Veteran Chicago-based emcee Phil G. has quite simply put in the work.
A fixture on the scene since the late ’90s, Phil has paid his dues from talent shows, to hustling his music hand to hand, to opening for some of the biggest names in music such as Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan, and Nas to name a few. The SouthSide native has also had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the most respected names in hip-hop, like KRS-ONE, Pharoahe Monch, and Sadat X among others.
Rolling out recently sat down with Phil to talk about some of the artists he’s been inspired by and his new project with popular DJ Jay Illa titled PhiLLaNOise.
Who was musical idol and why?
My musical Idol is AZ because he made a career out of a single guest appearance. His verse on Nas’ “Life’s A B—h” is the quintessential rap verse of all time to me. I’m chasing that verse. I’d like the opportunity to really inspire a generation off a guest appearance on a classic album. Kinda steal the show. [Laughs].
Name four other emcees you’d include in your own super group?
Black Milk, Black Thought, Nas, AZ
If you had to do a concept album with once producer, who would it be and why?
My next project is a concept EP called Philanthropy. It’s gonna be entirely produced by Tye Hill. I chose Tye Hill because his ear for a classic sound is second to none. I want this project to be impressive and rich in sonic value. I also want to scratch making a project with him off my bucket list.
Name one song that you wish you wrote.
“Unthinkable (I’m Ready)” by Alicia Keys.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
The best thing about being an artist is being God like. God is an artist. Just look around you on the earth and you will see what I’m talking about. To create artistically your truth is to be like Him. He did the same thing.
What’s the worst thing about being an artist?
The worst thing about being an artist is the perfectionist factor. My art is creation of songs, or records. No song is ever really mastered.
Tell us about the PhiLLaNOise project.
PhiLLaNOise was an idea that Jay and I had on hold for some years. We both always thought it would be a good idea to do, but never got around to it. Since we both are positive minded guys and never lose the passion to do dope things in Hip-Hop we finally got to work on the project in October of 2013. I received a call from Jay asking me if I was down and the rest is history. We holla’d at Hadiesel…he was down, and I got to writing. This project took a year to complete and release but was five years in the making. In that time we have worked alongside some of hip hop’s most legendary MC’s and DJ’s. When we first met each other we both were hungry and we still are. We do this first for the love of music and because this is the life we chose or the life that chose us. Regardless the amount of fame or lack thereof…it don’t stop. We both are fans of hip hop music and we just do what we like.
Creatively, how did you two go about getting your ideas across without bumping heads too much?
Jay trusted me to drive the car when it came to creating the songs. Meaning picking the beats, writing the hooks, arranging the project from top to bottom. He admires my writing and earlier records so I just think he knew I wasn’t about to do nothing bogus! [Laughs]. We both are open-minded and that’s good when you are collaborating.
How do you use social media to your advantage?
I reach out to people that I would never be able to holla at otherwise. Sometimes they holla back. It’s pretty cool.
Name one thing fans would be surprised to know about you?
They’d be surprised to know how much I have on my plate but never complain about. Its a lot in my personal life that would break most guys and drive them to not so healthy actions and other things that would make peoples heart break…but I just hold it down like a man is supposed to do. I just talk to God about it, thank him, and vent. Music is kinda my outlet. That and sex. [Laughs].
Peep the new video for “F.Y.M”: http://vimeo.com/110912722
Check out the PhiLLaNOise project here : https://phillanoise.bandcamp.com/album/feel-the-noise-ep-produced-by-rashid-hadee
Instagram/Twitter : @PhilG119
– tj armour / @tjarmour