God talk!


I am not a religious person. While I wasn’t raised with it, it was somewhat around. I remember one year, my dad (who was a jew) decided we should try passover. I was about 15 at the time and had no clue what he was talking about and my WASP mom just kinda went along with it to appease him. In the end , it was a harmless excuse for the family to have a big meal together but the significance was lost on me.
At that point, I hadn’t given religion much thought. In fact, I had given it so little thought I didn’t even question it. Was the a god? Sure. Why not? That’s what people tell me. Why would they be lying?
At some point around the age of 17/18 , for the first time in my life, I gave the concept of “God” a thought. I’d say about 3 seconds into that thought pattern I realized I no longer believe in God. Logic took over and has pretty much been running things in my head ever since. As I got older, this basic indifference towards religion slowly turned into disdain. Not really towards people who practice religions with a head on their shoulders (you know, the types who go to church but also understand there was no talking snake and an apple or noah’s arc) , But towards the hyperbolized retard version of religion (ALL religions. I’m even looking at you , orthodox jews). The unfortunate part is that these bastardized versions of religion tend to be the most vocal. At least, the most noticeable.
At this point, I’m so far from religion I feel that even something as vague and mystic as “spirituality” is bullshit (sorry Common!). Much like religion, I see it has it’s purposes but I also feel it just as invented and in your head. As much as I find the majority of spirituality to be painfully corny and some hippie bullshit, a least spirituality is peaceful. I’ll give them that.
So, I was thinking about writing this whole blog about religion and my utter dispassion for it (something I’ve eluded to on here many many times) but it occurred to me that everything I could possibly say about it has been said a millions already but people much funnier and smarter than I am. So, I looked through Youtube and found clips of some of my favorite stand up comedians saying exactly what I think, only better…
If you got some downtime , check these out. Laugh at the lord.








Shminfluences

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One of the most common questions musicians (and all artists , really) get asked is “what are your influences?”. I’d say i’ve gotten this question in at least 75% of the interviews i’ve ever done. When i first started getting the question, i would scramble to think of the people I based my sound on. This scrambling would lead to me pretty much just prattling off a list of other producers I like, regardless of their actual influence on my music. Eventually, that got tiresome and I just decided to go with answer option B whenever that question would be posed. That answer is “I don’t believe in influences.”. Now, let’s not be confused here. EVERYTHING is the result of influence on some level. But having direct influences, that you draw from others, into your own art, to me, has always been pretty corny. Back in the day, what are considered “influences” by today’s standards , would be called “Biting”. I’m more of the belief that real influence is not palpable. It’s nothing you could list or explain. It’s kinda like explaining to a person why your personality is the way it is. For instance, If you were to do that by saying something like:

“well, I’m funny like my friend bill, but i get my timeliness from this girl i used to date and my love of spicy foods can be traced back to my friend paul”

people would laugh in your stupid face and tell you that you’re a loser herb. So, when ever i hear an artist do that with their music, it just rubs me the wrong way. It’s one of those things that sets off my “Bullshit-o-meter” that seems to be go off more often than not when hearing artists talk about themselves and their work. That’s the thing though, artists use their own “influences” an an easy pass for other to understand their music. I get that. people nowadays need to be pointed in a direction before they’re willing to even waste a second of their precious time. But i fear the vast majority of these artists really do believe their own bullshit hype. The best is when someone completely mediocre like 3rd eye blind lets you know they’re influenced by Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. OF COURSE THEY ARE!

I will say this though, there are people who list influences who are spot on. Britney Spears saying she’s influenced by Madonna is a no brainer. Partially cause they’re both talentless whores who made careers without being good at anything in particular , but more so cause it’s 100% fact that Spears not only bit Madonna’s musical angle, she’s managed followed her career blueprint to a tee. Turns out madonna is a little smarter than Britney. Babies + getting fat + more babies = career suicide. Perhaps she’s also influenced by Kirstie Alley as well (but with non-adopted children).

In reality, to me at least, artists are influenced by their surroundings. Their parents upbringing style. Where they grew up. Experiences. Era’s of music they listened to , as opposed to specific artists. I can definitively say that the music i make and have made is 100% a result of hip hop I listened to from 1989-98. Without question. But there’s certainly no one or two artists I could single it down to. It was simply my formative years as music fan. No more ,no less.
I’ve noticed it always annoys interviewers and writers to give vague answers like that cause they want the easy connection. Nothing gets music critics and writers dicks harder than the easy comparison.
When I first came out as a solo artist all I heard was that I sounded like DJ shadow. Shadow was dope ,so this didn’t bother me. But the assumption that I sat in a room studying his work to find inspiration was preposterous. Truth be told, I’ve heard “Entroducing” maybe 4 times in my whole life. Good album, nothing against it all all. I just always preferred listening to stuff with vocalists on it. The few times I’ve said this in interviews, the interviewer has been flabbergasted. As if, it’s absolutely impossible for a person to make the type of music I do without being influenced by Shadow.

Then there are those artists that are so influential, they’re not even worth bringing up any more. Rakim influenced a whole school or rappers. Stevie wonder Influenced a whole school of soul singers. The Beatles influenced rock bands of all genre’s. But acts like those are truly influential cause they changed the landscape of music as it was known. That kind of influence is almost subconscious to most and it spans far and wide. Listing any groups like that in your influences is like saying your favorite food is “all things bread like”.

Often times, I’ll make something , play it back later , and think “huh, that sounds like a _____ beat”. That kinda shit is gonna happen. Remember, now more than ever, there is nothing new under the sun. But People have to learn how to differentiate between “being influenced” and “biting someone”. Influence is that silent thing that makes you do what you do. it pulls the levers without you even being aware of it. Biting is just some sucker shit people do when they run out of ideas. It’s people forcing influence upon themselves.
The difference between the two is of Paramount importance. learn it. live it. Don’t bite it.

Shma-dition.

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This may be casting a huge umbrella over a lot of things (but that’s kinda my thing, so , you should be used to it by now) but “tradition” and “traditions”, from marriage to manners to religion to clothing, are kinda bullshit. Now, obviously, I’m no scholar on anything and I don’t know the history of much, outside of a little music trivia and tv shows, but it seems to me that people don’t mind following traditions blindly. In fact, they fucking love it, ‘After all, it’s tradition.’

People have been doing it for years, maybe centuries! The thing is, anytime anything comes from a really long time ago (let’s say over 100 years), there’s always a good chance it’s ass backwards. That, or it’s simply some made up shit from that particular time that had everything to do with then and nothing to do with now. Sure, there have been countless things that have been both discovered and created in those times that are a necessity for us to this day but the traditions?
Meh.

Marriage, for instance, I’m sure there’s some long winded story behind how marriage came about and I bet it’s fascinating. However, I don’t really care about how it started as much as I care that it’s made a huge deal of in our current society; People straight up base their lives around it. Having kids is one thing; It’s procreation, it’s what keeps civilization going (for better or worse). Marriage is just some fucking paper work. I’m not even opposed to getting married, I just don’t really give a shit either way. Marriage itself is one thing, I get it. People tend to need titles to feel comfortable and stable. But all the things that go with it like the rings, the vows, the father walking the daughter down the aisle, why? What does that have to do with anything? Is it a celebration? Not really. In fact, those traditional parts of a weddings are the least celebratory times on earth, they’re fucking boring. It’s some follow the leader shit that was probably created by some uptight retard who believed that the earth was flat. Comedian Doug Stanhope once said something like “If marriage didn’t exist, do you think we would invent it? Like ‘hey honey, i really love you and want to be with you for the rest of my life. is there any way we could bring the government in on this?”. Often when i say shit like this in real life people think it’s some anti-love movement of mine or just some “romance is dead” talk. But , to be honest, it just me not seeing the point of titles and traditions. Why can’t a couple just be together and that’s that?

Sometimes i think of what would have happened if our forefathers had happened to be on the zany side. Like what if it were tradition for the bride to chug a gallon of goats milk right before accepting the ring Or if the groom had to eat cake out of a filthy fisherman’s boot before saying “Aiiiiight!”. If that had been tradition for hundreds of years, would we question it? Probably not. Things you’re taught at a young age are pretty much programmed in and, if they’re on the harmless side, rarely questioned.

I think a great example of this is the engagement ring. I’d be hard pressed to think of something more bullshit then an engagement ring. 1/3 of your yearly salary for a ring that signifies you’re getting married? Really? How bout you should just be happy with the actual wedding ring and save that money for something important like food or clothes for your children. The funny things about engagement rings that I learned recently is that they are a newer “tradition” that was basically created by diamond companies about 100 years ago (I believe Debeers is the culprit but I could be wrong). Sounds like some conspiracy theorist shit but I’m gonna roll with it cause, otherwise, there is no logic to them what so ever.

It’s things like tradition that put marriage on a pedestal such to the point that people get upset about something as non-threatening as same sex marriages. People to the right of this topic will argue that marriage is a sacred tradition between a man and a woman. People to the right of this argument also have way to much time on their hands. WHO GIVES A SHIT? If you stripped marriage down of all the traditional bullshit, it’s simply an agreement by two people to be together monogamously. It’s a fucking “lifetime” contract and it should be no more traditional then an athlete signing to a team or a jail sentence.

On a side note; If you are really bothered by same sex marriage, get over yourself, it has nothing to do with you. Worry about your own problems and let strangers live their lives.

But back to traditions….

Another example is clothing, like traditional garbs and what not. Many of these outfits go back so far I’m surprised they’re not knit from wild boar hairs. In some places, traditional outfits are dictated by religion and obviously that’s a whole other bag of bullshit worms so I won’t even go there. But some traditional garbs, like any of those wind breaker raver pants from the Himalayan Mountains or berets on a French person or clogs on a Dutch person, don’t even make sense.

Nothing against any of that, but how they became the go to gear in these areas is beyond me. It’s not that they once were the go to gear, it’s that they have withstood the test of time. And those pants…lots of pilates popping off in the Himalayan Mountains? Obviously. Lots of free movement needed when slowly climbing or trudging through muddy mountain thickets? No doubt.

With traditional clothes, much like fashion fads of today, some things just should fade away. Once they cease to have a purpose, you’re really just wearing it to be wearing it, it’s not like any of that shit is particularly comfortable. Their purpose was at one point reasonable but now clothes are made better and you don’t HAVE to settle. Even broke mountain motherfuckers can afford jeans…those shit’s are like 7 bucks at Target and I bet they cost like two eggs and a bag of feathers in the mountains of Tibet.

Worse yet is the non-aboriginal people that revitalize traditional styles in non-traditional landscapes. They are pretty much just posers, but in a much grander historical and worldly sense.

These “set in stone” traditions imposed upon us by people we didn’t even know existed are no more valid then some random “traditions” you may have with your homeboys. What’s that? it’s a tradition that you eat 50 buffalo wings every sunday during football season? Go for it. That’s just as absolute as any crap your parents used to push on you cause it was pushed on them, the only difference is their tradition is older. They’re both equally pointless.

I think a lot of time people mix up traditions with common decency, like holding the door for someone or wiping your feet at the door. Any “tradition” that is simply just an act of politeness, isn’t really a tradition. No, it’s more just a sign that you weren’t raised by mongoloids.

So, yeah, just be cool, it’s not that fucking hard.

(Just a reminder: This blog has some serious generalizations popping off, please take it with a grain of salt. I don’t fact check. I don’t even look up half the claims I make. I’m pretty much winging it at all times. so, remember, I’m kind of an idiot.)

A bunch of bullshit

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Time to call Bullshit on a few things…

Opinions –

This may seem ironic, seeing that everything I write in an opinion on something but… opinions are bullshit. Mine. Yours. God’s. Everyone’s.

As a pretty opinionated person who is also surrounded by other opinionated people, I hear arguments over opinions all the time; Movies, music, religion, food, sports, blah blah blah…it all doesn’t matter. Now, this in no way means you or me or anyone is gonna stop having them but people have to learn to sometimes just agree to disagree.

You like cats? I hate them. Nothing you could ever say or do will change that…and nothing I could say or do would ever change your mind either. Just let it go…opinions make people so fucking protective of themselves and dismissive of others. As I write this I’m rolling my eyes at myself cause I’m the worst about it, but whatever, I’m full of shit.
Sue me.

Women’s Taste in Other Women –

I don’t wanna hear it.

First off, if I hear another girl tell me someone like Jessica alba is not hot, I’m gonna go nuts. Whenever I hear this, I respond with; “What the fuck are you talking about?” which is usually followed by a “She’s so stupid…” response or some other attack of her character. No one said shit about sitting down and talking to her, we’re talking straight up looks here. She is hot. Chances are if you’ve told me alba isn’t hot, she’s 100% hotter then you. Sorry, case closed.

I’ve also heard people diss her tan. She’s fucking half mexican! But it’s not just alba, girls just like shitting on famous hot girls (or even other hot girls in the room). What kills me is that then they turn around and tell me half assed girls like Gwenyth Paltrow and Kate Blanchett are hot…tall, skinny, plain and blonde does not equal attractive.

I’ve noticed when women judge other women’s looks, beyond the obvious cattiness, it becomes about fashion. What women find attractive in other women (on the surface) is usually different then what a normal guy thinks. You’re average guy doesn’t notice shit like shoes, hand bags, earrings or even slight hair color changes. All those accessories mean nothing to us, they play into our opinions on female beauty very minimally. I’ve seen insanely hot girls in acid wash jeans and wrestling boots. Sure, I wouldn’t wanna date them but best believe they were still hot regardless of their shitty outfit. I honestly couldn’t describe three accessories my girlfriend wears on a regular basis but trust I could describe her boobs perfectly.

HBO TV Series Are Kinda All The Same –

First off, I love most HBO shows.
“The Wire” is easily the best drama I’ve ever seen. I watch almost all the rest of their shows and I tend to enjoy them. So, this is kinda knitpickish but I always think of this every time a new drama starts on HBO.

On east 6th street in Manhattan, there are like 50 indian restaurants in a one block radius. I used to go eat there sometimes. They all had basically the same shit for basically the same price. It occurred to me that it was possible that perhaps, instead of separate kitchens in each restaurant, there was one mega-kitchen that just churned out everything. While this is highly unlikely and totally unproven, it’s how I feel about drama’s on HBO; different plate, same meal. With few exceptions, all the shows are pretty much the same shit.

They develop plot and characters the same way and they suck in the viewer in the same way. There’s always the lovable bad guy, there’s always the gay character that defies stereotypes, there’s always the sinister evil person with no redeeming personality traits, there’s always the love story (that could be said for every tv show ever though), and there’s always the main character who is flawed yet overwhelmingly likable.

It’s a formula that HBO came up with that guarantees people to get addicted to whatever show it is. Kinda like certain chords in music that will always make hits cause the human ear is just partial to certain patterns. Whatever it is, props to HBO cause they’ve figured some shit out that no other tv channel has since FOX dabbled with it in the late 80’s (unfortunately for FOX, it only worked on 12 year old boys).

The Validity Of Carob As A Chocolate Substitute –

Liking carob is one thing, I’d say it undeniably sucks but if you like it, more power to you. But the second motherfuckers start trying to pull off the “it’s just as good as chocolate! eat my carob brownies!” Bullshit, it’s a wrap.

Fuck carob and all you carob pushers.

“Based On A True Story” –

Whenever a movie comes out with “based on a true story” next to the title, I think people assume it lends validity to said film. It’s something I never gave much thought to, and thus, never really questioned.

A while back, I went and saw this movie called “The Strangers”. It’s a horror movie “based on a true story” about this couple staying at a house in the woods who gets hunted down by coy maniacs in the most torturous way possible. Basically, lots of cat and mouse games. One of the killers wore a creepy burlap bag over his head with facial features crudely drawn on. Needless to say, everyone gets murdered.

The movie was forgettable but, due to how graphic it got and how weird the killers were, I was curious about what it was based on so I wikipedia’d that shit and found out the “true story” it was based on. It was based on something that actually happened to the writer (or director, I forget), Apparently, he and his girlfriend were at a country house and someone kept ringing the door bell at 2 am. That’s it. That’s what this fucking movie was based on. Some asshole ringing a bell. It was also said to be based on the Manson murders so that explains where all the death parts came from.

My point is, these film people take some serious liberty with the word “based”. I’m gonna make a movie about a flying dragon who shits rainbows and befriends a young crippled boy in space. They go on all sorts of adventures and it’s totally based on a true story. What actually happened is when I was 5 I ate a whole bag of green grapes and my shit was bright green.

So, it’s totally based on reality.

Subtitling American People Talking On American TV –

I was watching that show Gangland and they were interviewing some gang members from Florida. They kept putting subtitles while these guys were speaking perfectly understandable english. I know old people have trouble understanding slang and everything but gimmie a fucking break. I have a harder time understanding people with a lisp then these seemingly unintelligible gang members.

It’s ok if it’s some deep south yokel who talks like he’s never stepped out of a forest or some new orleans creole type who talks in the that super thick “i garrroooonnnteee” accent but otherwise, it’s just unnecessary and kinda racist. In a way, it demeans these people like they’re soooooo uneducated that they need a translator for anyone who’s not from the hood.

In reality, they speak fine. Sure, the grammar is a little iffy but it’s not like they’re speaking french. My mom is a 70 plus year old white woman, and she sure as hell can’t decipher rap lyrics. she only hears the curses but even she can follow some gangbanger talking about doing dirt without needing the play by play.

Lotions Made With Real Fruit –

My mom was watching tons of “queer eye for the straight guy” and got it in her head that I needed “product” in my life. This meant I got a bunch of fruity soaps and facial scrubs for christmas last year (young people beware: this is the kinda shit you get for christmas when you’re over 30). This one thing she gave me is some raspberry body wash, it literally has little raspberry seeds in it and smells like a fruit salad…but it’s soap.

What the fuck is that about?

That kinda shit is asking for some dumb motherfucker to just eat it cause it smells so appetizing. All I’m saying is keep soap soapy. Are we such a food obsessed culture that we need our non-food cleaning products to remind us of food? It’s like people who like to bring food into the bedroom (sexually).

Get your mind right!

Fuckin’ actors

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There’s this commercial I used to see all the time for verizon. It’s the one with an old british man portraying “Sir Charge”. Everytime I see it, for some reason, it spawns this weird fury in my gut…

For a while, I didn’t get it. Why was this harmless commercial angering me so much? Then it hit me. The actor in it is a complete dickface and his existence annoys me. There’s nothing worse then an actory actor.

For every great actor (there are a few), there are at least one million other drama club douche’s who are sooooo fucking involved in their shtick that they don’t even realize what clowns they actually are. It makes me think of the path one takes to get where they are.

Like, for instance, “Sir Charge”. He’s about 65 years old, he obviously fancies himself a serious actor. I mean, shit, he dove dick first into his portrayal of the obnoxious and smarmy role of “Sir Charge”. I can only imagine how he’d act if it fucking mattered even the tiniest mosquito cock amount. But the question is, “How did he end up there?” And, “Why him?” Unfortunately, I don’t have these answers but, at the same time, fuck that guy and his whole life. I’ve always imagined he was some sort of acting coach in real life and he shows his students that commercial.

I think the problem with actors (and really all people involved in the arts) is that they take themselves waaaaaay too seriously. Of all the arts, acting is one anyone can do decently. That’s why rappers and musicians can act, that’s why athletes can act. Cause it’s fucking easy. Getting on a high horse about “being an actor” is some seriously bitch ass shit. As an actor, your job is to pretend…that’s what kids do in kindergarten. With all this said, there are many great actors who I respect immensely. However, it’s the other 99% of them that can blow me…

When I was 21 I took an acting class. I had dropped out of college, had no real skills and my rapping career wasn’t exactly taking off. Not to mention, I was on a public access show for three years where we just fucked around and improvised skits about dick jokes. It seemed easy enough so, I figured “hmm..I’m kinda funny…maybe I should be an actor.” I went to the class and it’s straight up acting 101. The teacher was a fat gay dude who was arguably between 55 and 70 years old. He was long winded, condescending and just an overall loser. Think a slightly toned down Jon Lovitz character. I’m sure he killed shit off broadway when he was younger but I’d be willing to bet the height of his career may have been doing extra work in a Model-T Ford commercial when TV’s first came out.

Anyway, our first assignment was to do something completely normal, like dry dishes or fold laundry. The teacher was like, “Go home and practice and show me what you’ve created next week.” Needless to say, I didn’t even think about it till I was walking into the class the next week. I did some bullshit where I made a sandwich but the mayo had turned. Apparently this was some advanced shit cause the teacher thought it was great. I figured I was on easy street from there on out cause, well, a retarded lungfish could do what I did. The weeks passed and the assignments got slightly more detailed, I kept not practicing and getting rave reviews.
That was until about the 4th week where we were to have a phone conversation, our first spoken moment. It was enough to ALMOST make me think of practicing. The day came and I watched all the other fucking idiots in my class fumble around and get decent feedback. They had obviously practiced in front of a mirror. I went up and picked up the phone “Hello?” and proceeded to have a nonsensical conversation about “the plans for the evening.” I finished and felt as if I had done well enough (kinda my game plan in all the schooling I’ve ever had). I guess I had really sucked cause my 75 year old queen of a teacher ripped me a new asshole. Words like “buffoon” and “dilly dally” were thrown around. I recall him asking “Did you even practice that at all?” To which I said something to the effect of “Are you serious?” By the time he was done, his face was red and I was just kinda nodding until he stopped talking. Needless to say, I never went back.

There was a moment where I was actually somewhat shamed by that experience cause he went off on me in a way I’d expect someone might if they had found out I had an underaged prostitution ring running out of their basement. It was harsh…but, on the walk home, I remembered “Oh yeah, that dipshit teaches acting…fuck that guy.”

And I felt much better.