The Pharcyde comes to town: win tickets

21:02, Aug 13 2012

The Pharcyde was, for a while, my favourite hip-hop group. I was on board with Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde and Labcabincalifornia, the band's first two albums. A mate had hooked me up with them - nowadays we'd flick an email, share a link. Back then he recorded them to cassette tape and sent them to me - he'd picked them up in America when on holiday. He posted the dubbed copies to me. I listened to them in my car. Never thinking to get my own CD copies - but round and round these tapes went (as was the way). And those songs: Passin' Me By, Runnin', Drop, Otha Fish, Devil Music. Great songs.

I forgot about The Pharcyde for a while but at the time what I loved was the beats, the ideas - inventive rhyming with a cool, easy flow. And it sounded nice - it was fun. I loved Public Enemy but The Pharcyde was a step toward The Beastie Boys, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest - different again, but a step more toward that - in terms of the music I was connecting with at the time.

And then I saw the video for Drop - the famous Spike Jonze-directed clip. In fact it was watching this collection of Spike Jonze music videos and assorted bits and pieces that reminded me of The Pharcyde. I'd had a few years off them - simply because I'd moved from a tape player to a CD player in the car. That was really the only reason.

I picked up a copy of Cydeways: The Best of The Pharcyde - basically it cherry-picks from those first two crucial albums. And I was in business again. A Pharcyde fan with music at his fingertips (by this stage it was a case of the CD being copied to iTunes for iPod use, rather than the archaic dubbing to cassette).

I rediscovered The Pharcyde and found they'd been using J Dilla before he was known as J Dilla. That was just one of the treats in rediscovering this band and its music.

And then, well, I kinda forgot about The Pharcyde for a while again - always dropping by the Drop clip on YouTube and occasionally playing the Fatlip album, The Loneliest Punk.

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Fatlip is no longer with the group, but as you'll see from this interview, founding members Bootie Brown and Imani are.

I don't know if it will be a must-see/must-experience gig - but I'm hoping it will be. It's their first time to New Zealand - it's a 2oth anniversary tour, celebrating that dynamic debut - and of course there'll be material from the band's other albums, solo and side-projects too, no doubt.

Live hip-hop doesn't always work for me - and I have fingers crossed that it doesn't go this way - but I'm genuinely interested/excited in seeing The Pharcyde push a few great tunes out from the stage.

And I have a double pass to Friday's Wellington gig to offer one lucky reader - here's the full list of tour dates.

So, if you'd like to win a double-pass to The Pharcyde in Wellington this Friday night at The San Francisco Bath House just write a comment below telling me why you think you should win. I'll pick the one I think is most deserving.

Meanwhile, anyone else excited about this gig? Any fans of The Pharcyde? Were you always a fan - or have you just got on board with their music recently? Maybe you were a fan but you think that it's just not The Pharcyde without Fatlip (I'm prepared to give them a chance). What are your favourite songs? What are you hoping to hear at the gig?

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