Album Review: Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde

Not many knock it out of the park in the first release but, arguably, The Pharcyde hit it out of the stadium with Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. That ball is still flyin' somewhere out over the Pacific circling back towards L.A.! It wasn’t just a mic drop. No, it was like riding up to the doorstep of hip-hop with a dump truck, tiltin’ it wayyyyyyyy back and letting hundreds of mics spill out onto the lawn. You want a statement, you got it! The Pharcyde had arrived.

Released in November of 1992, the album has gone on to become one of the seminal records of hip-hops Golden Age but it took a bit of time to get there. Despite initial critical acclaim, it only peaked at No. 75 on Billboard’s 200. Then came the second single aptly titled “Passin’ Me By”. The exact opposite happened. Word picked up like a hip-hop hurricane and within a few years the album hit gold.

“When many MCs and rappers were striving to 'keep it real', The Pharcyde instead went out of their way to 'keep it original,” said Robert Dimery in his 2005 book 1010 Albums you Must Hear Before you Die. “While this may have cost them audiences at the time, the album is now a true classic, both of its time and of hip hop. It remains an influence on the scene even today.”

Dimery may be referencing how, back in the early 90's, the genre (especially coming out of the West Coast) was known more for gangsta rap. Pharcyde came in with something jazzier, playful, and featuring some light-hearted humor. In a word it was refreshing. There’s a reason why NME called it a “cartoon-strip of blunt-smoking antics, sexual innuendo and unashamed political incorrectness, crammed with infectious beats.”

25 years later, the album still holds up. It's the very definition of what a crossover recording looks like. In fact, it’s practically the foundation to what so many others have built upon. To mark the milestone Craft Recordings has released a deluxe collection that is as much an experience as it is an amazing re-release.

Teaming up with WhoSampled, Craft dives into the story behind the album in a way that showcases the iconic group and the lasting impact of the release. This includes some new liner notes by music journalist Jeff Weiss (L.A. Weekly), archival photos and press material. Making things more diverse, listeners can explore the samples that made up the hit “Passin’ Me By” via infographics, various interactive features and a specially created Spotify playlist for added funk.

The audio has been remasted by Dave Cooley and includes a bunch of non-album tracks, remixes are rarities. But what you want to bite into here are the classic cuts that remain essential to any serious hip-hop head. The Deluxe 25th Anniversary features the original album in full plus three 12’ singles so there's a lot of meat here.

Better news for fans, The Pharcyde are touring in support of the release so you can hear what inspired the new West Coast scene live.


LP 1
A1. 4 Better Or 4 Worse (Interlude)
A2. Oh Shit
A3. It’s Jigaboo Time (Skit)
A4. 4 Better Or 4 Worse
B1. I’m That Type Of Nigga
B2. If I Were President (Skit)
B3. Soul Flower (Remix)
B4. On The DL

LP 2
A1. Pack The Pipe (Interlude)
A2. Officer
A3. Ya Mama
A4. Passin’ Me By
B1. Otha Fish
B2. Quinton’s On The Way (Skit)
B3. Pack The Pipe
B4. Return Of The B-Boy

“YA MAMA” 12”
A1. Ya Mama (Murphy Mix)
A2. Ya Mama (Cosby Mix)
B1. I’m That Type Of Nigga
B2. Soul Flower (Remix)

A1. Passin’ Me By (Video Remix)
A2. Passin’ Me By (Video Instrumental)
A3. Passin’ Me By (Acpella)
B1. Pork
B2. Pork (Cosby Edit)
B3. Pork (Instrumental)

A1. Video Edit
A2. L.A. Jay Remix
A3. Video Edit Inst.
B1. The Angel Remix
B2. Passin’ Me By (Fly As Pie Mix)