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
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
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
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.