Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde 2xLP - Blue and Yellow Vinyl


Delicious Vinyl / Craft (2017, Reissue) 

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

This Pharcyde album is one that probably took longer to add to the collection than it should have.  I'm not sure why I waited so long, but of course once I did decide it was time to buy it had gone out of print again and took some effort to track down at a reasonable price.  Luckily I did and was even able to get the cool version on colored vinyl.  But I'm quickly learning that as these old school hip hop records get reissued, they go back out of print just as quickly.

Anyway, I've have this CD forever and before that I had the "Passin' Me By" cassette single.  That's the song that caught my attention on Yo! MTV Raps and made me a fan of the group.  Though the album came out in 1992, "Passin' Me By" wasn't a single until 1993.  And even though they predated Souls of Mischief by a bit, I always tie this song and the Souls' track "93 til Infinity" together.  They just exemplified the sort of laid back, effortless rap that was a big contrast to some of the more hard hitting albums I was listening to at the time.  To this day, I'll put "Passin' Me By" up against almost any golden era track.  It's unbelievably great and has aged like fine wine.

I never felt the album as a whole could ever quite live up to the expectations of that one track, but it is still pretty great.  Lots of innovative beats and interesting rhyming.  There's some skits that I don't care for, which is a common theme with a lot of hip hop albums of the era.  The album also has a few questionable turns of phrase here and there when it's looked at with 2021 eyes, but again - nothing that is unusual for a lot of albums from this era.

As far as I can tell, there just isn't any hip hop coming out these days that sounds like this.  If I'm wrong, please educate me.  I would love to hear more albums that have that upbeat crack of the snare drum in the beat and rhyming that's pushing the limits without becoming so off beat that it's unlistenable.  The Pharcyde did a tremendous job of making an album that's flat out fun to listen to.  And then "Passin' Me By" comes on and elevates everything to that next level.

The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde:

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