in which Fatlip's ad-libbed Patrick Bateman speech basically invents Odd Future
November 25, 2012 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Which isn't to say it's not a deep record — it's just a record that wears its depth lightly, couching it in gags and a multitude of weird voices and ball-busting autocritique. The almost-hit-single "Passin' Me By" stands out most clearly as a foundational text for modern nerd-rap of all stripes, but the whole record operates in previously uncharted territory, foregoing both tough-guy posturing and didacticism in favor of honesty. It's about hormonal mischief and formative heartbreak, the mistakes these guys have made and the mistakes they'll make again, and the fact that it's one of the funniest-on-purpose rap albums ever made never quite overshadows its precocious intelligence. 20 years later, it's time for another Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde.

The entire album on youtube.

Playing The Pharcyde's seminal debut in its entirety, from start to finish, original members Fatlip and SlimKid3 have re-joined forces with Bizarre Ride producers J-Sw!ft and L.A. Jay to create this unique spectacular. Blurring the lines between a straight up hip-hop show and a theatrical performance, Bizarre Ride Live includes all the original skits and interludes from the record, and even some special surprise guests ("did somebody page Quinton??"). No details are missed out as renowned graffiti artist SLICK, who designed the albums iconic cover, art-directs the stage and live audio-visuals are taken care of by L.A. Jay.

Delicious Vinyl interviews various DJs and producers about their experiences and feelings towards the Pharcyde.
posted by mannequito (16 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Now there she goes again / The dopest Ethiopian
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:30 PM on November 25, 2012 [6 favorites]

I think that 1992/93 were the years where I was really nailed down as a human, as many of my favorite things turn twenty this year (Ween's Pure Guava turned twenty a week or two ago). This is a great album. Even stuff that ought to be horrible, like the mom diss track, is fantastic.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:40 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I know that there's plenty of underground shit still around, but man - I wish this was the stuff that was happening mainstream now. I'm so tired of the tattooed thugs and shit...
posted by symbioid at 2:48 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also only slightly noted at the end of the article: About half of Labcabincalifornia (their second album) was produced by the Late Great J.D. (aka Dilla) at the tender age of ~19.

The video for fatlips solo track (what's up fatlip) was shot by spike jonze. There is actually a documentary about making that video, which was released much later. (As was the J.D. produced 'Drop').

Also, that clip of fatlip at the comedy club is pretty funny.

The sad thing is that they were mostly just swallowed up by label and distribution issues. After labcab, their contracts were in limbo, the tours were cut short, and the albums themselves were just hard to find with little or no promo. Real shame for such a classic album.

Here in San Francisco, they played a recent show of the whole album, but it was at a big crappy club venue and they were going on at 1-2am, and I just couldn't make it. Shame that a reunion of the 4 of them was at such an esoteric spot, while Yoshi's and other venus have the splintered groups more regularly. (there are two different touring groups, each with only 2 members, wtf! Its not wu-tang!)

Moment in Time
posted by lkc at 2:59 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

A lot of good 80s and early 90s hip-hop reminds me of reading old issues of Mad Magazine from the 50s and 60s, or listening to Fire Sign Theater.

Like, there have been these brief cultural moments when being a sufficiently clever smartassed nerd got you a lot of mainstream social capital. And then the mainstream shifted to some other archetype ("gangster" or "party animal" or "tortured sensitive artist" or "fashion plate" or whatever) and the lifelong dedicated smartasses who were too set in their ways to shift along with it are left just like "Wait, what happened? Why does everything suck now?"
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:38 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Between this post and yesterday's Fantasma post, it's been a great weekend for nineties musical retrospectives. For me, these two albums bookend a decade of great studio-crafted pop.
posted by Edgewise at 5:06 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Last monday I was in Seattle for work. After finishing dinner at Quinns, we walked by Neumos and found out that the Pharcyde were due to go on stage to do Bizarre Ride. Amazing! I listened to this record 1m times in High School and 20 minutes after discovering that they had taken their Low End Theory performances (which I missed) on the road, I was four or five people back from the front of the stage mouthing every word. So much fun.
posted by cell divide at 5:19 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

The almost-hit-single "Passin' Me By"

Ex-cuse me?
posted by phaedon at 6:29 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Interesting, nebulawindphone. Though the prankster is what breaks archetypes rather than being one. Hip hop in the Prince Paul/Beasties/Kool Keith era was an avant garde. It's not that surprising that hip hop has ossified, you can't keep inventing at that pace forever. But that's also why Pharcyde will sound fresh forever. (wikiwikiwikiFRESH)
posted by mike_bling at 7:55 PM on November 25, 2012

I saw these guys last night at the Melkweg in Amsterdam. Extremely entertaining!
posted by ZipRibbons at 12:51 AM on November 26, 2012

ZipRibbons, thanks for letting me know that they were here AND that I missed the show. How was the crowd?
posted by 1adam12 at 1:42 AM on November 26, 2012

The room was half full until just before they came on stage, then it filled up... then it filled up some more. Lots of hands in the air and smiling faces. There were kids there who can't even have been born when Bizarre Ride came out, as well as lots of people like me, ruefully shaking their heads and saying, "20 years ago? Seriously?"

The band got a girl up on stage to karaoke rap along with "Otha Fish" - very tricky, but she didn't do too badly. They also gave birthday love to some dude in the audience, and were generally very funny, friendly and charming. Everyone loved them :-)
posted by ZipRibbons at 3:05 AM on November 26, 2012

I was listening to lots of WBMX mixes, back in the day, and a lot of House. Then there were KidNPlay, LL. and Boogie Down. I went with the Booge Down, and that led to me trying to rap, which led to De La, then to a DJ(who later played a Sex Packets demo for me) playing Bonita Applebum on some huge speakers, and that was that. With friends I would listen to the R, or NWA, or Ghetto Boys, but that wasn't me. The grimey trend was funny, so was the miggidy mack daddy trend. Onyx and so many others were trying to change their delivery, when all you ever had to do was have something to say that got through, that always worked. The early 90s had the coolest lyrics, and videos. The first Pharcyde was a lot like the first De La, almost no edge to it, but with candor that New York MCs just couldn't have. When Slimkid3 says "She could be my broad, and I could be her...", in Passin Me By, his expression in the video is extra, extra deep, and timeless. That was me in my early twenties. We were questioning these words. Great video, great album, and most groups back then knew it.
posted by Flex1970 at 5:40 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

oh yeah
Now there she goes again / The dopest Ethiopian
in the 'passin' me by' video there's a series of quickish back'n'forth dissolves between the fellas and this gorgeous short-haired woman in a pretty dress and right before that line the final shot of her in that sequence she finally looks off to the side opens her eyes and just burns like she's on the cover of a blue note album from a time in america when (you know what i'm saying) you come in and can't see past the bar for the smoke and they know you wanna bourbon and she just knows what's up and it's gonna be ok but not yet
posted by waxbanks at 7:10 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

sidebar too
the video for 'drop' is liquid damn

i went too long not knowing any of their stuff except 'ya mama' and 'oh shit'

still funny, mind you
posted by waxbanks at 7:17 AM on November 26, 2012

Yes indeedy, I wrote graffiti.

In the 'making of' video Fatlip ruefully reminisces that before he left the band were moving on to new material that sounds a lot like they would have given The Roots or Jazzamatazz something to think about (singing, live instruments, soul music), which upset him because it wasn't 'real' hip hop. I think we might have missed out on a great thing there.
posted by asok at 8:37 AM on November 26, 2012

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