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As one half of the Staten Island-based Hip Hop duo the U.M.C.’s, most famously known for a pair of noteworthy singles; “Blue Cheese” and “One To Grow On,” Haas G, a.k.a. Fantom of the Beat, would later go on to reestablish himself as a real musical force to be reckoned with following the group’s eventual break-up.

FOTB has since produced standout tracks for artists such as Busta Rhymes [“Take It Off”], Ghostface Killah [“Apollo Kids”], and Lil Kim featuring 50 Cent [“Magic Stick”], among others.


First things first, last year (August 11th to be exact) marked the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop — What exactly does that mean to and for you?

For me, it basically marked the acknowledgement of an art-form, culture, worthy of worldwide appreciation. The contribution Hip Hop had on the world has been phenomenal. In fact, to this day, every genre of music has incorporated some form of Hip Hop in it. I’m proud to be part of a groundbreaking culture.

To quote the late, great The Notorious B.I.G., “You never thought that Hip Hop would take it this far!” — Was this something that you ever could’ve imagined?

We did it out of love and necessity. Hip Hop kept a lot of youth out of harm’s way, when there was a shortage of productive things to do at the time. Like anything else, it was a seed that kept growing until the roots sprouted and grew this enormous tree trunk. It really was no different from the likes of any other genre of music. It had to catch on to the masses.

What are some of your fondest, most stand-out moments / memories during your lengthy tenure in this thing called Hip Hop?

My first time hearing my record on the radio. My first appearance at the Apollo Theater, and, most of all, my first appearance on Soul Train.

That said, what are your future plans and / or goals throughout the remainder of 2024 and beyond?

It’s time to evolve. That’s usually what loving this thing is about, growth. From artist to producer to executive and so on. That’s the schedule. I have to be responsible for introducing the new, young untapped talent to add to the future of the culture.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

My music never really changed its message from the start of UMCs until now. It’s always been fun, enlightening and inspirational in a positive way.

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

It would be Biggie because he hit home for Hip Hop on a level that was monumental. Every so often an artist or group is delivered to the world that has such an undeniable impact and he fits that mold.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

It would be Carnegie Hall. It’s the all time high to play at such a historic prestigious venue. It’s where a lot of the greatest musicians played and that’s the mark of standing the test of time.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?

Not really. It took a drastic turn from speaking wisely and intelligently to uplift the youth, to dumbing them down in a way. I mean, the violence that Drill music provoked alone is a testament to the fact that there is something wrong.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

I feel being true and non wavering will lead me to the exact position at the right time. What goes around comes back around again.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?

I’m an electrician by trade, so I always wanted to develop a lighting company. You know, install all the latest smart guire and lighting. It goes hand in hand with creativity.

What’s an average day like for you?

Work [electrical], Producing music and getting to these interviews…lol!

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I love my fans! They are the gift that keeps giving. I did it for them. Not out of ego, but out of the love to inspire them. Either through a brief chat on the street, at a show or through social media. I always make time to engage.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My most favorite is the creative aspect. It allows me the time to just remove myself from the world and come back bearing dope new gifts. My least favorite is the politics of the business…I shouldn’t have to explain that one. We all experience that distasteful part in all walks of life and business.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Do not follow in my footsteps. Be who you were put here to be.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

On Blueberry Hill, Fats Domino. Finding my thrills still.

What’s up with NYOIL / Kool Kim [The U.M.C.’s]?

I can’t call it for UMCs at this time, but I can say like myself NYOIL / Kool Kim is doing his own due diligence and staying the course.

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

@fantomofthebeat @fantomusic.rec.

Any “parting” words for our readers?

Follow your heart’s desires to the fullest.


Fantom of the Beat [A.K.A. Haas G / U.M.C.’s]: Time To Evolve #HH50

Fantom of the Beat [A.K.A. Haas G / U.M.C.’s]: Time To Evolve #HH50

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