Music Briefs – Phonk and Drift Phonk


Phonk is a subgenre of hip hop and trap music directly inspired by 90’s Memphis and Lexington rap. As a genre, it’s older than you might think – it is a millennial genre that originated primarily on the SoundCloud platform around the 2000s – 2010s, where artists experimented with a combination of 90’s rap and trap beats. It is characterized by nostalgic funk samples accompanied by vocals from old Memphis rap tapes.


Phonk vs Drift Phonk

Make sure to distinguish phonk from the genre that attacks the top ratings on TikTok, known as drift phonk. Drift phonk is a subgenre of phonk made popular by TikTok and the curated Spotify Editorial Playlist dedicated to Phonk. Thanks to this, Phonk is perceived as progressive hyping music with distinctive cowbell-heavy sounds and fast BPM, but that’s far from what it is! Listen to the tracks and hear the difference between these two.


What is Phonk

Phonk is an underground genre of hip hop and trap, as well as the umbrella genre for jungle phonk, phonk wave, phonk house, plug phonk, and of course, drift phonk. Famous names of phonk include Three 6 Mafia, DJ Smokey, X-Raided, Tommy Wright III, Phonk Beta, Soudiere, Mythic, DJ Yung Vamp, NxxxxxS, Lowpocus, and SwuM.



What is Drift Phonk

Drift Phonk producers have been going viral on TikTok with the distorted and progressive cowbell-heavy take on the phonk genre. The tracks are used in compilation videos of JDM cars drifting around narrow corners, and that’s how the subgenre got its title. As the popularity of drift phonk skyrocketed to the moon, it took over and established the public’s definition of phonk. As a result, nearly every tutorial after that on YouTube was dedicated to the Drift Phonk style. Notable producers include Pharmacist, LXST CXNTURY, MC ORSEN, and more.


Pond5 Library Examples of Phonk Music

Check out some of the examples in the Pond5 library as an inspiration for your submissions.

Phonk style:

Drift Phonk style:


Submission ideas

  • Feel free to upload both Phonk and Drift Phonk – just be careful to tag them correctly.
  • Upload tracks that are between 2-4 minutes long.
  • Use the tempo between 120-140 BPM.
  • Using vocals in samples and loops is a great advantage.
  • Typical instruments defining phonk genre: Synthesizers, samplers, drum machines.
  • Drift phonk uses cowbells and high bass in addition to the above mentioned instruments.



  • Take advantage of the 50-keyword limit and add both broad and specific keywords. Please do not use a recognizable band or artist name!
  • We also encourage you to submit separate :15 and :30 versions of these tracks for social media use.
  • Please note you can apply tags to existing tracks in your portfolio.

Top image: A Man Looking Into A Car Window On A Summers Evening. With A Neon Vaporwave by Raggedstone.

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