A Conversation With Phresher On Eminem, Cardi B, Brooklyn & New Music
Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)
(AllHipHop Features) Can you imagine just a year after your breakout single makes waves in the industry, you get a call to be featured on a song with one of your musical idols? That’s the situation Phresher found himself in when Eminem selected him to be the sole rapper on the pop culture icon’s Revival album.
The man born Kashaun Rutling then got a bonus package when his appearance as the performer on Slim Shady’s original "Chloraseptic" hook was extended to include a full verse on the remix. Veteran Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz was also given time to spit bars on the newer version of the cut.
Before linking with Em and Chainz for "Chloraseptic (Remix)," Phresher had already recorded tracks with Desiigner, Remy Ma, Jim Jones, and Cardi B. The Brooklyn-bred MC initially gained traction on the net and in the club with his 2016 banger “Wait A Minute,” and he’s now close to dropping a full project titled PH.
Tidal recently highlighted Phresher by allowing him to introduce the world to his East New York neighborhood in the Where I'm From documentary. I got the chance to chat with the DGYGZ artist about the mini-film, his high-profile collaborations, his hometown rap scene, and more.
AllHipHop: Your year ended on a big note. You appeared on Eminem’s Revival album. I saw you reposted a video where Danny Duces was talking about people hating on you for a minute then when you got on the album they started to show you love. Have you experienced people approaching you differently or having a different opinion about you since that album came out?
Phresher: Yeah, of course. I expect it though. I never take it personal. It’s music. Critics and people are either going to love you or hate you. If you f-ck with me, I appreciate it. If you don’t, I appreciate it too. Hate is a form of flattery to me. I always just try to find the good in everything. Some people wrote me off, and they’re now back on the bandwagon. It’s all good.
AllHipHop: I’m sure you picked up a lot of new fans too. Being on an Eminem album is huge. Especially since you were the only rapper.
Phresher: It’s a little different now. I’m getting people from Germany. I got a lot of white fans now too. They didn’t really know me before. It’s broadened my horizons. It’s like it’s brought me a new set of fans, and I appreciate that. Shout out to the new fans. I’m coming with a new mixtape, so they’ll really understand what PH is all about.
AllHipHop: A lot of people were shocked when the remix dropped. You had talked about how you recorded a verse and 2 Chainz talked about recording a verse, but I don’t think people were expecting that remix.
Phresher: I knew it was coming.
AllHipHop: Was that the original verse you recorded?
Phresher: Yeah, that’s me and 2 Chainz’s original verses.
AllHipHop: Obviously, Em’s verse was different. What was your reaction when you heard that verse?
Phresher: I was not shocked. I was more amazed. Em is my favorite artist, so that’s not surprising to me. I know how Em gets when you get on his nerves. He lashes out, and I loved it. That’s the Marshall Mathers I know.
AllHipHop: You also collaborated with Cardi B. Can you talk about how “Right Now” came together?
Phresher: Me and Cardi are actually good friends. She was supposed to do the “Wait A Minute (Remix)” but due to a lot of bullsh-t we couldn’t release her part. Cardi B was actually in the video and everything. Some people were hating on her situation. That’s before she really broke, but I seen it. I was going through it with a bigger artist about her being on it, so she didn’t make the video. So we just decided we were going to do our own thing. We got together and did “Right Now.”
AllHipHop: Do you mean the official remix? Was she supposed to do the video with you and Remy?
Phresher: Yeah, she was actually on it. It was crazy. But a lot of bullsh-t happened and we weren’t able to release that particular footage. It’s all good though. Shout out to Cardi.
AllHipHop: I saw the documentary you have on Tidal. What did it feel like going back to your neighborhood to shoot that doc?
Phresher: That was awesome. Shout out to Tidal. I’m really thankful to them for appreciating my music and documenting my story. Going back to the neighborhood, the hood appreciated it. I try to inspire people. Where I come from, nobody makes it out. I’m like the first one from that neighborhood on a big scale, so they appreciate when I come back. I’m just trying to inspire the young boys and the older guys too. I got good standing in the neighborhood and I’m well respected. But what I’m doing right now - they're wearing it like it’s them on the album, they sing “Wait A Minute” like it’s their song, because I’m like all we got.
AllHipHop: There was a moment in the doc where your mom talked about how you decided to leave school and pursue music. At what point did you realize that was the direction you needed to take?
Phresher: My parents are big on school. My dad was a thug in the streets, so he didn’t finish school. My mother was big on education. She’s in the education system now, so she’s been a teacher for years. So I told my mom that I could always go back to school. Sometimes you gotta take chances in life, you got to get yours. Some people don’t see it like you see it sometimes. My mom couldn’t see it. I had to prove to my mom: “Let me go for it.” I did it and now it’s starting to pay off. She never doubted me, but she’s a "Plan B," "Plan C" kind of person.
AllHipHop: You’ve talked about being a big fan of Jay-Z. I think it’s an inspirational life journey that you went from being his fan to having your content on a platform that he’s part of.
Phresher: That’s what I’m saying. It’s amazing. I’m always trying to do what’s next. It’s so funny how things work out. I didn’t see this happening in a million years. When I was doing music, I was just doing it because I wanted to be known, I wanted to be famous. I just felt my character is so big that it’s bottled up if I’m not on TV or on the radio. To be on Eminem’s album and then to be on Tidal, my favorite artists’ platforms, is amazing.
AllHipHop: And it happened back to back.
Phresher: On Eminem’s remix I said, “I feel entitled to Tidal. F-ck it, man, I want the title. Submission, they gotta go viral.” That sat right with Tidal. People were talking about it. Certain people from Tidal called my manager. I had to give the exact lyrics. When I wrote that, it wasn’t about [connecting with Tidal]. I was doing it because I mentioned my favorite artist [Jay-Z]. It’s crazy how things work out.
AllHipHop: What are your thoughts about a lot of attention being back on Brooklyn, in part because of artists like yourself, Jay Critch, Young M.A, and 6ix9ine?
Phresher: This is what it’s supposed to be like. This is the way it used to be. There was a drought. There’s no doubt about it, there was a drought in Brooklyn music as far as artists being really known outside of New York. It’s a collaborative effort. We just gotta keep working and keep putting on for the city.
AllHipHop: You've mentioned that you have another project coming out this year.
Phresher: Yeah, PH. It’s coming out next month.
AllHipHop: Is that going to be a studio album or a mixtape? Well I guess nowadays it doesn't really matter. I’m just wondering how you’re labeling it.
Phresher: Yeah, mixtape, album - it doesn’t matter. It’s a project. It’s getting to know who I am, what I do, and how versatile I am. I just gotta go into 2018 the right way.
AllHipHop: Can you talk about any of the producers or features you have on there?
Phresher: For producers, I got Reazy Renegade. I got IllaDaProducer. He produced “Wait A Minute.” I got Go Grizzly. For features, we got Jay Critch, Don Q, DreamDoll, Cardi B, and a couple more. We’re waiting for some things to come in. It’ll be wrapped up in the next few weeks. I’m very excited.
AllHipHop: Those features are very New York.
Phresher: Oh yeah, we got Philthy Rich from the Bay. We got Derez De’Shon from Atlanta. We’re working.
AllHipHop: You’ve been releasing music through Empire Distribution. Are you interested in signing with a major?
Phresher: We’re working all that out right now. I got some unfinished business with Empire. Then we’re going to jump into a major situation.
AllHipHop: What else do you have planned for the year? You’ve got the project coming. I’m sure there will be visuals with that.
Phresher: We’re shooting a lot of visuals now. I want to say we’ll be putting out two visuals per month. That’s the goal now, no less than two. Maybe three sometimes. Some people don’t even know how I look. That’s from a lack of content out, so we want to definitely put out more content. A lot of visuals. A lot of audio. We’re going to really hit the ground running this year. I have so much music. We’re holding nothing back this year. We’re letting go.
Watch Phresher’s Where I'm From documentary on Tidal.