I’m huge fan of late 80’s/early 90’s hip hop: De la Soul, The Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets etc: basically I like big beats, funny rhymes and off kilter samples. Naturally The Pharcyde’s debut Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde falls into this category. The funny thing is that I don’t know too much about the band and this is where Barker’s book is handy.Barker starts by describing the background of the group’s members then the state of hip hop from the 80’s til the mid 90’s, the group’s formation and detailed descriptions of the recording of the debut and its influence on the older and younger generation of hip hop artists.
The last chapter is a bit of a downer as the group split acrimoniously and all members have had disappointing solo careers and still cannot get along, or in the case of their unofficial fifth member and producer, J-Swift, homeless in Spain. It’s a pity that an influential group had such an ending but at least their legacy lives on.