The Pharcyde

The Pharcyde

BandHip Hop

Early 90's Hip Hop Innovators.

Biography

The legendary PHARCYDE has returned. It’s been over a decade since their debut album, and the groundbreaking group continues to shine – surviving a ride so bizarre it could only lead to their latest success, Humboldt Beginnings. This new release matches the creativity and talent evident at Pharcyde’s beginnings with fifteen years of honed musical passion and maturation.

The band emerged on the hip hop scene in 1992 with Bizzare Ride II the Pharcyde, on the Delicious Vinyl label. The Californian quartet, consisting of Tre “Slimkid” Hardson, Romye “Booty Brown” Robinson, Derrick “Fatlip” Stewart, and Imani Wilcox came together to form a totally new voice in hip hop. The group broke the West Coast gangsta rap mold of its time, producing rhymes and beats that narrated hilarious skits, clownish antics, and stoned perceptions.

"The group writes 'skits' instead of songs, drops references to everything from singing cartoon rodents ‘The Chipmunks’ to jazz visionary Thelonious Monk, and spices the mix with lounge-style piano breaks and chants," wrote Neil Strauss in Spin magazine.

The Pharcyde’s unique style of rap, light-hearted lyrics and diverse sound quickly established them as a potent hip hop force among fans.

Bizzare Ride kept their growing fan base hooked for three years before the release of a much anticipated sophomore album, “LabCabinCalifornia”. Unleashed in 1995, this album made evident the growth of a band that had endured the realities of the music industry and fame.

"Devil Music," from LabCabinCalifornia, contains perhaps the most quoted Pharcyde lyric of any. It reflects the damage that the music industry can do to the spirit: "Every time I step to the microphone / I put my soul on two-inch reels that I don't even own." Such insights color much of the album.

LabCabinCalifornia manifested a stronger lyrical content, and showed the rap world that the Pharcyde were not just the playful cats on Bizarre Ride II, but musicians growing and exploring their talents. The Pharcyde ventured into a jazzier, more sophisticated sound, using a number of different producers. The first single, “Runnin’”, experimented with Brazilian jazz guitar and finessed vocals in the chorus. The album not only displayed the Pharcyde’s abilities as clever lyricists, but also as gifted musicians dabbling in the worlds of both hip hop and jazz. The album was well received by critics and widely acknowledged for its demonstration of talent progression in three years. More importantly, it was a telling glimpse of what was to come.

In 1997, the ride really did get bizarre. On the heels of completing their third album, Plain Rap, and in the middle of enjoying the fruits of labor as struggling artists who had impacted the world of hip hop, Fatlip decided that he would pursue a solo career. Plain Rap was released in 2000 on Delicious Vinyl and was the last album the quartet would complete together. It was not long after Fatlip’s departure that Slimkid followed suit. This left the remaining members of the group, Booty Brown and Imani, to take stock of their emotional, musical and financial situations.

In a previous interview with True Magazine, Imani said, “You can have four perspectives and four different reality checks. With solo acts it’s so much easier to get caught up in so much shit. We have each other’s reality check.”

As always, Imani and Booty Brown clung to and focused on the Pharcyde recipe that had repeatedly delivered success, this time under a new record label, Chapter One. The winning formula was to retreat into the studio for a few years, lose themselves in the music, push boundaries, and hustle like they’d never seen a record deal.

The Pharcyde is continuously performing and traveling the globe on tour, giving their fans the same beats to move their heads to, and mental nutrition that has fed their success.

The end result of all this hard work is a band that still influences the hip hop sounds crowding our radio waves today. The new ride for The Pharcyde revs up with their recently released Humboldt Beginnings, once again establishing the duo as key players in the genre. The album takes fans down memory lane with the same vibe and fertile lyrics from the Pharcyde’s past classics. It pays homage to the group’s favorite plant, and even provides a recipe for “special brownies” on the inside sleeve of the CD!

Imani and Brown display their abilities to carry on the Pharcyde name in its original fashion, seducing their audience with the same boyish charm that founded them at the beginning, now combined with the knowledge that has been bestowed upon them as men who have taken on the rap game. Humboldt Beginnings has repeatedly been described as an album before its time. Its layered beats and production style leave all fans hopeful of what lies ahead for the group.

"We’re building on the sound we’ve created," Imani vows. "Our music is innovative and creative!"

Lyrics

Knew U

Written By: The Pharcyde


You could've told me

[Chorus: repeat 4X]
and I thought that I knew you
better than that, better than that
better than that, better than that

[Verse 1: Booty Brown]
So, So, So
from the beginning it was known
had a brother here, but now he's gone (real gone)
he's not six deep, find him on 6th Street
his mind now mince meat, sleeping on concrete
can tell when she went to sleep, she's still weep
about a big bro, overdid it one day
decide to hit her, no booz, no drugs, no playaz
no thugs, no luv no hugs
when she caught me, found the stash in the coffee?
call me from the payphone speaking real softly
that I've broken the seal of trust
on her way to her momma's house
on the bus, it was over for us, don't make a fuss
she said, as the tears shed, explained that she felt
mislead, she couldn't take the pain if I was jailed
or found dead, or if I'd went upside her head
I tried to convince her, only happens to a few
How could I question, after all she'd been through
she said she felt bad, but there was nothin I could do
I thought I knew, I thought I knew

[Chorus] - 2X

[Verse 2: Imani]
Yeah, me & my man's go back way before the music
I'd never thought that he would lose it and do that
always used to be in my house, but now I can't wait to
smack the taste out of his mouth
they say that money is the root of all evil, but not having money
is the root of all evil, chilling, talking, walking with my people
talking the walk about how shit goin' be, we gonna rock under
any circumstances, when I'm on the microphone
you know we advancin', with or without you, can't fuck with you
we try to forget you, cause we're trying to get richer

[Chorus]

Passing me By

Written By: The Pharcyde

Now in my younger days I used to sport a shag
When I went to school I carried lunch in a bag
With an apple for my teacher cause I knew Id get a kiss
Always got mad when the class was dismissed
But when it was in session, I always had a question
I would raise my hand to make her stagger to my desk and
Help me with my problem, it was never much
Just a trick, to smell her scent and try to sneak a touch
Oh, how I wish I could hold her hand and give her a hug
She was married to the man, he was a thug,
His name was lee, he drove a z,
Hed pick her up from school promptly at three oclock
I was on her jock, yes indeedy I wrote graffiti on the bus
First Id write her name then carve a plus,
With my name last, on the looking glass,
I seen her yesterday but still I had to let her pass

She keeps on passin me by...

When I dream of fairytales I think of me and shelly
See shes my type of hype and I cant stand when brothers tell me
That I should quit chasin and look for something better
But the smile that she shows makes me a go-getter
I havent gone as far as asking if I could get with her
I just play it by ear and hope she gets the picture
Im shootin for her heart, got my finger on the trigger
She could be my broad, and I could be her (nigga)
But, all I can do is stare...
Back as kids we used to kiss when we played truth or dare
Now shes more sophisticated, highly edu-ma-cated
Not at all over-rated, I think I need a prayer
To get in her boots and it looks rather dry
I guess a twinkle in her eye is just a twinkle in her eye
Although shes crazy steppin, Ill try to stop her stride
Cause I wont have no more of this passin me by

And I must voice my opinion of not even pretending she didnt have me
Strung like a chicken, chase my tail like a doggie
She was kind of like a star, thinking I was like a fan
Dude, she looked good, down side: she had a man
He was a rooty-toot, a nincompoop
She told me soon your little birdies gonna fly the coop
She was a flake like corn, and I was born not to understand
By lettin her pass I had proved to be a better man

She keeps on passin me by...

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 wasnt 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!

She keeps on passin me by...

Runnin

Written By: The Pharcyde

Can't keep runnin' away.....

Verse One: Fat Lip

I must admit on some occasions I went out like a punk
and a chump or a sucka or something to that effect
Respect I usedto never get when all I got was upset
when niggas use to be like 'What's up fool!' and tried
to sweat a nigga like the Lip for no reason at all I can
recall crip niggas throwin' c's in my face down the hall
I'm kickin' it in the back of the school eatin' chicken at
three, wonderin' why is everybody always pickin' on me
I tried to talk and tell them chill I did nothing to deserve
this But when it didn't work I wasn't scared just real
nervous and unprepared to deal with scrappin' no doubt
cuz my pappy never told me how to knock a nigga out
But now in 95 I must survive as a man on my own Fuck
around with Fatlip yes ya get blown I'm not tryin to show
no macho is shown but when it's on, if it's on, then it's on!

Verse Two: Slim Kid Tre

There comes a time in every mans life when he's gotta
handle up on his own Can't depend on friends to
help you in a sqeeze, please they got problems of their
own Down for the count on seven chickens shits don't
get to heaven til they faced these fears in these fear
zones Used to get jacked back in high school I played
it cool just so some real shit won't get full blown Being
where I'm from they let the smoke come quicker than an
evil red-neck could lynch a helpless colored figure And
as a victim I invented low-key til the keyhole itself got
lower than me So I stood up and let my free form form
free. Said I'm gonna get some before they knockin' out me.
I don't sweat it I let the bullshit blow in the breeze
in other words just freeze

Verse Three: Knumbskull #1

It's 1995 now that I'm older stress weighs on my shoulders
heavy as boulders but I told ya
till the day that I die I still will be a soldier and that's all I told
ya and that's all I showed ya
and all this calamity is rippin' my sanity
Can it be I'm a celebrity
whose on the brink of insanity
Now don't be wishin's of switchin' any positions with me
cuz when you in my position, it ain't never easy
to do any type of maintaining cuz all this gaming and famin' from
entertainin' is hella straining to the brain and...
But I can't keep runnin I just gotta keep keen and cunnin'...

Discography

Bizzarre Ride II The Pharcyde
LabcabinCalifornia
Plain Rap
Testing The Waters
Humboldt beginnings

Set List

Some Old, Some New, Always Fresh