Listening to the Phacyde's debut LP in 2006, in light of the two solo careers it's spawned and the cocaine problems that caused them, should probably make for a bittersweet afternoon.
But this is Bizarre Ride. No depression is permitted. One wishes they could call this album a trailblazer: but that would imply that somewhere, there is some hip-hop artist following along in the footsteps of this merry band of lunatics, screaming at each other over jazzy beats about hermaphrodites and jerking off, insulting each others mother (and not killing each other over it), and that just ain't so. Bizarre Ride is the closest hip-hop has ever come to Frank Zappa, or the Fugs, or any other rock musician who makes music becauase they are goofy bastards who can't explain themselves without album art: beyond that, or hell, even before, The Pharcyde showed up in 1992, started picking fights with a (for-real!) crackhead producer and recorded a goofball sexified young men romp and then watched as every one of their contemporaries went with Raiders caps and surly grimaces. When the battle cry is "Keep it real" the Pharcyde reminded everybody that most of us, people in the projects included, don't really want to 'bust caps.' Most of the time, everybody just wants to have a good day: the Pharcyde just happen to enjoy their good days on Freddie Hubbard roller coasters while drinking Mai Tais and trying to find a tee-shirt with Mao Tse Tsung eating out a rooster on it. It may not be everybodies cup of tea, but if this is the soundtrack that lifestyle produces--then maybe a trip to Coney Island wearing a gymnastics outfit is in order.
-Tucker Stone, 2006