What you want to know

Bringing real trad-rap Phoenix Da Icefire has dropped a pretty hot/cold mixtape. Mixed by DJ Roast and hosted by M9 'Baptism Under Fire' features a whole host of wholesome and meaty full tracks - it's more like an album that happens to be mixed and cut up (big ups to Roast for the quality scratching).

After an hour your neck will ache and your brain will be busting - beats are dope, rhymes are deep. Coming with a similar thesis to the whole Triple Darkness crew but with slightly more of a good time feel Phoenix Da Icefire proves that he's an MC worth making noise about.

DJ Roast Beatz and Pheonix Da Icefire are a duo with not only a collab alum (Baptism Under Fire) already under their belt, but also a vast ammount of solo achievements. Roasts career spans gigs alongside the likes of Method Man, Immortal Technique, Klashnekoff, an Itch FM residency and a solo album, while Pheonix, a South East London born mc whos one half of Higher Heights records, started off in the garage scene under the name of Swiftly and has since developed into an accomplished Hip Hop mc, working extensively with the likes of Triple Darkness and forming the collective Midas Touch alongside AKS and J Tha Exodus.

Between them, theyre about to release their second collab offering, Terminal Velocity. An 8 track EP, it features Boom Bappy beats and tight cuts from Roast with a real true school turntablist feel that really come out on the more upbeat intro track Terminal Velocity and Gods Blueprints where Pheonix steps back for a while to let Roast show off his turntable prowess. These are layed underneath often deep and reflective rhymes from Pheonix that reflect the struggles of UK street life in a way thats just abstract enough to make you think, but doesnt opt too heavily for the cosmic wandering styles. Guest verses also come from Cyrus Melachi on Walking With Angels where the Jewels of Life lyric, an ongoing motif throughout the Ep and the title of the main single. Cyrus adds some nice variety to proceedings with that deeper, slightly flemmy voice and heavy punches, while Scripture and Iron Braydz also come with verses in the second half of the EP.

Although the whole thing has a heavily frustrated vibe and talks a lot of struggle and pain, something youve only got to look at Pheonixes biography to realise he knows a lot about, tracks such as Ghetto Isis add variety and provide less troubled lyrics, an ode to the opposite sex in this case. Pheonixs more singy style for the hooks and choruses also breaks up verses really well.

I think what people love about Rago Magazine is our straight up approach to reviews. We don’t fuck about with excellent journalism techniques; we say it how it is on a level every Hip-Hop man in the world can understand. So when I say ‘this is the shit’ you know I’m not messing with you! This new twelve track album from DJ Roast is in my opinion is without a doubt the first big Hip-Hop release from the UK so far. I knew DJ Roast was a serious dude from hearing Phoenix da Icefire’s ‘Baptism Of Fire’ mixtape.

‘Cuttin It Fine’ features a bunch of my favourite MC’s this was always going to be a winner, but in all fairness I was really impressed. Nah, serious, I mean like head nodding, grab a beer and a spilff kinda way…. Yeh it’s like that! Serious music that is really diverse and original sounding, with the production really breaking boundaries and pushing things forward with new ideas. As for the tracks I knew that from an excellent intro track that DJ Roast kills the cuts on this album was going to be tight. Sometimes you can just tell!!!

Roast comes with a deep guitar led groove for Teef, Nemesis, Triggs Vega & Arrogance to drop science on for the title track. ‘2012’ is a personal favourite which sees Phoenix da Icefire go hard and drop gems a deep beat with a killer bassline and original vibe. The tracks just keep coming hard with bangers like ‘Trading Darts’ featuring Cyrus Malachi and another of my favourites ‘Ghost Town’ featuring Phoenix da Icefire and the talented Genesis Elijah.

Other tracks include ‘The Art of War’ featuring Phoenix da Icefire, the superb ‘News Flash’ featuring Teef and a brand new version of ‘Vagina Monologue’ from the Triple Darkness album entitled ‘Vagina Monologue Two’. UK Hip-Hop fans will love the fact there’s a fresh cut here too featuring Stig & Syntax entitled ‘Wasters Inc’ and with ‘Playtimes Over’ featuring Skandal, Brad Strut & Ramson Badbonez and ‘Paper Mache’ featuring Teef also included everyone’s a winner. 

Just in case people don’t know, who are you and where are you from? My name is Paul Nelson & i was born in East London mile end hometown of my second cousin wiley and dizzy rascal Most people know of you as Phoenix Da Ice Fire but your also making material under the alias ‘Solar Black’ with your crewTriple Darkness. Do you find there is much of a difference in terms of lyrical content between the two aliases?

Phoenix Da Icefire represents my versatility, with this alias I am more creative and free with my art, every track for me under this alias is like treading on new ground. I find myself re-inventing myself every time. Under the name Solar Black I am more encrypted with my words, less obvious with the lines i use and the imagery i paint in the minds of my listeners are much darker.

So its almost a split personality. What fuels your fire in terms of influences from both other artists and your surroundings?

What fuels my fire is the competition from both of the crews I’m in... Midas touch and Triple Darkness. Between the both of them i always have to out do myself as it is very easy to be over shadowed in a highly skilled and talented crew. Another thing which i haven't mentioned before is the heat that I’m getting from producers these days, Chemo, DJ Roast just to name a few, its a real inspiration. 

Dj rOast will be dropping a new album featuring Action Bronson and Phoenix Da Icefire, it is to be the follow up from Terminal Velocity, set to be a HUGE!!! colaberation single off the album with Dj roast going in heavily on the instrumental.Action Bronson has also been making some big moves this year with his new project with Roc Marciano, Saigon & Cormega its looking to be a big year for hip hop.

A single off the new "Strange Neighbours" production album, Phoenix Da Icefire comes through once again to bless the set, this electrifying beat made from heavy guitar samples and rhythmic drum patters crumbles underneath the footsteps of such a seasoned vet that is DA ICEFIRE. The video is currently being shot by Global Faction one of the UK underground giants of the film making world.

Copyright © 2012 Phoenix Da Ice Fire. All rights reserved.