Phillip Mlynar

Oct 01

Talking to Despot about the Unabomber, nearly signing to Bad Boy, and his art collection


I GUESS THERE is a lot of eccentric art in this environment I
call home,” says Despot as he walks through the entryway to his Greenpoint, Brooklyn apartment. Clad in crisp white Nikes, the flame-haired rapper and co-owner of the Santos Party House performance space in Manhattan saunters past a pair of colossal guns and gestures toward a pile of musty-looking possessions that once belonged to serial killer Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber. Despot secured the stash of clothing, ID cards, and other effects through auction, and now owns what he playfully calls his “murderer’s garbage.”

Photo via Alexander Richter.)

“On "Let’s Dance" there’s the classic gated snare drum sound that was making its way into prevalence around that time, but the real genius is the kick drum pattern that Omar plays on that record. It’s incredibly intricate, but also danceable.” — A tribute to Omar Hakim, the funky drummer of the ’80s.

Sep 30

The peculiar world of band practice spaces.

The peculiar world of band practice spaces.

Sep 29

Sep 25

In Search of Doom (Again)

Five years ago, I boarded a plane from JFK to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on the instruction that at some point between takeoff and landing the hip-hop artist MF Doom would text me from a secret cell-phone number and give me directions about how to meet him for an interview. The texts arrived in the form of a series of cryptic comments that played out as a treasure hunt across downtown Atlanta. They eventually led to a bar he’d turned into a super-villain’s lair. (The password for the doorman: “Villain.”) After a three-hour interview punctuated with pints of black-and-tans and whiskey shots, Doom rounded up his cronies (clad in stocking masks) and engineered an exit from the premises. At that point, the regular staff returned and acted as if Doom had never even been there.

Meow The Jewels.

Meow The Jewels.

Fantastic damage.

Fantastic damage.

“"I bought records on the basis of the cover all the time and that’s actually how I discovered Lalo Schifrin. Then you start putting composers and time periods together and you realize that if you like a certain record label then you’re going to like most of the bands on that label. So for me it was like, "Okay, that’s Enter The Dragon. But hang on, wait, that’s the same guy as Dirty Harry and that’s the same guy as Mission: Impossible."” — Devon E. Levins (of Morricone Youth) on the search for the perfect soundtrack.

Aug 19

Steve Arrington Talks About The Sampling Game

I’ve talked to Q-Tip about how he used “Beddie-Biey” in “The Chase Pt. II.” We discussed it and he told me his feelings about it and what he dug about my music. I’ve talked to DJ Quik about it as well and how he felt the importance of the song “Weak At The Knees” had on west coast hip-hop, especially like with N.W.A. using it for “Gangsta Gangsta” and also Ice Cube used it as well [on “The Nigga Ya Love To Hate”]. It’s been interesting to discuss these things with different artists and hear them talk about it. I enjoy these artists myself too — I’m certainly a Tribe fan and an N.W.A. and Ice Cube fan and I got acquainted with DJ Quik’s production as well. It was great to talk to these guys.”