Poobs: The Phil Jack of Rap
When you listen to music, you rarely hear or know of the orchestrator behind the final project. If you don't do your research, the engineer, producer, or executive producer is usually the unknown piece to the puzzle.
Unless the artist shouts you out before killing a verse, then you become mythical character.
“The Phil Jack of Rap” has been creating music since 1998, catching his big break co-producing DMX smash record, Slipping, with his friend DJ Shock. Poobs recalls being in the studio while DMX recorded the song, X laying the track down in one take.
From there Poobs developed a relationship with the Ruff Ryders and the Yonkers group. For Poobs it was the perfect match, The Lox being his favorite group. He lived on the same block as Styles P and a couple miles away from Jadakiss. Since banding with the legendary group, his name has been dropped in countless in classic freestyles, but not many know exactly who or what Poobs is.
“I'm involved in every part of everything,” he said. “Whether I'm picking the beat, creating the beat, I'm involved every single step of the way. I might even do some directing. Every single part of every record, I try to get my hands on it. It's like mud, I like to get my hands on it and get em' dirty.”
With Poobs ability to multi-task, he has help build the D-Block brand and keep street rap music alive and well. He has been apart of the crews biggest records and freestyles while keeping low a profile despite his name ringing bells throughout the D-Block fan base. He recalls of times where he would hear fans use “Poobs” as a slang term, not knowing that he is an actual person.
Working with D-Block has been a great experience for him but the hours are long. Poobs could enter the lab (Studio), at 10am and won't leave until 2am, but he still he enjoys the grind and appreciates every moment. He has been apart of classics like Gangster and A Gentleman, The Champ is Here, and Jadakiss most recent album, Top 5 Dead or Alive.
“My favorite project is Gangster and A Gentleman and a toss up between The Last Kiss and T5DOA as far as commercial but for mixtapes, Consignment, The Champ is Here, Ghost in the Shell.”
Poobs has a major influence on the D-Block mixtapes, putting them together before sending them to the Djs like Green Latern and Big Mike. Unfortunately the grind doesn't allow Poobs to sit and enjoy the work that he help create. Once the record is done, the camp moves on to the next one. After long thought he came up with his five of his favorite records:
Poobs admits that this is not his top five of all time list but just some of his favorites. He recalls of plenty of time where he would throw stuff across the room while fire was coming out of the both from one of the three spittas. One could only imagine being the first to hear when Styles and Kiss go in-n-out on a beat, or when Sheek spit the last verse on “The Essence”. For Poobs it's a daily routine.
That moment recently happened while he was listening to some music from an unreleased Styles P project set to drop this year. Poobs puts “The Ghost” as one of the best lyricist that he has came across. Some may think that he is bias, due to his relationship, but it's hard not to agree with him.
“He don't just give you street rap, he gives you pain.”
With rap beefs being the current climate of Hip-Hop, Poobs thinks it is healthy for the game but it can be detrimental to one's career. For Poobs, Hip-Hop is the only genre of music where you can get knocked out of by another artist, because of the competition and the sport of rhyming.
Poobs isn't a stranger to rap beefs, being the orchestrator of many of the disses during D-Block's feud with 50-Cent. Poobs would call Jada, Sheek, and Styles with ideas for songs to throw shots at 50 early in the morning, also finding out which tracks 50 like the most just so they could kill him on it.
“50 started with us, but by the end of it, people were saying we were bullying him. We wasn't going to stop.” 50 and D-Block has since reconciled and even collaborated on songs. It was all about the competition and music.
Poobs felt that Meek should have took that same approach in his beef with Drake. He felt that Meek didn't play the “beef” game right and missed on an opportunity to represent “street rap”. He saw that Meek walked into the beef with the mindset that he was the favorite in the battle, not outworking the champ, who is currently Drake.
“I wish he would have called us because someone wasn't giving him good advice.” Poobs says that D-Block looks at Meek as a little brother and wished they could have give him some advice because it reminded him of when they went at 50, who was the hottest rapper in the game at the time, similar to Drake now.
We agreed that Meek's biggest fault was taking too long to respond and allowed Drake to put the beef into his lane with Back-to-Back. Back-to-Back wasn't the typical beef record that was disrespect you your moms but instead a hot record that your girl is going to play.
“You gotta strategically play the game different because he is telling you, 'Im an R&B singer'. Drake's not telling you all the hard shit that I'm used to hearing on a diss record, he is going to say some slick shit, some funny shit and get off on that. So when Meek came out with his response, it didn't match.”
Poobs believe that Meek from here on out should come out with good music and stay away from any other beefs. On Meek's new EP “4-4”, the Philly spitta directs shots at multiple people but Poobs doesn't think he should have made that move due to the fact that he didn't finish his beef with Drake. Poobs is a strong believer that anyone can be “Ja-Rule'd” in the rap game, which means completely eliminated. Just because the fans love you now, if they don't want to hear your music anymore, you're done.
When it comes to real sports, Poobs is a big fan. With his New York roots he is a big Yankees fans, having many tales of great experiences at Old Yankee Stadium. Before the fame, he was able to come across playoff tickets for free or heckling some of MLB's biggest names.
“Derek Jeter and A-Rod have gave me the game ball cause of how I would heckle players, without even knowing what I do. They just noticed me as the crazy dude in the stands.”
Despite his New York background, he has no love for the Knicks.
Poobs surprisingly is a Golden State Warrior fan, not for their current success but because of Chris Mullins. When Poobs was younger, the neighborhood would compare him to Chris Mullins because both were left-handed, without knowing who he was, he went with it.
Poobs would always play basketball but never watched it on TV growing up, reason why he was oblivious to who Chris Mullins was. By being heavily influenced by hip-hop, when he finally found out who Mullins was and the “Run TMC” crew, he instantly became a Golden State Warrior fan.
“I'm watching one of my first basketball games ever, and they calling his crew Run TMC. I thought it was dope that they were accepting Hip-Hop as apart of their team's culture. Then I found out that Chris Mullins was from New York and would go to hood-to-hood, killing dudes on the court, so all of that was dope to me".
Even after the Warriors lost Run TMC, the newer players would keep him connected to the team, like Latrell Sprewell and Chris Webber. Sprewell was one of Poobs favorite players, even when he played for the Knicks. Poobs would spot Sprewell coming out of different spots throughout Harlem, which made him secretly root for the Knicks for that short time frame -- the Warriors were still #1 though.
“I never thought I was going to be alive to see the Golden State Warriors win the chip. I was cool with us making it to the playoffs and losing in the first round.”
When the Warriors defeated the Mavericks in the first round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs, achieving one of the best upsets in NBA history, it created a lifelong memory for the Phil Jack of Rap. He has became good friends with the star of that series, Baron Davis.
Being compared to one of the greatest coaches of all time, I asked Poobs to name his all-time NBA starting five, here is his list.
“The illest Point guard to ever do it was Magic. Magic played a total of 12 years and made the Finals 9 times, that's crazy to me.
“There [isn't] another 2-guard beside Jordan, I don't care what nobody say, Jordan is the only 2-guard. Like everyone has a skill, he had a skill called 'you cant beat me'; to me that is a skill. LeBron don't have that, he'll be good with a loss, for Jordan, losing wasn't on his mind.
“At center it would either be Kareem [Abdul Jabbar] or Hakeem [Olajuwon]. If Kareem would have never changed his name and stayed Lew Alcindor, he would have been ill, they would say he is the best. Because of his religion, they don't recognize him as the greatest player ever."
“LeBron is a point guard to me but if he can't play point guard he would be my small forward. Bron's been the best point guard in the league since 2007, in my opinion. ”
“I think Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward ever but if I'm letting my heart make the decision, I'm picking [Charles] Barkley. Barkley was shorter than Jordan and dominated dudes. He was putting up numbers and he was hard, I need that one player that would punch you in the face. People might try to bully my team so that's why I need Barkley to stop that.”
Poobs also has his own filming production company and setting up for a new storytelling project, along with trying to get his line of children's books published, that will include the greatest leaders of the world in kid form. Poobs spent a year in London to create the children's series but even across the pond he couldn't stay away from the booth, collaborating with local artist in London.
Before my interview with “Stanley Jackson”, it was hard to find much information about him. After our two hour conversation, it was great to put the person to the myth and legend that is Poobs.