Answers for Questions vol. 278

Hey guys! I’m writing this from a hotel room in Moscow. Time no longer exists to me. Sleep is a concept, not a real thing. But, still, I’m loyal to this blog. So, I’m doing it! This is “Answers for questions” You guys ask me stuff, I respond honestly. so simple. If you’d like to join the fun, go for it. Send questions to or simply leave them in the comment section below. Get weird. Be interesting. it makes it better for all of us.
Let’s see what we got this week. Lots of focused , nerdish questions. Whelp, okay!

– What would you do if making music for a living stopped paying the bills? / Do you have a retirement fund?
I have no idea. It’s something I think about as I continue to age. I’ve been good with my money and i own a home so I’d maybe get involved in some sort of business like a restaurant or a bar. I do Not have a retirement fund though.

– What would your job have been if you couldn’t make music for a living?
Some bullshit. All my jobs prior to music were service industry or places a record store. I’d imagine I might be bartending. Honestly, I’m a college drop out. I’m not exactly trained for anything. In a dream world, i’d be writing for something comical but you know, that’s a best case scenario.

– You seem pretty laid back. What irritates you the most on a daily basis?
Inconsiderate people and slow people. They can often be one in the same. But when I see someone who’s clearly only thinking about themselves, it’s makes my blood boil. And people who are slow are just an extension of that. They’re basically like “Oh, you’re time is important to you? How about go fuck yourself cause the world begins and ends with me and my personal clock”. Side note: I’m the promptest person of all time.

– Do you have a favorite country to visit while touring?
I feel like I haven’t visited it yet. I loved Australia (and I’m going back this fall) but I’d like to see Spain and maybe Iceland. To be honest, I travel so much that leaving NYC is never something I really feel like doing for pleasure.

– If you had to go on a 2 week vacation with Adele where would you go?
Probably some fancy island where she would pay for everything. I bet she’s fun.

– Who are some of your favorite visual artists?
Truth be told, I don’t really follow that world. i grew up around the arts and it numbed me to it at a very young age. I can barely even appreciate it outside of a passing “Oh, that’s cool!”. There are tons of great artists out there, I’m just not really paying attention.

Why were hip hop drums so terrible in the late 90s early 2000s? Don’t get me wrong I love some 80s and early 90s drums and I love the sound and variety of today’s drums but drums across the board from underground d to main stream(with some exceptions) in the late 90s and early 2000s were very simplistic and weak. There was no knock. And I say this Looking back because I am talking about songs from an era that were important to me (I am 32. So like my HS era). Was it because of equipment of the era? People making there own kits and not sampling? Or was it just a shitty trend?

I don’t know if I agree with your opinion but I think what you’re referring to was the growth in popularity in synthesized drums sounds, versus good old break beats. I contend that both have their merits. People stopped using break beats or chopped up parts of breaks and started using sounds that came from certain keyboards. It made of a cleaner, less authentic feel. I think some of it worked fine though. It was when people started dabbling with 808 kits (aside from miami bass music from the late 80’s/early 90’s) on a larger level. Southern raps emergence played into that. I dunno…i think you can make dope drums with any thing if you use them right.

You have answered sampling questions before but do you have any insight as to why sampling keeps going away and coming back? I know sampling started to fade out in the late 90s because of lawsuits and the popularity of Swizz beats and Timbo. But I am confused as to nowadays it seems that Record labels could pay for samples and Indy artist couldn’t. And now record labels rarely clear samples unless you are Kanye. But Indy artists still sample tons of records I notice. Do Indy artists just say fuck it, because they figure they won’t get sued? For the record I much prefer sample based records.

It goes away cause it is both dangerous and a money pit. When you sample, you cannot license the song to tv or commercials. That’s where a lot of money comes for people making beats. Even if you do clear the sample, the writer of said sample will get the lions share of the money so it’s kinda pointless. However, it comes back because sampling is timeless. People will always like a nice samples loop. Any time a major artist releases a song with a sample, it becomes a hit. “Hotline Bling” is a perfect example. As for indy guys still sampling, it’s cause they don’t clear shit and just keep their stuff under the radar. Only people on a major stage have to worry about getting caught or , even having enough sales and radio play for the owners of the sample to notice, let alone deem them worthy to sue.

I’ve noticed that you seem to be less ‘nerdy’ than most of the emcees you’ve worked with or around (Aesop, Slug, EL-P, Vast Aire, Illogic, Murs etc) does this affect your social dynamic or interactions at all?

We’re all nerdy on some level The type of music we make kinda dictates that. Even something cool like “Run the Jewels” is still kinda nerdy at it’s core. And that’s a good thing. Nerdy just means being obsessive about something. it could be star wars or it could drums machines. We all got our “thing”.
In everyday life, i’m not really a nerd type though. I’m socially comfortable. I like going out. I like doing things. I play sports. Not saying those other guys don’t but being a nerd is not something I’ve been accused of in my day to day ever in my life.

Could you beat Rhonda Rousey in a fight?
Fuck no. She’s beat the shit out of me. I’d last maybe 4 seconds before I tapped out or just cried.

5 thoughts on “Answers for Questions vol. 278

  1. Can you offer some insight into why calling someone out for driving a rental car used to be a diss in 00’s independent rap?

    “For the last time, I’m nasty – like Nas was at halftime
    You fuckin know it like I know that’s a rental car
    Hey sucka poet, whoever ya are” -Sage, Tolerance Level

    Slug had a rental car diss in one of his songs as well, but I cant find/remember it.

    • I’m not familiar with this song, but if I may take a stab at this…. perhaps this was directed towards someone who was driving a fancy car in a music video and therefore the lyrics were mocking the fact that said artist was showing off in something which he didn’t even own?

  2. Hey man, love the blog. I’ve got a few questions about drums…

    Do you tend to sample individual hits from different beats or chop into a single loop?

    Any great record labels or artists who are great for loud clear drums?

    How do you generally layer / EQ your kick drums?

    Do you get much use out of any drum machines?


  3. you have to go on a cruise to the Bahamas with a famous comedian, musician, actor, and former president. They’re all coming with you and you’ll spend all of your time together. Who’s on your list? And what would you do to pass the time

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