Thursday, June 17, 2021

P.H.A (Power Hittin Artist)


Back to Philly once again with these two 12-Inches released in the mid 90s by P.H.A. a.k.a Power Hittin Artist, group originally consisted of Wise Kabar (RIP), Granz and Gat.

12" - 1996 - Apex Records 

Power Hittin Artist's debut 12" released in 1996 on APEX Records is composed of the tracks "Sunrize" (clean album version and instrumental), "Universal" (album version, radio edit version and instrumental) and "Chasin Clouds ('94 Basement Style)", fully produced by OMNE with all cuts done by DJ Meez a.k.a Kenny Meez (of the Federation Sound).

Granz : "Our debut 12" came out on APEX Records, a record label managed by a good friend of mine named Andrew Poppiwitz aka Pops... we call him Poppy Chules. To tell the truth I can’t remember when we formed the group exactly... Shit was on paper and we were making beats together prolly like 1991 or 92. Me and Gat knew each other from East Falls projects. Wise Kabar went to Roxborough high school with us, met Wise 10th grade biology class. One day he heard us rhyming separately and he was flabbergasted. At that point he suggested we start a group because we were already homies. Wise didn’t even rhyme at the time...OMNE is my man from middle school and fellow graff writer. I had to bring everything together. Everybody in the crew made beats...We still do ! OMNE did the beats for all the music we put on vinyl, 6 songs I think..."

OMNE & GRANZ circa 1995 - Photo courtesy of Granz

At that time Granz, OMNE and Meez were also graffiti artists affiliated with my man John Doe aka DENSKE. If you do remember they were on the cover of the Basementality project released in 1995. 

OMNE did also productions in the mid and late 90s for emcees like Maylay Sparks or Philly-based groups like Aphillyation.

12" - 1997 - PHA 

In 1997, the group was back with a new 12" still released independently, composed of the lead single "Don't Take Time" available in its Street, Radio and Instrumental versions on the A-side, and the tracks "Absorbtion" and "I Don't Know (I Can't Say) on the B-side". The productions were still managed by OMNE and the tracks feature Granz, Wise Kabar and a third emcee named Lord aka Prince Lord Naeem. 

Granz : "Gat is my brother from the projects, high school, and the NGE. He would always make beats and write songs with us but every time we went to the studio something came up... One day we decided to take Prince Lord Naeem who is Gat's little brother and he amazed us when he got in the booth.

Granz, Prince Lord Naeem, OMNE & Wise KABAR - Photo courtesy of Granz

OMNE, Wise Kabar & Granz - Studio in Brooklyn, NY circa 1996 - Photo courtesy of Granz

Wise Kabar & Granz - Studio in Brooklyn, NY circa 1996 - Photo courtesy of Granz

A third 12" was supposed to come out after that, but it never saw the light of day... The single was called " Suckas".

Granz : "OMNE’s homie John Creamer did the production for "Suckas" . He's a writer that used to live in Brooklyn . It was supposed to come out in 98 or 99 . Back when we were making records we had to recoup the funds in order to move along to the next project . Money would come back slow. Dropping records off to stores on consignment and picking up the money months later after they sold them . Timely process that slowed things down."

Granz : "Nothing else was released by the crew after the second 12", but nothing in particular happened. I guess the crew sorta just started going different directions. We all remained cool through the years... East Falls got closed down as well. But we got plenty of unreleased material ! We did songs on compilation albums with other people plus in house tapes and cds that were made... Recently exploring best way to release music on multiple streaming sites ... more importantly, making sure the business is right. Can’t sustain without the funding..."

Mad Props to Granz, thanks for the interview. Big Up to Denske, thanks for the connection. This is dedicated to the memory of Bernard John Ray a.k.a Wise Kabar (March, 4 1975 - January 4, 2015) ...Rest In Peace .

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