Rolling Stone (12/23/93, p.156) - "...Goofball motormouths, Pharcyde hail from L.A., but they're nobody's gangstas....they ride merrily roughshod over East and West dogma, creating their own fusion of punchy rhythm and loopy rhyme..."
Spin (1/93, p.65) - Recommended - "...the Pharcyde are refreshingly not gangsta or pop, and they've got more skills than Young MC or Tone-Loc ever dreamed about....the Pharcyde boasts an encyclodpedic rhyme-style and a trunk full of beats....one of the most musically vivid hip hop records of the year..."
Entertainment Weekly (12/4/92, p.65) - "...a freewheeling hip-hop cabaret, where a multitude of voices spin absurd images and sing amusingly off-key..." - Rating: B
Q (10/93, p.107) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...The Pharcyde blend daffy De La Soul-ish invention with the teen-friendly humor of the Fresh Prince....the raps carry the most appeal..."
The Source (2/93, p.57) - 3.5 Stars - Very Good - "...The Pharcyde combine the sing-songy vocal tones of those down-to-earthlings who reminisced about Tennessee with an intense enthusiasm and energy akin to the Leaders Of The New School....packed with soulful pianos and organs....enjoy the bizarre ride..."
Melody Maker (8/14/93, p.31) - "...Tall tales, obscene stories, satirical reveries and stoned speculation....The Pharcyde work in terms of controlled frenzy....Brilliant...."
NME (Magazine) (9/11/93, p.39) - 7 - Very Good - "...The Pharcyde use jazz samples and phat beats to the ultimate effect: to create their own sonic Utopia..."
NME (Magazine) (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...."
The Pharcyde: Slim Kid 3, Imani Wilcox, Booty Brown, Fat Lip.
Additional personnel: Cedra Walton, Leslie Cooney (vocals); Buckwheat (rap vocals); J-Swift (piano, bass, Fender Rhodes electric piano, scratches, background vocals); JMD (drums); Rahsaan, Greg Padilla, Brandon Padilla (background vocals).
Producers include: L.A. Jay, Slim Kid 3.
The Pharcyde: Tre "Slim Kid 3" Hardson, Imani Wilcox, Romye "Booty Brown" Robinson, Derrick "Fat Lip" Steward.
Personnel: The Pharcyde (background vocals); Leslie Cooney, Cedra Walton (vocals); J-Sw!Ft (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, scratches, background vocals); JMD (drums); Fatlip (scratches); Brandon Padilla (background vocals).
Recording information: Hollywood Sound Recorders.
When the Pharcyde burst onto the scene in the summer of '92 with its brilliantly disconnected grab bag BIZARRE RIDE II THE PHARCYDE, it seemed at first an innocuously enjoyable, goofy if somewhat lightweight disc. However, it would swiftly become clear that there were deeper waters stirring within the Pharcyde's rhymes and rhythms, and that the group's style was unlike that of those who came before.
The main distinction came in the Pharcyde's subject matters, which run the gamut from the usual sexual conquests all the way to rejection and masturbation. The group's lyrics are often reflective and vulnerable, bordering on self-deprecating at times. While many rappers who came before poked fun at themselves as a gimmick, the Pharcyde relates its rebuffs with confident candor as on its hit single "Passin' Me By," where one by one each member of the foursome recounts a story of a woman he didn't get. Furthermore, though the samples used on the album are pretty much from the usual well (jazz and James Brown), there's something skewed about their interpretations. One particularly revealing track is a throwaway half-skit/half-song "Quinton's on His Way," a juke-joint improv that's sincere and straight out of a Roaring '20s backroom.
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