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Flatbush, Brooklyn, Hip Hop duo The Dwellas [formerly Cella Dwellas], comprised of emcees Phantasm and UG, first arrived on the scene in March ‘96 with their debut studio LP, Realms ‘n Reality, courtesy of Loud Records. The Last Shall Be First [2000] is the rap group’s second and final album.


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?

First off, it means everything to me. I’m a ‘72 Virgo ♍️ baby, so me and Hip Hop share the same age and month so I grew up with Hip Hop; I am Hip Hop!

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?

Seen it going this far, but never knew it would become this big and global.

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

Block parties, free concerts at Wingate Park, playing Hip Hop records at half time of our summer youth basketball 🏀 tournaments, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

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

Just to maintain and live a comfortable stress free life.

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

From my music 🎶, a few gems and entertainment.

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

I always thought a Cella Dwellas / Das EFX or Heltah Skeltah collab would have been fire; my personal collab would be the big homie Jay-Z.

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

The Garden would have been legendary; we played Radio City and the Apollo, so just as iconic I guess the Barclays…Keep it Brooklyn!

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

It’s growing and opening doors, so I love its current state; there’s always gonna be good and bad, dope and wack music.

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

Be yourself. You can never play out being you.

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

I wanna try to branch off into real estate.

What’s an average day like for you?

Average day for me is work, maybe hit the gun range or shoot some pool 🎱 or swim 🏊‍♂️ Or sit in the sauna.

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

Find out what you really want before pursuing. A lot of people do things chasing money when there’s actually better ways to make money and (in) other fields.

…If it’s ya passion, then do it wholeheartedly and the money will come at some point.

…If you can make ya money, make money 💰 for you and not just (to) sit in a 401K or a bank…then you’re on to something.

…Future is (to) find a way to make passive income work for you.


— Phantasm The Tall Man


Phantasm [The Dwellas]: I Am Hip Hop #HH50

Phantasm [The Dwellas]: I Am Hip Hop #HH50

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