Phonk: The Underground Music Genre That's Taking over SoundCloud and TikTok

Phonk is a subgenre of hip-hop that originated in the southern United States. The name 'phonk' is short for 'phonky', which is a slang term for something that is funky and soulful. Phonk blends together elements of classic funk, soul, and R&B music with contemporary hip-hop production techniques.

Phonk: The Underground Music Genre That's Taking over SoundCloud and TikTok
Do not index
Do not index
Files & media

Phonk: A New Music Genre Taking the Internet by Storm

notion image
Phonk is a relatively new music genre that is making waves on the internet. It originated in the southern states of the US in the 1990s, specifically in Houston and Memphis. Phonk is a blend of chopped and screwed music, which involves slowing down hip hop songs and manipulating the pitch to give them a darker, sinister feel. What makes phonk unique is its combination of influences from various genres, such as hip hop, soul, funk, and R&B, mixed with odd samples, sound bites from movies, and other eccentric sounds. This blend results in a distinct sound that appeals to a wide demographic, including Gen Z, millennials, and older generations who enjoy the nostalgic 90s feel. Phonk's popularity stems from its echoes of past music eras, yet its approach is fresh and innovative. It is becoming more recognized thanks to social media platforms like TikTok, Twitch, and SoundCloud. With more and more artists starting to create phonk tracks, it is likely that its popularity will continue to grow in the future.

The Rising Popularity of Phonk: An Introduction

notion image
Phonk is a subgenre of hip hop and electronic dance music that originated in the southern United States during the 1990s. It is characterized by its use of chopped and screwed samples, distorted basslines, and lo-fi production techniques that give the music a gritty and atmospheric feel. Phonk first gained popularity in the underground music scene, particularly in Houston and Memphis, but has since spread to a wider audience through social media and streaming platforms. Today, it has a significant following among young people, especially in the US and Europe. One reason for phonk's growing appeal is its unique sound. It draws heavily from southern rap, but also incorporates elements of funk, soul, and blues, making it a distinct fusion of different styles. This diversity makes Phonk appealing to a wide range of listeners, especially those looking for something different from mainstream hip-hop. Moreover, the ease of access to music production software such as FL Studio has allowed young artists to make and share their own phonk compositions. This has helped create a strong DIY culture around the genre, which encourages experimentation and creativity. Thus, Phonk is a unique and emerging subgenre of hip hop that is quickly gaining a loyal following across the globe. Its origins in the underground music scene make it appealing to those looking for a distinctive sound, while its DIY culture encourages artists to create and innovate without the limitations of traditional music models.

Phonk: A Rising Genre and Its Growing Market

As a relatively new musical genre that emerged from the music scene of Memphis, Tennessee, in the early 2000s, it combined the use of chopped and screwed music with samples from old funk, soul, and R&B records, hence developing into a distinctive subgenre of hip-hop that has been gaining popularity in recent years. While there are no official figures available for the market size of phonk, the rise of the subgenre on social media platforms and streaming services suggests that it has been experiencing significant growth. For instance, a quick search on YouTube for "phonk music" yields numerous results with millions of views each. In addition, popular streaming services such as Spotify and SoundCloud have seen an increase in the number of playlists and tracks tagged as "phonk." One factor that is driving the growth of the phonk market is the increased interest in the "lo-fi" sound, which is characterized by the use of old and distorted samples. Another reason is the growing appetite among younger listeners for niche and alternative music genres. As such, the genre is gathering a small but dedicated following around the world, with avid fans who are actively promoting it online. Therefore, while the market for phonk is still in its nascent stages, the trend suggests that it is gaining traction. If this trend continues, it could become a major force in hip-hop and R&B music, attracting more listeners and creating new business opportunities for musicians, producers, and record labels.

Exploring the Emerging Consumer Demand and Preferences for Phonk

notion image
As technology continues to evolve, exploring the emerging consumer demand and preferences for "phonk" becomes crucial. Phonk, a fusion of phonetics and funk music, has gained traction among music enthusiasts seeking a unique auditory experience. Consumers are drawn to the genre's nostalgic elements, blending old-school samples with modern beats.
The rising demand for phonk highlights a desire for innovation and experimentation within the music industry. Understanding these evolving preferences enables artists, producers, and businesses to tap into a growing market and cater to the evolving tastes of music lovers. It is characterized by its slowed-down, heavy bass, and chopped-up samples of old funk and soul tracks. Phonk has gradually developed into a subculture that encompasses not just music but also fashion and art. As the genre continues to grow, it is crucial to understand the emerging consumer demand and preferences surrounding it. A recent report by Treendly found that Phonk has been rapidly gaining popularity, with Google searches for the keyword "Phonk" increasing by over 200% in the past year. One significant factor that has been driving consumer demand for Phonk is its uniqueness. For consumers, Phonk is a breath of fresh air amid the sea of mainstream music genres. The low-fi and sample-heavy approach to music production provides an experience far from the highly polished and formulaic approach of mainstream pop. As a result, it appeals to individuals with a more niche taste who yearn for something different. Moreover, Phonk's unique sound has also become a part of its branding, shaping consumers' preferences for the genre further. The rough, grainy texture of Phonk's music production, accompanied by the genre's artwork and culture, creates a niche aesthetic that consumers can appreciate. As a result, consumers who identify with Phonk's aesthetic will naturally prefer products that visually and aurally embody the same rough, low-fi aesthetic. To sum up, the emerging consumer demand and preferences of Phonk are driven by its uniqueness and cultural aesthetic, which appeals to niche consumers seeking something different from mainstream pop culture. As Phonk continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how its subculture evolves alongside consumer demand.

Unveiling Phonk: A New Music Genre Fueled by Technological Innovation

notion image
Phonk combines the nostalgic elements of past musical eras with cutting-edge production techniques, resulting in a unique auditory experience. Through the use of advanced sampling, digital manipulation, and creative sound design, phonk artists push the boundaries of what is possible in music creation. This genre serves as a testament to the ever-evolving nature of music and showcases how technology can be harnessed to create exciting and innovative sonic landscapes. But what is it about technological innovation that has allowed for the creation and rise of this new genre? One aspect of technological innovation that has greatly influenced this genre is the availability of music creation software and hardware. With the increase in accessibility of software and hardware, aspiring musicians can now create music from their own homes without the need for a professional studio environment. For example, the rise of beat-making software such as FL Studio has made it easier for producers to create and share music, giving rise to a whole new generation of producers. Another aspect of technological innovation that has influenced this genre is social media. Platforms like SoundCloud and YouTube have become important hubs for musicians to promote and distribute their music to a wide audience. Through these platforms, artists can gain a following and connect with fans without the need for a record label contract. Lastly, technological innovation has allowed for easy access to samples and sounds from different eras and genres. By using software such as Ableton Live, producers can sample tracks from different eras, tempos and genres and manipulate them to create unique sounds, a technique that is very common in phonk music. To summarize, technological innovation has played a vital role in the rise of phonk music by giving aspiring musicians the ability to create music, connect with audiences, and manipulate sounds in new and unique ways. With the continued advancement of technology, we can expect to see more innovative and unique musical genres emerge in the future.
notion image
Phonk has found resonance in different parts of the world, adapting to local musical traditions and cultural contexts. From the lo-fi samples of Memphis rap to the hypnotic grooves of Houston's chopped and screwed scene, regional flavors shape the evolution of phonk. Cultural influences such as street art, fashion, and underground movements further contribute to the genre's aesthetic and identity. Understanding these regional trends and cultural nuances allows for a deeper appreciation and exploration of phonk's global impact.
While the origins of phonk can be traced back to Memphis, Tennessee, where it was first popularized by DJ Smokey and his collaborators, the genre has since spread to other regions and countries, each with its own unique take on the style.
One notable example is the French phonk scene, which has quickly gained a following in recent years. French producers like Mythic, Ramon, and Trxxshed have put their own spin on the genre, incorporating French samples and influences from trap and electronic music. This fusion of different styles has resulted in a new sound that has resonated with audiences both in France and beyond.
In addition to regional influences, cultural influences also play a significant role in shaping the phonk sound. For example, the use of slowed-down samples has been linked to the “chopped and screwed” style of music that originated in Houston, Texas, in the 1990s. This style, which involves slowing down and manipulating tracks to create a new sound, has been described as a reflection of the city’s laidback, “purple drank” culture. Similarly, the heavy bass and distorted beats found in phonk can be traced back to the influence of Southern rap and its focus on hard-hitting beats and basslines.
Overall, while phonk may have originated in Memphis, its reach has extended far beyond its birthplace. Regional and cultural influences have played a significant role in shaping the genre, resulting in a diverse range of styles and sounds that continue to evolve and adapt over time.

Exploring the Rising Trend of Phonk and How Social Media Influencers are Driving its Growth

notion image
The rising trend of phonk is intricately connected to the influential power of social media. As the genre gains traction, social media influencers play a significant role in driving its growth. These influencers, with their large online followings, use platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to showcase and promote phonk music. Their engaging content, dance challenges, and curated playlists expose the genre to a wider audience, resulting in increased popularity and a growing fanbase. By harnessing the reach and impact of social media, influencers contribute to the mainstream recognition and continued expansion of phonk music in today's digital age.
Therefore, it has seen a recent surge in popularity thanks in part to social media influencers. Phonk is characterized by its use of chopped and screwed samples, a technique that involves slowing down and distorting music. The subgenre has gained a large following on TikTok, where users create videos using phonk music and dance styles.
Social media influencers have played a significant role in phonk's recent surge in popularity. They create content centered around phonk, from dance challenges to music reviews. YouTube channels like Trill Phonk and Phonk' 97 have gained over 100K subscribers due to their content centered on the subgenre.
Influencers who have a following in the hip-hop community, such as rapper Denzel Curry, have also helped popularize phonk. Curry, who has over 2 million followers on Instagram, has shared phonk music on his social media platforms, exposing the genre to his fans.
With its rise in popularity, many artists have started to incorporate phonk into their music. Rappers like Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert have used phonk-influenced beats on some of their tracks. The subgenre has also seen the rise of new artists such as Soudiere and djcrimsontears, who have gained popularity through phonk-inspired music.
Overall, the rising trend of phonk can be attributed to social media and influencers. Its popularity is expected to continue to grow as more artists incorporate it into their music. Social media influencers will also continue to play a significant role in driving phonk's growth with their content centered on the subgenre.

The Future of Phonk: A Promising Trend on the Rise

notion image
The future of phonk looks promising as the genre continues to rise and evolve. With its fusion of nostalgic elements and contemporary production techniques, phonk appeals to a diverse audience seeking fresh and innovative sounds. As more artists experiment with the genre, we can anticipate further exploration and expansion of phonk's sonic landscape. Additionally, advancements in technology and digital platforms will provide even greater opportunities for exposure and collaboration within the phonk community. With its growing popularity and dedicated fanbase, the future of phonk holds immense potential for continued creativity and cultural influence. But what does the future hold for this trend? Based on current data and patterns, it seems that phonk has a promising future. The demand for phonk music has been consistently increasing over the past few years, with a spike in interest in 2020. According to Google Trends, searches for the term "phonk" have been on the rise since 2016, peaking in May 2020. Moreover, several artists have been actively contributing to the rise of phonk, with notable names including DJ Yung Vamp, DJ Smokey, and Soudiere. Beyond the music industry, popular apps like TikTok have also contributed to the growth of phonk, with users showcasing their dancing skills to phonk beats. However, it's important to note that the future of phonk ultimately depends on its ability to evolve and adapt to new trends. As the music industry continues to change, phonk artists will need to find new ways to incorporate modern elements while staying true to its roots. Thus, while we can't predict the future with absolute certainty, the current trends and data suggest that phonk is here to stay. Its combination of nostalgia and modernity has piqued interest among a wide audience, and we can expect to see more growth in this subgenre in the years to come.

Phonk: The Resurgence of Memphis Rap

notion image
Phonk represents the resurgence of Memphis rap, paying homage to its roots while attracting a new generation of artists. With chopped and screwed samples, dark production, and haunting vocals, phonk revives the classic sound pioneered by legends like DJ Paul and Juicy J. This revitalization sparks interest in Memphis rap, pushing boundaries and shaping the modern hip-hop landscape. The movement showcases the enduring cultural significance of the genre and its influence on contemporary music. One of the key insights of this trend is how it appeals to younger generations who were not around during the heyday of Memphis rap in the early 90s. Phonk provides a fresh, nostalgic sound that takes influence from a bygone era. It's an example of the cyclical nature of music trends, where elements of the past are repurposed and recontextualized for contemporary audiences. Phonk also highlights the importance of online communities and social media in shaping and promoting new music trends. The genre has primarily gained traction through platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, and Reddit, which have allowed for easy sharing and discovery of new Phonk tracks and artists. This decentralized approach to music promotion has given rise to a more democratic and diverse music landscape, where underground artists and niche genres can find an audience without mainstream support. Furthermore, Phonk's rise is also an example of how regional scenes can continue to thrive and evolve even in the era of globalized streaming services and social media. While Memphis rap may have fallen out of mainstream prominence, its influence continues to be felt in the underground, and Phonk is just one of the many subgenres that have emerged from this legacy. In summary, Phonk's emergence as a trend reflects the continuing power of nostalgia, the influence of online communities and social media, and the resilience of regional music scenes. It's a fascinating example of how musical genres can evolve, adapt to changing times, and find new audiences.
Phonk music is experiencing a significant overall trend as it gains momentum in the music scene. Combining nostalgic elements with contemporary production techniques, the genre captivates listeners with its unique blend of old-school samples and modern beats. Phonk's appeal lies in its ability to create a distinctive auditory experience, attracting a growing fanbase and garnering attention from artists and producers. With its fusion of past and present, phonk continues to evolve, promising an exciting future for this emerging trend in music. If you are interested in music and arts, check out other hot genre in Treendly now!
Mike Rubini

Written by

Mike Rubini

CEO at