Categories Archives: Artists

R.I.P. Sean Price: Planet Apes + ‘Songs In The Key Of Price’ + Memorial Concert Info

Sean Price header

We are hit this summer with another tragic loss, this time Boot Camp Click and Duck Down Records powerhouse, SEAN PRICE aka Sean P aka Ruk from HELTAH SKELTAH. Our hearts go out to his wife and 3 kids, his rhyme partner Rockness, the whole label and staff, friends and family. Sean was a friend to MCMI and was close friends with PH (Pumpkinhead) who passed away 2 months earlier, so a lot of mutual friends of both of them are left with that “wtf?” feeling, like “what is really going on?” We are losing our people – good people – who were close to us in friendship and who were champions of this thing we call Hip Hop, pushing the culture forward with every rhyme, every album or mixtape, even skits, freestyles and jokes.

Sean Price

But Sean P left us a lot of great music, so we have to celebrate his life, much in the same way as we celebrate PH. For those who want to donate directly to Sean Price wife and kids, you can do that here, but you can also support by purchasing his music. As an independent artist on an independent label (Duck Down), your purchases are guaranteed to support his family, while at the same time bringing you joy, listening to his music.

Sean Price music is like fried chicken, collard greens and mac n cheese. If you love Hip Hop, you can’t get enough of it. He was an inspiration to all of us who do this (from your most underground “backpack” rapper to Jay Z), because he did it for the love of the music. That sounds cliche, but it’s true. Listen to him on the radio, in interviews he skips past all the marketing, the “fans get to know you as a person” stories, and just proclaims, “I just rap. I’m here to rap. I’m the nicest at this, nobody can F— with me. That’s it.” That’s all he cared about, being the best lyricist, the dopest MC, and he maintained that standard up until his last day.

Sean Price bundle package

We are so lucky that Sean Price was actually finished with his next project! They were planning his album release party for “Songs In The Key Of Price”, when he left us so suddenly. You can get the single Sean Price: Planet Apes or the full album, itself or in a package that includes the Songs In The Key of Price CD + digital MP3 download, Sean Price ‘Key’ bottle opener, P! socks, Songs In The Key of Price T-shirt, and RIP! T-shirt. The first 100 orders will receive an autographed copy of the Songs in The Key of Price CD.

Sean Price That's Hard CK shirt 2 copySean Price was there for MCMI many times, when we needed him. He rocked the COUNTY OF KINGS tee-shirt in Pete Rock & Smif N Wessun’s video for “That’s Hard,” (featuring Sean Price and Styles P). He collaborated with PH on Batterin’ Bars, on his album Mic Tyson. He was the first to tell us he wanted to perform at the Pumpkinhead Memorial Tribute Concert. That night, I got word from Royal Flush that Sean could not make it. I knew he wouldn’t have missed that show for the world, so I was a little concerned about if he was okay. Three days later, Sean was called to Paradise. He was 43 years old and survived by his wife and 3 children. #DejaVu all over again.

And so, once again too soon, we have a trending hashtag, numerous articles and radio stations playing tributes to a great lyricist. (Sidebar: Why does it take tragedy for radio to suddenly be filled with great Hip Hop music?)

Several years ago, we through a fundraiser for the Robin Hood Foundation, MCMI Presents Vol. VII, which Sean Price headlined for us, with Pumpkinhead, Hydra, Shabaam Sahdeeq, DJ Evil Dee and some others. Even though neither Sean nor none of us were millionaires, it was all for charity. Sean Price SOB's Flyer MCMI Presents

That’s the type of person he was. When his brother PH called him for the favor, to headline the bill for a good cause, he was there.

Now we are gearing up for the SEAN PRICE MEMORIAL SHOW @ S.O.B’s, August 27th. Tickets available at: All proceeds will be donated to the family.

RIP Sean Price

Salute Sean Price, one of the nicest and one of the nicest, on the mic and off of it. An MC’s MC. A father, husband and friend to many. We are proud to have heard him utter the words “MCMI, people call me Sean.” R.I.P. Sean Price. Your music and legacy live on forever. #ripSeanP #ripSeanPrice #RestInParadise

@GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport | @DuckDownMusic

PH Memorial Tribute Concert – AUG 5th @ SANTOS (NYC)


It has been a difficult month and a half for the staff at MCMI, members of The PLAGUE, TeamHOMI, Brooklyn Academy, RedArmy, Decepts, Lo Life’s and friends and fam within and outside of the music industry, feeling the blow of PH aka Pumpkinhead’s untimely passing and the weight of responsibility we have all felt, to both keep his musical legacy strong and create a support system for those left behind. But none of that compares to what Robert Diaz‘ actual family has gone through – wife, mother, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, in-laws and especially his two sons, Royce age 8 and Raiden age 11. And for those who don’t know, their mother Shawntay is also pregnant with PH’s first daughter, due in the fall.

When it first happened, I wrote an article, but so much has transpired in the past 6 or 7 weeks, so many events, so much love and support from friends, fans and even strangers, that I wanted to fill you in on what has been going on, before we talk about the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE CONCERT, this Wednesday, August 5th.

News of PH’s unexpected, sudden passing that Tuesday morning, June 9th, 2015, was widely reported in the online media and even newspapers like The NY Daily NewsFoxNews Latino and Pix11 covered it. CNN, TIME, USmagazine reported it. Gossip blogs such as Hollywoodlife, HollywoodTake, GossipIconDailyMail, thecelebritycafe and E! Online all wrote about the tragedy. Even notorious blogger Perez Hilton had something nice to say. Of course all the music blogs, like Billboard, RollingStone, MTV, BET, XXL, HipHopDX, VLADtv and battle rap sites, such as RapGridBattleRap, KOTDtv, HHC, GrindTimeNow, URLtv, released statements, videos, tweets and instagram dedications to #ripPH.

Talib Instagram about PH

June 9th – 10th, the Instaworld and Twitterverse was lit. Sean Price, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Jean Grae, Marco Polo, Brother Ali, Masta Ace, Aesop Rock, Mac Miller, Peter Rosenberg, Atmosphere, Evidence, Statik Selectah, Stretch Armstrong, Pharoahe Monch, Alchemist, Poison Pen, Swave Sevah, DNA, RA the Rugged Man, DJ Rhettmatic, Soul Khan … just to name a FEW tweeted laments about their brother PH passing until #ripPH became the trending topic on Twitter and Facebook for the next day.

Goodbye Pumpkinhead Halftime Radio Show

Radio stations from SHADE 45 (Evil Dee/TonyTouch), to Hip Hop Nation on Sirius XM, to Halftime / Squeeze Radio with DJ Eclipse, Sucio Smash & Big Zoo, the Underground Railroad with Jay Smooth on WBAI, numerous online shows, Power 105.1Hot97, all played PH’s music in tribute and memory. Podcasts on AngryFanRadio got reactions from DNA, Math Hoffa, Swave Sevah, Lush One, Amzilla & P Stacks and Poison Pen. GID Radio  and other online shows hosted interviews of PH’s wife, children and friends.  That Sunday, the EOW MC Challenge of Champions was dedicated to PH. The Legendary Cypher event at Union Square was dedicated to PH, with his wife and kids in attendance. PH’s eldest son Raiden did an off the top verse for his dad. It was heavy.

Then at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Anniversary show at Summer Stage in Central Park, Raiden came out again, during a special PH Tribute performance orchestrated by DJ Eclipse, this time doing a verse from his dad’s song “Here” off of Orange Moon Over Brooklyn. Other artists who performed at the tribute include Immortal Technique, Jean Grae, Bad Seed, Tonedeff, Diabolic, Hydra, PackFM, Poison Pen, DP One and Metaphor from Brooklyn Ac.


Photo: Photo Rob

All of this chronicled the pain of losing someone who was down to earth,  helpful, and supportive, someone who did so much for battle rap and had so much passion for Hip Hop music and culture.

PH CONCERT FLYERThis coming Wednesday, August 5th, Hip Hop artists in New York are coming together to honor and pay tribute to the man, Robert Diaz, and the MC PH, also known as Pumpkinhead, at SANTOS PARTY HOUSE. The flyer lists IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE, PHAROAHE MONCH, JEAN GRAE, SEAN PRICE, ROCKNESS MONSTAH, SMIF-N-WESSUN, SADAT X, KID CAPRI & EVIL DEE on the wheels, but there are numerous other artists added to the event – all of whom are friends of PH and all of whom represent NY Hip Hop. If you go to the Facebook Event Page, you can rsvp, post messages and see the full line up for the show. You can see it is going to be one of those monumental NY moments in Hip Hop history.

Besides being an artist himself, PH was an events promoter, organizing numerous Hip Hop events, from GrindTime battles, to our own MCMI Warzone battle last year, to Hip Hop concerts such as “The Classic“, “The Platform“, “Masters of the Underground” and his art series called “The Blackbook” dedicated to Graff.

The day PH transitioned, a bunch of us got together on the rooftop of Rodney “LR Blitzkreig” Willie’s building in Park Slope, Brookyln. The appearance of an “Orange Moon Over Brooklyn” that night is well documented, here and here, on Facebook and Youtube. Shortly after, an alliance was formed between a group of PH’s friends who are also event producers, promoters, graphic designers and marketing professionals. We formed a “core committe” (i.e. MCMI, Lyricist Lounge, RealTalkNYC, WritterzBlock, PoisonPen, Metaphor, The Plague, LyricsToGo, EOW, TeamHOMI and others) and a larger committee of friends and supporters who began working on a series of memorial events. It was not exclusionary, but comprised of those of us who were in touch with each ther at the time. As others have been reaching out, reconnecting with old friends, they have been added to the group.

This has turned into the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE COMMITTEE, which was responsible for the Memorial White Party at LittleField, among other things, leading up to this major tribute concert.

PH reading to his two sons, Royce & Raiden

Everyone brings what they do to the table. Some book venues, some contact artists, some paint murals and paintings, some do graphics for flyers, posters and tee shirts. Some promote online or in the streets. This is a team effort – a community of like-minded individuals brought together by Pumpkinhead. We are all working towards one cause. No one is profiting. 100% of the money raised goes to the Fund for PH. We don’t even put our name on anything unless it will help the cause. It is not about us.

Anyone who wants to join us in these endeavors is welcome to contact us and become a member of the committee. If you have something you would like to contribute, reach out to anyone you know who has been mentioned above, or email us at mcmireport[at] Or you can just speak to any of us in person at the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE CONCERT, this Wednesday.

I am going to end this on a personal note. When asked in interviews to come up with the best times I have had with Robert, I realize that the times I spent with PH, were some of the best of times, in my life, period. Having been friends for about 25 years, it is hard to pick just one.

PH At GMS wedding with The Plague

Here he is, in happier days, celebrating at my wedding, with our Plague fam all around us. Thank you for the good times, PH, you will be sorely missed and remembered forever.

@GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport | | |

PH – Orange Moon Still Shines Over Brooklyn

PH Photo

PH (formerly known as “Pumpkinhead”)

PH – Orange Moon Still Shines Over Brooklyn

Born Robert Alan Diaz, in Brooklyn N.Y., on Sept. 17th, 1975, PH did not know what his future had in store for him. The son of a single, hard working mother, grew up in Park Slope Brooklyn with his mom and younger sister, in a 2 bedroom apartment. He started getting into Hip Hop in the early 80′s. As a 10 yr. old B-boy, Robert would battle local crews alone in search of acceptance for having heart and skill for his age. Movies like Beat Street, Breakin and Wildstyle, inspired this B-boy to embrace the culture to the fullest and be the best at what he does today.

After gaining acclaim for his breaking and popping skills, he quickly moved on to his next goal, which was to be an MC. After Hearing Dana Dane’s “Nightmares”, young Robert started penning raps during his 6th Grade Language art class, where he was the top Poet.

Soon “Pumpkinhead” first leapt onto the Underground Hip Hop scene, when a friend of his went to Bobitto Garcia, and handed him a promo that PH had created for his Hip Hop radio show, along with the legendary DJ Stretch Armstrong, “The Stretch Armstrong Show”.

They played the promo for 8 weeks straight.


After New York’s first taste of this underground MC, they demanded more , So PH joined the stable of Makin’ Records, which was home to the group Natural Resource (including Jean Grae) and The Bad Seed. Ph’s first 12″ single was “Dynamic” b/w “It’s Over”. The record was embraced by all and went #1 in the Hits, Gavin and CMJ charts. The rest, as they say, is history.

Pumpkinhead became known as a battle Champion, holding two “Braggin Rites” Championships, winning several End of the Weak (EODub) Challenges and coming in first or second in numerous other battles and contests. During this time, he rocked many performances and destroyed countless opponents in freestyle street battles with ThePLAGUE, a crew of MC’s that he still records and performs with to this day.

PH also formed a group with Mr. Metaphor, Block McLoud, Will Tell & I.C.ON called “Brooklyn Academy”. They released a classic single called “Con Artists”, which charted on radio before the label folded. The group pursued individual careers before reuniting years later to drop the classic Brooklyn Academy album “Bored of Education” in 2008.

Over the years, PH has toured and traveled to Japan, Australia (Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne), Sweden, Amsterdam, Canada and over 40 U.S. states. He has opened up for the likes of the rock group Goo Goo Dolls on the Lyricist Lounge Technology Tour, Bootcamp Click on the lyricists Lounge Tour, Kanye West, Ghostface, Big Daddy Kane, The Lost Boys, Tony Touch, Jedi Mind Tricks, to name a few and has also headlined his own shows all over the United States.


As Pumpkinhead, PH has released his debut album “The Old Testament”, the E.P. “A Beautiful Mind” and his sophmore album “Orange Moon Over Brooklyn”. He has produced several mixtapes, including “Kill Music vol.1″, “Time Chronicles” Vol.1 & 2 . “Border Blockers” released in Canada, “Power Man & Iron Fist” with Cy Marshall Law, and “Picture That: The Negative”.

In 2011, the MC shortened his name, preferring to go by the initials that most of his friends referred to him as, “PH”, and dropped another classic album, KNOW THE LEDGE,  on MCMI Records. The album did very well, lead by the single County of Kings, a Brookyn anthem featuring Sha Stimuli, Ruste Juxx, Skyzoo & label-mate LR Blitzkrieg. The album also featured notable spitters such as Nems, Poison Pen, Marv Won, Charlie Clips and Plague members GMS and Substantial.

For the next few years PH focused his time cultivating the battle scene, as host and then President of GRINDTIME EAST COAST (GTEC), until he gave that up and threw his hat in the ring, to battle once again, this time using the more modern, pre-written battle rap format. His first battle was against the top West Coast battle rapper Dizaster. PH’s victory sparked a winning streak as he battled in multiple leagues, in the US, Canada and the UK. In his passionate return to battling, he formed an alliance with like-minded MC’s, producers and battlers under the name Team Homi, which became a house-hold name in the world of battle rap.

During the next few years PH continued to record music with his label, MCMI Records and collaborated with numerous underground and up and coming artists from all over the world. He  also entered and won many notable rap contests, winning the EOW Challenge a total of 4 times and being named “NYC MVP” by legendary rapper Ludacris, in Magnum’s Live Large Rap Battle.

After taking a break from music to focus on family, PH began work on what he said would be his final album. On Tuesday, June 9th, 2015, 5:40am, PH passed away unexpectedly after checking into a New Jersey hospital for a minor surgery. He is survived by his wife and two sons, with a daughter on the way.

PH with Family

PH with Family

A friend to all, he will be sorely missed by his friends, family and throughout the industry. He will be remembered for being a family man and for his many contributions to Hip Hop culture.

On Wednesday, June 10th, at 1:30am, at a rooftop gathering in mourning and celebration of Robert “PH” Diaz‘ life, the moon appeared suddenly and glowed bright orange for 30 to 40 minutes, signaling to family and friends that he is still here in spirit and shines brightly over all of us. Over a dozen people on that roof witnessed this miraculous event and took pictures and video of the Orange Moon over Brooklyn, one of which is posted here.

R.I.P. Robert Alan Diaz (1975-2015)

SALUTE the Underground King, PH!  REST IN POWER!


Press inquiries, or to talk about Tribute Shows and other fundraising

Twitter & Instagram: @PH_TeamHOMI | @MCMIreport

Substantial & The Other Guys – No Turning Back [MUSIC VIDEO]


Brought to you on HiPNOTT Records, No Turning Back, by Substantial and The Other Guys, is about ”those who continue to live in the past while Substantial looks to move forward.“ Dedicated to his friend and former producer Nujabes, and those who try to exploit his legacy, after his passing. The Past… EP is available now via all digital outlets. You can stream it on Youtube here.


@GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport | @IamSubstantial | @OtherGuysMusic | @HiPNOTT


HighBred (Chordz & Manley): Original (We Remain) [Single + Video]

HighBred (Chordz & Manley): Original (We Remain) [Single + Video]

Original We Remain

Chordz Cordero and Sir Manley drop their single “Original (We Remain)“, with a fresh video shot by J’Mel Lu and edited by the group themselves. Produced by Boonie Mayfield, it is the second video to drop off of the full length project The HighBred (LP), a collaborative venture from MCMI Records, Intaphaze Records and Man@Work Productions.

Chordz (Jamaica Queens, NY) and Manley (Muskegon, MI), bring you back to a time where music was simple: good music, good lyrics, good choruses. What more could you ask for? Tired of the same topics, sounds, and lack of creativity in the industry… they’ve come together to begin a movement of new Soul + Hip Hop. This movement has been given the title “HighBred” and represents a new quality of soulful, truthful music.

The HighBred (LP) 

The title “HighBred” is a play on words. “High“… meaning, the quality of life, wisdom, love, and honor we strive for and seek everyday on our journey and “Bred” … meaning, a new breed of artists who live freely, and truly express themselves passionately through their art form! Together these words represent the fresh new sound that’s created when merging the styles of this collective.

The HighBred (LP) is more than just music, more than beats and rhymes … it is an album that will truly touch the lives and hearts of many.

NOW GOING FOR PRE-ORDER! Click the artwork below to pre-order the album. and get the singles How I See and Original (We Remain) immediately!


@GMS_MCMI@MCMIreport | @ChordzCordero | @SirManley