Tag Archives: tribe

My Influences

I’ll try to keep this post short, but I can’t promise it won’t be all over the place. I’ve been blessed to live long enough to witness the rise of Hip Hop culture and the pinnacle of rap music. Growing up in a small New Jersey town as you would expect, most of my early influences came out of New York. Although New York was less than an hour from where I lived, it seemed like a universe away at times. I knew it wasn’t far though because I could catch the signal from the radio stations in my small apartment shared with my mom. I lived for the Friday and Saturday night radio mix shows where I could hear all my favorite rap artists and be introduced to new ones. One day I decided to write my own rhyme and the rest was history. At first  I patterned myself after artists I heard on the radio. The guys dominated the rap music scene back then, but what stood out to me were the female emcees. Maybe it was because I saw back then that Hip Hop was special and unique and a female rapper was even moreso. Female rappers with attitude were the best. Shante (AKA Roxanne Shante), was the first female I can remember handling the mic and giving it to the fellas. She did her thing on Roxanne’s Revenge, and I looked forward to hearing whatever she put out. Of course Latifah, Monie Love, Sweet Tee, Salt N Pepa, Finesse and Synquis and any other female rap stars that came from NYC were my muses. Once rap expanded to include the West Coast- YoYo, Patra (I know she’s Dancehall, but Romantic Call was a classic), and any of the artists playing on Hot Tracks, Video Jukebox, Rap City, Yo MTV Raps, and the other video shows gave me life. I could go on and on, but then this post wouldn’t be as short as I had hoped. Just know that my influences are many and I give respect to all those who did it before me.

Thinking of a master plan

Thinking of my influences

See Ya At the Top!


“Jungle Jam”

I always loved movies and shows where someone (or a group) gets stranded on an uncharted island of natives. It usually leads to an adventure as you never know what’s going to happen next. I experienced something similar while on vacation in 2014. Although part of my vacation was spent in a Latin American city, a friend talked me into taking a trip to one of the islands off the coast of the country. When we arrived it was straight out of a movie- grass huts, natives, etc. and when the sun went down at night you could hear them doing their thing. Since it was a one night trip I was just trying to make it to daylight- feel me? Anyway, Jungle Jam was written ironically BEFORE that trip. Jungle sounds and wild beats are the backdrop over this tale of a lost emcee stranded on an uncharted island. In order to make it off the island alive I must rap for the tribal elders during a show. The problem is, every one that tried before me was wack and didn’t make it (you know what that means). Click here to find out what happens to PHAYME…


Jungle Jam is available on The Second Coming of PHAYME
Jungle Jam is available on the digital LP “The Second Coming of PHAYME”