Zo! & Phonte feat. Tigallo the Tay God – “Return Of the Mack”

Zo! & Phonte feat. Tigallo the Tay God

On a breezy Sunday afternoon in North Carolina, me and my brother Zo! took to the studio to clown around and pay homage to one of the greatest late 90’s white people club songs ever.”  -Phonte

There is a reason why you don’t let me and Phonte sit around with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon with access to recording equipment, because we like to do shit on the fly… Why? Because once you’re inspired to record something whether you’re serious or just joking around, there’s only a certain space of time you have to do it before life gets in the way – inspiration, gone.

WELP! Sitting in the studio yesterday with Phonte… kats had their laptops out, surfing that good nigganet…… And the thing that kicked off the clownery was the fact that Lil B had just announced the fact that he was calling his next album “I’m Gay.” Maaaaaaaaaaaaaan?!?!!!?!!????!!!! I thought for a second EMS was gonna have to come to the spot to assist kats with breathing. After laughing about that announcement for a good hour, Mark Morrison’s 1996 joint “Return Of the Mack” then became the topic of discussion. Now, I didn’t like the joint when it was popular… and I mean it was a HUGE record when it dropped and continues to get pretty consistent run to this day. But as we started talking about it… the vocal imitations followed, then the discussion spilled over into de Twittuhs. The next thing you know, Phonte started setting up the vocal mic and I was pulling a chair up to the keyboard. Now, being that I already teach my classes how to play “Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me” by the Geto Boys, I was already familiar with how to play it. Simply because…

“Return Of the Mack” = “Games” Chuckii Booker = “Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me” = “Hung Up On My Baby” Isaac Hayes + “Genius Of Love” Drums by Tom Tom Club

When I first played it on the piano, we went through the first verse or so in regular speed, but once it hit that hook… We slowed it up on some silly shit just to see how it sounded. We played with the ‘mellowed out’ tempo because with the vocals, it sounded funny as hell… So after going through the joint a couple of times with just vocals and piano, we hit the record button and got to work and got to LAUGHING…. I also captured some of the recording session on video with my laptop’s camera. Now THAT footage?! Lawdheppmehpleeese. We even shot the “cover art” in the MIDDLE of recording takes.

In the original, we talked about how hilarious it was that the adlibs for his hook extended through half of the verse. So we had to make sure we included that aspect in the remake but completely exaggerated… Listening to Phonte record the vocals was straight up classic material. There were more than a few occasions where the ‘stop’ button had to be hit IMMEDIATELY following recording so that we could bust out laughing…

THEN playing off of the Lil B album title announcement to be silly, one of us would just break out into a random, simple ass freestyle based on a single topic of choice while the other would hit the “swag..swag..swag..swag..whoo!..swag…swag…” adlibs. THIS shit went on all day long as its comedic value and appeal steadily increased with each passing hour.

And just to let ch’all know, kats DIED LAUGHING throughout the entire recording process, my damn head hurt by the time we actually went on Twitter and posted a link to the actual joint. Glad that y’all could be a part of us cutting up in the studio because this is exactly how it goes  once recording has stopped. Thanks as always for the love and for listening…!!

Student Quotables… Volume III

And now for the THIRD installment of the infamous…!! A great sense of humor and teaching go hand in hand…

Click to read

• On Religion:

After telling us that his father is of Jamaican heritage and has successfully run from Jamaica to Africa… to Europe, one of the 10th graders informed us that, “…all Jamaicans worship JAHeim.”

• First Plane Ride:

“I’ve been on a plane before… I flew to Denver and THEN to Colorado!”

• Future Nutritionist?

Student leans in to tell a teacher during lunch time,

“You know you should eat a lot of bananas, because they’re high in potabolism.”


Student: “You’re from Detroit?… So you know how to steal cars real well?”

Me: “And WHY would you say THAT?”

S: “They made that movie about y’all, you know the movie about stealing cars?”

M: *thinking for a minute* “Hold up… You mean ‘New Jersey DRIVE’?!?!!!”


M: “But uhhh….. THAT movie took place in NEW JERSEY, NOT DETROIT, MICHIGAN”

S: *mouth slowly opens to form the word* “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”

• One of my 1st period students saw somebody with a mullet and said,

“Daaaaamn, he got a musket!!”

On Race and Pasta:

Student: “Well, Black people eat pork chops, Mexicans eat black beans, Italians eat pasta, and white people eat spaghetti.”

Teacher: *puzzled look* “But spaghetti and pasta are the same thing.”

S: “No their not… spaghetti is noodles.”

T: “So what’s pasta then?”

S: “Alfredo.”

Movie Time:

• I was showing the classic movie Wild Style to my students and one of the kids made the comment:

“Maaan, I didn’t even think they HAD white people in New York in the 80’s…”

• Showed the documentary Planet B-Boy to my classes one week, which showcased an international breakdancing competition…

Student: “They don’t have an American team in the competition?” 

Me: “They do, the American team is out of Las Vegas.” 

S: “So they don’t speak English?”

The Foreign Exchange 2011 ‘Authenticity’ April/May Tour Schedule

Looks like kats will be back on that road in the next couple of months. Check the schedule and see if we’re coming to your area…

Friday, April 22 – Falls Church, VA – State Theatre
Thursday, May 5 – Chicago – Double Door
Friday, May 6 – Indianapolis – Athenaeum Theatre
Saturday, May 7 – Cleveland – The Grog Shop
Sunday, May 8 – Detroit – Magic Stick
Tuesday, May 10 – Lexington – Cosmic Charlie’s
Thursday, May 12 – Columbus, OH – Scarlet & Grey
Thursday, May 19 – Philadelphia – World Cafe Live
Friday, May 20 – Pittsburgh – August Wilson Center
Saturday, May 21 – Baltimore – 8X10
Sunday, May 22 – Richmond, VA – Alley Katz