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 2010, 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.
[to be continued ...]