The Compton artist discusses Lord Mobb, how to spot false flagging, upcoming music with Curren$y, Flee Lord, Dirty Diggs, Planet Asia, & much more.
DGB: One of my favorite songs you’ve released is Build Wit’cha from the project you did with Flee Lord. The chemistry is undeniable. What’s the story behind that?
Phonk P: I met Flee with Westside Gunn, Benny The Butcher & Conway. I’m cool with all of them. We went to Buffalo when Griselda had a show right before they blew up. Flee was with them. When I first met Flee his whole energy, he was just a dope ass individual. He stood out in the group.
I figured we might as well do a project. About a month later we went out to NYC and knocked out that album. Build Wit’cha was the first song we did.
Flee Lord makes music with a lot of people, especially as he gets more popular. There’s a difference between making music and doing business. How did you end up getting on the Lord Mobb label?
When he started developing Lord Mobb as a label he reached out and let me know he wanted me to be a part of it. We were always tight, before all of that. After we first heard each others music, we decided to put out a project. All the Lord Mobb stuff is because of that. It was about a year later.
You’ve done a lot of collaborations already. One that surprised me was the song you did with Hurricane Chris. How’d that come about?
Yeah a lot of people don’t have that. I used to be in the studio with him & my boy Compton Menace. Chris and Menace are good friends. I met Hurricane Chris through him. I got a lot of features that everybody can’t get. I got one coming up with Curren$y on one of the albums I’m putting out next year.
You’ve got a lot of different ways you approach songs. What leads you to decide what delivery or cadence you want to use?
It’s really the beat. The beat speaks to me. The vibe or feeling gives me the direction to go. I’m selective with beats but open to different styles. I like to challenge myself.
Your album Bitters has a strong international flavor. How’d you end up working on such a diverse sound palette?
That album represents my parents Belizean heritage. Bitters is something you drink to clear your system out in Belize. I created it to show appreciation to my parents culture. Local Astronauts who is Belizean also produced the whole project so it’s a good mash-up. That’s one of my best projects.
I noticed how much vocabulary you use in your lyrics. Are you a big reader?
I am. I used to do a lot of writing in school. I’m reading The Way Of The Superior Man right now. It gives you different ways to be a better person. It’s something that I kind of need to read. I’m into self-improvement. Right now I feel like I’m in a rebuilding process.
What’s next for you professionally?
I got a project with Dirty Diggs coming out. It’s going to be a great project. It has Planet Asia, XP The Marxman, and a lot more features. That’ll be in November.
Your last song had me laughing like shit, why you tell Sade “sing that shit bitch?”
I love that song. I’ve always had a thing for Sade. The way her music sounds, she’s like a rose from the concrete. No one ever knew how much of a heroin addict she was. Not off the way she looks or from the way she sings. I never knew all of the problems she was going through. She never really showed it.
I notice I see Gonzales Park a lot in your videos and interviews. What goes on there?
That’s where all the homies hang out. That’s our hood park where we go to chill. We have hood meetings, niggas getting disciplined, a lot of that shit happens at the park.
Speaking of discipline, how do you spot someone false flagging?
If someone comes over here claiming that they’re from here or our neighborhood or whatever; we do a background check. They have to know somebody from here and then we would hit them up & see what was the real deal on that person. The person he know can’t be some random ass person either. It’s got to be SOMEBODY. Then if it checks out, it’s good.
Given the politics of L.A. life, how do all these collaborations you do come about? Some of them certainly reach across certain lines & boundaries.
To be honest with you it’s just me being a real nigga. I got features from everybody, Safaree, Mozzy, AD, Jay Worthy, YG Hootie… All that comes from keeping it a hundred. People are going to recognize real regardless. I’m part of a different type of sound. It used to be more of a traditional West Coast sound. Now we’re doing more sampling.
You definitely sound good on the “drumless beats” style.
Hell yeah. I love it. I love that type of shit. It gives me more room. I have more to talk about. I don’t want to be restrained by one type of sound. With those type of beats I can really talk my shit. I got some more stuff with Flee Lord coming soon too.