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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.

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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

P.T.A: Busta Rhymes + L.O.N.S (Reunion) @ BKHHF


Shout out to BrooklynBodega for another great Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival this year. BKHHF #8 was a smashing success all week and the grand finale on Saturday at Pier 3 in Brooklyn was phenomenal. We had an MCMI Booth, so we were technically working, but at the same time we are huge Busta Rhymes fans who grew up listening to Leaders of the New School and watched Busta’s solo career blossom after that. GMS & PackFM @ BKHHF 2012There were about 2,000 fans in front of the stage (from the video it could be at a backyard barbeque, cause it’s so close up), hands in the air the entire time L.O.N.S was onstage. I mean, Busta was ripping his solo material as you would expect him to. Bucktown crowd favorites Smif N Wesson and Buckshot did How Many MC’s and Sound Boy Burial to the people’s delight. Lil Fame of M.O.P also brought mad energy to the stage when they performed the classic Ante Up and Ante Up Remix. Those are hometown heros. Reek Da Villain did his thing as well. Everyone went wild when Busta brought out the man who “started all this type of pimpin'” (referring to the Fort Knox amount of gold he had around his neck), the legendary Slick Rick (who came out with more gold on that Busta). I’m going to post those performances later. But when Charlie Brown and Dinco D  hit the stage and rocked that was truly incredible.

“This is the first time in 19 years … me and Dinco … me and C Boogie Brown … my whole shit started with these two dudes right here. We wrote every song that y’all fell in love with us for in Brown’s crib adn Dinco’s crib…”

You can hear on the video that the person in charge of the venue and the stage is trying to shut the show down. Hear him saying “3 minutes … 3 minutes“? Busta warned him “Don’t violate …”

After they rocked P.T.A, they did Scenario (click for video) in entirety, with ATCQ (including Pfife), which clearly went over 3 minutes (the show was already 20 minutes overtime). Finally the soundcrew faded Busta’s mic when he tried to squeeze in an extra couple of joints after that. Even once his mic was off, he did the “Arab Money” dance while the crowd sang the lyrics. But it didn’t matter. The main event – Leaders of the New School reunion – had taken place, and we were all there to witness a moment in Hip Hop history.

More: SCENARIO: Busta Rhymes, L.O.N.S & ATCQ @ Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest

Common Interview: Power 105’s Breakfast Club

Common The Dreamer, The Believer

Warning! This interview is mad candid (definitely “Rated R”). Common tells some stories from his memoir “One Day It Will All Make Sense“, like one about his father kidnapping him and his mom at gun point when his mother wouldn’t agree to go with him to a basketball tryout. Or about how he was fingerin’ girls and trying oral sex before losing his actual virginity. Or as Common puts it, “real things that we go through, man … I’m just adventurous”.

But Common also talks about his early music makin’ days, how he got his name “Sense”, from the slang term for weed, working with producer No I.D. and his upcoming collab album with Nas, Nas Dot Com (or Nas.Com, I’ve seen it written both ways). The behind the scenes of the whole Ice Cube feud and other juicy tidbits of information are in the book as well. Sounds like a must read.

But my favorite question they asked Common was

“Is it hard to still love H.E.R? Cause you do all the Hollywood movies, and those checks are better. Is it hard to still have a love for H.E.R.?”

Listen to the interview for his answer.

Pick up Common’s 9th LP (!), The Dreamer, The Believer, in stores now.

QN5 Megashow 2011: Evolution (Flyer & Trailer)

QN5 MEGASHOW 2011 FLYER
Friday, Aug 19, 2011 9:00 PM (7:00 PM Doors)
HighLine Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St, New York, NY

The QN5 MEGASHOW is an annual destination event thrown exclusively by NYC’s independent hip hop label, QN5 Music, for their fans. It is the only time the entire label’s roster (Tonedeff, CunninLynguists, PackFM, Substantial, Mr. SOS & Kokayi) converges on the same stage on the same night.

QN5 fans (ie. Blue Schoolers) from all over the world make their pilgrimage to this event to celebrate all things baby blue and see one of the most energetic and entertaining shows in Hip Hop. This event has torn down legendary spots such as CBGBs, BB Kings, The Roxy (LA) and now makes its second visit to NYC’s Highline Ballroom. As usual, there will be no photography or videotaping of this event permitted, so you’ll just have to be there to see for yourself.

THE DETAILS:
QN5 MEGASHOW 2011: EVOLUTION
Friday, August 19, 2011

THE ENTIRE QN5 ROSTER LIVE ON STAGE PERFORMING ‘A HISTORY OF QN5’:
CUNNINLYNGUISTS // TONEDEFF // PACKFM // SUBSTANTIAL // MR. SOS // KOKAYI // DJ JS-1
+ SPECIAL GUESTS


BUY TICKETS

General Admission: $15