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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 14, 1995 | The Bicycle Music Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Labcabincalifornia is a more mature record than the Pharcyde's debut. That's not necessarily a good thing, as the Pharcyde's playful attitude and comic raps were much of what made them so irresistible. True, age has enlightened them on "Moment in Time" and the single "Runnin'," the former a salute to the past and the latter a description of their flight from South Central's Pharcyde Manor to the Hollywood Hills. But the music is much of the problem here. Though the raps are solid, tempos never vary from the usual midtempo jam. The keyboard-driven melodies are good -- some better than others -- but a little variety is needed. Three of the last four tracks ("The Hustle," "Devil Music," "The E.N.D.") do evoke the spirit of the debut, but by that time it's too late -- the sophomore jinx has hit. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1995 | The Bicycle Music Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Labcabincalifornia is a more mature record than the Pharcyde's debut. That's not necessarily a good thing, as the Pharcyde's playful attitude and comic raps were much of what made them so irresistible. True, age has enlightened them on "Moment in Time" and the single "Runnin'," the former a salute to the past and the latter a description of their flight from South Central's Pharcyde Manor to the Hollywood Hills. But the music is much of the problem here. Though the raps are solid, tempos never vary from the usual midtempo jam. The keyboard-driven melodies are good -- some better than others -- but a little variety is needed. Three of the last four tracks ("The Hustle," "Devil Music," "The E.N.D.") do evoke the spirit of the debut, but by that time it's too late -- the sophomore jinx has hit. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1992 | The Bicycle Music Company

The cover shot of a Fat Albert-ized Pharcyde roller coastering their way into a funhouse makes perfect sense, as 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-mike street-corner atmosphere that highlights the incredible rapping skills of each member. With multiple voices freestyling over hilarious story-songs like "Oh Shit!," "Soul Flower," the dozens contest "Ya Mama," and even a half-serious driving-while-black critique named "Officer," Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde proved Daisy Age philosophy akin to De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest wasn't purely an East Coast phenomenon. Skits and interludes with live backing (usually just drums and piano) only enhance the freeform nature of the proceedings, and the group even succeeds when not reliant on humor, as proved by the excellent heartbreak tale "Passin' Me By." The production, by J-Sw!ft and the group, is easily some of the tightest and most inventive of any hip-hop record of the era. Though Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde could have used a few more musical hooks to draw in listeners before they begin to appreciate the amazing rapping and gifted productions, the lack of compromise reveals far greater rewards down the line. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 10, 2017 | Craft Recordings

Booklet
The cover shot of a Fat Albert-ized Pharcyde roller coastering their way into a funhouse makes perfect sense, as 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-mike street-corner atmosphere that highlights the incredible rapping skills of each member. With multiple voices freestyling over hilarious story-songs like "Oh Shit!," "Soul Flower," the dozens contest "Ya Mama," and even a half-serious driving-while-black critique named "Officer," Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde proved Daisy Age philosophy akin to De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest wasn't purely an East Coast phenomenon. Skits and interludes with live backing (usually just drums and piano) only enhance the freeform nature of the proceedings, and the group even succeeds when not reliant on humor, as proved by the excellent heartbreak tale "Passin' Me By." The production, by J-Sw!ft and the group, is easily some of the tightest and most inventive of any hip-hop record of the era. Though Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde could have used a few more musical hooks to draw in listeners before they begin to appreciate the amazing rapping and gifted productions, the lack of compromise reveals far greater rewards down the line. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2001 | Concord Records, Inc.

If rap music has taught people anything, it's that even the annoying shimmer of a Mercedes Benz and a pool of high-price hookers can't overshadow true talent. Surprisingly enough, it became clear that the Pharcyde is one of hip-hop's few modern ensembles that stares down modern-day rap and challenges it to a fight. Crafty and cool, Cydeways isn't necessarily genius. Its off-beat and stylistic rhythms and rhymes are an acquired taste at best. But the album still carries innovation that hasn't been touched in years: rap music thriving on a genuine mix of fact, fiction, humor, and memory. "Runnin," "Ya Mama," and "Oh Shit" are creative excerpts from a diary that these boys have carefully crafted. It becomes a kind of coming-of-age story, from making jokes about each other's mother to getting their ass kicked in school. Its undeniable soul is what makes the Pharcyde an underappreciated addition to hip-hop's overplayed and overrated existence in the coming century. So if you still believe in hip-hop, but have become intimidated by its current barrage of smut, simplicity and stupidity, fear not friends -- the Pharcyde's got your back. © Darren Ratner /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2009 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 13, 2004 | Chapter 1 Entertainment

Whittled down to only two original members, Imani Wilcox and Bootie Brown (aka Romye Robinson), and not the two members that many fans would choose to carry the flame, the Pharcyde embraced the immensely soothing aspects of weed for fourth album Humboldt Beginnings. Apparently the duo forgot that narcotics don't exactly focus an artist's efforts. This 22-track record, leavened with the contributions of new members Spaceboyboogie X and "Greg" Smooche, not only councils the smoking of marijuana, but practically demands partaking of it in order to enjoy most of its tracks. Beginning with a bongo-led jam called "Homegrown," it benefits from a raft of workmanlike productions, but in the Pharcyde's attempt to crawl back into the hip-hop limelight, they scatter their efforts working in so many different styles that there's virtually nothing left to their character. The frequent weed songs are interspersed with club thumpers ("The Uh-Huh"), smooth '80s-influenced lovers tracks ("Knew U," "Right B4"), and one of the most hilariously overblown gangsta tracks (perhaps humorous?) ever performed ("Bongloads II"). Even De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest had their own late-career debacles (Stakes Is High, Beats, Rhymes and Life), but those at least featured original lineups. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2008 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2009 | The Bicycle Music Company

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released May 25, 2018 | CH1 Media