Answers for Questions vol. 290


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Hi guys. Welcome to Answers for Questions. you asked me stuff and I answer it. I always need more content so don’t be shy. Also, if you need love/life advice, send those questions as well. Email me all questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or simply leave them in the comment section below. Get weird!
Let’s peep this weeks batch.

How much do you put into consideration regarding the audience when performing? (e.g. playing more uptempo, “danceable” beats, sampling popular music) Do you ever feel like you need to compromise your own tastes to appeal to the masses?

Many people discovered you through The Music Scene, and I’m sure you’ve played it hundreds of times already at shows. Do you ever get sick of that song, and if so, how do you try to keep it fresh for yourself?

Does performing with instrumentalists interest you? Do you personally enjoy performances that involve improvisation or jazz musicians?

You mentioned that LA, Portland, and Denver were great places to go for the beat scene. I’d love to work with a bunch of artists/labels based in LA, but was surprised when you mentioned the other two. Who comes to mind for you in Denver and Portland?

1)I play the set I’m gonna play regardless. The way my live set works, a path is already in place. There is room to maneuver within the set but what songs I play doesn’t change depending on the audience. This has certainly worked against me but, then again, i’m not a DJ. I could go up there and just play entire songs but that’s not how I do my music live.
I will say, when I’ve dj’d at bars and stuff (not playing my own music) it’s definitely a constant compromise of finding a happy medium between music I like and music the average drunk person at the bar wants to hear.

2)I mean, I get sick of all my songs. Playing them live over and over again is definitely boring. So, I gotta change up the way I hear them (during my live set, I blend my songs with all sorts of other songs, vocal clips, etc…). But really, the energy from a crowd can make me get into it more.

3)Not really. I have live instruments on all my albums and I enjoy bringing in that kind of improvisation but, as far as performing live, it simply wouldn’t work with what I do.

4)Well pretty lights is from denver and that’s just a bubbling scene. There are so many acts coming up there right now and , more than anything else, it’s a place where people go out to shows and party. Portland has Emancipator and , much like denver, it’s a place where up and coming artists seem to be flocking to. I’d say,when I said they are great places for the beat scene, i meant there is a lot of support from fans there. They are both a creative environments with a lot of support systems in place.

Would you rather live in Council Bluffs, Iowa and eat whatever food you wanted or stay in NYC and be only limited to penne pasta noodles and lemon pepper?
Jesus…that’s tough. I mean…the idea of eating one food for the rest of my life sounds like torture so I suppose I would be forced to live in Council Bluffs. No clue what that is but I can’t be eating penne every meal for the rest of my life.

Have you ever found yourself in a moment where you’ve either flexed your celebrity or, looking back at a situation and been like, “that was kind of a diva move”. I know we’ve all had instances of self entitlement but has that ever effected you, being a well known musician?
Nope. I don’t do that shit. Ever. Partially, cause my “celebrity” is a joke. I don’t get noticed when I’m out. I’m low key. I have no sense of entitlement when it comes to this music life so the last thing I’d do is try and flip my situation into a way to get some cheap benefits. I go the other way. I try and not bring it up as much as possible. Like, when I meet people, I go out of my way to not talk about what I do for a living. And even if they ask, I’m pretty vague until pushed to the point where I have to speak about it. Not cause I don’t wanna talk about it or cause I am ashamed but cause I want to be judged on my own merit as a person. And, generally, no one has any idea who I am anyway so it’s a win/win.

What is something you’re okay with overspending on? Or rather just spending a lot of money on. For instance, once I started spending more than $5 on sunglasses, I could never go back.

Also, what do you think is the weirdest thing that people will shell out crazy amounts of money for?

Food. I will throw money down on an expensive meal, no questions asked. I’m pretty frugal in life. Not cause I’m cheap but I simply don’t have desire to own a lot of stuff. But food is one of my favorite things so you will never see me turn down a meal cause a restaurant is expensive. I’m all in, as long as the food is worth it.
Weird thing that people spend money on? I mean…lots of things. Like a $400 pair of jeans seems a but much. Women spending thousands on Handbags and fancy shoes they wear twice ever is insane to me but, hey, I’m not them. I’m very simple in my approach to life so things that are generally “extra” don’t make sense to me. Like decorative pillows. I dunno. I get why people buy them it’s just nothing i would even think to own. I buy things out of necessity , in general.

Do you try to call your rapper friends by their rapper name or do you throw in their “real” name every once in awhile? Along with that note, any stories about rappers being called their born name and getting pissy that you’ve witnessed?

Depends on the rappers. If I met them as the rappers then, chances are, I call them by their rap names. But If I knew them before that, I call them by their birth name. It’s really a case by case thing. I don’t have many close friends who are rappers. I know tons but only a handful I’d consider my actual homeboys. And those guys I call by their real names.
As for rappers getting pissy about being called by their government names, not really. I gotta say, it is a little weird when a stranger comes up to me at a show and is like “Hey Tony!” cause then I feel like I’m supposed to know them or I’ve met them. It gives this false sense of familiarity which can be confusing cause I’m constantly meeting people when I’m on the road. It’s impossible to keep track. It’s feels a little presumptive of someone to do that. I get why they do it and realize that it’s not done for any bad reasons but still, it throws me off. I’ve spoken to other musicians who feel the same way. It would be the same thing if a friend of mine called me “Blockhead”. They know me better than that.

how would you say you achieve “not giving a fuck”, especially today with the oversaturation of EVERYTHING, and living in a clusterfuck city like NYC? Thoughts?
Not giving a fuck is kinda easy when you’re naturally apathetic. I’m just kinda like that so it’s easy to brush things off. Thing is, I still feel things and get fired up about random bullshit but it dissipates quickly. Honestly, sometimes just firing off a dumb tweet or writing a blog post will clear the chamber for me. It’s like exorcising demons. Once it’s out, it’s no longer on my mind.
I should also add that I’m at an age where so little REALLY matters. It’s like “Does this effect me life in any way? No? then who cares?”.
I’d say living in a place like NYC makes not giving a fuck easier cause there is always a sense of things being bigger than you. You got your little problems but, oh look, that homeless dude is on fire. It’s easy to be distracted from the distractions here and that’s another reason I love it so much.

Hey Tony,
Why don’t more producers make beats in 3/4? This jay z beat is the only one I know of https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2pc3kD2iV8w
If you drop some beats in 3, I will be the first to pick em up. Or maybe you already I have?
Thanks man.

There’s a difference between 3/4 and a swing rhythm. Most songs that people assume are 3/4 are actually 4/4 but with swing. I’ve made a few beats like that… “Four walls” and the beginning of “Planes and trains” are two that come to mind. But actual 3/4 beats are rare. Only one I can think of is Aceyalone’s “The hunt“. Honestly, listening to it now, I can’t even tell. hahaha.

Have you ever had Vegemite?
I have not ever actually put it in my mouth BUT one of my best friends growing up had it in his house all the time cause his mom was from New Zealand. I smelled it once and almost barfed. We played a trick on his brother and made him a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich but put a huge dollop of Vegemite in the middle. Sufficed to say, he gagged and chased us around the house with a whiffle ball bat while we howled with laughter and evaded his swings.

9 thoughts on “Answers for Questions vol. 290

  1. ok, not a musician here, but that jay-z beat- isn’t that on of those beats that seems 3/4 but is actually in 4/4?

  2. thought “Four Walls” was definitely in 6/8 (the same as 3/4 but, not) because i can count “ONE two three FOUR five six, ONE two three FOUR five six” but after a while I can see how it’s 4/4, if you count ONE on the kick TWO on the snare THREE on the kick FOUR on the snare. but still, i’m confused and stupid and dumb and feel crazy.

    Other rap songs (I think) are in 6/8:

    Nas- Heaven
    Kanye- Spaceships
    Cam’ron- Purple Haze
    Eminem- Won’t Back Down
    Tech N9ne- Fragile

    • THose are all 4/4 to me cause, as you pointed out, you can count 1,2,3,4 on them. But, then again, i’m not a person who took any musical theory so I could be wrong.
      But , i’d argue that the bar structure alone lends itself to being 4/4.

      • The cool thing about 6/8 is that you CAN technically count it as 4/4, but it’d be a different tempo. I usually follow the hi hats to avoid that problem

  3. Sorry guys but My First Song is in 6/8 (like a faster waltz time). the emphasis on every 3rd note is a pretty big giveaway. Swing rhythm is something entirely different.

    I’m pretty sure Anticon released some songs in 7/8 at some point. haha

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