Phantasm is apart of a special era in hip hop history. Along with his partner U.G., they form the hip hop duo Cella Dwellas. Being signed to the legendary hip hop label, Loud Records, they were label mates with some of the truest Rap Gods: Big Pun, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, and so many more. We recently sat down with the Brooklyn emcee to discuss his Loud Record days, crazy tour stories, new clothing line, and plans for his first solo EP entitled ‘The Successful Struggle’.
Phantasm aka The Tall Man, what’s up with you? What have you been up to?
Just trying to keep my head above water.
You and U.G. make up the Cella Dwellas. How did y’all link up?
He used to dance for my boy Gauge (a fellow Brooklyn emcee). One day he asked me to rock out with him then me and U.G. just connected.
You guys were signed to, in my opinion, one of the dopest hip hop labels — Loud Records. What we’re those days like?
Yes. The Loud roster were some of Hip Hop’s elite: Mobb Deep, Wu, Big Pun, The Liks, Xzibit, etc. We were happy to be there and were stomping with the big dogs.
What was that moment that made you say to yourself, “Yeah, I’m here now!”
Buying a whip in cash after the “Soul in the Hole” movie soundtrack cleared. Definitely felt like a “nigga we made it” moment. LOL
Who influenced you to pick up the pen and pad?
Slick Rick, Kane, EPMD, but Special Ed was the one that really made me say, “I can do this for real for real.”
Tell us about your clothing line “So Fly Global”. Is it available anywhere?
It’s a snapback and t-shirt line. I started to show my son how to use what you got to make things happen. He actually drew the first logo for me.
Now let’s get into the new music. What do you got cookin’ up?
Working on my first ever solo effort – a 7 song EP entitled ‘THE SUCCESSFUL STRUGGLE’.
Hip Hop has changed a lot over the last two decades. As an artist who’s been around, what do you see good and what do you see bad in the game?
The creative lanes are closing. Too much similarity. But on the bright side, it’s selling way more and careers are really going to the next level.
Who’s your top 5 emcees out of Brooklyn?
Kane, Jay-Z, Biggie, Masta Ace, AZ, and of course all my immediate rap peers as well.
How has your music changed with age?
It hasn’t changed at all.
What artists are you feeling right now?
J. Cole, King Los, Grafh, Roc Marci
What’s your take on the independent grind?
It can make you or break you. But with the right team, things can really sky-rocket.
What’s your favorite non hip hop album?
I have a best of Blackstreet album which is incredible.
Social media has definitely changed the game a lot. How do you feel about being closer to your fans?
It’s a wonderful tool to connect with your core fan base. I’ve done over 20 features with people who found me over the net.
Can you tell us a crazy tour story?
Just wanna shout out Ice-T cause when Mobb dropped that “L.A., L.A.” joint we were doing shows with them and lets just say shit was gonna get super hectic one night on the west coast. And the New York rule is if we’re out-of-town, we stick together no matter what. But luckily Ice-T had major pull to calm some gangbangers down.
If the day that you decide to unplug your mic comes, what do you want the game to remember you as?
A dope lyricist who kept a banging verse.
Phantasm’s ‘The Successful Struggle’ project will be available soon. Stay tuned for more details. And his clothing line, So Fly Global, is available by reaching out to him through the following platforms: