Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde


Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde

Infobox Album
Name = Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
Type = Album
Artist = The Pharcyde


Released = November 24, 1992
Recorded = 1991–1992
at Hollywood Sounds
(Hollywood, California)
Genre = Alternative hip hop
West coast rap
Length = 56:41
Label = Delicious Vinyl
Producer = J-Swift
L.A. Jay
SlimKid 3
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|5|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:sukxikx6bb39 link]
*"Entertainment Weekly" (B) [http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,312573,00.html link]
*"NME" Rating-10|7 [http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1592079&BAB=M link]
*"Q" Rating|4|5 [http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1592079&BAB=M link]
*"Rolling Stone" (favorable) [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/thepharcyde/albums/album/302306/review/6068125/bizarre_ride_ii_the_pharcyde 1993]
*"Rolling Stone" Rating|4|5 [http://books.google.com/books?id=lRgtYCC6OUwC&pg=PA634&lpg=PA634&dq=Bizarre+Ride+II+rolling+stone&source=web&ots=QA4XIa5p4u&sig=SA5_fnjqmwTAjeSW3mPeyuIcgMw&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result 2004]
*The Source Rating|3.5|5 [http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1592079&BAB=M 1993]
*The Source Rating|5|5 [http://www.listsofbests.com/list/12875 2002]
Last album =
This album = "Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde"
(1992)
Next album = "Labcabincalifornia"
(1995)

"Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde" is the debut album by alternative hip hop group The Pharcyde, released on November 24, 1992 through Delicious Vinyl Records. The album is produced by former group member J-Swift, and features only one guest appearance, provided by little known Los Angeles rapper Bucwheed (known then as "Buckwheat" from The Wascals). In the years after its release, "Bizarre Ride" was hailed by critics and alternative rap fans,cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:r1he4j570way | title = Bizarre Ride| format = | work = | publisher = Allmusic| accessdate = October 7| accessyear = 2006] and appeared in "best albums" lists in several publications.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/A1576.htm | title = Bizarre Ride | format = | work = Acclaimed Music| publisher = | accessdate = 2006-10-07|archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20060520062254/http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/A1576.htm|archivedate=2006-05-20]

Released during the dominant Gangsta rap era of West Coast hip hop, "Bizarre Ride" was described as "refreshing,"cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1592079&BAB=M | title = Bizarre Ride| format = | work = | publisher = CDuniverse.com| accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006] due to its playful, light-hearted humor and lush, jazzy production. Along with albums like "To Whom it May Concern…" by Freestyle Fellowship, and "I Wish My Brother George Was Here" by Del tha Funkee Homosapien, "Bizarre Ride" helped establish a new alternative scene on the West Coast, followed by artists such as Hieroglyphics, The Coup and Jurassic 5. Despite the wide acclaim, the album produced only moderate sales, peaking at #75 on the Billboard 200 album chart in 1993. However, on the strength of the second single, "Passing Me By," the album was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America on March 28, 1996.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.riaa.com/gp/database/default.asp | title = RIAA Searchable Database | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006]

Conception

Background

High school friends "Slimkid3" (Tre Hardson), "Imani" (Emandu Wilcox) and "Bootie Brown" (Romye Robinson) began their career in the entertainment industry as dancers and choreographers under the moniker "Two For Two", making numerous appearances in music videos. Their most notable exposure came with a short stint on the television show "In Living Color".cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:dpfqxql5ldfe | title = The Pharcyde | format = | work = | publisher = Allmusic| accessdate = 2006-10-07] While working on the show, the group met their future manager Suave, then a road manager for Candyman and Tone Loc. The trio met Derrick "Fatlip" Stewart and producer John "J-Swift" Martinez at an after-school music program called South Central Unit. The program's teacher, Reggie Andrews, taught the group about essential elements of the music industry, and later oversaw the group's writing and recording sessions.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://pharcyde.de/international/bio/bio.html | title = Pharcyde biography | format = | work = | publisher = Delicious Vinyl| accessdate =2006-10-07] While attending SCU, the group recorded their first demo tape, which included the track "Ya Mama".cite web | last = | first = | url = http://hiphop.discogs.com/artist/Pharcyde,+The | title = The Pharcyde | format = | work = | publisher = Discogs.com| accessdate =2006-10-07] In 1991, the group signed a deal with Delicious Vinyl Records, following a performance of the track "Ya Mama" at an artist showcase.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://pharcyde.de/international/bio/bio1.html | title = The Pharcyde biography | format = | work = Contemporary Musicians| publisher = | accessdate =2006-10-07] Soon after, the group made their first notable appearance, with the track "Soul Flower", released on the "Heavy Rhyme Experience" album by the Brand New Heavies.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:qia9qjobojka | title = Heavy Rhyme Experience| format = | work = | publisher =Allmusic| accessdate = 2006-10-08] multi-listen item
filename=Yamama.ogg
title="Ya Mama" (sample)
description=This sample contains a portion of the third verse and the fourth verse.
format=Ogg
multi-listen item
filename=Passingmeby.ogg
title="Passing Me By" (sample)
description=This sample contains the fourth verse and a portion of the chorus.
format=Ogg
multi-listen item
filename=4betteror4worse.ogg
title="4 Better or 4 Worse" (sample)
description=This sample contains the third verse.
format=Ogg
multi-listen item
filename=Othafish.ogg
title="Otha Fish" (sample)
description=This sample contains the first verse and a portion of the chorus.
format=Ogg

Recording

The four emcees, along with producer J-Swift, began recording their debut album in 1991 at the Hollywood Sounds studio in California, with Delicious Vinyl Records head Michael Ross overseeing the project as Executive Producer. J-Swift produced 10 songs and five interludes—15 of the album's 16 tracks. Before the completion of the album, Swift had a falling-out with the group over internal problems. He claimed that he was not properly compensated for his work, and that the other group members had tried to take production credit, when he had crafted all the beats himself.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.massappealmag.com/article.php?id=218 | title = Interview with J-Swift | format = | work = Mass Appeal| publisher = | accessdate = 2006-10-07] After the Pharcyde's split with J-Swift, the producer began a crack cocaine habit, which he has still yet to completely recover from. In a 2006 interview with Mass Appeal Magazine, Swift stated:

Now without a producer or a finished product, the group recruited local producer L.A. Jay to craft the album's final recording, "Otha Fish", which was also co-produced by SlimKid 3.

Music

Lyrical content

Much of the album's acclaim was due to the eccentric, comedic content provided by the four emcees, who were described as a "pack of class clowns set loose in a studio" by Rolling Stone. The album's wacky storytelling and light-hearted playfulness provided an alternative to the pessimistic, hardcore hip hop that had ruled the scene at the time. Due to its light lyrical content, the album has been described as an extension of the "Daisy Age", established by De La Soul and the Native Tongues Posse. Allmusic described the group's rapping as "amazing", and stated, "The L.A.-based quartet introduced listeners to an uproarious vision of earthy hip-hop informed by P-Funk silliness and an everybody-on-the-mic street-corner atmosphere that highlights the incredible rapping skills of each member."cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:r1he4j570way | title = Bizarre Ride at Allmusic | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7| accessyear = 2006] Instead of focusing on the troubles of the inner city, the quartet use their verses to provide humorous first-person narratives, with varying topics. On the album opener "Oh Shit", SlimKid, Imani and Fatlip trade embarrassing tales about drunken antics, unusual sex partners and hermaphrodites.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.ohhla.com/anonymous/pharcyde/bizarre/oh_shit.phr.txt | title = "Oh Shit" lyrics | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006] SlimKid, Imani and guest rapper Buckwheat use the song "On the DL" to vent personal stories that they'd like to be kept "on the down-low", with topics including masturbation and murder.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.ohhla.com/anonymous/pharcyde/bizarre/on_thedl.phr.txt | title = "On the DL" lyrics | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006] On the single "4 Better or 4 Worse", Fatlip dedicates an entire verse to prank calling, in which the rapper spouts insane and psychotic threats while a confused female victim continually threatens to call the police.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.ohhla.com/anonymous/pharcyde/bizarre/4better.phr.txt | title = "4 Better or 4 Worse" lyrics | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006] The group's debut single "Ya Mama", described by the Rolling Stone Album Guide as the album's most memorable track, calling it a "marathon game of the dozens",ref label|1sted|1|b sees the four rappers trading comical insults towards each other's mothers.An online reviewer comments on the group's humorous rapping style:

While the majority of the album has a focus on comedic stories, the song "Officer" touches on the topic of racial profiling. "Otha Fish" finds the group rising up and moving on from their past hang-ups as described in the previous track, "Passing Me By", the album's hit single. On the song, the four recount heartbreaking tales of school-boy crushes that had eluded them. Their mix of humor and social insight was one factor in the album's acclaim. An editorial reviewer comments on the group's unique style:

Production

"Bizarre Ride" also featured the acclaimed production work of J-Swift, who provides the album with a lush, jazzy soundscape through use of live instrumentation and sampling. Swift relied on a large number of samples, by artists including James Brown, Donald Byrd, Sly & the Family Stone, The Meters, Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Ayers and Marvin Gaye. Aside from the samples, Swift also provided piano, bass and rhodes on the album, and fellow producer JMD provided drums arrangements. These upbeat key arrangements and quick-paced drums loops provide much of the backdrop for the rapper's animated lyrical deliveries. Allmusic calls the album's production "easily some of the tightest and most inventive of any hip-hop record of the era."cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:r1he4j570way | title = Bizarre Ride at Allmusic | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7| accessyear = 2006] NME magazine stated, "The Pharcyde use jazz samples and phat beats to the ultimate effect: to create their own sonic Utopia.".cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1592079&BAB=M | title = Bizarre Ride at CDuniverse.com | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006] An online review describes the album's unique musical atmosphere and layered production:

ingles

"Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde" featured four singles, all of which were accompanied by music videos. The group's debut single, "Ya Mama", was originally released in 1991, then re-packaged by Delicious Vinyl in 1992, with two additional songs, "I'm That Type of Nigga" and "Soul Flower".cite web | last = | first = | url = http://hiphop.discogs.com/release/646539 | title = "Ya Mama" | format = | work = Discogs.com| publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006] Though the song landed the group their record deal, it failed to reach any Billboard singles chart. Their first major exposure came with the release of the album's second single, "Passin' Me By". Utilizing a sample from Quincy Jones' "Summer in the City", the song became the group's biggest crossover hit, peaking at #52 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #1 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. The song was later featured on the soundtrack to, and in Adam Sandler's 1999 film "Big Daddy".cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=10:4nklu3rkandk | title = Big Daddy Soundtrack | format = | work = Allmusic| publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006] The song is now considered a classic hip hop single, and was later included on comprehensive hip hop compilation albums like "The Hip Hop Box" and "Hip Hop Gold".cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:75n20r1aw489 | title = Hip Hop Gold | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006] The album's third single, "4 Better or 4 Worse", was released in mid-1993, and featured the stoner song "Pack the Pipe" and the throwback track "Return of the B-Boy" as its B-Side. The single did not reach any Billboard chart. The final single, the SlimKid solo track "Otha Fish", was released in late 1993. The song became the second charting single from the album, though not as highly placed as "Passing Me By", reaching only the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

A number of tracks from the album were later remixed. "Ya Mama", "Soul Flower", "Otha Fish", "Passing Me By" all featured a number of remixes, which were later included on the 2005 Pharcyde compilation album "Sold My Soul: The Remix & Rarity Collection".cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:e6de4j278waw | title = Sold My Soul | format = | work = Allmusic| publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006]

ignificance

Critical reception

At the time of its release, "Bizarre Ride" received good, though at times unspectacular reviews. In the years following its release, critical reaction became increasingly more positive. A number of music publications have since recognized the album as a rap classic. "Bizarre Ride" was listed on Pitchfork Media's "Top 100 Favorite Records of the 90s", and was also featured in the 2005 publication "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die", in which it is stated:

Hip hop magazine The Source originally gave the album a humble 3 1/2 Mic rating, but in 1998, included "Bizarre Ride" on their "100 Best Rap Albums" list.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/source.htm | title = 100 Greatest Rap Albums | format = | work = The Source| publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006] Allmusic gave the album a perfect 5 Star rating, and Rolling Stone and Q magazines both gave "Bizarre Ride" a positive 4 Star rating. Rate Your Music included the album on their "Top 1000 Albums of All-Time" list, reaching #455.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://rateyourmusic.com/charts/top/album/all-time/5 | title = Top Albums of All-Time | format = | work = Rate Your Music| publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006]

An "Ink Blot" Magazine review calls "Bizarre Ride" "the most fun album ever", and states:

NME (12/25/93, p.67) - Ranked #39 in New Musical Express' list of `The Top 50 LPs Of 1993' - "...a cartoon-strip of blunt-smoking antics, sexual innuendo and unashamed political incorrectness, crammed with infectious funky beats...." [http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1592079]

Influence

While alternative East Coast hip hop albums, such as De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising ultimately sold over a million copies, [cite web|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6599399/346_3_feet_high_and_rising|title=346) 3 Feet High and Rising|work=Rolling Stone|date=2003-11-01|accessdate=2007-03-26] there was no equivalent from the West Coast. With "Bizarre Ride", The Pharcyde became one of the first alternative acts on the West Coast to sell large numbers of albums. Though "Bizarre Ride" did reach Gold status, the album's sales paled in comparison to West Coast G-funk releases of the era, such as "The Chronic" by Dr. Dre and "Doggystyle" by Snoop Dogg.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.riaa.com/gp/database/default.asp | title = RIAA Searchable Database | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006]

While "Bizarre Ride" sparked the career of The Pharcyde, the group did not attempt to capitalize on the album's reception. Following the release, the group set out on the Lollapalooza tour, and waited almost three years to release their second album, "Labcabincalifornia". While the album featured two highly regarded hit singles, "Runnin'" and "Drop", it received mixed reviews. Critics weighed the album against their debut, and some felt "Labcabincalifornia" fell victim to the sophomore jinx.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:8eanqj7uojta | title = Labcabincalifornia | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006] Group member Bootie Brown later stated in a 2005 interview:

Following the release of "Labcabincalifornia", member Fatlip split from The Pharcyde, and the group did not return until 2000, releasing the album "Plain Rap" to mediocre reviews.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://rapreviews.com/archive/2001_05_plainrap.html | title = Plain Rap | format = | work = RapReviews.com | publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006] Though the album marked the first collaboration between the group and J-Swift, Bootie Brown and Imani had a falling out with SlimKid (now known by his birth name Tre Hardson),cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.the411online.com/pharcyde.html | title = The Pharcyde interview | format = | work = The411Online.com| publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006] before the album was released, turning the group into a duo. In 2004, Imani and Bootie released the group's fourth album, "Humboldt Beginnings", receiving little attention and harsh reviews.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fifyxq9sld0e | title = Humboldt Beginnings | format = | work = Allmusic| publisher = | accessdate = October 8 | accessyear = 2006] Tre and Fatlip have both since released solo albums, but no project released by the group or its members since their debut has been able to reach the acclaim of "Bizarre Ride".

Track listing

Sample information is taken from The-Breaks.com.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://the-breaks.com/search.php?term=Pharcyde&type=6 | title = album samples | format = | work = TheBreaks.com| publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006]
Tracklisting and producer information is taken from the CD.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1592079&BAB=M | title = Bizarre Ride | format = | work = CDuniverse.com| publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006]

Album singles

All single information is taken from Discogs.com.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://hiphop.discogs.com/artist/Pharcyde,+The | title = The Pharcyde at Discogs.com | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = October 7 | accessyear = 2006]

Accolades

Information is taken from AcclaimedMusic.net.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/A1576.htm | title = Bizarre Ride at Acclaimed Music | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate =2006-10-07]

( * ) designates lists which are unordered.

References

Citations

# note label|1sted|1|anote label|1sted|1|b "Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely Revised and Updated 4th Edition". Simon & Schuster, 2004. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8 (Note 1, see page 634)
# note label|2nded|2|anote label|2nded|2|bcite book|title=1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die|editor=Robert Dimery (ed.)|publisher = Universe|date= 2006-02-07|isbn=0-7893-1371-5|pages=691


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