* I asked him to honestly rate The Private Press by DJ Shadow:

136. "On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate it a..."
In response to message #131
9. When the advance leaked way back when, I didn't quite embrace the "new wave"-ness of some of the songs. I knew where it was coming from, but I wasn't in tune with it yet. It would take me a year or so before I finally figured it out. He's pretty much doing the same thing he has been doing for the last 11 years, but with different music. It was still being done with a hip-hop approach. Immediately I understood the name of the album, and how the Recordios refer to the songs, but as far as what each song meant, I only knew half the story when the advance came out. I still think the album is better when "100 Metre Dash" in it.

137. "I will answer them all"
In response to message #133
>will chris cornell ever do anything as good as his work in
I only heard one song from that solo album. I really liked the Audioslave album, the lyrics still had the depth and crypticness (is that a word?) that his Soundgarde stuff had, from when they were still an "art" band.

>will billy corgan ever do anything as good as his work in
>smashing pumpkins?
Hard to say. Smashing Pumpkins worked because of the power of his lyrics and the power of a band as a whole. They had style in their music, which is something sorely missing in a lot of bands today. It's more outward style than inward.

>do you think the really big fans of the strokes, the white
>stripes, the hives, the vines, franz ferdinand, etc. are
>completely ignorant of the 60s and 70s bands they're ripping
>off or do you think they appreciate both?

Half of their fans could care less, the other half are fully aware of it. When The White Stripes were on Sympathy For The Record Industry, they were loved for their genuine love of the blues, just as some had loved Pussy Galore, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, or Boss Hog for Spencer's distorted twist of it. That's when music becomes a fashion to some, when these old bands are seen as "archaic", and it takes a new band with a new, younger, brigher face to feed it back to them. With grunge, you pretty much had the same thing, and fortunately these bands (Mudhoney, Nirvana, Tad, Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone) didn't hesitate from saying "we love The Stooges, MC5, The Wipers, Black Sabbath, and Kiss". These were guys who loved music that most people thought was dead, so when it came back to the public, it felt new. The thing is, it wasn't new, but it was a renewed energy in the music, and more importantly a renewed interest in what came before. I would like to think the same applies to a lot of these new bands, and fans who choose to dig deeper. I can see bands who are nothing more than copycat bands, record company inventions for the sake of having their own Hives. They would be doing songs for Nickelodeon or Chicken Of The Sea if it wasn't for someone who said "wear suits, rock hard, and go ahead and pierce your lip." The reason there are so many bands like this is that people are hungry. Including the bands, because "Melrose Place" is off the air. Remember anytime there was an important scene in "Melrose Place", and you'd hear a guitar solo to give the scene emphasis? The same guitarist is now probably waiting for an agent to call him and say "we need a new Hives."

>is intelligent techno (eg: artists on warp records) going
>anywhere or has it reached its apex (no pun intended) and is
>now going to branch off into even more extreme and bizarre
With any form of dance music, someone will want to do something different, because it is accepted to be different. Someone grows bored with the current sound, and will want to be distinct from everyone else. I am not familiar with what would be called "Intelligent Techno", I have a hard time smiling when I hear "IDM", but I think regardless of it's lasting power, what is important is someone's need to create new music, to experiment and hope for something else.

>will conscious rap really have its huge moment in the
>mainstream again like people predicted after kanye's album
>came out?
I think there will be a "movement", but its intent for some rappers may be different than what came before. I am sure Kanye was honest when he did "Jesus Walks", but he is praising a white man's God. In 1990, that would have never happened. Paris, Poor Righteous Teachers, and X-Clan would have beaten his ass.

Wasn't it Nelly who said that artists shouldn't get political in their music? Let's keep that in mind if and when a conscious movement happens again in hip-hop. I guarantee this will happen though. If a movement comes to be, mainstream magazines will look at all of these artists with powerful songs, a "renewal" of the 1989 spirit of hip-hop. But then it'll take someone else to write an article about "if this is a renewal of consciousness, where did that consciousness go?", and it will look into the countless underground albums that did speak out against the powers that be. Company Flow often looked into why things are the way they are, while mainstream rappers for the most part said "fuck it, I got money, I got a car, I got pussy, I'm living the good life." The Geto Boys celebrated all of these things too, but listen to that album on Def American. But listen to "Fuck 'Em", "Do It Like A G.O." and "City Under Seige". You have Bushwick Bill in "Fuck 'Em" deliverying a verse that may have been overlooked within the rise of West Coast hip-hop:

"the whole faculty's on crack
you say I can't wear my hat, well yo, fuck that
you call yourself 'teacher', but what's being taught?
How to fuck kids and not get caught?
How can you teach a reacher?
When you're too busy in the hall trying to fuck the other teacher"

This was far from 2Deep's "I Didn't Do My Homework".

Last week's election results are going to spark something, and artists are going to have to take a big risk, especially artists who are signed to major labels. Jay-Z delivered a moving verse in the remix of that Panjabi MC song. What if Freeway does a song, and it talks about his hate for Bush's administration. Will that be the only reason that you can't download it from iTunes? Will a major label release that song on vinyl or CD as is? Or will there be more interaction between artist and fan on their websites?

"The youth vote" was very important in this election, and I am sure a lot of them were confused by the bullshit which happened, on both sides. It will take awareness in the next four years for these new voters to get a better look at the process that currently exists. In terms of the issues, hip-hop used to be very blunt. It has to be very blunt again, and I hope the next four years will make artists stand up and fight through music. Again, there is a risk factor, where one didn't exist before 14 years ago. Many artists were conscious, but it wasn't a billion dollar powerhouse. Money is involved, and the man on top may say "I don't like your views, let's take away your endorsements, your forthcoming tour, in fact, let me take away your contract."

There is a place for music made for dancing, for going to to the club and just let loose. But there is also a place for artists to speak out, in a genre of music known for its words. That's why it's called "rap", the old term which means "let's speak", or as I would say "we go talk story". After the 2000 elections, I was sure that the next four years would bring forth an uprising in rappers. After 9/11, I said "this is the perfect time". Like the movie "1941", nothing happened. There is tension in this country, and the best way to do it is through music. I want it to happen, because it needs to happen. Within the Vietnam war, Roberta Flack did "Business Goes On As Usual". A few years ago, country artist Kasey Chambers did a song about 9/11 that had nothing to do with kicking the enemies ass (as Toby Keith might say). Steve Earle did a song which talked about John Walker Lindh, and it pissed the country music world off. We all know what happened to the Dixie Chicks.

>what is the best roots album in your opinion?<

>what would the beatles have sounded like if they continued
>up until 1980? geniuses or crap? would they have taken the
>rolling stones route and had a rapid decline or would they
>remain innovators? let's say for the sake of argument that
>john and paul in particular were able to patch things
>together after a breakup from 1970-1972, and the other two
>members believed it would last so they continued on. would
>george martin keep working with them or would some of the
>big 70s producers have been given a shot? (eg: more phil
>spector or do you think they'd never do that again after
>"let it be"?)

I don't want to know. There was so much tension in the group, that there was a breaking point. I think they would have went downhill, because this is the decade that gave us "The Morning After" and "Alone Again (Naturally)". I think it would have been a big vehicle for Paul, and John would not have had as much great music as he did in the 1970's.

I think George Martin wouldn't be involved, and yet all of them had said that Sir George was an important factor in most of their music.

Phil Spector contributed a lot to John's post-LET IT BE work, but I am not sure if Paul would have agreed to having him.

I don't want to answer this question anymore. The Beatles are locked in time, and I would prefer to keep them in that time machine. We all like to ask "WHAT IF?" but they broke up at the right time, because there was some incredible music to come out in the early 1970's, all of which would have been looked over for the sake of The Beatles. All bands from that point on looked at The Beatles as the blueprint. Lasting longer than The Beatles is something that every band wants to do.

>what would joy division sound like after 2 more albums? i
>predicted on another message board a couple years ago that
>if ian had stayed alive they would have been the radiohead
>of the '80s.
I think the music would have gotten much darker, as if it wasn't already.

>why are people so boring in their intolerance of "different
>sounding" voices like bjork's? in past decades, a unique
>voice was an asset, not a detriment.
Because it's "foreign". If it's "foreign" in every sense of the word, and it doesn't conform to a standard, it's viewed as "weird".

>predict the next fad in rock music (after retro rock).<
Big band electronica.

>will rza ever reach his potential as a
>producer/songwriter/musician? do you see him scoring movies
>in 10 years or do you think after the wu calls it quits in
>the next 2-3 years (unless i'm wrong about that) he'll be
>unable to find work? it's been surprising for me that he
>hasn't been doing much production work outside of wu
>projects and he's one of the greatest of all time.
He reached his peak in 1996, and even by then his production team were surpassing him. 4th Disciple, Ill Y-Kim, Tru Master, listen to WU-TANG FOREVER. I knew RZA was over when I heard Killarmy's "Wake Up". I'll give him the benefit of the doubt though. I see him doing more soundtracks, and hopefully for more high profile films.

>why aren't there more non-soundtrack compilations? what
>happened? and when there are comps, how come more
>established artists no longer contribute new tracks? or is
>this just my own misperception?

I think there are a lot of compilations out there. I used to be a huge soundtrack junkie, and I need to get back into it again. There's a comp called ABERFOYLE SPRINGS COMPILATION VOL.2 -WELL FLAVOURED BEATS or whatever its called. That one is great. Pick that up.

I don't know. Things are fucked, and artists don't even realize it. If it was me, I would be contributing to as many compilations as possible, not only to have my presence on a comp, but if I had any level of a following, someone might hear me and go "wow, these other artists sound pretty good too." It's all about helping each other, and I know that's done today. But Jay-Z extending a hand to R. Kelly obviously didn't work.

-John Book

Someone else asked him what his favorite album by The Roots was so he elaborated:

138. "I mentioned it in the reply before yours, but..."
In response to message #134

DO YOU WANT MORE? stands up for me because it's slick, and yet still has a rawness to it, without the extra dressing that the group, and specifically ?ues,t has admitted to adding over the years. "Lazy Afternoon", "Datskat", "Silent Treatment"... I love all of those songs, and especially "Distortion To Static". It has the feel of a jazz album, where it's laid back and relaxed, but you know it's hip-hop. It's funky, but it's "funk for us", if that makes sense (us, as in the hip-hop community). Stetsasonic may have been a hip-hop band, but there were some crap on BLOOD SWEAT & NO TEARS). DO YOU WANT MORE? doesn't have one bad song on there. The album also came out a time when the G-Funk was losing steam and during the rise of the Wu-Tang empire, it was a blue thumb sticking out, and the attitude on the album was "fuck it, this is what we are, we're not catering to anyone."

It was an album that places itself in the middle of the end of one era, and the beginning of the other, and it sounds like neither.