Rare Interview With Phonk Beta
Interview by Jimmy Blog For Fahrenheit Insight
Every once in a long while, an album comes out that defines a time, defines a city. Here in Sacramento, California, that album was Brotha Lynch Hung’s “Loaded” album, an album so rich with time, talent, and soul, it will never be duplicated. This album, and many more, was produced by the legendary Phonk Beta. Phonk Beta recently connected with First Degree The D.E. on the Fahrenheit Hour Urban Talk Show to talk Loaded, Fahrenheit, Symplex, Brotha Lynch, Death Trap, his beginnings, purpose in music and much more.
“I can’t remember when I first touched the pianos, 3 or 4 maybe, and I’ve been lovin’ um ever since!” Beta clarifies. Phonk Beta was born in San Francisco. He has also lived in Sacramento and New York. He has produced on over 75 albums, put out 2 solos, and is known world-wide for his jazzy, dark soulful sound. He is the creator of the “Sacramento Siccness” sound.
The conversation with First Degree and Phonk Beta started with Beta’s jazz roots. First Degree inquires where Beta got his talents from and Beta explains that by emulating jazz greats like Miles Davis and Count Basie, he was able to create and perfect the sound known as Phonk Beta. “My first love is jazz, a lot of people don’t know that.” Beta also goes on to explain, “I used to always know how to touch the ivories, and Brotha Lynch taught me how to program drum beats.” Phonk Beta and Brotha Lynch became friends in high school in South Sacramento. They then teamed up to create one of the greatest rap albums of all time.
“I didn’t even know what we was doin back then,” Beta explains while talking about the creation of Loaded. His and First Degree detail how back then, beat making was a community event. First Degree then talks Planet Zero and tells that Brotha Lynch, Beta, and himself made the beat to Blackula together. First Degree also goes on to remind the people that Beta was the producer of the early Death Trap albums. Death Trap was Phonk Beta, First Degree, Be Gee, and Dalvin Pipkins.
D.E. and Beta’s long musical history is all on wax. “Phonk Beta has produced on every First Degree album from Southbound all the way to FU4!” First Degree The D.E. boasts.
While in conversation, First Degree The D.E. reveals to Beta, “the rap game is too easy for you know, no one’s doing anything that’s beyond anything you can do.”
“I kinda lost love for the music cuz of the Black Market,” Beta explains, “I’m getting the love back, I’m a lot better than I was back then.” The D.E. later includes that if the Brotha Lynch and Ced Sing (Black Market) relationship worked, Sacramento would have been a top 3 rap hub. Beta then goes on to gush about the Symplex series. Symplex, The Complex And Simple World Of Phonk Beta Jazz, is Phonk Beta’s jazz collection he puts out on Fahrenheit Records. The first Symplex album was received well by the rap audience, and was some fans first exposure to jazz music. The second edition comes out November 18, 2014. The third, which is already done, comes out 2015. The Symplex series promises to change the game!
“You’re the only one that can bring jazz to the rap world!” First Degree tells Beta. “The best thing about Symplex, is that you get credit for your genius.” D.E. paraphrases.
Besides the Symplex series, Phonk Beta is working on a compilation called “The Containment Unit” with Madesicc Musicc. Beta reports that this comp will be produced by him and have a bunch of upcoming Sacramento talent. Beta also explains that the Reloaded album is full speed ahead. At this point, le Phonkster is the only human on Earth that can make that happen.
When asked about his legacy, Beta states, “I want to leave something for my future family, I’m teaching my son how to makes beats.” For the love of the rap game, let’s hope he learns!
On a personal note, Phonk Beta has been torn between the Brotha Lynch and First Degree beef. Over the past year, Brotha Lynch and First Degree have had a very public altercation that thousands of fans have chimed in on. “Let’s get the record straight,” explains First Degree The D.E., “I’ve been working with Phonk Beta before anyone ever heard of a Brotha Lynch!” Although Beta had nothing to do with the beef with Lynch and D.E., his name has been flying around it’s discussions. Within the storm, Phonk Beta has been a calming, neutral force that all parties respect. Because of his affiliation with Lynch and D.E., he has taken beef from friends and fans, but to Beta’s credit, he stays even keel and will eventually be the glue that ties everything back together.
You can hear this interview in its entirety on Fahrenheit Hour on Fahrenheit Radio. You can check it out on demand on Youtube by searching “Fahrenheit Hour 23”. Symplex 2 comes out November 18, 2014. Phonk Beta beats for sale can be heard at http://www.reverbnation.com/phonkbeta. Phonk Beta also has a hot T shirt line he has started. Get up on Shlangz!
Phonk Beta “Symplex 2” Nov 18, 14
Symplex 1 out now!