What is Phonk?

Label Engine Articles, Music

If you have TikTok, you know the name. Phonk music is a relatively new genre of music that has emerged in the past decade. It’s a type of hip-hop and trap that combines elements of funk, soul, and chopped-and-screwed music. The genre is characterized by its heavy use of vintage samples, often taken from obscure or forgotten sources, that are then slowed down, chopped up, and manipulated in various ways.

The genre’s roots date back to the chopped-and-screwed music style that originated in Houston, Texas in the 1990s. This style of music involves slowing down the tempo of songs, while also pitch-shifting and repeating certain sections of the song. In the early 2010s, artists began to experiment with chopped and screwed music, blending it with elements of funk and soul. Some of the earliest pioneers of phonk were artists like DJ Smokey, DJ Yung Vamp, and Soudiere, who created a series of mixtapes on Soundcloud pushing the genre forward.

Phonk music has since evolved into a distinct genre of its own, with a growing fan base and a community of producers and DJs who create and promote this style of music. Today, some of the most popular phonk artists include Freddie Dredd, Kordhell, and Haarper, among others.