Google+ Beathearts: Beathearts rewind #50: Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (1992)


Beathearts rewind #50: Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (1992)

I celebration of our 50th rewind we pull up a very special album. 20 years ago today, to me, one of the greatest rap albums of all time was released. The Pharcyde came out of nowhere and absolutely blew my mind.

The group recorded their first demo in 1991, which contained the songs Passin' Me By, Ya Mama and Officer. They then brought the demo to Delicious Vinyl who signed them to the label that same summer. Their first feature was on Brand New Heavies's album Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol. 1, on the song Soul Flower. The group, along with producer J-Swift, then recorded their classic album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, which was released in Nov 24th 1992. And we can't believe it's already 20 years.

Listening through the album again we broke down what made the album such a classic to three elements:

1.The storytelling
I've always been a sucker for storytelling rappers and to me The Pharcyde took it to a new level. Their crazy blend of topics, insults and humour was (and still is!) very refreshing from the dominating often one way gangsta rap.

2.The beats/skits
I don't really feel I need to underline the genius of all the singles from this album. But a couple of years back I was lucky enough to find the instrumental version of this album and it's such a masterpiece. Tracks like Passing me by, Ya mama and 4 better or 4 worse takes the album to another level and tells a whole other story as instrumental versions. For once even the skits actually made the album better and gave it a laid back live session feel. I remember dying for a longer version of the 4 better of 4 worse interlude. Can't help wondering what ever happend to J-Swift?

To sum up some of the groups dopest moments Wax Poetics just put out an amazing mixtape. Get it below:

Download: WaxPoetics Bizarre Ride 20th anniversary mixtape

3.The artwork
One of few things I miss from the good ol' days is the cover art. Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde had such a compelling touch to it and totally set the tone for the album. It looked like it sounded. It stood out. It was crazy. It had attitude. It was original. It had surprises (the fold-out). It had detailed credits (that all crates diggers appreciated). It's just one of those albums that I'm still proud to have laying around.

So FatLip, J-Swift, SlimKid3, Imani, BootieBrown and Fuct (the graphic designer) - we salute you for putting out a certified hall of fame album!

As a 20 year celebration Delicious Vinyl has put out a limited edition version of the album and the singles. It might still be available over at Turntablelabs.

As a bonus, checkout the clips and the artwork below:

The videos

The Pharcyde - Passin me by

The Pharcyde - Ya Mama

The cover art

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