The Pharcyde

Plain Rap

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In late 2000, the Pharcyde resurfaced for their first major release since 1995. Having lost the lazy-flowed Fat Lip to a solo career, the original trio of Slim Kid Tre, Imani, and Booty Brown were left to carry the torch. The L.A. underground artists put forth a classic album with their debut Bizarre Ride... in 1992 and followed up with the superbly crafted but somewhat maligned LabCabincalifornia in 1995.

While the various pitfalls of the industry claimed the quartet's unity, the core three came back with a bittersweet vengeance, lamenting past failures and frustrations but looking ahead positively as only the Pharcyde can. The album offers 11 one-word-titled tracks, sort of a rap version of Miles Davis' Aura, each track creating a specifically colorful mood. "Trust" testifies to the crew's resilient style, unwavering in theme and quality: "When it seems there's no one trust/You can always count on Pharcyde to bust." "Somethin" and "Misery" feature the subtle stylings of Slim Kid Tre and both Imani and Booty Brown employ strong spoken word-influenced poetics throughout. While the heft of the Pharcyde sound is diminished slightly by their broken circle, this is an emotionally tangible album that combines delicate content with tight production. The Pharcyde attempts to bring a ray of Cali sunshine to dark times.

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