Phillip Mlynar

Jul 22

Talking Comedy and Raps (and Raps With Comedy) With Jean Grae

"I didn’t feel it bombed because I thought it was hilarious, but Hannibal Buress was doing a Knitting Factory show and he wanted a musical guest and he asked me to suggest some. I suggested some people and I think they were out of town and I was like, “Well, alternatively I can bring my band. You know, my new band that I just made up right now. We can do lounge versions of Mos Def songs.” He was like “Yeah, let’s do that.” I have never cleared a room so fast.

"It was packed and about halfway through “Boogie Man” people were just leaving. It was myself and my friend Kwame [Brandt-Pierce] on the keyboard and we don’t stop; my friends are at the front crying with laughter but people are leaving so fast. We get through both of our songs and there are maybe just ten people left in the room. Hannibal is not coming back on stage. So then I went on and did some jokes about cocaine for another five minutes. [pauses] We were also called… Let me find the flyer for you [searches through iPhone pictures]. I have to tell you, I thought it was hilarious. We just played for the wrong audience – you have to have a crowd that’s gonna appreciate you doing only lounge-jazz versions of Mos Def songs.”

More comedic musings over at RBMA.

May 21

The Making of Non Phixion’s The Future Is Now

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Goretex: “When I make a reference to two dollar sandwiches in the song “We Are The Future,” there was a place not far from the projects, like a Dominican place, and we were cool with the guys. Me and Ill Bill would go there because other sandwiches in the area were like $5 or $6 and sometimes we didn’t have that so we figured we’d put a dollar in together and figure out how the hell we were gonna eat. The Dominican deli would hook us up the best; we’d have turkey and cheese, roast beef and cheese, salami and cheese, whatever.

"One day I’m watching the news at six in the morning on ABC and the 20/20 thing was on gun dealing in Brooklyn and all of a sudden I see the deli and there’s a guy on camera trying to buy guns from one of the owners, one of the Dominican guys. I keep watching and you can see me in the background holding my money, picking out drinks, waiting to be served. That was like the most bizarre thing to see yourself in the news when they’re trying to set-up some guys for a huge gun deal. So when I think of two dollar sandwiches, I think of the Dominican deli.”

More behind-the-scenes anecdotes over at MySpace.

(Pic courtesy of Get On Down.)

May 15

“Dr. Oz said he’s only just coming to grips with the voices in his head. Not voices in a mysterious way, but the ones asking why you haven’t succeeded enough, or why you didn’t go further in education, or why you’re not married by now. Dr. Oz only just realized it’s not taboo to deal with those voices that cause you anxiety or depression. That’s the release of pressure my album addresses.” — Pharoahe Monch vs. Dr. Oz.

Apr 30

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Apr 28

Bushwick’s Finest: Forgotten Heroes of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Underground

Finsta on hearing Kid Capri spin “Finsta Baby”: “My dude Monzie D, who is a pioneer in the ‘hood, pulled his car over on Wilson and Schaefer and asked if that was me, because most cats didn’t know I rapped. It was a dope feeling.”

More ’90s Bushwick tales over at RBMA.

Funky like pooper-scoop…

Some recent Outkast bits that were fun to put together:

— Organized Noize break down the inside stories behind making Outkast’s best album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.

— Compiling a fantasy unreleased ten-track Outkast album for MTV News.

— Big K.R.I.T., B.o.B, Rittz, David Banner, Freddie Gibbs and some other rap bods look back on the influence of Outkast’s debut.

Apr 17

The Story of Rawkus Records

I got to put together an oral history of the Rawkus label for MySpace. Here’s a nugget from DJ Premier:

"I remember Busta Rhymes happened to be with us while recording "Mathematics." I sold drugs for a short period in my earlier years—not that it came to anything—but I knew my mathematics and I remember Mos Def was breaking down the ounces turning into a kilo and he was a little off with one of the numbers. Busta was like, "Hey, did you hear what he just said?" We rewound the tape and he was right. It was just one number but Busta caught it. And with that beat for "Mathematics," I remember Scarface saying, "Man, if he don’t do a song to that I want that. I have never heard a beat like that in my life." I love that beat."

Apr 07

Presenting the 28-Course Action Bronson Tasting Menu

Mar 18

“It was crazy ‘cause it wasn’t a hip-hop club when we went there — it was house music. New York in ‘89 had Jungle Brothers come out with “I’ll House You” and the shift of hip-hop changed — hip-hop became hip-house, that’s what the fuck they was calling it!” — Onyx’s Fredro Starr reminisces about The Tunnel.