Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? So, ICYMI Bill Cosby was convicted on Thursday of drugging and raping Andrea Constand in 2004. The convicted rapist formerly known as America's Dad was found guilty on all counts, and faces up to ten years in prison for each one. Last year, a jury was unable to reach a verdict, but today, the more than 60 women who have accused Cosby of drugging and assaulting them over four decades, and this is the first time the 80-year-old comedian/rapist has experienced consequences. In a very moving moment, three of his accusers hugged and cried outside of the courtroom after the verdict was read aloud. Bill Cosby is going to Jail-O.
It was a banner week for Donald Trump's relationship with the black community, and by "black community," we mean exclusively Kanye West. Kanye concerned a lot of people last week when he tweeted that he was radicalized as full MAGA, tweeting out a selfie in the notorious hat (featuring a dude giving a white supremacist hand sign), and calling Trump his "brother." The lovefest became mutual when Trump thanked Kanye, adding how exciting this is for all the blacks. Kanye faced a fierce backlash for appearing to pledge allegiance to a movement based on white resentment that believes some neo-Nazis and KKK members are "very fine people." Now after praising Trump, Kanye is insisting that he can't be a conservative, because he doesn't really know what it means. People in the comments are offering him an education. Conservatives are pitching their movement as super fun and chill. Liberals and leftists are fact-checking the conservatives' pitches and telling Kanye to Google before pledging your support before millions of people. Like it or not, it's too late for Kanye not to become a tool of the MAGA movement. Next time you wear a hat, read a book first, Kanye.
At some point in Kanye's manic tweet storm that included a proclamation of love for President Trump, Chance the Rapper felt he had to step in and defend him (Kanye, not Trump). On April 25th, Chance tweeted...
He followed that by tweeting...
Of course, Trump & Co. took Chance's tweet as an endorsement because of course they did. Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr, also quote-tweeted Chance, adding "It's always incredible to watch a cultural shift happen in real time. I respect those willing to take the lead breaking with convention. That takes guts... though there's a better word for it," and included a set of basketballs. Get it? Balls. It takes balls. Thanks, Jr! But this is not what Chance intended. On Friday Chance quote-tweeted Trump, and included the words, "Nah that aint it yo." Chance decided to explain what he really meant and he did so in a tweet consisting of a long note. "Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about my city and my loved ones. Kanye West is not just a mentor or big homie to me. He's my family. No matter how much I may disagree with him, it's hard for me to watch people talk about someone I love... even if they were justified in doing so. I didn't speak up because I agree with what Kanye had to say or cause I fuck with Trump, I did it because I wanted to help my friend and cause I felt like I was being used to attack him. Unfortunately, my attempt to support Kanye is being used to discredit my brothers and sisters in the movement and I can't sit by and let that happen either." He went on to clarify his feelings about Trump, "I'd never support anyone who has made a career out of hatred, racism and discrimination. I'd never support someone who'd talk about Chicago as if it's hell on Earth and then take steps to make life harder here for the most disenfranchised among us. I understand why people are disappointed with my words, but I was raised to believe actions speak louder than words. So let my apology be seen in my future works, and let me make up for my poorly timed comments with immediate action and advocacy for those who need it most. My statement about black folk not having to be Democrats (though true) was a deflection from the real conversation and stemmed from a personal issue with the fact that Chicago has had generations of democratic officials with no investment or regard for black schools, neighborhood or black lives. But again, said that shit at the wrongest time. We have to talk honestly about what is happening and has been happening in this country and we have to challenge those who are responsible, as well as those who are giving them a pass. If that happens to include someone I love, someone who is my brother-in-Christ and someone who I believe does really want to do what is right, it's not my job to defend or protect him. It's my job pick up the phone and talk to him about it." So there you have it. Chance the Rapper doesn't "fuck with Trump," straight from the horse's mouth.
While you were sleeping Thursday night, the (supreme) leaders of North Korea and South Korea met for a historic summit, the most important thing to happen in the Korean War since the finale of "M*A*S*H." As your cool high school history teacher probably told you, despite hostilities ending on the Korean peninsula in 1953 (that's 65 years ago!!!), the Korean War was never officially over, because South Korea wasn't a signatory to the armistice. Well, Friday, North and South Korea has vowed to end the beef. The summit was nothing short of historic. North Korea's Kim Jong Un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in met at the demilitarized zone between the two countries, crossing back and forth over the border in a beautiful Public Display of Diplomacy. President Moon hosted Chairman Kim and the summit venue, the Peace House, and Kim signed the yearbook guest book, and wrote out his commitment to peace. "A new history starts now," he wrote. "An age of peace, from the starting point of history." The summit itself also yielded some important results. North and South Korea agreed on the goal of "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." Other highlights include: Establishing a hotline so Kim and Moon can connect efficiently North Korea ceasing propaganda activities against South Korea Moon to visit Pyongyang in the fall. All in all, it was a successful meeting and an actually good day for the world.
We finally know what Prince George and Princess Charlotte will call their little brother! Kate Middleton and Prince Will, a.k.a. the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their third child last Monday, but waited until Friday to announce the baby's name. According to Kensington Palace, the new royal baby is named Louis Arthur Charles. Yes, very British, and very royal! By all accounts, all three names are very traditional. Personally, I had my money on Louis Harry Niall Liam of Cambridge, so I wasn't too far off.
Okay, so, if I had a TARDIS I would like to go to Las Vegas in the 50s but instead I'd probably end up looking at this mannequin from an atomic bomb test site in Nevada...
That's scary as fuck. I don't know how your luck is but I hope it's better than the person who this car belongs to...
Or belonged. Ha. Here's another sign from the March for Our Lives march that took place weeks ago...
I have no idea what that says. Hahaha. Hey, parents, are your kids in school this creative?
That looks like a mess to me actually. Here's another creative way a creative ways Parkland student is trolling their new "safety" backpacks...
Hahahaha. Shots fired. Do you guys know what "manscaping" means? I did't until I saw this guy...
What the hell? My cat would be a very small strawberry blonde cat. Hahahahahaha. So, sometimes apparently people have to really explain stupid things to adults...
Ha. Okay, so, I said this before one of the best things about the Internet is you can look at porn easily and free. The problem though is that someone might chose to look at porn instead of say, reading the Phile. So, I thought if I showed a porn pic here every can be happy. But then I realized what about if you're at work, school, in front of your kids, or anywhere else you can't look at porn. Then I came up with a solution...
You're welcome, everybody. Once again, here is...
The Spider Web
For this one, you just have to scissor your legs with your partner's while facing each other and viola! You just created your own little web of love. FYI: Instead of thrusting your life away, this one works better in circular grinding motions.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, every have weird thoughts when you're taking a shower? I do.
As a kid I thought "stop, drop and roll" was going to be a much more important part of my adult life than it turned out to be.
I do not get that one bit. So, there's this inventor who says he's world's the greatest, even though so far I pretty much doubt that. He told me he's working on a few new inventions and wanted to come on the Phile and announce it. I thought sure, why not. So, once again, please welcome to the Phile...
Mak: Hello, Jason. I have worked on some really good helpful stuff. How about habanero tabasco flavored toilet paper?
Me: Ummm... that is the worst idea I ever heard of in my life, Mak.
Mak: Hmmm, yeah, I guess that might burn. Okay, how about 2D glasses?
Me: Ummm... I don't think that's a great idea either. Anything else?
Mak: Yeah, Jason, I have one more. Night-vision sunglasses.
Me: Hmmmm.... ummmm... I don't think so, Mak. I say you get back in the lab and keep working.
Mak: Oh, okay. Wait... I have one more... man's nipples.
Me: Huh? What?
Mak: Ha. Kidding. I just wanted to say man's nipples. I'll go back to my lab.
Me: Great. Keep working. Mak Asterborus, the world's greatest inventor, everyone. And now for a brand new pheature...
We can't all be winners all the time. The road to self-actualization is filled with embarrassment and shade, and sometimes we have to bask in our own failure. Since the Internet can sometimes feel like a parade of other people's achievements, some people have a more embarrassing week than the rest of us. It's important to remember that we're all just little bumbling flesh bags struggling to get there (whatever that means).
Some people just don't pay attention, right?
On Friday, Trump welcomed a group of Team U.S.A. Olympians and Paralympians to the White House. Rather than congratulating them on their athletic feats and keeping it classy, Trump managed to make some very on-brand (untactful) assertions aimed at the Paralympian athletes. "What happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me. And I watched... it's a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could," Trump said. Needless to say, Trump's baffling remark did not go unnoticed by those present, as well as pretty much all of the world. A few people gave Trump the benefit of the doubt, and mused that his statement could have referred to how time consuming it is to watch the Olympics. Even if that was Trump's intention, most people were baffled at his statement. What do you think? Do you think Trump was referring to time constraints, or that he was making a jab at athletes with disabilities?
Tomorrow is the last day I will try and get Shania to be on the Phile. Shania, are you out there? Hahaha. Now for some...
Phact 1. Crows are one of the smartest non-primate animals on Earth, with the intelligence of a 7-year-old human. They use and manipulate tools, they have a long-term memory including facial recognition, and they understand the analogy.
Phact 2. Three border collies have been trained to run around a Chilean forest devastated by wildfire while wearing special backpacks that release native plant seeds.
Phact 3. In 1973, the Who’s drummer Keith Moon passed out mid-show. The band continued without him for several songs before Townshend asked, “Can anyone play the drums? I mean somebody good?” Nineteen-year-old Scot Halpin, who had bought scalped tickets came up and played the rest of the show.
Phact 4. Former NFL player James Brooks was found to be illiterate when he was unable to read court documents after admitting to not paying over $100k in child support. When the judge asked how he graduated from Auburn without being able to read, he said, “Didn’t have to go to class.”
Phact 5. The U.K. military recruiter mistook “cryptogamist” (algae expert) for “cryptogramist” and sent Geoffrey Tandy to join the code breakers; he wasn’t so useful until captured German papers arrived water-logged; with his expertise, they salvaged them, cracked the code, and hastened the victory.
Today's guest an English DJ, record producer, songwriter, musician and rapper. His very successful album "Hotel Cabana" and his latest singles "One Chance To Dance" featuring Joe Jonas and "All or Nothing" with Ray BLK and Wyclef Jean are available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Naughty Boy.
Me: Hey, man, welcome to the Phile, how are you?
Naughty Boy: I'm good, thanks for having me.
Me: So, I don't know where to start so I guess maybe I'll start with the song "One Chance To Dance," which is a song you did with Joe Jonas. I actually like that song. Did you and Joe write it?
Naughty Boy: No, actually it was co-written by Emili Sandé.
Me: Where did the idea of the song come from? It doesn't sound like your other music I don't think.
Naughty Boy: It was just an idea we had and we had it on our phones. It sounds so different with her singing. I worked on it more with Sam Romans, a good friend of mine, and we finished the song. It's not conventionally a Naughty Boy sound, I don't think anything is. I have that comfort of no walls. I'm like a frog. You know what I mean? I would say it's pop music because its popular, but I don't think it's pop genre. This I think is a kinda song that's not on the radio at the moment. It was written like four years ago, but I don't think it was written for that time, I think it was written for now because everything is timing. On the radio there is so much that sounds the same and this is just a fantastic pop songs that stands out. Historically it's how great songs are made and I feel that it's a good time to change it up on the radio as well.
Me: I actually laughed at the Michael Jackson reference in the song. Is the song about him? It's not right?
Naughty Boy: Yeah, you can't ever forget Michael. It's just as about him as me, Joe, Emeli, it's a real bow down. And the video was done in Vietnam.
Me: Nice. So, how did Joe Jonas come to do the vocals?
Naughty Boy: I met him when my manager and his manager introduced me to him and we spoke about working together. They heard this song and they loved it. This songs needs the artist name. It's about a one man's journey.
Me: Is selecting the right person to sing the songs important to you, sir? The new single has Wyclef Jean which is a big name and Ray BLK, which I never heard of before. That's not saying much though. Haha.
Naughty Boy: It is very important. What I hope you noticed is I don't like to revisit. I feel like it's like a constant progression. Not everyone has to be as famous as Beyoncé, but I have to introduce new talent as well, so I'm comfortable with doing that. And then working with big named as well, I haven't come to that where there is to have every record with a big artist now. Where it could easily be it changed a lot in terms just U.K. producers, U.K. artists, where Americans weren't used because I wanted just a U.K. sound.
Me: When you're making an album like "Hotel Cabana" are you writing the songs for certain singers or do you pick which singers who wanna use after?
Naughty Boy: Hm. "Hotel Cabana" I had to literally sit with the artist and explain what this is conceptually. It's like a maze but I could work out the maze. I had to have a plan so I couldn't just say I got these songs. From everyone from Bastile to Tinie, I had to explain what this journey of this hotel is and what it means to us. Really it's a hotel but it's a metaphor for fame... it was never really an actual hotel in my mind. It's a good metaphor for fame because you check in and check out. The last song I did for the album was with Ed Sheeran, "Top Floor." He wrote it there. It was when he was staying on sofa's. He knew what the song was and he is such a good word smith and I think that was the best way to end it, with an incredible songwriter. "Top Floor" is also one of my favourite songs on the album. It's quite deep. I always wanted to do a video for it and put an old Hollywood actor in it. I just never came around to it.
Me: It's unusual for a producer led album I think. Do you think an album like that make the songs stick out a bit more?
Naughty Boy: I think they're supposed to. I think people, especially producer's should take time making albums. Not in ten years, but a time in need. Sometimes I feel like when they have a big single they rush out an album straight away and it feels like the album was pieced together after the single was massive. I don't like to work like that. I have a plan for my albums and it has to feel right even after the sessions. I just wish people took more time, that's all. That would show the quality of the music as well and the quality of the writing. You need inspiration of you're gonna make an album with the songs. You're gonna have to explain who you are, if or not you are the producer, you need some patience.
Me: Your first single or record was "Wonder," with Emeli singing, am I right?
Naughty Boy: Yeah. It came out six years ago this coming October. I found out there's a school in Stevenage at a primary school every morning they sing "Wonder." You ever sing "Kumbaya"? Well, they sing "Wonder," which is not very religious song, but I think that's just an amazing song for the kids to start the day with. Me and Emeli are gonna both go down there when we are both in the same place and see them. I was gobsmacked. I thought whose idea was that.
Me: Does that song mean a lot to you, sir?
Naughty Boy: Yeah. When she did "Wonder" at the 02 last October, she just went off. It's the positivity. It makes you feel good. The wonder. Those lyrics something like that only Emeli could say. It's a special track for me and Emeli. We were like we had a hit now, the world is our oyster.
Me: It's a very uplifting song. With the songs you and Emeli did like "Heaven" and my favorite "Clown," you guys seem like you have been working together for a long time. What was it like working on those sings with her?
Naughty Boy: We did "Clown" with just a piano there. We did "Mountains" because we slept on the floor, we didn't have our own studio. The songs come from a real pure honest place. I'm gonna miss that place a little bit. Sometimes I try to recreate that place but it didn't work. I don't know. There's something about not knowing if the song will ever be heard. Some songs are really powerful like that. It's like now I'm gonna do a big tune, I got a feeling it's gonna be heard. That sense of anticipation that it might not but does. I kinda miss that.
Me: Emeli talked highly of you when she was on the Phile. What can you say about working with her and recording with her?
Me: When you release a song do you think this is gonna be a hit or are you surprised?
Naughty Boy: I never know or assume if a song is gonna be a hit, but at the same time Emeli was important for me as my first artist album I worked on, because so many people told her she's not a star. She doesn't look like a star. Gary Barlow said something, oh yeah, she performed for him and his label and he said that. I think obviously she has a great voice and is a star. When she did her rounds to get signed, that's why I respect Virgin for taking a chance and not giving a shit what anyone thinks or says and what anyone's opinion. To see her fly like that in 2012, to see her at the Olympics, she's wonderful that Emeli.
Me: I have to ask about "Diamond Rings." Emeli mentioned that song when I interviewed her. Do you remember the story behind that song?
Naughty Boy: She was in Glasgow, I was in London, I sent her the beat. I don't know why I made it like a ska beat. That's why I think we're aliens because we do what we do and don't really put up any restrictions. I found these samples and found this one loop. I thought ahh, Emeli and I just met, I thought I'd try something out of the box with her and see. I sent it to her when she was in Glasgow and she wrote the hook when she heard the beat when she was hoovering. I knew Chipmunk, I was in one of his videos and I thought he had a diamond ring on, so I thought let me connect the dots here ad said to him there's two diamond rings. I sent it to him and he loved it. Then it just began.
Me: So, you started out in something called "the grime scene." I have no idea what that is. Can you explain what that is and how you started out in it?
Naughty Boy: Yeah, I started out in the grime scene. It was the grime artists I was excited by, I was never excited about the grime music. I find it a bit too dark for me. So when I started working with Bashy who is a grime artist, I doing something like "Black Boys," I was making songs like with beats, melodies and chords. They were letting them do what they wanted. It was like taking them out of their comfort zone and I love doing that. I guess as urban as I am I'm probably not.
Me: So, you have your own production house, right? Kinda like your own Brill Building?
Naughty Boy: Yeah, it didn't start that way but I think that's why it became that. It's become the place that people speak about. Just people working together. Basically I got a publishing company with Sony. My thing is like this is really a success and it breaths success. So, I need to be part of something for the future. Some of them are old friends from Watford as well. I knew they were into making beats but giving them space where they can do that. It's definitely working and everyone is busy. You should interview them all for this blog. It'll be sick. There's so many stories here. Best part is to be part of their journey but nice to observe.
Me: You worked with Leona Lewis on her song "Trouble." What was it like working with her on that song?
Naughty Boy: You know what, "Trouble" was a bit of trouble. Me and Emeli wrote the song and didn't have Leona in mind when we wrote it. It was a lot darker, then Fraser ended up producing her whole album and I was working with Leona for two other songs for her album. Then "Trouble" was the song she loved, it is a special song, but obviously Fraser was doing the whole project and it made sense for him to do the songs like it was a whole continuity. It was a top 5 record but it's such a special song for what we were for at that time. Temptation and starting to see money and things. I know the meaning of the song, but it hurts me when it's not as remembered because I remember the reason I wrote it. It's very dark, but I love it. That's me and Emeli at our best.
Me: Where do you start making your music, sir? I'm guessing the computer?
Naughty Boy: I've always used Reason from the shed days. If it was up to me I would've brought it here brick by brick. This is basically a big arse more glamorous version of the shed. Since I've been there I would do vocals with Logic but I'm still a Reason producer like, because it's easier to compose in Reason. I don't know, I find that drums and everything is easier. I thought about learning ProTools because a lot of Americans use it with the files I get sent. You need ProTools to open the file. I feel a bit amateur that I don't know ProTools. I'm a bit scared about that.
Me: Do you do all the tracks at your studio from start to finish?
Naughty Boy: No. I mean I was recently in another studio because they had this new piano and we did a version of "Running," just a piano version. I don't know, it's just haunting.
Me: How was it working with Beyoncé and Rihanna?
Naughty Boy: Beyoncé had to record in New York at the time and Rihanna... Emeli was there but I couldn't be. I met them both, but to be honest, it's all about timing. When "Running" was happening, and Beyoncé heard the song and how quickly we turned it around it had to happen then. We didn't have a six month window. That's what I love about music, we are following the music, following the song. Sometimes I make a song and after about a year I don't feel the same way. It doesn't mean the song wasn't good but that force, I just got to follow it.
Me: Were you hard on Beyoncé or did you just let her do her thing? Haha.
Naughty Boy: No. We spoke basically about the song, the drum starting the chorus and that was her idea actually because she really wanted to hear the song before it became this upbeat tempo. I probably would of started the drums a bit earlier but Beyoncé obviously knows best.
Me: Was it planned for Beyoncé to sing this song?
Naughty Boy: No, it was gonna be my next single regardless but then the conversation with Beyoncé started. It was mad. Then obviously with Beyoncé we didn't put everything on hold and actually didn't expect it to happen because there's no need for her to do a Naughty Boy feature. But I respect her to record for a new artist. It all goes to show you it's more about the song and the talent, which is all it should be.
Me: You mentioned the shed just now, but I have to ask you about it. You started making music in an actual shed, right?
Naughty Boy: Yeah, where it started. Now it's like a Costco holding place. It's very sad. There should be a blue plaque or something there. I said to my mum we should turn it into like a Graceland shrine or something. There are no plans for that.
Me: Did you like working in the shed?
Naughty Boy: Yeah, I did a lot of production and writing there. Emeli would come from Glasgow which was an easy jet flight from London Luton and I'll pick her up with some new beats on a CD and we would be writing when we drove back from the airport. That's how we wrote "Daddy," just like that. We would make the most of everything because Emeli would go back in two days and try to be a doctor. But she still definitely saved lives. It's music therapy. Emeli got an MBE, and the power of it as a healer. We got a couple of letters when Emeli's album came out and there's a song called "River," someone's relative was in a coma and they were playing this album, and when she came out of the coma she remembered that song "River" especially. She felt like she actually been hurt. She reached out to Emeli as well and I thought wow, we're not just making songs, this is beyond us. If we could effect someone like that with just the song then Emeli's probably an angel.
Me: So, what's this, you were on the U.K. version of "Deal Or No Deal"?
Naughty Boy: It is a but mad, but I was a man with a plan. I needed money to get my parents of my back and I needed to quit my job at Dominoes because wasn't good at it. I had a lot of problems so I thought okay, I'll escape to Bristol.
Me: It's crazy that you invested in yourself, am I right?
Naughty Boy: Yeah, once I won the money I thought, okay, I got two years and then it's gonna be the same again because money doesn't buy you anything but time. That's good to learn that about money early on. My mum used to say to me I was gonna spend it all and have nothing left and I told my mum it's just God preparing me for my next thing. I was just saying I'm gonna put this money to my music and that's what's gonna pay me. Luckily it did. But that's not all not having that worry now. I do want to make the most of my time, it doesn't mean I want to chill and relax. I was just hungry.
Me: Do you play any instruments yourself, sir?
Naughty Boy: I started playing piano when I was about fourteen. The music room I couldn't get in there, I didn't really have piano lessons. I had one piano lesson when I was seventeen or eighteen, and there's a certain kinda musician that could feel. The first thing I learnt was the Titanic theme tune, I loved it, I watched it at the cinema and told my mum I wanna play it. I was like sick playing the piano. I had one lesson once, it was the worse thing I ever did. You shouldn't train people to play like that, the power of the air, when I was getting lessons I thought it was boring quite mechanical. It's not their fault, they're teachers, they have to teach a lot of people. I don't know, that wasn't for me, so I never took lessons and just continued that.
Me: So, who inspired you or who did you listen to growing up?
Naughty Boy: I would never think I was a writer of lyrics. Music, I was always visualise my music in film and TV. It was Emeli who inspired me and made me think. Again I don't have the confidence in some of the words I say she likes. She uses them, that's the songwriter, and that got made thinking beyond just a producer or writer. I need that sometimes, people taking a chance on me as well as me taking chances on people.
Me: Where are your parents from originally, sir?
Naughty Boy: My dad's from Pakistan, if he didn't come here I'll still be there.
Me: True. Okay, I have to ask you about one last song, your number one hit "La La La" with Sam Smith singing. How did that song come about?
Naughty Boy: With the la la la sample. I did that with a guy called Comey who was about sixteen at the time. I think having the beat there before Sam wrote it was important because the beat dictated what the song meant. Actually, when me and Sam started the song it was based around the la la la because I just had an idea for, pretty much straight away, we would say it, covering our ears when we were kids. Then we spoke about that does that mean. Remember that song "Don't Speak" by Gwen Stefani? It was definitely one of our favourite songs, you know when someone's going to break your heart and she says "don't speak," it's like that kinda thing with "La La La." I don't wanna hear it, when your words mean nothing, I go la la la. I think that's what struck a chord with people as well. It's a very upbeat happy sounding song, but "La La La" is actually a sad song.
Me: Cool. Well, I hope your new album when it comes is as a success as the first one. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Tell Emeli hi when you see her again.
Naughty Boy: Thanks, Jason. Cheers.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile, kids. Thanks to Naughty Boy for a cool interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with the great creative genius Frank Oz. You know who that is, right? Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker