Few indie rock bands have as much hip-hop cred as Phantogram.
Juggling stylistic cues from electo-rock, dream pop and trip-hop, the duo of vocalist-keyboardist Sarah Barthel and guitarist Josh Carter have long demonstrated an affection for hip-hop, which manifested in them working with rap legend Big Boi (of OutKast fame), guesting on his 2012 album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.
That collaboration led to a friendship, which in turn led to the trio establishing the new project Big Grams, releasing the 7-track self-tiled EP last year which also featured Run The Jewels and Skrillex. Following up that fun side-project, Phantogram recently dropped their excellent new third full-length, Three, earlier this month.
To celebrate the new release, Phantogram sent us this annotated playlist of their favorite hip-hop tracks. Introducing the list, the pair writes:
“We’ve always been massively influenced by hip-hop, to the point that it has shaped how we look at songwriting and beat making. Here are a few of our favorites we like to play these in the venue before we go on stage to get everyone pumped.”
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Vince Staples – “Norf Norf”
We love Vince’s production. It’s tasteful and minimal while his verses tie it all together.
Run The Jewels – “Banana Clipper” (ft. Big Boi)
Three of our favorite people in music today on one killer track.
Vince Staples – “Loca”
You know you drive me crazy.
ColleGrove – “Bounce”
Vince Staples – “War Ready”
Vince proving he’s back and better than ever on this new track.
Schoolboy Q – “Collard Greens” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
This beat is everything.
Danny Brown – “Really Doe”
Danny put out one of the best hip hop albums of the year. Been listening to this track on repeat”
Kevin Gates – “Really Really”
You gotta listen to this before going to the club to get you in the right headspace”
Puff Daddy – “Workin”
The Game – “El Chapo”
The Game and Kanye sampled our track Fall In Love for a track on his new album, which was awesome and crazy.”
Anderson .Paak – “Come Down”
Malibu was great and innovative. We played with Anderson recently with Big Grams and he puts on a great live show”
Amine – “Caroline”
Sarah’s new obsession. Listening on repeat.
A$AP Ferg – “Hungry Ham”
If you’ve been to a Phantogram show in the last three years you’ve heard Ferg before we go on stage. He’s amazing, and this is a fun song off his new album.
Isiah Rashad – “4r Da Squaw”
Isiah’s new album is really great and this video is a good watch too.
Young Fathers – “Shame”
We’ve been following Young Fathers for a while, every once in a while we ask them to open up for us in the states but can never work it out. This whole record is a great listen.
Big Grams – “Born To Shine”
Such a fun experience getting out of our comfort zone and working on this record with Big Boi, bonus to have Run The Jewels on this track as well.
Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker The Berry”
When this album came out, we were floored. So much diversity and emotion in the tracks, it’s a masterpiece.
Danny Brown – “Monopoly”
One of our favorites from Danny’s previous work.
Chance The Rapper – “No Problem”
“You can’t deny Chance’s ability to bring good vibes in his music. Such an inspiration.”