The Pharcyde released their debut album “Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde” on November 24 1992. The album was produced by J-Swift and is one of the most embraced underground west coast Hip Hop albums in history. The album is far from your typical gangsta-rap that invaded the west coast in the early 90’s yet is slept on by most Hip Hop fans.
Let’s start with the obvious. The track everyone loves and raves about is “Passin Me By” and why not! The track is perfect in every single way from the rhymes to the beat! By using a dope Quincy Jones sample of “Summer in the City“, Bootie Brown, SlimKid3 and Imani all represent on this track but it’s Fatlip that steals the show with his verse,
“Now there she goes again, the dopest Ethiopian
And now the world around me be gets movin in slow motion
when-ever she happens to walk by – why does the apple of my eye
overlook and disregard my feelings no matter how much I try?
Wait, no, i did not really pursue my little princess with persistance;
And I was so low-key that she was unaware of my existance
From a distance I desired, secretly admired her;
Wired her a letter to get her, and it went:
My dear, my dear, my dear, you do not know me but I know you very well
Now let me tell you about the feelings I have for you
When I try, or make some sort of attempt, I symp
Damn I wish I wasn’t such a wimp!
‘Cause then I would let you know that I love you so
And if I was your man then I would be true
The only lying I would do is in the bed with you
Then I signed sincerely the one who loves you dearly, PS love me tender
The letter came back three days later: Return to Sender, Damn!!!
The track is monumental! It’s what every fly-love-song inspires to be. Instead of getting the girl at the end of ever verse, she just passes by like the wind. This song never get’s old and after almost 25 years, the song is still a banger!
On “Ya Mama“, the crew take turns making mama jokes and playing “the dozens”. It is one of the most unique rap songs on this album, but then this crew is considered alternative rap music so it makes sense. Imani get’s busy and funny as f*ck when he spits his verse,
Awwwwwwww, ya mom is so fat (how fat is she?)
We rode up on her back to get some burgers from Wendy’s
And her skates went flat; I got stuck in her butt crack
They thought I was lost but I was caught by the G-strap
Heaven forbid a giant fart would give way
Cause that would blow me round the world in a day
We drove into the drive-in and she didn’t have to pay
Because we dressed her up to look just like a Chevrolet
There is a SlimKid3 solo track called “Otha Fish” that also speaks about love like “Passing Me By”. It samples “Today” by Herbie Mann and is as jazzy and dope as they come. One sided love is not cool, and Slim shows us exactly how messed up and twisted it can be!
Now, if there ain’t no mountain high enough
Why ain’t you climbin up?
My hand has been extended every since the day I lent it to ya
I thought I knew ya, but I didn’t even know ya
Bro, you’re stupid, cause ya thought you’d captured Cupid
And you found that love ain’t two wiffs of shit
So I resign and quit
It ain’t even about the hips, or the lips or the tits or
Even the pussywhip,Elizabeth, this is it
Because I slipped and I tripped into a shoe that didn’t fit
And now the next man is stealing my heart away
I’d charge him like a bull, but his pull never fades me
The kid is going crazy, they steppin with my lady
Their workin on a baby, I’m pushin up the daisies, but
Hey diddle diddle, I won’t play second fiddle
To no man and stand firm on this
And seal up on the bliss with a big juicy kiss
Just call me Big Gibraltar miss
No, I won’t diss, I’m just like all the otha fish in the sea
If you want to listen to some ill Hip Hop shit that won’t be played on the radio and will make you say “Oh Shit“, then look no further! Using a dope piano riff from Donald Byrd’s “Beale Street“, SlimKid3 and Imani flex their lyrical muscle but again Fatlip staels the show. It is a common theme on this album.
One fine summertime Sunday evening
Crenshaw Boulevard was in full swing
Perfect example of how looks can be deceiving
Rolled up to what I thought was a pretty young thing
Rollin in a purple samurai Suzuki dookie braids was an aid to her sex appeal
Dude, she was dope, man, real dope on the real
Well anyway I went toot toot she said hey a beep beep
The next day rolled down to the beach, deuce deep
Me and my new Crenshaw cutie
Coolin’ on the beach and now she’s rubbin on my booty
Suck suck suckin’ on my neck like Dracula
But it wasn’t all that spectacular (why?)
Cuz everytime I tried to touch upon her tay-titty
She would be like quit b
Bitch was frontin’ but I didn’t say nothin’
Then all of a sudden as if someone pushed the button
I got a funny feeling like something was real wrong
Looked at her shoes and her feets was real long
Then it hit me, oh please god no
Don’t let this ho turn out to be a John Doe
He pulled a fast one on me, yo
I guess that’s one of those things that make you go: shit!
Lastly on “Soul Flower” they take a Grover Washington Jr “Mister Magic” sample to make the lyrics pop like corn! The track is hype enough for you to dance to and dope enough to sick back and enjoy the dope styles being thrown by some dope LA MC’s.
Souped on the beat like a bowl of chicken noodles
I love Spanish dishes but no I’m not Menudo
I can dig Kung-Fu I flip hoes like Judo
Never date a chick who has a mom named Bruno
A anna bonanna(?) bananafanafuno
Yet you know Shafino
Met her in a trio
Souped up my (glass) jet flew her ass to Rio
I’m somewhat Creole
Don’t like the man of steel
I’m not your carbon copy but your first rap (jalopy) for real
I used to deal but the fuzz popped me
I had the hydros but they repo’d my crops and steel
I chills like scotch on the rocks
Cause I just gets paid for them hard-core props
This album is a breath of fresh air when you consider all the gangsta rap music that was being produced in Los Angeles and Oakland at the time that this album dropped. Groups like Heiroglyphics, Del, The Coup, Jurassic 5 and Freestyle Fellowship along with The Pharcyde gave us alternatives in Hip Hip, hence the creation of a new sub-genre.