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May 13, 2005

MJ's House of Hoe Cakes (Flippin' Shit)

I Ain't Mad at the Villain...>

“While in London promoting and performing for the debut of Madvilliany, Madlib hand-delivered Egon Further Adventures... in May of 2004. Late at night, after the show, he sauntered to Abbey Road certifiably bugging out. "I was walking around for hours, till the sun came up, listening to the record," Egon recalls. "We just released Madvillany, and he turned this in?!"

Surprised, and with good reason as what could have been a low-key collaboration with DOOM turned over record-breaking sales across the globe, with Soundscans of close to 60,000 in the U.S. alone and six-figure shipping numbers for the world at large. In an industry where 10,000 copies sold could be definitely considered a success, these were some serious units for indie ... " - Elemental Magazine, 2005 by Peter Agoston

Soundscans of close to 60,000, hmmm? Well isn’t this the greatest story never told, then?

Twenty-eight years old. I’m back in L.A., waking up at one of the half-nice hotels they’ve still got downtown, on the top floor. There’s a fat, balding, older man asleep next to me, calling the hogs a/k/a snoring in a major way. He’s missing a couple of teeth, but he covers them with gold and ruby fronts in public. He’s a rapper-slash-producer, okay, MC-slash-producer, and we’re “on the coast” recording a concept album in the east L.A. hills with another MC-slash producer. Oh yeah, it’s my concept. Oh yeah, I have to babysit this guy. Oh yeah, the album’s cut, we go on one concert date where I also have to road manage, after a relationship was totally out of the question...then we break forever. Oh yeah, I never get paid nor do I get my fucking A&R credit.” – excerpt from my upcoming autobiography.

Here’s the rundown. Plain and simple. I managed Doom’s business career, and acted as a creative manager on many fronts from the time he re-released “Black Bastards” with Ready Rock Records, until just before “Madvillainy” was released commercially. I was also active in music journalism at the time, and I interviewed Madlib for Mass Appeal Magazine. We discussed many of the jazz greats, and whether or not his uncle, Jon Faddis, had ever jammed with my father, Buell Neidlinger. We decided they probably had. At the end of our interview, ‘Lib mentioned that he really wanted to work with MF Doom, more than any other living artist. I shut off the minidisk, looked him in the eye, and told him I’d make it happen. I’d previously conceptualized Doom and Madlib doing a collabo project – both Monalisa Murray and Havana Joe can attest to that fact.

I called Doom to discuss the particulars, and we began to negotiate with Stonesthrow Records – Chris “Peanut Butter Wolf” Manak and Eothen “Egon” Alopatt. They didn’t want to cough up for an LP, but wanted to do a 12”. Doom didn’t want to go to California for 12” money. We backed and forthed. I mediated, as Doom disliked discussing business, preferring to play the artist role. All parties eventually agreed to go forward with the 12” to start.

We flew to L.A. I drove Doom everywhere, we listened to Madlib’s beats. This process continued. Stonesthrow cats LOVED the shit Doom and ‘Lib were cutting in the studio. Renegotations commenced. A deal was struck for an LP. They wanted it to remain on their label and pay Doom as a featured artist. We went back to Cali, recorded some more, and they played Coachella. In the meantime Doom had asked me to leave some vocals on his voice mail. He dropped them into the song “Fancy Clown”. Immediately after Coachella I ended all dealings with Doom, personal as well as professional (see excerpt, above).

In short, Stonesthrow refused to give me a co-A&R credit, although by even the most loose industry standards I’d be entitled to that credit. They called me a “project consultant” and my vocals were used under the name “Allah’s Reflection” as I’d been called on MF Grimm’s LP, The Downfall of Iblys. I was compensated neither for the use of my vocals, nor for my involvement with the project. In true Doom form, I was never given a percentage of any monies received from Stonesthrow after the initial 10% of a little-bit-of-nothin’ for the 12”.

I ran into Wolf in the airport in NYC last summer. He looked real shook. I gave him my number, and told him we needed to talk. In true Wolf form, he didn’t call to discuss.

Madlib was at the airport too. We gave each other a big hug. Huge smiles. He's one of the best people I've come across, who just happens to make music because he loves to do it; and it just happens to make a lot of people, from Chris Manak to Michael Bull, plenty of money. And hopefully it's enough for him to take care of his daughter and enjoy life.

As far as Doom goes, I have to call it as I see it. Doom has burned a lot of people in this biz. From Grimm, to Lord Scotch, to the Monsta Island Czars, to Count Bass D…the list goes on and on. Then again, he does give young, unknown cats a chance to rhyme on records, not that that's not a mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship. And at least he takes care of his kids. But when he has it in his mind to not pay you, that's that. It’s sad to see, but he’s just repeating the bad Jewish business habits (as opposed to Jews who do good business) inflicted upon him in his youth as Zev Love X of KMD. And I understand that, plus overstand it.

In the end, there’s no financial gain in music. There’s only hope, and soul, and feeling, and reflection, and upliftment, and nourishment, and love. And where there’s none of that, there is no art. And when the laws of man govern those who strive to live by spiritual laws, it’s only themselves they have to blame. A King rules where he rests. And karma is swift. What goes around comes back around again.


P.S. Doom-illy, if you're reading this, it's all good, Love is Love. You're fine, you can still go see Gee Supreme Allah, he was just telling you to get at me. And if nothing else, don't I deserve to get paid after suffering through that Viktor Vaughn album with you? Smile.

P.P.S. Comments are now closed. All ya'll boy-groupies can go start your own blog about how hard you jock rappers.

p.p.p.s. I put them back. Behave.


At 3:16 PM, Blogger Rome said...

Record company people are shadyyyy...

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous overstandin said...

somebody sounds bitter. there are 2 sides to every story...

At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like a pitiful Hoe Cake that the Supa could'nt even help...

At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, we dropped K.M.D. because they were unwilling to acknowledge that horrorcore was the wave of the future.

Jewey McHaterap

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Buttaz said...

Queen i'm sorry you went through that. You're a better person than 99% of these niggas. So always keep your head up.


At 4:45 PM, Anonymous TK said...

peace to the queen. that's some real foul shit right there thank you for speaking on it cos I don't want to be supporting any of that shit financially and spending the hard-earned nahmean? All these anonomous motherfuckas on here talkin shitty you must be some male groupies i'm out

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Zodiac Digital said...

"And at least he takes care of his kids."

euphemisms for "weed carriers" = funny

At 10:17 PM, Blogger John said...

Just read your pops and RZA story.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bad jewish business habits? c'mon now. why do you have to go there?

At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean that barely audible vocal work on Fancy Clown? lol Too many ppl want finders fee's for shit. Its like getting mad because you introduced two ppl who got married and they didnt make you their best man/maid of honor.

At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck you for that anti-jewish shit. Fuck you for REAL if u said that shit to my face i'd spit on you.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger MJ said...

Dear Anonymous Ones,

I'll leave comments open 'cause everyone is entitled to their opinion. I love how all the dickriders are coming out to anonymously stick up for their hero-villain. All good, stay on his dick and stay off my ovaries.

I'll answer to the jew-ish comment only. Understand, I have Jews in my family. There's a real difference from being a Jew and jewish. There are plenty of Jews who conduct standard business practices. Your beloved DOOM would say the same thing.

For someone so obviously incensed at the comment, I'd think you'd state your name? It's cool though, I won't say fuck you back; but you're invited to try to spit on me. Assault is an open invitation to self-defense, and mine is wild style.


At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MJ we talked some years ago. Get at me so we can talk about all this. You might remember my situation back in the day. Hit me at www.ruggedsoul.com the contact page has my email.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats y u sposed to ask for money upfront... shit i even make my moms tip me for goin to the store :)

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous FWMJ said...

ID sent me this link. Interesting read. Sucky situation.

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Obi said...

Weak situation. I'm sorry you got dicked around. Keep workin' and set stuff straight from now on. Peace

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand you're muuuuch closer to the artists than I am, but serious. Doom + Madlib isn't a stunning collab. It was incredible - given - but not that suprising. You didn't fixthe deal, you didn't produce; you were phone in vocals, and I respect that. The fact that you had your voice on a quality record like this is something to be proud of. So DO something with it man, make a name for yourself without using some other artist to pay your way for you. PS only reason this is anonymous is because I don't have a website or nothing.

Duncan from Baltimore

At 1:01 PM, Blogger MJ said...

Peace Duncan. Thanks for being a grown man and posting who U are and where U rep. Good things.

Understand. Re-read. Check all the links. Stonesthrow did give me credit - as "project consultant". Don't really know what that means, I specifically requested co-A&R credit with Wolf, DOOM, Lib and myself. The young minion Egon told me "Well, A&R credits are as rare as hens teeth here at Stonesthrow". The fuck outta here.

U will never know, nor will anyone else who wasn't there, how much work I put in, how much stress I endured, how much creativity I'm responsible for. To put it in a nice way, I've been a MUSE. To put it blunt, a lot of MCs and producers have cold bit a lot of shit from me, both lyrically and from diggin in my crates. This will never be acknowledged, save by Allah and Karma (how does copper turn green? oxidization, refer to Alchemical texts).

And please understand, I'm not dissing anyone personally here. DOOM is one of our foremost musicians, MCs, producers, and he's even kinda ill at Graffiti. Although the original DOOM's name was Jason and I went to L.A.C.E.S. with him in the 1980s. PB Wolf, amazing DJ. Very nice guy. Very quiet and laid back. Egon. Crazy nice (when he's not acting out orders.) Dope crate digger. Extremely knowledgeable about the roots and genres of music which precede Hip Hop.

And as far as me not doing anything with my life, take a moment, read more of the B-Log besides this one post. Learn about what we're doing out here in MN with B-Girl Be. Study my work from STRESS Magazine. It'll take a while, but reading is FUN-da-mental.

Thanks 2 all who're reading (albeit partially) this post.

Big up to KMD, Zev Love X, DJ Subroc (PBUH)...one of the greatest Hip Hop groups in history.


At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the so-called difference between "being a Jew and being jewish"? Leave my people out of your mouth (which is undoubtedly a busy throughfare) and blame what happened to you on your own trusting and ignorant nature.

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jewish anonymous, do you read much? she said "I have Jews in my family"... so then your people = some of her people?: just sayin

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No fuckwit, if she chooses to villify us in such a manner then obviously, we are merely some people "in here family" and she herself chooses not to stand in solidarity with us, but that is beside the point totally: stop being a fucking apologist, there are plenty of self-hating jews and moreover, she is not even among them...replace her statement with "I can't be a racist, I have black friends" and you see how hollow the statement rings. The fact is, she has made a foolish anti-semitic statement, and once it leaves the mouth (or the keyboard as it were) you can't take it back and however many self-righteous caveats one may issue, they don't change the fact that this bitter fool who wasn't even smart enough to sign a management contract is a fucking bigot. Don't blame my people because you broke the first rule of business and were so dumb or sprung or whatever that you did business without proper paperwork. That's got nothing to do with the jews and everything to do with her own fucking stupidity.

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

up and down a&r work is industry monkey bullshit. i'm sure you did put in a lot of work callin on the phone, drivin people around you know all that blood sweat and tears shit. industry cats want SO much credit and cream for their push button capers it's ridiculous. think about it, when an artist makes a dope album that ends up on top lists and people around the world love it, should he sit around and mope about numbers and profits and shit? no, he should be happy that he made some dope shit and move on to the next thing. but that's all you people deal with is that insignificant credits and numbers and cash bullshit so when you think something is sour you get all gay about it and start feeling jerked and hold grudges, etc. hell i can't even tell what you really want from all this. fancy clown is a nice song because the beat is nice and doom is too, and the shit would have been nice even if you didn't have anything to do with it. also you need to quit trippin on the fact that these comments are anonymous. i'm mike from ny does that mean anything to you? do you even know how the internet works? the computer is not a stove bitch

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

these industry niggas is worse than snitches, they all run they mouths somethin vicious. mj's in the streets.

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous x2y said...

Alot of people are muses for others and many times or should I say rarely do they get their proper due. I'll give you props for contributing in the creative process. Thats always bitter sweet.

But it let go and keep it moving you're not the first to get dicked by industry Rule # 4080(unless you're talking millions which I doubt) and like they say "If you then what you know now" you'd be in a better situation. Do you son if persuing this is in this manner is what's good. Go for yours.

Repping a new state of mind.

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

x2y speaks the truth.

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rapp snitches, tellin' all they business
sit in the court and be they own star witness
do you see the purpatraitor, yeah im right here
fuck around get the whole label sent up for years

At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dang, DOOM is missing teeth?

At 7:09 PM, Blogger mohamed said...

Doom seems like a real bitch... story after story of him ripping people off keeps coming up. However, his fans, that hate the majors for their shady business, praise him for his.

I don't support shit that dude does no more, because of his fucking people over like that.

On the real he seems like a bitch.

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous IronMan said...

is the difference between a jew and jewish the same as a nigger and a blak person?

if any thing this chick needs a chauffers fee, and word to whoever said it, just cause your up in someones life who creates shit u think u deserve a cut? unless you was sittin there through the shit like "oh doom, yo i got this sample for you to use" or "nah, redo that shit doom it'll sound better like this" then you wasn't doin shit

At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Gangalino said...

I saw your post, I think on Adisa's site, talking about not being a groupie, and blah blah blah, and I'm not saying you are, but you know mfs that listen to this music tend to be around the streets, and that's why we connect with the stories rapped, and how things go down. So you have to know that niggas know how white girls get down with this scene, so I have to ask, if you're not a groupie, being a young white girl and all that, what were you doing "...waking up at one of the half-nice hotels they’ve still got downtown, on the top floor. There’s a fat, balding, older man asleep next to me, calling the hogs a/k/a snoring in a major way. He’s missing a couple of teeth, but he covers them with gold and ruby fronts in public."? You like fat, bald, toothless men? Word?
There's nothing wrong w/ doing your thing, don't have to put any labels on it, but tell it like it is, no?

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Gangalino said...

I have to apologize, I checked further into your site and saw that you're not a white girl. Sorry to disrespect you like that.
But you like the old fat, bald, toothless ones, eee? :)

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At 1:16 PM, Blogger JenD said...

I'm throwing this question out to as many people as I can. The song "Fancy Clown" on the Album: Madvillainy (2004) by Artist: Madvillain

Where does the little hook come from?

"I hear you in the background whenever I phone, telling your brother to say your gone. You've been driftin around the town, with some fancy clown."

No google search has found this yet, I need knowledge from someone :)

At 1:17 PM, Blogger JenD said...

I'm throwing this question out to as many people as I can. The song "Fancy Clown" on the Album: Madvillainy (2004) by Artist: Madvillain

Where does the little hook come from?

"I hear you in the background whenever I phone, telling your brother to say your gone. You've been driftin around the town, with some fancy clown."

No google search has found this yet, I need knowledge from someone :)

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Sekou said...

The sample for "Fancy Clown" comes from ZZ Hill's "That Ain't the Way You Make Love".


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