November 24, 2014

The Pharcyde "Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde" (The Source, '92)

"Post-Native Tongues hip-hop has spawned a host of groups that are less worried about posing and fronting like the hardest hard rock, slinging cane and shooting cops, than they are about innovating new styles, concepts and making hip-hop fun. The Pharcyde, a group of four young rappers from Los Angeles, combine the quirky, off-beat charm of a Daisy Ager and the sing-songy vocal tones of those down-to-earthlings who reminisced about Tennessee with an intense enthusiasm and energy akin to the Leaders (LONS). While parallels can be drawn between the Pharcyde and their East Coast brethren, don't confuse their similarities with unoriginal flava or lack of mic skills... This debut is packed with soulful pianos and organs that combine with head-nodding basslines that are as much fun as a day at Great Adventure. They exhibit fine mic control on tracks like "Oh Shit" and "I'm That Type" as the foursome kick seemingly bottomless run-on sentence type rhymes." Cont'd below...

"They flow lovely on "Ya Mama," a cut where they exchange "mama" jokes over a futuristic beat. The joint is comedy! On "Other Fish," Tre flips the script over some breezy, calypso-tinged beats as he rhymes about a honey dip who's kicking it to another brother who's living fatter: "I won't play second fiddle / To no man and stand firm on this ... No I won't dis / I'm just on to other fish..." The Pharcyde will inevitably face acceptance problems as their left-handed, yet inventive concepts might be too esoteric for some b-boys. Nasal vocals over tracks that contain much live instrumentation and sparse amounts of scratching may force some to ponder their role in the world of hardcore hip-hop. Sincerity and enthusiasm for the art form hopefully won't be mistaken for happy-rap crap. The question many will have to answer for themselves is whether a trip to the Pharcyde is a step backwards or a leap into the future? Most will just enjoy the bizarre ride." - The Source, 1992.