P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.
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P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.

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May
01
P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. @ 2nd year anniversary of Respiration @ Macs Bar

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Apr
24
P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. @ Backpackers& Rappers @ Macs Bar

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Apr
05
P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. @ Charity Celebrity Basketball Game

E. Lansing, Michigan, USA

E. Lansing, Michigan, USA

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Music

Press


Written by William E. Ketchum III
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
One of hip-hop detractors’ most frequent arguments against the genre is the inability of many rap artists to perform well live. They claim rappers lazily traipse around the stage, clutter their performances with unnecessary guest appearances and can’t deliver the same presence as a vocalist or instrumentalist.
But they can’t say that about James Gardin’s show.

Known as Philthy (which stands for Positive Hip-Hop Individual Living Through His Years) to local hip-hop heads, Gardin effortlessly controlled the Mac’s Bar crowd Thursday night. Taking long steps to cover the whole stage, the wiry, mohawked emcee — dressed in a tan tee, stonewashed denim and slip-on Vans — smoothly delivered his verses, keeping the audience involved the whole way.
Lansing rapper James Gardin, AKA Philthy, performs at a recent Mac's Bar show. (Courtesy photo)


Performing in front of packed venues may be new for Gardin, but he’s been writing since third grade. As a junior at Sexton High School, he and three of his friends formed a rap group named Y.N.I.C. (Young Ni**as In Charge) in 2002. Gardin left the group three years later because he says “they weren’t moving fast enough for me,” but he says working with the group gave him ample preparation for his solo work.

“Sometimes if you’re in a group, and everyone’s talented, it’s like a friendly competition,” Gardin says. “You step your game up a lot, because you always want to have the hottest verse on the song.”

Along with helping improve his writing and beat-riding skills, Gardin says that working with the group showed him how to make his socially conscious lyrics commercially accessible.

“I’m first to say that art should be expressed and you shouldn’t judge someone by their art, but since music is a business, it has to be somewhat marketable, and some [conscious] artists are lacking that,” Gardin explains.

While his songs aren’t full of the misogynistic, gun-riddled rhymes that plague much of hip hop today, his hooks are catchy enough to get listeners hooked, and his verses are easy to memorize.

“Some conscious rappers may think, ‘I just have to put my message out, no matter what,’” Gardin says. “But you’ve got to put it out a certain way for people to be able to digest it, and actually want to care about it.”

His solo recording project, “Save Us All,” has been delayed several times due to what he describes as “the worst luck ever.” After finishing half of the album in August, Gardin’s computer crashed and he lost all of his music. He bought a laptop in late September and re-recorded everything he had lost, several mix tape tracks and the remainder of “Save Us All.” But just as he began the final editing process, the laptop was stolen.

“Surprisingly, I didn’t break down,” Gardin says. “When the computer burned out, I was like ‘Dang, I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’ma be straight.’ … Then when the laptop got stolen, my first instinct was, ‘I’ve got to finish the album.’” He found another place to record on the same day, and a week later, he had finished 10 of the album’s 13 tracks. “I was upset … [but] I just felt like I had to keep it moving,” he says.

While Gardin is still working out the mixing and mastering for the disc, he hopes to have “Save Us All” available by Dec. 18. A preview of the album shows several standouts. On “Celebrate,” Gardin encourages listeners to keep a positive outlook on life and keep complaints to a minimum.

In “Live Yo Life” he tells the stories of two people — one who’s living life too slow, and another who’s living too fast.

Next month, Gardin is going to California, where he’ll roommate with a friend and look to book his own shows. Though he doesn’t have any performances locked down yet, he’s still in negotiations, and he’s optimistic that he’ll prevail.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to tour in different states and build the fan base in different demographics,” Gardin says. “If you don’t have a fan base that’s large, then you’re not relevant, and no one’s knowing about you. I can’t just be known in Lansing or known in Michigan. I have to be known in other states.”

If he keeps doing what he’s doing, that shouldn’t be a problem.

http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1498&Itemid=31
- City pulse



Christian Czerwinski | NOISE


With a stage name like P.H.I.L.T.H.Y., you might think that James Gardin was gangster to the core. But the 22-year-old rapper's name actually stands for, "Phenomenal Hip-Hop Individual Living Through His Years."

His rhymes pay tribute to both his life and God, but his lyrics aren't really religious.

And while many rappers pay homage to influences from hip-hop's early days to its golden era, Gardin grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and the Smiths.

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We caught up with the Lansing rapper on the phone.

Where did you come up with your name?

I thought it looked cool on paper. But then people kept asking what was the reason. It's actually my nickname. I didn't want people thinking I was dirty, so that's when the acronym came.

How can you cite influences Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Smiths and Blur and be a rapper?

I had a Big Brother and he was into that type of music. I used to play the guitar and all we'd listen to is Zeppelin and the Smiths. I will think of those songs and it'll give me a mood or a hook I can use.

Is religion a big part of your career?

Yes. My faith is a part of my life. I feel like in order to be a part of my life, it has to be a part of my music as well.

What's your live show like?

I have fun and I feel everyone else does too. It's high-energy and I interact with the crowd. I rock dope shows.

Who else would be an influence musically?

I love Kanye, Lupe and Nas. I cite local artists as my biggest influences. I chill at home and listen to Othello or F.O.S. I listen to mostly Michigan hip-hop. Major artists get too comfortable. Being able to meet the Michigan artists and talk to them, I can better feel them and relate to them.

Do you have plans for an album?

I'm working on it right now. It's called Save Us All. It's like a new fresh sound with remnants of the golden era of hip-hop from the early '90s. Each song I wanted to aim towards a certain group of people. (I'm) not saying it can save them, but it might help them through a problem.

How has Respiration helped you and the local rap community?

Respiration was one of my first shows where I got to do a full set. It cultivated me and helped me become the artist I am right now. I owe a lot to Respiration.


Christian Czerwinski | NOISE


With a stage name like P.H.I.L.T.H.Y., you might think that James Gardin was gangster to the core. But the 22-year-old rapper's name actually stands for, "Phenomenal Hip-Hop Individual Living Through His Years."

His rhymes pay tribute to both his life and God, but his lyrics aren't really religious.

And while many rappers pay homage to influences from hip-hop's early days to its golden era, Gardin grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and the Smiths.

Advertisement

We caught up with the Lansing rapper on the phone.

Where did you come up with your name?

I thought it looked cool on paper. But then people kept asking what was the reason. It's actually my nickname. I didn't want people thinking I was dirty, so that's when the acronym came.

How can you cite influences Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Smiths and Blur and be a rapper?

I had a Big Brother and he was into that type of music. I used to play the guitar and all we'd listen to is Zeppelin and the Smiths. I will think of those songs and it'll give me a mood or a hook I can use.

Is religion a big part of your career?

Yes. My faith is a part of my life. I feel like in order to be a part of my life, it has to be a part of my music as well.

What's your live show like?

I have fun and I feel everyone else does too. It's high-energy and I interact with the crowd. I rock dope shows.

Who else would be an influence musically?

I love Kanye, Lupe and Nas. I cite local artists as my biggest influences. I chill at home and listen to Othello or F.O.S. I listen to mostly Michigan hip-hop. Major artists get too comfortable. Being able to meet the Michigan artists and talk to them, I can better feel them and relate to them.

Do you have plans for an album?

I'm working on it right now. It's called Save Us All. It's like a new fresh sound with remnants of the golden era of hip-hop from the early '90s. Each song I wanted to aim towards a certain group of people. (I'm) not saying it can save them, but it might help them through a problem.

How has Respiration helped you and the local rap community?

Respiration was one of my first shows where I got to do a full set. It cultivated me and helped me become the artist I am right now. I owe a lot to Respiration.
- The Noise


Discography

The Young Black Hope Vol.1 (Dangerous Minds) 2006
SaVe uS aLl (Coming April.2008)
Love E.P. (Coming Soon)

Photos

Bio

It is said that "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life" well 23 year old Michigan Emcee P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. Born (James Gardin) has been working 5 hard years in the rap industy to make a name for himself and be a huge contributer to this statement .Having rocked shows with artist like The Pack, Tyga, The Cool Kids, Nick Speed, Liza Garza, Othello, Ohmega Watts, One Be Lo, Finale, Invincible, Alias, and many other signed and
independent artist, P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. knows there's no doubt in his mind that its only a matter of time. Also Since writing his first rap in the 3rd grade,then later taking rap serious in highschool with a local group called YNIC,and most recently pursuing a solo career, shows that Philthy has always kept hip-hop close to his heart. While his love for Hip-Hop is a undying one Philthy is also strongly influenced by artist such as The Police, David Bowie,Led Zepplin, Donny Hathaway , Sam Cooke, and many other artist giving him a very diverse balanced taste of music, and influence. With his new album SaVe uS aLl set to come out in April 22 2008 which is a collaborative work with Michigan/California based producer Nasty Nyne Sincere, and an E.P. with Califonia based producer Jansport J. with a 2008 release , he has a lot of product for the people. P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. is also very involved with activism and social work as seen in songs such as "Voice of the Voiceless",a powerful story about HIV/Aids orphans from the point of view of an orphan. Having close ties with a MSU (Michigan State University) student group called MRULE he has been active in this group and one of there programs, which is Vumundzukubya Vana - Our Children's Future (VVOCF) (http://www.mrule.msu.edu/progress.htm). They have fundraised to help get HIV/Aids Orphans School Uniforms more food and other essentials to survive. They also have a pen pal program where students actually write and receive letters from these children. Showing that Philthy isn't just an artist who talks about the issues but also tackles them to find a solution. With balancing making dope, positive, socially aware, and spirtually uplifting music. P.H.I.L.T.H.Y is definitely living proof that you can still make relevant music thats good for the soul