It’s no secret that Phonk music has gained a significant amount of traction as of late mostly attributed by a bunch of social media platforms such as Tiktok, Meta, Soundcloud and Twitter. The rise in popularity has even made Phonk a recognized genre on Spotify as well as receiving its very own dedicated playlist. On paper this seems to be a recipe for success for introducing more listeners to established artists as well aspiring newcomers to the genre, however in reality this isn’t really the case.
To try explain why, here is a fun little exercise for you to do. Go and search the keywords ‘Phonk Music’ on any of the aforementioned platforms. Try to get a good feel for the sound, then head back and listen to our playlist listed below. If the algorithms have remained unchanged at the time of writing this then I’m sure that you’d have noticed a significant difference in the sounds.
See, this cowbell melody-focused music making rounds is actually a Phonk sub-genre now commonly referred to as ‘Drift Phonk’. Long story short – it got its name due a lot of people using it as BGM in car drifting videos. This also explains why you’ll notice many album covers and thumbnails have cars, particularly JDMs on them.
Since many listeners are not aware of this, Drift Phonk’s ever growing flux in popularity has unfortunately caused a wide spread of misrepresentation and confusion in the Phonk community to a point that they automatically assume that this is all the genre has to offer. This has also impacted a lot of traditional Phonk artists, as they find it hard to receive as much recognition as they respectively should. To put this into perspective DJ Smokey, despite being regarded as the genre’s pioneer and one of its most influential artists, has never been featured in Spotify’s official playlist.
As an avid listener, it hurts watching my heroes not receive their flowers. Still though, not all is lost. Despite the circumstances, traditional Phonk music still has a cult following and an ever growing fanbase – again this is thanks to those aforementioned platforms. However to be frank the real stars of the show are YouTube channels such as rare, Smooth Sounds, and Ryan Celsius Sounds. Their continuous efforts in promoting the genre have not gone unnoticed.
This next installment in the Phonk Mixtape trilogy includes Soul, Trippy Lo-fi, RnB, Trap, Hip-Hop and Jazz elements. There’s also a wider selection of reimagined mainstream songs ranging from the likes of Kanye West, Drake, Gunna, Don Toliver, Pop Smoke, Roddy Rich and more. The flow and sync-like transitions from the previous tape have remained in order to accommodate those who live by the 12 second crossfade setting. As always I recommend that you listen with a good pair headphones to gain the best experience.