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by
2 October, 2002@12:00 am
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     Who did these guys think they were? They actually had the audacity to make their introduction completely dissing the Black consciousness movement with their debut single, and on top of that, dissing our moms?!?! Two X-Clan-esque characters stood at the beginning of the video preaching, “Yo, we need some brothers to be dropping knowledge”, only to be hit with a four minute onslaught of mother jokes. And who said it was cool to make fun of Chuck & Flav   on “Officer”? It’s jiggaboo time? Yo, who the FUCK did these guys think they were?!?!

    They were The Pharcyde - and despite the fact that today, the four of them may never again share that title together, in 1992 they combined their talents to drop one classic album. Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde was exactly that – the anatomically correct female roller coaster high that was featured on its cover. At the pinnacle of hip-hop’s short-lived fascination with jazz samples, producer J-Swift utilized a vast arsenal of breaks animating a beautifully chaotic adventure, one that was sorely missed on its follow-up, Labcabincalifornia.

     Breaking thru the walls with incredibly obnoxious anthems such as “Oh Shit” and “I’m That Type Of N****”, the album had you hooked virtually from the second you pressed play on your first listen, until you road that coaster off its track to the nostalgic sounds of “Return Of The B-Boy”, a fun, hilarious salute to the emcees of yesteryear. Ironically enough, looking back at tracks like “4 Better Or 4 Worse”, or even more-so during the interludes, it’s clearly evident ten years later that half the time, these guys had no idea what was going to come out of their mouths before stepping in the studio. It was completely impromptu, yet we still sing-a-long to every word that was etched in stone the minute the album hit the streets. They were completely unpredictable, with laugh out loud moments on virtually every song on this endlessly quotable album. “Guess what guys, Quinton’s on his way!”, “THE PIPE DAMMIT!”, “Yeah, you guys are definitely going to jail”, “Daaaaaaamn Tre?!?!”.  And the list goes on.

     But what made this album great was that it never missed a beat, and even when it took some dips to slow things down a bit, the result was never less than spectacular. As a matter of fact, the album’s classic single that put them on the map wasn’t of the wacky variety that most of the rest of the album carried (which explains the smooth switch up on Labcabin). In “Passing Me By”, fueled by that memorable backwards Jimmy Hendrix loop, cool-ass Slim Kid 3 crooned the hook, inspiring an entire generation of lonely fellas to sing along to this single man’s anthem, quickly following-up with the redeeming sun-will-come-out-tomorrow attitude on the equally brilliant “Otha Fish”. And who can forget the stoned out anthem, “Pack The Pipe”, with like 14 spoons in it? 

     But what exactly were they packing in their pipes? Apparently whatever it was, they stopped doing so by the time their second “more mature” effort, Labcabincalifornia dropped, as the fun found on Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde was completely absent (still a decent record tho). Was this a fluke? Was this album nothing but four guys messing around in a studio without a clue of how to record their album, improvising it the whole way? If so, are there more tracks in the vaults from this lost era? And what caused the break-up? There many unanswered questions that remain about The Pharcyde, but perhaps the most important and often pondered is…..

   WHO IS THE N**** IN CHARGE OVER HERE? WHO IS THE N**** IN CHAAAAAAAAARGE?!?!?

    Um, um, well excuse me. 

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