense. A person who sits back in the studio and oversees. A Rick Rubin type. They may not create the music but they make sure it comes out the way it needs to come out.

Now, I could easily be talking out my ass here. I don’t know for a fact that Dre hasn’t been tapping pads on his MPC for 15 years. I’m just going off what I hear. But, if what I’m saying is true, it makes this delay even crazier to me. Surely, someone NOT creating the actual music could have put together an album of hand picked tracks and rappers in under 15 years, right? Well, apparently, “Detox” got scrapped cause Dre didn’t like it. He didn’t want to give his fans something less than the highest quality. Which is cool cause , say what you will, the dude has never half assed a project in his life. Thing is, now this new album comes out in like 3 days…why not just call it “Detox”? Perhaps he decided to scrap it entirely to get a fresh start and even out the wild expectations. That’s fine. Weird, but fine.
So, his new album “Compton” drops August 7th. It features tons of guests.
Here’s the track listing:
1. “Intro” Dr. Dre
2. “Talk About It” feat. King Mez & Justus
3. “Genocide” feat. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay
4. “It’s All On Me” feat. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid
5. “All In a Day’s Work” feat. Anderson Paak & Marsha Ambrosius
6. “Darkside/Gone” feat. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar
7. “Loose Cannons” feat. Xzibit & COLD 187um
8. “Issues” feat. Ice Cube & Anderson Paak
9. “Deep Water” feat. Kendrick Lamar & Justus
10. Jon Connor,”One Shot One Kill” feat. Snoop Dogg
11. The Game, “Just Another Day” feat. Asia Bryant
12. “For the Love of Money” feat. Jill Scott & Jon Connor
13. “Satisfiction” feat. Snoop Dogg, Marsha Ambrosius & King Mez
14. “Animals” feat. Anderson Paak
15. “Medicine Man” feat. Eminem, Candice Pillay & Anderson Paak
16. “Talking To My Diary”

Some familiar names. some less than familiar. I’m curious who the co-producers are cause that’s really where this album will fail or succeed. But , listen, I’m an old rap fan. To me, Dre will always be somewhat relevant. I grew up on his music. But, even with that in mind, I can’t help be a little skeptical of this album. It’s just my nature. But I’m more curious of what you think. You’re most likely younger than me. You most likely love some songs Dre has created (dudes got more classics than most record labels). But I wonder if the news of a new Dre album and tracklisting like the one above does anything for you guys. Well…tell me!
You can vote for more than one answer.

Answers for Questions vol. 250

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250 volumes of this shit? Can you believe that? That’s over 1000 questions. Jesus christ. I’m amazed you guys have anything left to ask me but I’m grateful you do! If you’d like to ask em stuff, please do it. Either leave the question in the comment section below or email it right to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Get weird. Be creative. It’s more fun that way.
This weeks batch is a fun one. Nice wide variety of topics. Let’s see what we got…

Can you brainstorm any reason why public masturbation on new york trains is a thing? (I keep on seeing news about these stories)
I’ve mentioned this before but, when I was in high school, the F train (particularly in Queens) was known to be the #1 train for public masturbation. I heard countless stories from people I knew who saw dudes beating off during a daytime commute through forest hills , all the way to jamaica estates.
There is no valid or good reason why men do this. Well, there is one. They’re disgusting perverts. I think you gotta look at this the same way you would look at any sexual harassment or even something as serious as rape. It’s just a fucked up person who doesn’t know boundaries.
On a more technical level (Ignoring the obvious personal issues one must have to actually pleasure themselves in public), train rides can be very long for some people. Sometimes, you’re just wearing some sweatpants and your mind starts wandering. Next thing you know, you got a boner. The mind continues to wander. You follow the lead of the boner. Now, you’re in sweatpants, with a boner thinking of sexy stuff. Now, this is where a normal person would be deeply embarrassed and try to conceal their erection and drop it altogether. But, this train jerker doesn’t stop. He doesn’t have the thing in his head saying “Hey, bro, there are other people sitting near you in the public and crowded area, maybe you shouldn’t start touching your erect penis?”. So, cause that defense isn’t there, he acts like a caveman and takes it down the worst path possible. I’d guess that WHY it happens. Basically, there are a very large amount of creeps out there.

What does it take to get you to purchase a physical copy of something these days?

I’m assuming you’ve kept your records, but do you still have CDs, tapes, DVDs, VHS, Betamax, Laser Discs laying around?

I don’t buy physical copies of anything anymore. I download stuff from I tunes and Bandcamp but I haven’t bought a cd or record in years. I don’t even have a usable cd player in my house at this point. As, as for records, I stopped sampling them years ago cause it was too expensive to get the obscure records I needed. Instead of supporting some greedy record collector, I just go online and find those records on random music blogs.
I do have tons of records and cassettes in my house though. Cd’s, not so much. I mean, they’re scattered around but I got rid of most of them a while back.

Hey blockhead. I apologize in advance if this is a basic bitch question to you.

on illogic and blockhead’s “preparing for capture” project there’s a track entitled “nails” with rob sonic. This song is catchy as fuck to me i love everyone’s flow and i even thought the “please don’t putcher nails there” chorus was cool the way it kind of went back and forth with illogic. this is a very generic description for such a good song. Anyway i go on youtube and find the song and it has maybe 119 hits or so. Now i know blockhead and ill aren’t the big time names but i felt like that song got criminally slept on too much even among underground heads. Could you elaborate more on the background story/meaning behind “nails” if you remember it and whether or not you thought it sounded as good as i think it does when you hear it? Thanks. PS you ever seen rob sonic without the bandana or is that the stuff of folklore and myth?
I honestly don’t have much background story to that song. wHen Illogic and i were working on those album/ep’s, he just made so many songs. I’d send him beats, he’d write and a week later, there’d be a whole new batch of joints. In the case of the song with Rob, it kinda popped outta nowhere. I like that song a lot though. But I wasn’t deeply involved in the creative process beyond the beat. That was all Illogic and Rob.
As for Rob’s bandana. I have seen him with it off and it was like the scene in Pulp fiction where they open the suitcase.

What’s your take on the lack of music (preferably LOUD music) in virtually every public restroom that exists? Of all the places on earth where we need some background noise this spot is always silent. Why? We all know what’s going on in there but why are we forced to listen to it? Pump some Slayer or something. Maybe it’s a conspiracy to make people too embarrassed to blow the toilet up?

That’s an interesting point. I dunno if loud music would be ideal cause, let’s be honest, most people are not trying to enter a mosh pit every time they take a piss but some sort of noise cancellation would be nice. The fan sound doesn’t really cover the plops and pops of your average shit. Something that might work would be a subtle wall of sound made up entirely of farting and shitting sounds. That way, no one would know who did what. It would become so common that people forget to even put those sounds in the context of public shitting. I’m sure, at first, people would take issue with the wall of sound being unsettling but I think that would be more because people are afraid of change. After all, these sounds are natural, everyone makes them. And, most of all, farts are ALWAYS funny. Walking into a room with a nice Bose system playing various types of farts , water splashing sounds and wet slapping on porcelain? That would be hilarious and it would save people a ton of embarrassment. Add in a strong vacuum that sucks up all the bad scents and you have the perfect public toilet experience.

I know a few Youtube content creators who tend to make rap songs on video games. The beats that they use are varied from Drake to Jedi Mind Tricks and many more. I read on your blog that you don’t mind others using your music as long as they don’t make money off of it. Would that ring true for other artists? These content creators haven’t had any problems so far using instrumentals from others and as far as I know, they do not make any money directly from these rap songs. Are they simply not popular enough to be noticed by the creator or a record label for using the instrumental? Or is the lack of money gained from the songs enough for the artist/label to just let them be?
Every artist is different about that kinda thing. Some labels seek that stuff out to either get money off it or shut it down. There’s really no absolute answer for this kinda question.
I think, if you make youtube videos and a few thousand people see them, no one cares. There’s no harm in that cause it’s basically like you don’t even exist on a larger scale. It’s when the viewership starts getting into the millions that I think people will take notice and try and get their money from that somehow. I’ve never personally cared or been proactive about that kinda thing but, as the artist, it’s not really my job to be. That’s on the label to figure out.

When was the last time you wore a suit? If you could get rid of one article of male clothing, what would it be and why?

The only time I wear suits are at funerals and weddings. The last time i wore one was at a wedding maybe a year ago. I don’t like wearing suits. i think they’re uncomfortable and dressing up doesn’t mean shit to me. Never has. I literally own one suit, two ties , one pair of “nice” shoes and MAYBE 2 nice button up shirts that I could wear with a suit. It’s just not something I put much care into.
If I could get rid of one article of male clothing? Sweater vests. Vests , in general, really. They just serve no purpose. Oh, it’s a little warm but not so much that you need to cover your arms? Thank god I have this fucking sweater vest!