DJ Drastic X Talks Phish Vs. Hip-Hop Mashup

When this week started little did we know a post focusing on Phish & hip-hop would be our most-viewed piece of the five-day span. Yet Phish fans have really enjoyed the Phish Vs. Hip-Hop mashup created by Miami DJ Drastic X and most of the feedback to the compilation has been positive - not an easy feat when trying to appeal to the Vermonters' highly-critical fanbase.

The 21-track mashup tribute project mixes sounds and vocals from Phish and hip-hop stars such as Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and The Notorious B.I.G. We recently chatted with DJ Drastic X about the work that went into the years-in-the-making compilation.

JamBase: How did you originally come up with the idea for Phish vs. Hip-Hop?

DJ Drastic X: Many years ago, I was with a few good friends of mine, and they were putting me on to some of their favorite tunes. I was mainly a hip-hop DJ and producer back then, and we were listening to different music I could possibly sample for beats. I remember since high school some of my friends were hardcore Phish heads so I already knew a bunch of their songs and albums. We threw on a few Phish CDs and I remember thinking “wow, I can’t believe no one has sampled or remixed any of this incredible stuff.” After producing a few beats, I got on my turntables and played some acapellas to see how they would sound over them. It just felt like magic. It sounded like nothing I’ve ever done before.

JamBase: How long did the process of creating the compilation take?

DJ Drastic X: I think like six or seven years because at first it wasn’t necessarily a priority for me, but the more I would listen to Phish, the more it pushed me to go back and do another track. Then, when I had enough material, I took another year or more perfecting it and making sure I did Phish and the hip-hop emcees I used justice. Every sample, every drum sound, the vocals, and so on had to be perfect because I didn’t want to disappoint the fans of these artists.

JamBase: Are you a longtime Phish fan?

DJ Drastic X: I am now more than ever. I’ve been on their music since high school but like I said, I really got into them about 7 years ago.

JamBase: There seems to be a number of tracks off Party Time - any reason in particular there was a focus on those songs?

DJ Drastic X: I tried many songs from many different albums. I tried making something with around 40 songs and I chose the ones that sounded the best. That’s just how it worked out.

JamBase: Many people would say on the surface there's no connection between the music of Phish and the hip-hop world. Do you agree?

DJ Drastic X: I would tell them to check out some of the hip-hop stuff Phish has done live and listen to how the crowd goes nuts. There are so many people out there that love both Phish and hip- hop music and I wanted to make that statement with this project. I want people to hear that you can take two completely different kinds of music and still make them work together with a little creativity.

[Published on: 5/30/14]

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