Rusty Ps
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Rusty Ps

Band Hip Hop Funk


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It has been a decade since the Rusty Ps (formerly known as the Rusty Pelicans) emerged into the Milwaukee hip hop scene. They took the stage for the first time at the Globe East as teenagers in 1995 with little more than a mix tape and a microphone. 
Ten years later, the Globe East is no more, but the Ps, with an impressive resume that includes opening shows for Run DMC, The Pharcyde, Eminem, Ludacris, Black Eyed Peas, The Roots, DJ Shadow, and Atmosphere, have become a Milwaukee music staple.
Athought it’s been nearly three years since the Ps released “One,” their last full-length album, the group has been anything but stagnant. The trio – comprising emcees Count Classic (aka Isa Ortiz) and Phantom Channel (aka Adam Haupt), producer S Watson (aka Chuck Watson) and DJ Madhatter (aka Jordan Lee) -- have been playing live shows, releasing singles and writing material for a series of new discs to be released within the next year. The first album to surface, “Rusty Ps vs. Milwaukee”.
Feeding off the incredible energy of Milwaukee’s underground music scene, the new album is a compilation of sorts, gathering cross section of Milwaukee musicians, all of whom the Ps have previously worked with and respect, into the studio to create music together.
“Originally, we were going to call it ‘Rusty Ps Verses Milwaukee’ instead of ‘Versus,’” says Madhatter. “Not in the sense of battling each other, but more to emphasize the idea of coming together in verse.” The album, says Phantom Channel, is “music inspired, motivated and created by the City of Milwaukee. We called upon quite a few friends and fellow musicians to help manifest our idea of capturing the essence of the Rusty Ps and Milwaukee."
The CD includes collaborations with other established DJs and emcees such as J. Todd, Kid Millions, Kid Cut Up and Black Elephant, but doesn’t limit itself to that genre. It also features music by punk outfit The Mistreaters, alternative group Recycled Future and down tempo electro band The Silence.
“Texturally, this is more diverse than any other Rusty Ps album,” says Madhatter. “It’s exciting to be able to showcase our style in so many different ways.
The Rusty Ps say that this project is reflexive of how Milwaukee’s underground scene works. “It not rare for us to play with a punk band,” says Madhatter. “We all have to work together. We don’t have too much to hold on to, so we hold on to each other.”
- On Milwaukee.Com

The Rusty Ps’ new album, The Rusty Ps vs. Milwaukee, is a compilation of songs each featuring different local DJs, bands, emcees and producers. Given the importance of this album as a collaborative representation of Milwaukee musicians, it could not have been more appropriately done by anyone other than our city’s very own, the Rusty Ps. They’ve been absent from the recording scene for a long three years, but with this and another project soon to be released, the Rusty Ps are set to continue on their journey as local hip-hop standouts.

The Rusty Ps Vs. Milwaukee presents a variety of sounds, some new and some true to the traditional Ps style. Track one, “The Return,” featuring the current members, Count Classic, Phantom Channel, Mad Hatter and S. Watson, rhyming with past members, Dana Coppa and One Self, truly reflects what has kept the former Rusty Pelicans strong for more than a decade. Dana Coppa’s unique vocal variation stands out on “Made in Milwaukee/Love right where I am” and leads the listener to wonder where he’s been since his Rusty Pelicans days, as his voice carries the track.

The Cash Bishop-produced beat on “Rock That” is a different sound for the Ps, drum and bass heavy. The precision in production and the ability of the experienced emcees to adapt their voices allow it to be counted as the most successful collaborative piece on the album. Track three, featuring Kid Millions, also does extremely well with a laid-back jazz beat complementing Count Classic’s vocals.

Their turns with the rock bands the Silence, the Mistreaters and Recycled Future are interesting in the challenge it presents to the group, but do more to remind the listener of what the Ps have built their following on: quality hip-hop and S. Watson’s traditional beat production. The album also features members of the Big Hit Unit, Black Elephant, Kid Cut Up, Adebisi, J Slim and D On.

The Rusty Ps celebrate their CD Release at Mad Planet, Saturday, Aug. 27, 10 p.m., with Cash Bishop, the Mistreaters, the Silence and the Tropics/Recycled Future.
—Sarah Marine - Shepherd Express

Rusty Ps
By: Adebisi Agoro

It seems every emcee, or group in hip-hop today are following trends and becoming labels. Not the Rusty P’s though, they are more so defining “time” as they reenergize themselves throughout their galactic journey through the hip-hop universe.

Sometimes we all need to get “Funk’d Up”. And just in case you haven’t heard, the “Rusty P’s” are the word for just that. Since 1998 the Rusty Pelicans have been delivering a heavy dose of hip-hop across the globe. The Rusty P’s consist of Count Classic, Phantom Channel, DJ Madhatter, and S. Watson. One could describe their style as a throwback to hip-hop for the common man. With a sound reminiscent to that early nineties cool, conscious, smooth, boom-bastic, classic, bump-in-the-trunk type hip-hop music that didn’t necessarily cater to the ego; but to the mind, body, and soul.

It seems every emcee, or group in hip-hop today are following trends and becoming labels. Not the Rusty P’s though, they are more so defining “time” as they reenergize themselves throughout their galactic journey through the hip-hop universe. Opening up for acts such as Eminem, Ludacris, The Roots, BEP, Atmosphere, Run DMC, and Slick Rick the P’s have definitely defined a style and stage show that has provided them with the tools to blow!
- Ya'Heard Magazine


Almost all Rusty Ps music is free at

Prototype RPCP 12"
The first recorded effort by the Rusty Pelicans. Recorded at Walls Have Ears, Milwaukee, WI. Vocal recording, mix and master done at Hollywood Sound in Hollywood, CA. (1999)
RPCP stands for "Rusty Pelican, Civilized Person"

The Best Part
“The Best Part” is the first full length CD project recorded by the Rusty Pelicans. Recorded at Bionic Studios, Milwaukee, WI. (1999)

Tread Water 12"
The second single recorded and released by the Rusty Pelicans in support of their album, "Out of Many". This single was released nationally as well internationally. (2000)

Out of Many
“Out of Many” is the second full length CD release recorded by the Rusty Ps. Recorded at Bionic Studios, Milwaukee, WI. This album featured collaborations with The Pharcyde and Atmosphere and was release nationally as well internationally. (2001)

“One” is the third full length CD release recorded by the Rusty Ps. Recorded at Bionic Studios, Milwaukee, WI. (2002)

Quickness 12"
Phantom Channel and Count Classic were featured emcees on this Grand Central Records(UK) release from the Nudge, a DJ/producer in London. "Quickness" was distributed throughout Europe and received critical acclaim in the London club scene. (2003)

Professional 12"
The third single release from the Rusty Ps. (2003)

Is It Live? 12"
the Rusty Ps licensed "Is It Live?", the B-side from the "Professional" single to Grand Central Records(UK)which and was released in Europe. This 12" also features a remix by Rob Smith of Smith & Mighty. (2004)

Rusty Ps vs. Milwaukee
“Rusty Ps vs. Milwaukee” is the fourth full length release by the Rusty Ps. The Ps collaborated with some of the best talent of various musical genres from Milwaukee, including members of Def Harmonic, and The Mistreaters. (2005)



Established in Milwaukee, WI in 1995, the Rusty Ps (formerly "Rusty Pelicans") have played an instrumental role in the Midwest underground music scene. For nearly a decade strong, the Ps have been touring nationally and internationally bringing their unique style of hip hop to the world. The Rusty Ps have had many releases, local, national and international, over their 10 year career. They have recently released a new full length album "Rusty Ps vs Milwaukee". In previous releases they have featured Imani of the Pharcyde and Slug of Atmosphere. They have released independently and released under Grand Central Records (UK). At home they have been recognized
numerous times by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry as the state's premier hip hop group. Revered by fans and critics alike, the Rusty Ps continue to create and produce their own brand of original hip hop music.

Tours and Performances:

The Rusty Ps has toured nationally and internationally with groups such as The Pharcyde, Killa Kella and DJ Hype (Germany). As an opening act, Rusty Ps has also performed with groups such as Run DMC, Eminem, Blackalicious, Latyrx, DJ Shadow, The Roots, Slick Rick, Jurassic 5, Digital Underground, Masta Ace, Hieroglyphics, Ludacris, The Black Eyed Peas, Nappy Roots and Atmosphere.


WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) -
The Rusty Ps is a two time WAMI award winner for the Best Hip-Hop/Rap category, in the years 2000, 2001 and 2006. With nominations in 1999 and 2002.

"Best of Milwaukee"
Voted "best of" by the readers of the Shepherd Express in the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005.


Count Classic - Also known as "Caddilac" or "MegaHurtz", "The Count" is an original memeber of the Rusty Pelicans/Rusty Ps. Mcing since 1992, The Count had been a member of various groups and crews until he, Phantom Channel, Mr. Smith and Dana Dane decided to start their own crew called "Rusty Pelicans", writing, recording and performing their own unique style of hip hop.

Phantom Channel - Has been emceeing since 1992, working in various groups and has been writing, recording and performing as an original member of the Rusty Pelicans/Rusty Ps since 1995.

Madhatter - DJ Madhatter joined the Rusty Ps in the year 2002. He began deejaying in 1998 and moved to Milwaukee, WI from his hometown of Kenosha, WI. Jordan " Madhatter" Lee began playing drums and making music before the age of ten. His musical roots were deeply based in soul, funk and rhythm and blues, but were also inspired later in his teens by punk, ska, reggae, and rock. Jordan's roots in drumming and years of voice and theatre training, made the progression into working with hip hop a smooth one. Music has always been, and continues to be, the major building block of his life.

S Watson - S Watson has been producing for the Rusty Ps since 1997. All of his released work has been produced using the Akai MPC 2000, except the Rusty Pelicans first release, the "Prototype" single, which was produced using the Akai S-20. According to Watson, "music is love" and he intends to use it to bring "peace" to the human family.