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Beatmonstas Interview /

November 2005

You can never have too big of a Hip-Hop crew. Living proof is the Beatmonstas, which is a massive collection of emcees and producers from the Windy City. Consisting of Phashara, Noble Dru, Nipples aka Therapy, Diamond Back, Aum Mu Ra and DJ Sean Doe, the Beatmonstas offer a refreshing and unique style of boom bap Hip-Hop that is sorely missed today. This is evident on the group's debut album, The 3rd Weapon, which the Beatmonstas discuss in detail with MVRemix.

MVRemix: I just want to start with some background and history questions so the readers can get to know you guys beyond the music. So, where were you born and raise and what was it like growing up there over the years?

Phashara: I’m the only member from the west side of Chicago. The same area where Do or Die, Twista, Crucial Conflict & Bishop Don Juan is from. Life in Chicago growing up was a gang culture similar to what we’ve all come to know Los Angeles as except without so many drive bys but with more pimpin. It was trippy on the west side… we had our own styles it’s like a different planet from the south and north side.



Rated 7.0

The old saying goes, "Two heads are better than one." But for the Beatmonstas, why stop at two? Consisting of Phashara, Noble Dru, Nipples Tha Pimp, Diamond Back, Aum Mu Ra and DJ Sean Doe, the Beatmonstas is a massive crew of talented emcees and producers. Hailing from the windy city, the crew's debut album - The 3rd Weapon - delivers a vintage boom bap style that is sorely missed in today's Hip-Hop game.

While it may take you awhile to get familiar with each emcee on the album - as you definitely need your linear notes handy throughout - your patience with The 3rd Weapon will pay off. With a variety of strong beats, the production provides the necessary backbone for the album. A prime example is the stunning piano loop of "Paradise," which the Beatmonstas ride perfectly to spit their pimp games to the perfect woman of their dreams. Also outstanding is "Tha Warning," as the crew constructs a vicious beat and a golden hook that will stay permanently burned into your brain for days. "Four Four" follows this same formula, as the crew offers a mixture of vivid street tales. Additionally, the Chi-Town anthem of "5th City" finds 211 ferociously spitting over Phashara's roadrunner beat.

Even though The 3rd Weapon is a cohesive and consistent release, there are a few missteps to be found. While lyrically solid, the irritating and overbearing vocal sample of "La, La, La" overshadows Phashara's effort. In addition, the spacey production on "Class Division" fails to hit home, leaving each emcee unable to recover over such a kooky backdrop. Nevertheless, the Beatmonstas offer an impressive debut that highlights their skills behind the boards. Chicago should be proud. - MVREMIX.COM

"Radio & Podcast Feedback"

"I've played this twice since getting it." - DJ Marley Marl/Future Flavas - WWPR - New York, NY (Commercial New Music Show)

"Nice! very, very nice!" - Ronni M. - - Internet Station

"Good flow from Phashara (who sounds and flows a lot like CL Smooth). I dig the unique sample and classic hip-hop feel! We need more hip-hop with a positive message like this." - Adam L. - WMHB - Waterville, ME (Colby College)

"positive message, breezy beat, i can dig it." - Jared - WJCU - Cleveland, OH (John Carol U.)

"A bit of a mixture between older Nas and Mobb Deep releases. Nice for Hiphop club and radio play." - DJ Marious - AFDC Radio - Cologne, Germany

"I am really feeling this song. Been meaning to tell you that for the past week and a half. Been bumpin' this one in my MP3 player and I can't wait to represent for this one on my show. This is that vibe youngins need to hear. " - Jason - - Podcast DJ

"Nice! Good chill track." - Riggy - WHUS - Storrs, CT (U. of Connecticut)

"I have posted the phashara track up on my blog and have also it in my next batch of hip-hop single reviews for idj magazine here in the uk." - Ryan P. - - London (Blogger)

"Nice beat and topic!" - DJ G Fresh - WAIF - Cincinnati, OH (Community Station)

"This is nice. I'll play this tommorow night on our show." - DJ Raw B - KUSF - San Francisco, CA (U. of San Francisco)

"Great song. I dropped it on my 6/28 show." - Simpson - The Dugout Show - Brighton, UK

" I actually prefer OPM. That is the one I'm playing." - DL - KTRU - Houston, TX (Rice University)

"VERY FAAT! I will rock this on my show!!!" - DJ Sachamo - KSDS - San Diego, CA (Community Station)

"This joint is cool...I like the soulful vibe, good substance...I can dig it." - KEESE M.P. - WUSB - Stonybrook, NY (U. of Stonybrook)
- Foundation Media Radio Promotions Campaign

"Newspapers - Blogs - Webzines"

"This is really some nice stuff, definitely standing out from most shit out there these days, reminding me a bit of the good old days from Tribe Called Quest". – River Phoenix - - Athens, Greece

"he’s branched out considerably, tackling political issues with his crew the Beatmonstas and raging against the negative influences that prey on inner-city youth." – Andy Downing – Chicago Tribune (print & web editions)

"He has a great energy, powerful stage presence and his rhymes are well structured and connected" – Marques Lyons (Zune Enthusiast)- Gathering Around the Record Player Blog

"[Phashara's] sound is hot and I’m happy to support!" - Fave – Blog

"A jazzy lively vibe that we ain't heard since the Tribe Called Quest days." - (Songs from The 3rd Weapon - Review)

"…the sort of mature hip-hop backdrop made popular by the likes of Little Brother and The Strange Fruit Project." - Rawroots Magazine (

"…the insight of Kanye brought back down to street level." Dusted Magazine (Songs from The 3rd Weapon / Four Four 12" - Review)

“Underground hip-hop has always been a vehicle for social criticism, and the Beatmonstas' Phashara looks to continue the trend through his newest album, "The Story Book Adventure," on which the rapper sounds something like Black Thought channeling Slick Rick.” - Chicago Sun-Times

- Various


The Storybook Adventure (Digital - BeatMonstas Entertainment, LLC. - July 2008)

BeatMonstas Presents... The 3rd Weapon (CD - BeatMonstas Entertainment, LLC. - 2005) - Phashara produced approximately 50% of the CD, has performances with crew Beatmonstas as a collective and is featured as a solo artist on 2 songs.



Phashara (pronounced fah-shuh-rah) born to an afro’d soul cat & sophisticated lady, Phasha spent the 1st couple of years of his life in Chicago’s Martin Luther King Plaza on the west side of Chicago. His Mom & Dad both sang with reputable choirs and gospel acts, his Uncle is a Jazz Trumpeter. Needless to say, the musical influences in his life were many and varied. “I can remember hearing Rappers Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang and The Breaks by Kurtis Blow when I was like 4 or 5 years old. I really grew up listening to Hip-Hop and Soul music. Soul and Hip-Hop are like the sound track to my life” he says of his early influences.

Inevitably, Phasha began to dabble in the arts himself. “I remember wanting piano lessons but we couldn’t afford it.” So he began writing… “I wrote lots of poetry at first but then I listened to so much BDP, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, Biz Markie, Public Enemy and Eric B & Rakim that I just had to write a rhyme. It just seemed to be the most enjoyable thing to do.” Phasha wrote rhymes in secret for years but because he was so meticulous he typed them all up and kept them in binders. His best friend and former group mate “Trust” picked up the binder one day and began to read. As he read he chuckled and went thru the entire gamut of reactions from laughter to amazement. After that Trust immediately began to urge Phasha to let it be known that he was dangerous with the rhyme and soon they started Phasha’s first rap group P-93. When asked what did P-93 mean.

As a couple of years went by and Phasha grew as an Emcee the group faded to black and Phasha began working with Bosa. They soon formed Chicago rap group Vibe Percent and later became known as Sac.Fly. The group included Phasha & Bosa as Emcees a-la Run-DMC and Trust as producer / DJ. The group lasted approximately 8 years and gained much notoriety in the Go as one of the illest and most hard working rap groups in town.

Now in 2008, Phashara preps his debut solo album. After featuring as both artist and producer on Beatmonstas Entertainment’s UK & US College Circuit released hit CD “The 3rd Weapon”, Phashara is ready to embark on new journeys with soon to be crowned classic release entitled “The Storybook Adventure”.

The Storybook is authentic Hip-Hop. It’s genuine approach veers far from the beaten path of today’s cookie cutter urbanized renditions of hokey-pokey that some refer to as “ring tone rap”.

Phashara’s mission this go round is to use the art of storytelling to project rich portrayals of life through the eyes of a west side Chicagoan. The soulful bangin beats provided by the likes of Heralded Beat Champions, namely Radius (Neighborhood Suicide), Tall Black Guy, Noble Dru (The 3rd weapon) & Phashara himself, serves as the canvas and soundscape for Phashara to paint vivid tales of city living and lessons learned. Still the fun and excitement of hip-hop’s golden age are overtly present and seem to be the recurring theme in “The Storybook”.