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MCMI REPORT: Tribute to Robert PH Diaz at Park Slope’s FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR, 5/15/16

MCMI REPORT: Tribute to Robert PH Diaz at Park Slope’s FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR

MCMI REPORT: Tribute to Robert PH Diaz at Park Slope's FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR

Rapper Wordsworth of EMC pays homage to his friend PH, on the corner of 5th Ave & Robert PH Diaz Way.

The late great rapper Robert “PH” Diaz aka Pumpkinhead, who passed away less than a  year ago from gall-bladder related health problems, represented Park Slope, Brooklyn, all his life. Even when he migrated to Staten Island and New Jersey, he always claimed Park Slope as his home, often shouting out the formerly socio-economically mixed neighborhood, that in recent times has become more and more gentrified, in his music. Then in the early 2000’s PH did a mixtape series (Park Slope Rennaisance Vol. 1 & 2) and had a song called Park Slope on his Beautiful Mind EP (Third Earth Music). PH visited his hometown often, doing shows, parties and charity events at the now closed Southpaw, Voodoo Lounge and SRB (now Analog). And shortly before his ultimate departure, Robert returned to Park Slope one last time, with his two sons, to show them the block “where daddy grew up”.

So it is extremely fitting for that block on De Graw Street, between 4th & 5th Avenue, to be co-named “Robert PH Diaz Way“. And it is also fitting that this year’s FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR in Park Slope, will include a Musical Tribute to PH aka PUMPKINHEAD, on the corner of 3rd St & 5th Avenue, beginning at 1pm. DJ GMS will play a set of PH’s best music, including songs about Park Slope. There will also be guest performances by MCMI Artists and friends, including HYDRA (Keith WildChild Middleton, GMS & LR Blitzkrieg), Chordz Cordero, the MarXman, Qaasim & Khalil Middleton, Mic Handz and Jay Lonzo. The first time Pumpkinhead, GMS, LR Blitzkrieg & Keith WildChild ever performed together was at the FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR in the 90’s when they were just teenagers. The friends would go on to found the crew The Plague and later form the brand MCMI.

MCMI REPORT: Tribute to Robert PH Diaz

The DJ Booth will be set up in front of The Gate on 3rd Street. The party will start off with classic dance music brought to you by Baby Loves Disco, with DJ MIKEY PALMS and Mr. Metaphor from Brooklyn Academy on the mic, from 11:30 – 1pm. The MCMI / PH Tribute set will go from 1 to 3pm, followed by DJ TOP SPEED, who will play classics honoring David Bowie, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest & Prince, until the fair is over. Classic PH albums & mixtapes, tee shirts, posters and other collectibles will be available behind the DJ booth.

So come out to Park Slope this Sunday, enjoy the fair, check out the music on the corner of 3rd Street and you can also walk down 5th Avenue and take a pic under the newly unveiled street sign on the corner of De Graw St & 5th Ave, as we continue to “Rock Rock On …”.

@MCMIreport | #ripPH | bit.ly/fundforph

MCMI REPORT: Tribute to Robert PH Diaz at Park Slope’s FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR

PH

PH Photo

PH (formerly known as “Pumpkinhead”)

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.

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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.

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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!

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Press inquiries, or to talk about Tribute Shows and other fundraising venturesPH@MCMIreport.com

Twitter & Instagram: @PH_TeamHOMI | @MCMIreport

PH & Q-UNIQUE: GATEKEEPERS (Single)

PH & Q-Unique

Over 14 years ago, there was a double A-Side record called “Plan A”, produced by Skeme Team, which had The Arsonists & Non Phixion (“14 Years of Rap”) on one side and Brooklyn Academy (“Con Artists”) on the other. At the end of 2013, right on time for Christmas, comes a new song from PH & Q-Unique, as the Brooklyn Academy and Arsonists veterans come together once again, over a DJ Supa Dave production, “Gatekeepers”.

“Gatekeepers” is a statement from the two artists showing that they can verbally spar with the best old and new rappers in the game, keeping Hip Hop exactly that – “Hip Hop”! The song is dope, with both MC’s spittin’ fire over the Supa Dave banger and the artwork is pretty sick as well. I hear there is a video in the works.

Follow: @GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport | @PH_TeamHOMI | @Q_Unique17 | @TheDJSupaDave