DJ Drastic X Talks Phish vs. Hip Hop
Photo by Marisol Tamez.
It wasn't long ago that DJ Drastic X turned his "It's All Gravy" show on FIU's WRGP Radiate FM into the vehicle by which artists like Pitbull, Rick Ross, Flo Rida, and DJ Khaled saw some of their first college radio airplay.
And today, he continues to break new ground with Phish vs. Hip Hop (Phish-Hop), a mashup mixtape combining beats that he made from samples of the world-famous jam band with some of rap music's greatest verses, meanest cuts, and most notorious drops.
Drastic says Phish is "one of the greatest bands of all time." And here's what he had to say about making the album.
Crossfade: How'd it all come about?
DJ Drastic X: I was with some friends about six or seven years ago, listening to some music, some of their favorite jams. I was looking for things to sample and they're like, "Yo, check out some of these Phish CDs." I knew the band from high school. My friends were hardcore Phish Heads. We threw on some CDs and I remember being like, "Wow, I can't believe they have so many great tunes that nobody has really sampled." I took the CD home, made some beats, and they came out incredible. So I made more and more beats, and then I went to my record collection and pulled some a-capellas to hear how they would sound with some rappers over it. When I played 'em, it was like nothing I'd ever heard before. and it kind of took off from there.
And this is a project you spent years on, right?
Yeah, I would just do it for fun, little by little, never knowing that I was gonna put it out like this. It wasn't a priority. But after a while, it was like, "I gotta do this."
How much material did you accumulate over all that time?
I actually messed around with like 45 songs -- not all complete, not 45 full beats. But I went through Phish CD after Phish CD. I bought them all. And then after doing like 40 ideas, I minimized it to the 15 or 20. I just chose the best ones.
You definitely got the New York and the West Coast rappers, but also the Miami artists too.
I show a lot of love to the Miami legends. It's really Miami artists more than anything. Just gotta show love to home team. I got Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, Trina, JT Money, 2 Live Crew. I couldn't use every single rapper from everywhere, but those are the ones that felt right. I got local guys like Ghostwridah on there too. Showin' love to Miami was a priority. I needed to represent my city.
What else you workin' on these days?
I still do guest sets for Radiate FM, WRGP, FIU Radio, which I've been doing for more than a decade. I do online radio sets at thestreetsfm.com. And I also been producing and making that fiyah. I got some new projects in the works. And I also private DJ gigs. I keep myself busy.
What do you say to hip-hop fans who have never heard Phish before?
Get ready to experience something new. You gotta check 'em out. Some of the stuff they do live is just incredible. I think they're one of the greatest bands in history. You gotta pick up a Phish CD.
See also: Ten Best Miami Rap Anthems Ever