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Scott Towler is back like “Fletch Lives.”

Scott Towler: This is a first for me, interviewing a critic. Let alone one that’s in Vietnam, so I want to make sure everything gets its due diligence.

SO: Word, Dilligence is very important, shout out to J Dilla. I actually made my bio between shifts at work, I think that really shined through and you picked up on that directly though the mental on some telepathic shit. No homo.

ST: Exactly. So, that being said, we’re just going to dive right in here: The year is 2020, the world is overrun with zombies, but you, somehow, remain immune.

SO: That ain’t even no sci-fi son. The world is ALREADY 85% dumb deaf and blind so that’s already come to pass like prophecy. So ima just keep doin it like I been doin it, maxin and relaxin in hot weather with some old funk records and a beer in hand.

ST: I read that you’re a huge fan of French rap. Do you think the French call it American kissing when they use tongue?

SO: They call it freedom kissing, “le baise de la liberte”. On the real, there aren’t actually any french rappers, it’s all African and Arab dudes who immigrated. Shoutout to all the French rappers!

ST: Speaking of tongue, ever eaten one? How bout frog legs? The French are fucking nuts, huh?

SO: They serve whole frog [in Vietnam], fuck the legs. I’ve eaten snake, frog, cricket, tarantula, all of that shit. I don’t even eat regular animals no more. Fuck that, I’m ballin now: nothing but reptile in my belly.

ST: Have you ever owned a dog?

SO: Yeah, rest in peace Yoshi, Tango and Jazz. I’ll see you at the crossroads.

ST: Word. And your ipod died recently. RIP, man, two fold. What did that teach you about the eventual fate of mankind?

SO: When humanity resurrects after the aforementioned zombie apocalypse, the first knowledge it will be born with is the Madvillainy album and the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street.

ST: Are we as a society, too dependent on technology?

SO: Definitely, rappers need to get off the internet for a minute. Hit the corner, play some dice. Get your asses off youtube for a second and go get some sunlight. I mean, they’re buying all of these yachts in Miami and then they stay in the basement playing X-box on some 14 year old can’t get a date shit. That goes for rap fans too: the 5th element of Hip-Hop is not commenting on blogs first.

ST: You mentioned you never thought you’d become a music writer as a career path. What did you think you would be?

SO: I wanted to make movies but I hate networking and 4:00AM wake up times. Alternately: Ninja Astronaut.

ST: Ever have the urge to just throw it all away and change careers?

SO: I just did actually, I sold all of my stuff and moved to Vietnam in January and now I’m droppin science on kids, teaching them their lessons knowwhatimsaying. I’m trying to convince the faculty that a 5%er curriculum is the way forward but management isn’t trying to hear me like that. They figure they’d lose money because I’d cut out summer school entirely and just give em the Wu-Tang double CD. Which is a valid point because I’d be out of work and I’d have to burn a fuck load of CDs.

Right now, I’m a peaceful warrior though, ima tear a motherfucker’s head off and help an old lady cross the street back to back. Weed keeps me peaceful, that and dope beats.

ST: I’m pretty new to the whole “music forum” thing, having mainly used the internet for porn in my lifetime. So let me get this straight: the internet actually has a functional purpose?

SO: More like a dysfunctional purpose. Like masturbation actually so it’s all a 360 degree cypher back to porn. I did meet Rafi and Thun from Ohword on a message board though.

ST: How would you say you emerged from this forum, this collective, of like minded writers?

SO: Kicking and screaming like a newborn fuckin baby God. That’s how we emerged.

ST: In your career as a writer, it seems like you’ve been all over the place. From the earlier out of print hip hop zines of the 90s to Philaflava.com, Swag Magazine, and on to ohword.com. Now you’re a regular contributor to Passion’s site here, and lord knows how many other places you’ve published single articles or recurring pieces. What has the evolution been like for you? Are you progressing?

SO: I think I’m growing…like a plant. All I need is sunlight, water and dope shit. Often, if I stay in one box too long, I stagnate so I switch it up. I’m a plant who switches up boxes, so I’m actually a very versatile and useful plant. Right now, The Passion is the perfect spot for me though, I see myself growing and expanding with it. The Passion isn’t a box, it’s more like a 4 dimensional octagon cubicle. Many sides to its madness.

ST: Is music progressing for that matter? And are you happy with the way it’s going?

SO: It’s getting better actually. Most of the 2000’s sucked huge hairy balls but right now, Obama got me saying “Yes we Can”…get rid of all the retard rappers and douchebag Williamsburg rockers. But even the hipsters are finally getting on the ball. I like some of these new bands. They’re still biting the 80’s and are flagrantly unoriginal but at least it’s the late 80’s. That’s improvement by default. For rap I think a lot of new cats are fresh. They realize the game’s been in a rut and want to drop something new. They need iller beats though.

ST: A lot of people are wondering, and I have to ask- will there ever be an ohword.com reunion? You know, a cocktail party where you can talk about your kids and how much your 401K isn’t worth?

SO: I got love for everyone at Ohword and hated how that situation went down. As far as I know there’s no beef. Right now though we’re all bubbling on our solo projects: Rafi’s got Internet Celebrities with big Dallas Penn, Thun’s running the revival shit with T.R.O.Y, and I’m branching into non-rap writing here at the Passion. So Ohword planted a lot of seeds, it’s like the Sunflower providing tasty seed based snacks. As far as reunions go…maybe in the future. If the right situation comes up.

ST: As a critic, your work almost serves as a guide to the public. Where are you leading us? Is there a Mecca in the music world? A place, as a listener, you’ve found that seems to have the answer?

SO: The Mecca is like, Psychedelic Afro-Brazilian British invasion pop made entirely out of samples and breakbeats. Either that or rap from 1994. Can’t figure it out.

ST: Is a site like pitchfork a disservice to the music world, telling people what they should and shouldn’t listen to?

SO: Yeah, I’ve got a gag order preventing me to comment on that. But you know what, fuck it: yeah, the are.

ST: Do you think the site is elitist?

SO: They think they’re the elitest but they’re not that dope.

ST: OK, so that was a freebie. Do you think pitchfork is elitist for the wrong reasons then?

SO: To me their whole problem is that they’re patently dishonest and manipulative. I find that they rate music based on how cool and hip it makes them look, rather than the actual quality of the art and that’s a recipe for disaster. Their whole appreciation for black pop comes off as snarky and self-serving, particularly since they apparently have no ability to discern the good from bad. I mean if you’re reviewing R Kelly and 50 Cent, where’s the Tokio Hotel and Jonas Brothers reviews? Not that I want to read about those twats but what exactly makes retarded black pop acceptable and retarded white pop worthless?

Worse, they give press to the most pretentious-ass, talentless, experimental white bands and turn around and barely give the black underground a word (and shit on them most of the time when they do). The end result is a bizarro world where the importance of bands is skewed like a fun house mirror. You’ll never find ANYONE in the real world that views music like they do anyways so the issue is kind of moot. I gotta admit, they’re getting a bit better though. Nate Patrin handles a lot of their rap reviews now and he’s a top notch writer who clearly knows his stuff, no sarcasm. Shoutout to Nate Patrin.

ST: You’re in Vietnam. I can’t get over that. Are the noodles amazing? And I don’t mean that in a racist way, I’m legitimately concerned about the noodles and I want them to be delicious.

SO: You have no idea how good the noodles are. I think the noodles out here are laced with heroin. Question: how are rice noodles and white girls similar? Answer: they both wiggle when you eat them.

ST: Makes me wonder about a white girl made of noodles. Ahem. Do you ever see fall out being a “westerner” over there?

SO: There’s good and bad points. On one hand, there’s foreigner pricing where they overcharge you for everything, which sucks. On the other hand, I never pay cover charges for clubs and mad girls wanna fuck me so it ain’t all bad. Just being white is a chick magnet here.

ST: What’s your favorite thing you’ve eaten over there and did it give you a tapeworm?

SO: Banh Xeo: fried pancake with bean sprouts and pork. And not that I know of, should I be worried?

ST: Nah, worms are cool. Especially Earth Worm Jim. You gave me a detailed list of your top 10 favorite rap, pop and funk/soul records. I have one question: your love for En Vogue’s Funky Divas…yeah, you didn’t think we could do this interview without bridging this one, did you?

SO: Yeah, you got me. That’s on my Top 10 funk/soul/R&B list for sure. I’ll still rip a baby’s head off for shits n giggles though.

ST: So what gives? I’ve never heard anything from them besides “Givin’ him something he can feel,” which, I’ll admit, is one hell of an awesome song, but not one I bump from my car, if you catch my drift.

SO: They also had “Free your Mind” and “Yesterday!” Any girl group that fucks with P-Funk and McCartney is OK in my book. I think my appreciation of this album shows that I got love for my strong black sisters as well. And by love I mean “an erection”.

ST: Of course. The year is 1991, a fresh urban player from Philly lands the lead role on a “rags to riches” African-American family-centered sit com. This changed your life forever. Why didn’t Jazz have as much influence on you as Will did?

SO: I Djed so Jazz was a big influence as well, but I’m a shit-talker so Will always seemed like the more magnetic character.

ST: I have to say, one of my favorite conventions from TV history is when Uncle Phil throws Jazz out the front door. I still watch reruns just for that moment.

SO: When I was 16, I was making out with this chick and her folks caught us. Her dad fuckin javelin-threw me out Uncle Phil style, no lie. So I feel Jazz’s pain. I had a dog called Jazz you know.

ST: True! And here I thought it was just a nod to the musical genre. Which was a more realistic depiction of the African American community: Fresh Prince or Family Matters?

SO: For years those shows had me thinking most black people were slightly nerdy middle class snobs. So obviously both shows were made by the man. Which man I don’t know, but definitely the man. How you come up with that one?

ST: Well, that’s what I do. I ask the tough questions no one else can. And I know Urkel was a loser, until he became Stefan Urkelle when he drank the potion or whatever, but then he really just looked like a Muppet to me.

SO: Urkel’s whole style is back these days though. Tight pants, big glasses, bright colors…he’s Farnsworth Bentley crossed with Mickey Factz! Even the nerdiness works if taken ironically.

ST: Jaleel White really does look like a Muppet to me though, specifically a Fraggle. I can’t get over it. Who else looks like a Muppet?

SO: Jeff Lynn from ELO for sure. I can’t remember who pointed that out to me but he/she was dead on. Also, Lil Jon. Lil Jon and Jeff Lynn should make a prog-crunk duet album about muppets. I’d buy that.

ST: Well, listen, you’ve been a great interview, and one heck of a fun person to trade stories with. Anything else you want to shout at the world while you got the mic?

SO: Yoyoyoyoyoyo peace to my mans n em, Steph, Big Phil at EA, Hong out shootin them flicks, Isabella, Iris, Catherine, Aboudi, my lil bro Eric and everyone across the whole fuckin globe! I love y’all!