Puttin' Headz Out (P.H.O.)
Puttin' Headz Out is a project originally
founded in 1995 by Frankie Robo (or Roboe), D.J. Spoke and M.C. Too Tall (then using the name John A. Krantz). The project
was unnamed until 1996.
Frankie Robo was a DJ specializing in Techno and Hard House and touching on old school Hip Hop
while D.J. Spoke spun mostly Hip Hop and Dancehall Reggae but was no stranger to Progressive House and Techno. John A. Krantz
had been an MC since 1983 and, under the name Too Tall and later adding the M.C. title, was part of a six member crew called
United Generation from 1984-1986. After the power struggle and ultimate breakup of United Generation, John continued writing
and recording rap songs and instrumentals from home as a solo artist and in the late 1980s started mixing Hip Hop, House,
Freestyle and early Techno music. John, Spoke and Robo (known as Roboe at the time) became coworkers at a local restaurant
in the early 1990s. Shortly after, the three became good friends and started converging their skills in 1995 swapping vinyl,
equipment and technique between them.
Live events that featured all three gentlemen at once were rare but
between 1996 and 1999, whenever one or two members would appear, they would be billed as P.H.O.
The name has
some undisclosed affiliation with the eastern faction of Brooklyn's Avenue U Boys and while P.H.O. originally stood for Putting
Heads Out, John and Robo were contemplating on making it mean "Prime House Overlords" to make it sound more techno
oriented and less violent but ultimately, they settled on the name "Puttin' Headz Out" and the project itself would
Recorded material consisted mostly of mix tapes that were actually on cassette format and two
songs recorded mostly by John A. Krantz and credited to P.H.O. The mix tapes were often duplicated in small quantities and
rarely sold for money but given away to other DJs and close friends.
The first of the two recorded
songs mentioned was a single called "Live From Steeplechase Park" (1996) which was two sung verses and a rap verse
by John A. Krantz over the instrumental of A Tribe Called Quest's 1992 hit "Scenario Remix". The other song was
"Bring The Drama" (1998) which was one sung verse and two rap verses, again by John A. Krantz over Public Enemy's
1994 classic "Give It Up". This song was considered by many underground music listeners and followers of P.H.O.
as being controversial due to it's unexpected violent lyrics.
The project disbanded in the late 1990s
and Robo and Spoke stepped away from the music in the early 2000s while John A. Krantz continued to write and rehearse until
releasing his solo album, The Conglomerate in 2007. Shortly after the release of The Conglomerate, John A. Krantz would reassume
the name, M.C. Too Tall. D.J. Spoke would have a hand in the making of two songs ("Remix This" and "Keep On
Rockin'") on the 2008 M.C. Too Tall album, Industrialization. He also appears on one of the tracks ("$10 Bill")
on the 2010 M.C. Too Tall album, Killa-Killa Outpost.
Fast forward to 2013, both Robo and Spoke discussed
reactivating their careers as DJs. Die-hard P.H.O. fans and supporters look forward to that happening. In the summer of 2014,
M.C. Too Tall (this time refusing to swap the Too Tall name for his government name) made a major decision to bring back P.H.O.
and with the support and endorsements of both of the other members plus vocals from D.J. Spoke, the P.H.O. name was back and
all new music was released on a five track EP called For The Streets on October 9, 2014. The EP became an instant hit in the
local clubs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The followup EP, Onslaught released exactly one year later, further
added to the success story of P.H.O. and is also played often at local events.
It's official. P.H.O. is back
on the map and there's nothing the pigs can do about it.