Answers for Questions vol. 297

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Hi everyone. It’s been a while. Haven’t been posting much. I dunno…maybe summer makes me lazy.
Anyway, this is “Answers for Questions”. You ask me anything and I answer. Simple stuff. If you’d like to ask me stuff, I’d love that. People send all questions to phatffiendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Get weird.
Let’s check this weeks batch, shall we?

You’re trapped in a portapotty, having just taken an *enormous* dump. This is taking place during the zombie apocalypse and there is an angry horde just outside. How do you escape, using only what you have on you?

The crucial part here is that my dump was enormous. I mean…without dropping that extra weight, my escape would be futile. My escape would go like so: I’d wait till the zombie clamoring outside subsided a little, bust out the door as fast as possible and then be immediately killed by a horde of angry zombies cause there is no way anyone could escape that predicament. But at least i got one last enormous dumps off, right?

Has anything weird or crazy happened to you while eating a sandwich?
I witnessed a murder!
Just kidding. Nah man, outside of nearly choking to death cause I eat too fast, I can’t recall anything weird every happening while I was eating anything, let alone a sandwich.

You just found a stray cat in your closet and it just had kittens! Squash ’em?!
Good lord, no. Listen, I don’t like cats. This is something well documented. However, i’m not a psychotic person who gets off on killing animals either. If I found a bunch of kittens in my closet, I’d honestly probably first post something on facebook asking if anyone I know wants some free kittens. I can think of a few people off the top who’d take them. If that didn’t work, I’d extend the offer to strangers online. If that didn’t work? I’d burn my entire house down with me inside it cause it had been tainted by cats and there was no turning back.

How many times a day do you get asked to spare some change? Has there ever been a homeless person you just felt like you wanted to help out for any reason?
Depends how much I walk around but it’s certainly an every day thing. I honestly don’t even register it at this point in my life. I’ve given change to countless homeless people in my life. More so when I was younger and less tuned out to seeing it on the street.
I can’t say there has really been “special” homeless guys who I felt more of an obligation to help but there are the local guys you recognize that you tend to be more willing to give money to. There was this one guy who used to beg for near the place i grew up who was famous for saying “What’s the greatest nation? Do-nation!” and he had a bunch of funny signed as well. I always gave that guy something. Even named a song after him (“Dough Nation“).

For the basketball lover in you….Would you rather have lights-out shooting ability like Curry or dunking prowess like LaVine?
Oh shooting 100%. It ages better. I’m well past the point in my life where dunking matters at all but a jump shot is forever. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it might be worth it just to see the reactions on peoples faces when a nearly 40 year old man windmill dunks on someone in a pick up game but still…to be a lights out shooter is the dream for all basketball players.

Will you ever release an official list of where you get your samples from? There are some samples on ‘The Music Scene’ that I would absolutely love to know where they originated from, but a Google search does no good.
Helllllll no. That would be snitching on myself…also, I have no idea where most of those samples are from. I barely keep track (i have a system but I don’t think I was using it back when I made “The Music Scene”). But, yeah…no way. I’m not trying to open any doors where someone could sue me.

If New York was gonna be any flavor, which would it be and why?
Pastrami. Nah, just kidding.
hmmm…I mean, as cities go, NYC is everything. So, it would have to be a flavor that covers a lot of space. I’d say it would be that candy the girl eats in Willy Wonka that changes flavor as you go. I forget if that candy eventually kills that kid though…probably.

Answers for Questions Vol. 296

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What’s up everyone? How’s life? Great.
This is, of course, Answers for questions. You ask me stuff, i answer. I need questions though…that’s where you come in. please send me questions about ANYTHING to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Also, I’m accepting “Ask Dr. Tony” Questions as well , if you’re having life problems.
This weeks batch starts out interestingly as I basically am asked to make up a story on some “creative writing 101” shit…but it was fun. So, feel free to ask me those kind of things as well. Why not?

After a night of extremely heavy drinking, you awake to find yourself in the back of cement truck, wearing clogs and dungarees. The King of Sweden has passed out next to you, there are grapes all over the floor and, in the distance, a village is on fire. How did it happen?
The night started out like any other. I was passing through Stolkholm , on my way back from some tour dates. Having a day off, I was roaming aimlessly around the city. Bored, I sheepishly enter a bar and have a seat. Some Soccer is on TV and the place is pretty riled up. I don’t give a fuck about soccer but some dude next to me really does and keeps buying everyone drinks. I am no exception. As the night progresses, I talk more to this man and learn he is the “King of Sweden”. Well, that’s what he says. He’s actually just a really drunk Swede who loves company. Nice enough guy and everyone seems to know him well enough. They call him “Kung”. After a few hours, I am properly wrecked. The whole bar is. I guess some local Soccer team won something or whatever but the party does not stop here. Along with a group of about 20 people, we all leave the bar and head to our second destination. We hop in various cars. Weird cars. Some are sports cars, some look like they belong to the city. Threre’s even a tractor and a garbage truck…an american garbage truck at that but I was too drunk to ask any questions.
We drive for what seems like hours (it was probably like 30 minutes) and pull into a grape orchard. I didn’t even realize that could exist near Stolkholm but I guess it does. Everyone takes their shoes off and runs towards a small wooden shack in the middle of the orchard. Keep in mind, I don’t speak swedish so I’m just kinda blindly following whatever these lunatics are doing. With my shoes in hand, I get to the shack and am handed some clogs. “Des, a fur stompin!” says the woman who gives them to me. “Also, you might to take off your pants! it get messy!” she said in broken english. So, I take off my pants, put on the clogs and enter the shack. Inside, there’s a huge vat of grapes. We are hear to stomp on grapes…doesn’t seem sanitary but, hey, the fuck if I know how wine is made. Everyone dumps into the vat and just starts stomping around. It’s actually a pretty fun drunken activity. Everyone seems to really be enjoying themselves. I notice that, as this goes on, the act is getting more and more aggressive. As if this is more of a mosh pit. I see people start to throw one another down. All of a sudden , in my drunk stupor, I realize this isn’t some normal grape stomping party. No…this is a battle royale. At that moment. a small blonde man jumps on my back and tries to take me down. he’s small enough that I just flip him over my shoulder. I see as he falls into the pit, a collage of feet, stomping away at his petite frame like so many grapes. It’s then when I get scared and realize I must make an exit. Doing my best Beastmode impression, I lower my shoulders and plow through a sea of drunken swedes. I get to the edge of the vat and barrel roll over the side. It’s only like a 5 foot drop so I land safely enough. Partially cause I land on a pile of passed out bodies. Are they dead? I don’t really know. Not trying to find out. The action in the vat is such that I am able to sneak out the cabin unnoticed…but here I am…Alone in a swedish wine vineyard with no pants. I look in the distance and see a few of the people ambling towards the garbage truck. I figure they might be my only way out of there. Right then, I notice a pile of pants outside the door. I can’t find mine but I find some really awkward dungarees that don’t really fit me, but fuck it…they will have to do. I stiffly run towards the garbage truck, clogs kicking up dirt as I go. The two guys are now in the front seat and the garbage truck is pulling off. I make it just in time to hope in the back without being noticed. As I jump in, I crack my head on the side on some big metal part of the truck. I pass out.
I don’t know how long I’ve been out but, when I awaken, I’m sitting there, in clogs and dungarees. Grapes everywhere. I look in the distance and the entire vineyard is ablaze. I turn my head and see “The king of Sweden” , laying there with a little smirk on his face, eyes half shut in that “still drunk” kinda way.. I ask “What the fuck just happened!?!?” and he looks at me and says “Soccer, man”.
The end.

i like to think of myself as a highly functional stoner. what do you suppose the odds are i’m bullshitting myself?
I’ve definitely met many high functioning stoners so it’s not totally impossible. i do think the average stoner who thinks that doesn’t realize what being functional can truly be like but, yeah, you got a chance. I’d say, if you can read a book, make reservations or do your work while high AND be effective, you’re good at being high. Congrats. But if being a functional stoner means not forgetting to pick your kid up from school, might be time to reevaluate your life.

are you able to keep houseplants alive? do you keep any houseplants?
I have never tried but I’d imagine , if I wanted to, I would be very good at that. I’m one of those people who, if I get a regiment, I stick to it. So, if watering a plant became something I did every day, then I’d do it. That said, I travel way too much for that to work and I never wanna be a person who asks another person “Hey man, can you water my plants while I’m gone?”.

from your travels, what do you suppose the best alternative to nyc is for a person who wants to live cheap? if you ever had money troubles, would you move out of nyc? where would you go?

I mean…there isn’t anywhere like NYC that’s cheap. It wouldn’t be cheap cause everyone would wanna live there.
I guess somewhere like Toronto would be my first choice. It’s not cheap but, compared to NYC it is. It’s a fun city.
Or maybe , if you want that old NYC feel, Philly. Again, not the same as NYC at all but it’s an east coast city with flavor and history. Can’t say I’d ever wanna live there but it’s at least nearby and not Boston.
If I came into money problems and couldn’t afford NYC, I really don’t know what I’d do. San Francisco would be my second choice but that’s as, if not more, expensive as NYC. Honestly, I’m thinking it won’t be an issue cause I own my apartment. Worst case, I can live here for cheap, forever. Maybe even rent it out for a profit, and live off that.

what do you do when you get really fucking bored at home?
I bask in boredom. I spend the bulk of most of my days at home, bored and I love it. I watch tv, I watch movies, I play video games, I eat, I eat more, I look at the internet. I’m very content doing nothing. Honestly, it’s when I’m bored that I make the most music too. So, it kinda works itself out. To me, boredom at home isn’t a bad thing…cause it results in me doing things I love doing anyway.

When you were a kid, do you remember the first music you heard that you loved? When did you first hear rap?


The first song I recall ever hearing that i loved was “Eye of the tiger” by survivor. I was in Maine with my family (my dad taught at an art school up there for the summer) and it came on the radio and I distinctly recall freaking out over it and singing it over and over again. That and the theme to “The greatest american hero” are my earliest memories of music.
The first time i heard rap was not long after that, maybe two years…when the movie “Beat Street” came out. i was about 8 years old. I made my mom take me to it (and she did, which still blows my mind to this day). The Santa rap was the first I ever heard and I was obsessed the second I saw it.

Answers for Questions vol. 295

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Hi there. First off, congrats to the Cleveland Cavs for pulling off that incredible comeback. I’m sure many of you don’t care about sports but, as a basketball guy, that shit was amazing to watch. My condolences to all my bay area fam and friends…but you guys sucked the last three games.
Anywayyyy, this is Answers for Questions! you ask! I answer! I’m always in need of new questions so how bout you put your thinking cap on and send me some? Send questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave the questions in the comment section below. Be creative and be weird. It makes it better for both of us. Let’s see what we got going this week…

How old were you when you used the internet for the first time and which sites do you remember visiting?

I first used the internet when I was 17. I was a freshman in college and , prior to that, didn’t have a computer in my house. I remember getting my first email address and the only other people who had email addresses that I knew were other college students. Funny enough, I still sent letters to people. Like, literal handwritten letters. So, clearly, email wasn’t a big thing at that point.
As for sites, I didn’t really look too far. It was so early there was no word of mouth on what there was out there so I didn’t look. Like, even porn would have been difficult. It was also only dial up and anything with a picture took forever to load. I would frequent newsgroups/chat rooms and mostly I was up in hip hop related things. Alt.music.rap was the first thing I ever got really involved in and that later changed to rec.music.hip.hop ,which was a small community of like minded hip hop nerds who would trade tapes and talk about music. I was a pretty big part of that for a while. It was also where I sold Aesop’s first album. Like THAT one place was the beginning of how word spread outside of NYC on the internet about Aesop.

Could you, nay, will you make an EP of a handful of songs made with samples of cereal commercial jingles of the late 80s/early 90s? Don’t do it for you. Do it for us!
I mean, I’m sure I could. Problem is I don’t have any of those songs and I’m not so intrigued by the idea that I’mmma go seek them out. But, if someone wants to compile a bunch for me, I’d consider it.


Have you ever publicly gone through your process of creating a tune in depth (à la Song Exploder podcast)? Most straightforwardly I wonder where you find some of the samples – I guess just listening to everything ever recorded. But I also just wonder about your process of putting the beats and instrumentals and everything together. It seems like most songs have some verses with the same tune and a chorus sprinkled in a few times, but your stuff follows an arc. Do you have any idea where a track is going from the start, or do you just kind of follow the inspiration?

I’ve explained my process on here a few times but I’ve never broken it down in an interview. It’s a long process though so that would take a while. I can short hand it here though.
I make a bunch of beats. I don’t sit down and make songs off the bat. I more just try and accumulate as many beats as I can. The process of how I make those beats is basically me sitting down going through songs to sample. I have an organized catalogue of samples on my computer. They’re organized by instrument(s) so i can scroll through that play list and be like “hmm…I need a guitar here…let’s see what i have”. It’s all very trial and error. I tend to start with a sample that I just build off of. I might throw some percussion in there early but i generally do the drums last. After the main loops, after the bassline and after the additional layered samples. My finished beats tend to have many parts. Changes and all that. To be honest, they could mostly stand on their own as songs if I wanted them to but I try to expand beyond that one beat when making full songs.
So, once I’ve made a bunch of beats, various things can happen to them. A rapper might use them. i might make a remix with them. If i’m feeling like it’s time to make an album, then I collect all the beats I have that I could see working as a stand alone track and arrange them by BPM. The idea here is to find 2 or 3 beats that are close in bpm , work together tonally and make sense in how the mood strikes. That’s more trial and error. Some things work and some don’t. Once I’ve gotten 12-15 groups of tracks that could potentially work together, I start to pair them up. i see what parts of those separate beats work. Scrap some parts, maybe add something that’s missing. This is the beginning of a song for me. I just amass as much content per song as I can then start stripping away the unneeded parts. Once that’s done, it becomes an equation. How do I take these different beats and blend them together to make one song. I pretty much have to map out where the song will start, the middle and the end. I want that to move as fluidly as possible and, in a way, tell a story. At least on my last 3 albums, that’s been how i work on solo stuff. Earlier, i used a more predictable style of “verse/chorus/verse/chorus” with my songs. Music by Cavelight and downtown science were FAR more simplistic albums in every way. But from “The music scene” and on…this has been how I go about it. I can’t say I know exactly how a track is going to start or end when I begin it but I have an idea of how I want it to flow. But, in general, after the initial beats are made, my process is all about arranging and utilizing all the parts the best way I see fit.

BH, what is the most glorious part of being single again and having your place all to yourself?

Well..having my place to myself is amazing. As someone who thrives at “just chilling” it’s been wonderful. Another part is just the general freedom. Not having to have responsibilities outside your own is incredible. I realize this is totally selfish and I’m way too old to live like that but, fuck it, it’s my life. If you reach a point in your life where you find yourself doing things you’d rather not do, unless those things pay your bills, what’s the point? You’re gonna die one day and be like “Man…I wasted a lot of time on bullshit…”.
This is in no way disrespect to my ex, she’s great and we’re still friends, I’m speaking far more generally. Waking up and not having to worry about anyone but yourself is a very calming feelings. Cause, then, when you do have personal problems, you can focus in on them easily. Basically, the bachelor life is a selfish one but unless you’re really bout that coupled up life, it’s not a bad way to be.

Are you a fan of Record Store Day? Have you ever participated as a patron or an artist?

I think the idea is cool and it’s definitely fun that all those artists make special records for that day. Personally, I’ve never participated in either way. I’m not a big record collector anymore (as far as i was aware, this didn’t exist when i used to buy lots of records) so i don’t really pay it much mind. I also don’t have the hook up where i can just quickly press up a few hundred 7″ records out of nowhere. That takes time and organization. But, hey, who knows? Maybe one day.

You know those (creepy/extreme) pop-up ads that appear when you’re watching porn? Are you able to fully ignore them or do they ever turn you off what you’re streaming at that moment?

Dude…those fucking things are the worst. There’s a granny porn one that ruins my fucking day every time I see it. I can’t say they turn me off so much that I stop what I’m doing (I’m a man who finishes what i start) but they more just briefly wash me over with a feeling of disgust that goes away quickly. The worst ones are the dick growth pill ads cause you’re just literally looking at a pic of a meaty dong and nothing else. But, yeah, the people who make those ads and pop ups in general are terrible human beings.

Answers for Questions Vol. 294

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Hi there! Welcome to “Answers for questions”. A few days delayed cause I had jury duty but your boy escaped that without having to be on a trial. Always a small victory.
Anyway, I’m back and this is very simple. You ask me stuff…i answer. I ALWAYS need more questions so why don’t you come at me, bro? send questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Get weird. Get creative. It makes it more interesting for all parties involved.
Let’s check this weeks batch…

If you had $1 in your pocket and you couldn’t go home, what would you buy to eat?
A dollar doesn’t go very far nowadays. I couldn’t even get a buttered roll for that in NYC. Because I have a sweet tooth, I’d probably go the “bang for my buck” route and by $1 worth of loose candies. Like Hershey’s kisses and little caramels. It might be terrible for me but , at least, I’d be getting more crap in my stomach. Also, if one of those super cheap dollar pizza places was around, I’d do that as well…even though they generally taste like Elio’s microwave garbage.

You’ve said you’re a foodie – can you do your foodie take on your neighborhood? Do you enjoy eating at restaurants with famous chefs? Do you follow any famous chefs?
Have you ever been a line cook? Sometimes I think music culture and restaurant culture do hand in hand, both are up late, and the art is about visceral pleasures. Do you see any similarities?

I love food. It’s literally one of the only things I will blindly spend money on (even more than a dollar!). You will never hear me say “Oh, that place is too expensive!”. if the food is good, I’ll shell out money for it no problem. Living in NYC, there is amazing food everywhere. I could eat at a different , awesome place every day for a year with ease (If i wasn’t so lazy). My neighborhood is no different. It’s walking distance from anything you’d ever need.
As for famous chefs, I’ve been to a few of those places. They’re generally very good but I don’t REALLY care about all that. I certainly don’t invest my time into knowing more about them or following their social media. I love food but pics of food do me no service. It’s like going to the strip club. I’d rather just have sex. So seeing pics of amazing food just makes me wanna go eat.
I’ve never been a line cook and I honestly can’t cook at all. As much as I love food, I’m impatient and preparing things is not my bag. Also, nyc is the delivery capital of the world. I’ve been” ordering meals since i could afford it. No need for me to cook anything beyond a toasted english muffin with butter and honey. That’s what I “cook”…and it’s delicious.

I know alot of a person’s personality comes out in their music. And i know from your beats and interviews that your a pretty chill, goofy, funny guy. We all get sad sometimes, and i knew a few songs you’ve produced that mirror that. my question is, What about Mad Block? has the Hyde to your Jekyll ever come out and expressed pure gangsta rage on a track? One example that comes to mind is Tomorrow Morning, i cant think of others. Anything in the works that has a bit more of your human aggression in it?

Well…”Tomorrow morning” isn’t one of my songs so that might explain that one. Unless you got the title wrong…it wasn’t me.
To be honest, I’m not an angry person. I can’t remember the last time I was actually mad. At best, i get annoyed. I realize, the tone of this blog itself reads as I’m a highly agitated, snarky motherfucker…and while I’ll cop to the snark, the reality of it is I don’t REALLY give a fuck about much. Like, the things I make fun of or shine a light on, it’s not anger. It’s just venting. I actually feel writing this shit out helps me move on from really even being bothered by things. So, no, there is no mad version of me that will make an angry beat. I can make an angry beat (“Good block, bad block” comes to mind) but it’s not inspired by real rage. It’s just a musical mood I’m trying to capture. My personality and my music, in general, don’t match up. I’m even keeled, happy and relaxed. I just happen to make music that is more emotional sounding in scope. No clue why. I tend to think it’s just a personal taste. I like melody. I like listening to that blue feeling in music. But my real life , everyday existence isn’t bout that at all.

What are your thoughts on “natural” products? Do you use things like organic hippie deodorant. toothpaste (like Tom’s brand etc.), or do you say fuck it and dig into the chemical life?

I think, in theory, that stuff is a good idea but in reality, they suck as products. Like toms toothpaste? You might as well brush your teeth with trident gum with sand in it. And those hippie deodorants…if you wonder why so many hippies stink it’s cause rubbing a rock on your fetid armpit will not keep it from smelling awful. I’m sure there are some natural products that work great (and, now, I’m sure people will be all up in my comments telling me about them at length…just a heads up, I don’t care so save your time and don’t even bother) but I don’t seek out things like that in general. If they happen to come into my life naturally, then they do. But I’m not out here going to the co-op and reading the backs of boxes for ingredients in my mouthwash.


What makes you choose cute animal pictures for these posts? I guess it makes me click on them though so whatever it is, you’re doing it right. Also, what was going through your head when you named your tracks on The Music Scene? I mean, did you think of pretty sea slugs while you were producing that song? Thanks for the great tunes 🙂

a) i pick those pics cause they’re cute…and it’s a running theme I’ve been doing here since I started. i don’t know what spawned it but I always like cute animal pics and , as this is generally a post i start the week with, I figure we should all start the week with a pic of a cute animal.
b)My song titles are pretty random. Some are inside jokes. some are based on a feeling of the song. Some come from a feeling, then get spun into something totally different. Like “Which one of you jerks drank my arnold palmer?” had a summery feel to it…somehow, that got extrapolated into me imagining someone drinking an Arnold Palmer I had wanted…perhaps on a porch somewhere in the country. It makes no sense but, when I was naming the songs, that just kinda landed there.

Answers for Questions vol. 293

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Hi guys. Welcome to “Answers for Questions”. You know the drill, 293 volumes deep…
Listen, I usually don’t ask for favors but my question queue is running dangerously low. I need you to ask me stuff. ASK ME QUESTIONSSSSS!!!! Feel free to ask multiple questions. Go nuts! Get creative! Get weird! Send questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section. Seriously, ask me anything. i will very likely answer it.
Let’s see this weeks batch, biatch.

Per your instagram picture, do people really tie the open ends of condoms when finished?

I believe you’re referring to this pic
https://www.instagram.com/p/BFEoJ8cxfW3/
As far as i know, that is not a thing but, you know what? I have been known to be blissfully unaware of such practices. If you take a closer look at the pic, the condoms are empty, which only makes it more mysterious. I suppose that’s part of the reason that this pic is so fucking awesome.

When I saw the pictures of you with Willie D, I just knew it was a memorable night for you. So what kind of conversations did you have with Willie D and what was the show like? Also…Do you like Willie D more than Tim Dog?

Yes another Instagram reference:https://www.instagram.com/p/BEXbUonxfdG
For those who don’t know, Willie D (of the Geto boys) is quite possibly my favorite rapper ever. Not to be confused with BEST rapper ever, cause it’s something totally different. But I’m a huge fan of Willie D and got a chance to see him perform in the most intimate setting I’ve ever seen a show in. He played in the basement of a bar I frequent. It’s a small room with no stage. If packed, it would fit about 80 people tightly. But , this night, there were about 30-40 people there, spread across the room. Willie just got in the middle of the floor and rocked a show like it was at a stadium. The thing was, cause he was ground level and walking all over the room, it was mad intense cause he could see everyone. Walking up to people, rapping in their faces. Rapping along with people. I hadn’t see a show like that in forever, let alone a legend doing one. He played lots of old stuff, Geto boys stuff and some new stuff too.
After the show, pretty much everyone in the room wanted to get a pic with him. I generally am not the type to take pics with celebrities cause , i dunno…I’m shy like that. But I couldn’t miss the opportunity. My boy, who organized the event, pulled me into a pic. I gave Willie a pound and awkwardly told him her was my favorite rapper. He was super friendly and gracious. My homeboy turned to him and was like “Yo, this guy makes amazing beats” and then kinda ran down a brief resume to him and Willie looked at me with his eye brows raised like “We should talk”. Alas, that never happened and no info was exchanged but it’s all good. He’d probably sound weird as fuck over my beats but it would still be an honor to give him some.
As for the last question, yeah, I like Willie D more than Tim Dog. He’s got more music, more depth, he’s not just funny and ridiculous. He’s actually a guy who’s made great music.

during the hyperbole cycle following prince’s death, mad people stopped just short of calling him the goat. he made some fun songs and was a fantastic weirdo, but i feel like david bowie was a much bigger loss for music. as a sampling artist, where do you rate prince? is he on mt. rushmore w michael jackson and james brown?

Prince was one of the GOATs of my generation for sure. So was Bowie. They’re both similar , in that they reinvented themselves constantly and made music that couldn’t be pigeon holed. I don’t like the word “Genius” for musicians very often but I think those two are safely in that category. It’s definitely up for discussion that they be on the Mt. Rushmore of music but, limiting that to four heads would make my brain explode. Also, totally subjective. Surely some people would want Elvis or John Lennon there. All depends on what you like. Personally, I was never a guy who bumped a ton of Bowie. I just wasn’t into rock like that. That said, he made incredible music and it was stuff i liked more once i got older. Prince, on the other hand, was a staple of my life since i was a child. I saw “Purple Rain” in the theater when I was a kid. So his music resonated more with me, personally.

I’m writing this while listening to “The Music Scene” album off Youtube. So the question is – how do you feel about having your whole discography on Youtube? Do you see it as something inevitable and helping promoting you to people or otherwise, like “stealing from you”? Me personally, I buy LPs and MP3s of the music I like and I first heard about you via Youtube and I’m using it for sharing the music I like – such as yours – with my friends, but it may not always be the case…

Also, how do you feel about artists (or their record companies) pulling their stuff off Youtube (like Bob Dylan)? Fighting the windmills or doing the right thing?

I have no issue with my music being on youtube. For one, it’s just a “way it is” kinda thing. If people don’t wanna pay for your music, they’re gonna find ways to do that. Secondly, it’s exposure. Sometimes I’ll read the comments on songs of mine on there and see people just discovering me cause of that song. Perhaps those people will come to my shows. Perhaps they’ll buy a record some day. It can only help an artist like me.
As for artist pulling their stuff, I get why they would do it but I don’t see the point, personally. It’s a very old mind state to do that but there’s also something to be said for making your music exclusive. It forces the hand of the people who wanna hear it.
I don’t have the type of pull as someone like Dylan or Prince and they don’t need new fans. their music will always be something people will seek out.
Speaking of prince…it was so ill to realize that, when he died, his entire catalogue was not on youtube. People were scrambling for songs to put up on their facebook walls and came up with nothing but interview clips.

Hi Dr. Tony! This video recently got to my hands, i guess you may have seen it. As you are so much more aware about this culture.

I liked it because i basically only knew about hiphop what you write in your blog, never thought it could be such a complex thing. Most of the people do not realize the labour you guys as producers and musicians do, even though i have followed you for years i didn’t knew much about it.

Any thoughts, critics or comments you would like to add?

I have mixed feelings about this video. On one hand, it’s kinda cool to deconstruct hip hop lyrics like that. Strip away everything and simplify it to just syllables. It’s a way I’ve never considered looking at hip hop. Probably cause,by doing so, you’re kinda taking any human emotion or feeling out of it and turning it into an mathematic equation.
I think what I don’t like about it is the unnecessary nerdiness being thrust upon hip hop. Like, sure, these rappers changed how rapping was done but I guarantee they didn’t sit down and think “I should go “a-c, b-d, a-d,b-c” in my rhyme pattern!” Nah man, they just wrote the raps that came to them. They innovated without the pretension. I’m not saying this video is saying they did that but these term paper like break downs usually just come off as masturbatory to me. It’s cool for a little bit but after a while i wonder if the people who do them even like music or just feel the need to turn everything into math. It’s as if they have to justify the validity of rap by making it into something scholarly. To me, it kinda defeats the purpose of it all.

How did you see America before 9/11? Is your view on the nation different as a result?
hmmm…It’s hard to even remember before then , at this point.
I’d say it was just carefree. We assumed we were untouchable. War was something that happened elsewhere and we were this civilized country with no worries. Whoops!
To say it was a simpler time is an understatement. Like, the thought of terrorism didn’t even cross my mind and I lived in the one place it was most likely. I remember the first WTC attack happening and I didn’t even bat an eyelash.
Hell, flying was simple. We didn’t have to take our shoes off. Liquids could be large containers and not in a special bag. It was a free for all. There was no fear or looking around your plane at anyone of possible muslim descent with a raised eye brow. I feel bad for any muslim person who has to get on planes now cause, inevitably, there’s gonna be some dumb asses who assume they’re up to no good just by being on the plane. It’s ridiculous.
Is my view of the nation different? I mean…i guess so. We’re still the same people. Some of us are rational and have logic. Others are living in constant fear and think the worlds gonna end any days now. 9/11 definitely allowed a lot of people who were looking for a reason to freak out to finally have a reason and that created a dangerous and reactionary faction of the US. The culture of fear was really put on the front lines and, honestly, it’s the reason a fucking turnip faced moron like Donald Trump is a presidential candidate. So, yeah…the country is much different because of 9/11. We “handled” it when it happened but we’re also still feeling the repercussions to this day in a major way.

Answers for Questions Vol. 292

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Hi there everyone. I hope your memorial day was full of deep thoughts and bbq. Welcomes to a new edition of “Answers for Questions”.
You ask, I answer…Simple stuff. I’m definitely in need of some new questions so, if you’ve been wondering something or anything about ANYTHING, now is a good time to ask. Send me questions to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below.
Be weird. Be creative. I’m almost 300 volumes deep here so a lot of ground has been covered.

Would you rather cut off a you’re hand or your foot?
I’mma go with hand cause , at least, I could still walk. Being functional with one hand seems a lot easier than being functional with one foot. Also, creepy question, guy!

Your Wikipedia page says you’re also known as “Tone Capone”. Have you ever actually called yourself “Tone Capone”?

Hahahaha…that goes to show you depth of Wikipedia.
I have never called myself that or been called that with any seriousness (can you imagine?) BUT it was a jokey name I added to my first gmail account cause , when I made it, I had no idea it would come up again. So , clearly, whoever wrote that wikipedia portion must have emailed with me and gotten one from “tone capone”. That name, btw, was taken froma harlem based gangsta rapper in the early 90’s (pretty tone capone).

Do you think it is absolutely necessary to register with a political party? I never liked the idea of choosing sides so I am unaffiliated, but I’m beginning to think that being associated with a particular group can have its benefits, such as a sense of belonging and equality with like-minded people. Or maybe I am thinking about this too deeply and it isn’t that big of a deal.. thoughts?

I’ve literally never given this a moment of thought. As long as it doesn’t stop you from voting for whoever you want, seems like a pretty empty title. I certainly didn’t register as a democrat and , all of a sudden, feel like I was part of something bigger. I just felt like registered as democrat…cause that’s probably what I would be voting for. Then again, I’m not the type to really read into that kinda thing at all so I’m on the other side of this concept than you might be. I’d imagine it would only make a difference if registering for different political parties meant you were treated differently. I still get cold calls from republican organizations on my land line (yup, I still got a land line motherfuckers!) so their obviously not checking on my party affiliations anyway.

Do you think you will ever leave NYC? Have you ever wanted to live anywhere else?

I can’t see me doing it unless some outside reason forces my hand (IE: The Tidal wave of 2035). I’ve never really wanted to live anywhere else. I travel enough to miss NYC when I leave. I’ve been in some cities where I could imagine living (S.F., Montreal, London to name a few) but I’ve never even remotely considered moving to one of them. I would like to visit those types of places for a few weeks at a time at some point though. To me, that’s enough.

I have noticed that sometimes when people experience some kind of significant pain in their life, it seems to make something click in their head. They might have a better appreciation for their life and the lives of others, or may feel driven to go to lengths to accomplish something they never before thought they could. Have you ever had an experience that completely changed you (maybe negatively, but generally in a positive way) and made you run a bit faster, work a bit harder, keep trying until you couldn’t then try again, or just straight up get shit done.

Man…I wish I had a good answer for this. Like, in a perfect world, I’d like to be able to say that “Yeah, one time I was down cause of so and so then I fought my way out and was a better person!” but I haven’t had that. I mean, we all go through our ups and downs but my nature is pretty even keeled. I’ve always been a pretty down the middle, centered kinda guy so even when bad shit has happened I’ve just sorta stayed the course. I’d be more prone to accept reality than trying to overcome it via hard work. It sounds lazy…and it is!

Do you think it’s imperative to drive with both hands on the wheel? Many people are one-handed drivers, and the “10 and 2” rule doesn’t really apply to someone driving a stickshift. Would you feel unsafe riding with someone who doesn’t keep both hands on the wheel?

Well, I don’t drive so I don’t even know what difference it makes. But, I’d venture to guess it’s on a driver to driver basis. Some people need to use both hands, others are cool and know that one hand looks way more bad ass.

If you had to choose one of the following instruments to play for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
-harp
-bagpipes
-accordion
-theremin
-didgeridoo

Hmmm….I think It’s go with harps or accordion. The others just seem limited in what they can do.
A harp would be the hardest to play (I’d imagine) so it would take me a long time to learn it…and assuming I got my whole life, that just seems like the logical choice. I like accordions but that sound might get tiring after, i dunno, a week or two.

You meet a lot of people at your shows, have you met anyone (male or female) that you felt an instant connection with and kinda wished you could hang out and get to know them better?

I’ve met people that I’ve felt were very cool and enjoyed talking to them. I can’t say I’ve ever been like “Oh man, we gotta become close friends!” cause I don’t really operate like that. Most of my close friends have been around for a long time and I’m rarely looking to add on new people into my life on that level. But, the cool people I’ve met at shows I generally see again down the line, when I’m in their towns and we build a nice rapport.I get them in shows for free, maybe we get a meal. Stuff like that. It’s cool to know people all over and when you actually do like a person, it makes visiting cities you don’t know well much more pleasant. But I’d be lying if I said I’m out there trying to make life long friends with people I meet at my shows. That kinda stuff only happen organically with me and takes lots of time.

How many times have people called you Tony The Tiger and told you that you’re GRRRRREAT!…?

So many times…when I was a kid, that was the go-to joke. Mostly cause frosted flakes commercials were a big deal. It never bothered me. Coulda been waaaaaaaay fucking worse. I coulda been named “Dick” or something that rhymes with an awful word. Hell, I knew a dude named “Noah Gay”and his life as a 12-17 year old must have been a nightmare.

I’m lucky that “Tony the tiger” and “Tony Bologna” were the pillars of my adolescent nicknames. Not at all damaging.

Answers for Questions vol. 291

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Hi guys. Welcome to another edition of “Answers for Questions”. You ask it, I answer it. My questions queue could use some refilling so I urge and and all inquisitive people to fire off some questions at me. Send them to phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Go nuts. Get weird. Be creative. Ask multiple questions. I’m at your disposal. Okay? great. Also, I’m accepting “Dr Tony” questions as well , for those of you who need life advice. Go for the gold.


Here’s a hypothetical for you.

Imagine you were offered the lump sum of 2 million dollars to produce a celebrity Hip-Hop album, ala “Rappin Rodney”.

Do you turn down the offer to keep your integrity? Or do you happily take the cheddar and give zero fucks about how the end product is received?
If yes, WHO and WHY would you work with from the following people & how would you create a distinct style that suits their personality/characteristics?

Tim Allen
Sly Stallone
Rowan Atkinson
Amy Schumer

I would say yes, assuming I was allowed to make the kinda beats I make. If they hired me and told me to make a pop record, i wouldn’t even know where to start.

Not only is 2 million a lot of money, I’m at the point in my career where being a “sell out” doesn’t fucking matter to me. That something 20 year olds with no bills to pay worry about. That said, this is all contingent on me being able to make the music I want to make. After all, what’s the point of having me produce an album if it’s not going to sound like me?
Of the options given, I’d go with Schumer or Stallone. Schumer cause I like comedy , think she’s funny and it might actually result in something interesting. She’s also the only option that actually probably listens to rap music at all. So there would, at the very least, be a slight understanding there. I’m not sure what the album would sound like stylistically but it’s would obviously be a comedy rap album so so we’d be doing satire based songs. Meaning, I’m probably try and mimics other genres. Something I’ve done before on the “Party Fun Action Committee” album.

Stallone I’d pick simply cause the idea of him rapping is hilarious and could somehow turn into some cult album that people will love 30 years from now.
Stylistically , it could go one of two ways. I could take the easy route and make an album of old samples…shit from the 70’s that sound like rocky or maybe even italian stuff from the 50’s , full or harmonicas and upright bass. OR, just give him my 12 dopest beats and see what happens. It would kinda be like what Primo did when he made the first group home album.

Who are some artists who you never want to meet but like their music?

I’d say most artists. I don’t really have a vested interest in meeting my heroes. It’s not like we’re gonna become friends and start hanging out. Best case scenario, they’re friendly and the interaction is positive but, beyond that? Meh. My experience with these things has been underwhelming so I don’t even try. Shake their hand, tell them you are a big fan and keep it moving. That said, I feel as though I’m able to keep a person and their music separate. Like, if I met someone like Tom Waits and he was a total asshole to me (just thinking of a random example), i wouldn’t start hating his music after that. Conversely, if I met Will.I.AM and he was the nicest guy ever, it may soften my take on his music. Like “Yeah, I don’t really like what he does but he’s a really good dude”.
In general, I’m fine if I never meet anyone I’m a fan of. The aura of celebrity doesn’t do much for me.

Any funny stories on doing psychedelics? How were your first times doing psychedelics?
Would you ever consider doing DMT at your age? (For like, depressing stuff, or can be for experimenting aswell) Also, have you thought of learning to play an instrument and read music?
I don’t know why but I always picture you playing a trumpet.

The first time I did psychedelics was at hampshire college in the mid/late 90’s. They used to have a huge halloween party there every year and some of my friends went there so I would go visit them. About 5 friends and I ate some shrooms and walked around the campus, tripping the fuck out. It was amazing. So amazing, in fact, it became a tradition until all those guys graduated.
I’ve written about this before I think but the funniest thing I ever saw while tripping was a family of rollerbladers wipe out right in front of me. I was down in battery park city, by the water, just sitting on a bench. I saw a line of about 6 people who seemingly were all related, snaking their way down the bike path, hands on hips. That itself was weird and funny to see but when one of them lost control and they went down like dominos, I lost it. It was one of those laughs where tears are streaming down your face and you think you might never breath again. I was legit hyperventilating. I was high so I really don’t even know how far away they were or if they saw me losing my shit but that will forever be my favorite moment while tripping.
As for DMT, I’m good on that. I’ve had enough people explain what it’s like to me to understand I have zero interest in feeling anything like that. I’m past the point in my life where self discovery via drugs is of any interest to me. If I do drugs now, it’s for fun. Everyone who’s ever told me about has spoken like it was a transformative experience that changed how they see the world but, looking at most of the people who told me, can’t say that world is one I would ever wanna live in. No offense to them, just not for me.
As for learning to play instruments, nah. I’m simply terrible at learning and my attentions pan is that of a fruit fly. It’s amazing I can’t even sit here and write this, let alone, learn to play an instrument.

Have you noticed a difference across cities with how much people tend to use their phones during shows? Like filming and taking pics during the show etc.
I’d say the phone usage thing is across the board. It’s less so in europe. Especially the further east you go. Americans though? We live via our fucking phone screens. Seems counterproductive to experiencing something first hand but I guess that’s just how it is. I know when I’m at a show and I wanna capture something, I’ll do it for like 15 seconds, feel dumb and give up. It’s not like recording that shit even sounds good or has replay value. It’s more like a proof of attendance. I’ve seen people just sit in the front row and record entire shows on their phone. Why, I will never know.

If you had to do one of these things, which one would you do?
1) Hike the Pacific Crest Trail (~2,600 mi)
2) Bike coast to coast (~3,300 mi)
3) Complete an IronMan triathlon (2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run, completed in <17 hrs)

All of these have to be done continuously, without breaks. With the first two, a break would mean stopping and flying home for a couple weeks then going back. You would be able to stop in a town for a day or two to resupply, fix gear, etc. The Ironman triathlon has additional time requirements (along with a lot of other rules)- like, the swim must be done in 2 hrs, 20 mins, the bike must be done in 8 hrs, 10 mins, and the marathon must be done in 6 hrs 10 mins.

I think the Pacific coast hike would be my only plausible option. I haven’t ridden a bike in like 25 years and have zero confidence in that as a skill that would take me 3000 plus miles. The iron man thing would probably just kill me and the fact I’d have to be doing it under a clock? Fuck that. I’d drown 1/5th through that swim.
I would loath every second of the hike and camping is truly hell on earth but at least it could go at my own pace. I’d probably be in great shape afterwards too, so that’s a bonus.

How long do you think human civilization will last?
I think we got maybe 150-300 years left. After 150, i feel as though we will be low on all natural resources, the weather will be nightmarish and the economy will be in the toilet. I think , within the next 100 years, shit is really gonna hit the fan. Wars, famine, no clean water, etc…and it will take another 100 years or so after that to finally finish off all mankind. Roaches will be chilling though. They got this.

Hey Block, I heard a rumor that you’re moving to New Jersey because you’re tired of city life, is this true?
HAHAHAHAHA
Nah man. Never. I have no plans of leaving NYC at any point , unless I’m forced out by powers beyond my control. And , if I was, i wouldn’t move to jersey. Now, don’t front…you didn’t hear that rumor. You made it up so you’d have a question to ask.