After spending over 20 years in the music industry, producer Fantom of the Beat has decided to step completely out of the box. He is genuinely creating music instead pandering to the preferences of radio, popular culture, or the powers that be. Who would’ve thought that a Brooklyn kid immersed in Hip-Hop would have the vision to push past what’s expected? Or is it that everyone but him has forgotten that Hip-Hop operates outside of what’s expected? At least that what the culture used to stand for.
Fantom recently released “First Time Ever” which is the first single off his upcoming album Fantom of the Beat Presents-Audiodrome. The single features G. Snyder and AB Money and is the first look at what’s to expect. The producer track album is a compilation of fresh faces in music, all under the production credits of Fantom. It’s similar to Hip-Hop icon Dr. Dre‘s The Chronic, where a former artist who transitioned into a producer used a project to launch the careers of new artists.
He’s decided to give new artists a shot, instead of sticking with the same overexposed artists who hog all of the radio’s air time. Unfortunately, the music industry has changed drastically within the last couple of decades and not everything is for the better. Radio DJs used to be the ones on the front lines, introducing new artists and taking risks with breaking records.
They were the ones who basically did the job that the internet and social media do today. And as a consequence, the radio DJs are the last ones to play new artists. They are also the last ones to play new music unless it comes from a popular artist.
When you listen to contemporary Hip-Hop a lot of it sounds the same. Southern Hip-Hop, Cali Swag, New York rawness and the beloved Atlanta sound are all messed into one sound that appeals to the general public.
Fantom originally started out as Haas G, one-half of the Hip-Hop duo, The U.M.C.’s. The group received success in the early 90s with their album Fruits of Nature. The project featured their chart-topping hit singles “Blue Cheese” and “One To Grow On”. Before Haas G and Kool Kim split, they released their sophomore album Unleashed.
After stepping away from The U.M.C.’s, Haas G discarded his stage name and reestablished himself as Fantom of the Beat. Thus, transforming himself from an artist to a full-time producer. Apparently, reinventing himself worked, because of it open doors for his career that allowed him to work with allowed him to work with artists like 50 Cent, Ghostface Killah, Lil Kim, Raekwon, and Busta Rhymes.
Fantom essentially draws the inspiration for his music from observing the world and the people in it. At its core music is a tool of communication used to convey thoughts, feelings, and messages. However, contemporary music perpetuates a facade. The average person doesn’t have exotic cars, a lot of money, or spends every night at the club “poppin bottles”. But that’s what today’s music is constantly saying.
There was a time where music, specifically Hip-Hop produced messages and taught lessons. Hip-Hop painted the pictures of social injustice and economic disparities that existed within America, and society as a whole. It told us that we are not all treated equally even though we should. It also taught us lessons about how to love our parents, raise our children, and stay alive. Hip-hop was the outlet that said what needed to be said, and no one really knows what rappers are actually saying.
Though “First Time Ever” is already out, the rest of the album won’t be ready for a couple of more months. Fantom of the Beat is confident that it will revive some of the principles of Hip-Hop that we are have lost. And in the face of these very troubled times, maybe a Hip-Hop revival service is something that is desperately needed.