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An Interview with Phat Kat aka Ronnie Euro

Phat Kat

Very few Detroit MC’s can give you the insight and perspective that Ron Watts aka Phat Kat aka Ronnie Cash aka Ronnie Euro can give. From his early days of working with James Dewitt Yancey aka J Dilla in the group 1st Down to haven worked with Underground contemporaries such as Guilty Simpson, Elzhi, and Black Milk. We sat down to review some of this history and talk about the Classic Tracks and Unreleased Material on his New to be released Mixtape: the Summer Katalogue that heralds the release of New Solo and Collaborate product which is due this Fall and Winter.

Underground Masters :

So where have you been?

Phat Kat :

I been Chillin’, really. Relaxing. Enjoying the entertainment. Shit’s Entertaining, man. I was touring every year: Europe, Russia, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Helsinki, Lithuania, (and) Australia. (I) Didn’t wan to put anything out with all the Funny shit out there. Shit is Entertaining.

Underground Masters :

So, what were the inspiration for the tracks that are on the Mixtape the Summer Katalogue?

Phat Kat :

The Intro : That was done in consideration of a clothing company out of Boston : Society Original Products.

Don’t Nobody Care About Us : Was created after Payday Records folded. The title came from a line by KRS1. Everybody was sleeping, So that’s why the lyrics were so angry. We weren’t getting our props in the “D” accept at the Rhythm Kitchen. It was all love then.

Game Over : Dilla and Shoes (Dj Houseshoes) called me over to the studio. It was my first time meeting Dabrye. The very First beat that came on Dilla said “What you got for it?” I said “What YOU Got?” One take. Laid my verse. Got the check a couple weeks later.

Dedication to the Suckas : Well, Dedication was recorded in about ten minutes. That whole Single: Dedication, Microphone Master, and Don’t Nobody were all recorded in less than an hour. They were essentially all about the Payday situation.

Survival Kit : It’s an Instruction Manual for Up and Coming Artist. Well, at least Artist coming up behind me. I used to get asked a lot for advise after shows.

True Story pt.1 & 2 : Self Explanatory. True Story pt.3 coming soon.

1000 Niggas : That was on the “Detroit” Edition of the Undeniable. It was just everybody in the studio. Some Lyrical Gladiators Shit. We were referring to Cats that be acting all tough when they got like 40 Cocky Ass Bodyguards making they ass feel invincible.

French Connection : Astronote sent me the beat in an email and the rest is on the track.

The Reason : I think that was on Europass. It was going to be on the Katacombs an unreleased album I have. It’s just a Nostalgic Joint. Real Life Shit.

Underground Masters : Speaking of Real Life Shit. I believe you mention Hex Murda in that song, how did you meet him?

Phat Kat :

I met Hex years ago when he would be Whoopin’ Ass over at the Saint Andrew every weekend. We knew some of the same people. It’s really kind of a small community. I met Black (Black Milk) back in the day him and Young RJ would make beats separately before BR Gunna and Dirty District. Black had asked me to review some of his beats and you know how I am I will really listen to them. Like Really Listen. He had like driven to Ohio with a CD just to have them be heard.
Guilty (Guilty Simpson) is like my brother from another mother. Last of the real niggas. A Grown Ass Man.We met through Dilla. Man, I tell you the scene is small as fuck. I met Elzhi through the Hip Hop Shop, I think he was like 16 or 17…?

Underground Masters :

Yeah, Gaslamp Killer was real young on the scene out here, I can relate.

Phat Kat :

Yeah. The Hip Hop Shop was like Ground Zero (for MC’s) There and Sanley’s where they did Rhythm Kitchen. It would be Proof, Maurice Malone…

Underground Masters :

Oh. Right, Proof had worked with Dilla back then on 5 Elements.

Phat Kat :

Yeah. Me, Dilla, Proof, Houseshoes and all of us is family. Bree, Bahamadia, Bishop Lamont, DJ Dez, is also Fam.
Anyway. Where are we?

Underground Masters :

GoAtIt.

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Phat Kat :

Goatit. Black called. Sent the Beat. I came to the Studio, Laid it in one take. I usually do. I don’t believe in taking a long time in the studio. You go in with your shit ready to go. I went into the booth with a joint and the shit was done by the time the joint ran out. It was recorded in Detroit. I hadn’t met Bishop Lamont before the album Caltroit was recorded We actually met after.

F.A.N.S. : F.A.N.S. was sampled from a line in Goatit. It came about because I was at Northern Lights and Black pulled up and he was playing it in the ride. I said let me get that. So, after I laid the track down the engineer had started playing it for cats in between sessions and Black said Run with it. Dj Dez came and laid the cuts. He’s another one. I’ve known him since he was like 17 years old.

Cold Steel : I heard the beat on a Dilla Tape. Dilla said “Do what you wanna do” Recorded the verse. Sent it. He was Trippin’. He said “I already knew what you were going to do to it”.
Underground Masters :

Out Front

Phat Kat :

… What’s That?

Underground Masters :

… Song with you and Rasco on Debaser album… Portland?

Phat Kat :

… I do Not remember that.

Raw Shit : Fattfather. Another Last of the Real Niggas. He sent the joint. I wrote to it. Laid the verse and was done. It was another one take. King of the One Take. he was like “Damn, You already done?” You know we spend most if the time in the studio just laughing and talking most of the time after and in between verses.

Det2bln : What’s his name… Suff Daddy. We had a few days off in Berlin and So many people want to record. He had won like a Remix contest that was organized by Look Records out of San Francisco.

Lovely : It’s like a Signature Song for the females. All True Story. Inspired by life.

What a Nigga to Do : That is the Unreleased Song with one of Dillas younger cousins singing on the hook. That is part of a series of songs including (in order) Destiny / Lovely / and What a Nigga Supposed to Do. You can see the progression of the same situation.

Detroit Madness : That’s a song on the state of living in the City and Real Events.

Yeah : That was another one that was recorded for the Katacombs.

Underground Masters :

Was Where it all begins recorded around then? For Elzhi’s Out of Focus?

Phat Kat :

That wasn’t me.

Undrerground Masters :

… Moving On.

Danger (Will Seeions Version) :

I always had a Performance Chemistry with the guys from Will Sessions. It’s easy to work with guys that know your work.

Danger : The Original Version was recorded for Carte Blanche and was on a video game I think one of the Saints Rows.

Cock Suckers : Was done for Dirty District vol.1 I heard it and Went In! That was the early stages of Black and Young RJ’s career.

Hard Enuff : Black Milk, DJ Dez, Fat Ray. It was on Carte Blache. Easy. We spent more time laughing and cracking jokes.

Get Focus : On the Set Up. Black called. Sent an Email. 10 minutes.

Dedication 2004 : While I was recording the Undeniale LP. I played Dilla the nearly completed joints and he said “How you gonna have a Phat Kat Joint with No Dilla?”

Other Notable Quotables:
Recording is the easy part, man. It’s the promoting and getting it to the people is the hard part.
(About Dje3sd) “I mean, there ain’t nothing’ bad I can say. He knows his shit, in general”.