The Pharcyde comes to town: win tickets

Last updated 09:02 14/08/2012

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.The Pharcyde in Wellington

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.

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.Drop(ped)

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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28 comments
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Cats Van Taliban   #1   09:34 am Aug 14 2012

Dear Simon - I am a struggling middle class white rapper. It is rather hard for people like me to be exposed to the artists who inspire and inform me about the hardship of a life on the streets i will never know(Although i did go to Newtown once which gave me a fair ammount of street cred). I have been rapping and freesteezing for over a year now and i think i am getting pretty good...I'm at least as good at rapping as Scribe used to be, before he got locked in Jason Fa'foi's basement with the glass BBQ. Here, check out this line from my single 'I'm so deep' it goes like this..."I'm a metaphysical, lyrical, spiritual individual". As you know, middle class white hipster rappers like me need to be seen at gigs like this. I spend all my time hanging on Cuba Street trying to be seen. It does wonders for my confidence. And anyway...I was born in the early 90s so automatically i have a connection to the music these guys make. I was around when they were doing it...and now im doing it...so there. When i grow up i want to be Tommy Ill and sing about drinking. Please give me these tickets....i dont think i need to justify myself much more to be honest...as a white middle class rapper i feel i am somewhat entitled to them.

Mary   #2   09:37 am Aug 14 2012

I would love to win tickets to The Pharcyde! Haven't heard much before but really digging the sound. Managed to score a cute guy at SFBH with @peace- it'd be pretty choice to go see another sweet hiphop gig there with him six months later!

Leo Murray   #3   09:41 am Aug 14 2012

I also had the tape in my car! Then it got chewed up and I couldn't save it with the pencil so I too have been out of touch with the Pharcyde. I wouldn't let an opportunity to 'pass me by' to score some tix to reunite not only future Leo with teenage Leo, but get both of these (very different) musical tastes back in touch with the Bizarre Ride!

Crispy   #4   09:45 am Aug 14 2012

As I recall, Fatlip is still with them but Imani and Booty Brown aren't. They got another guy LA Jay and they're working with the producer of the first album, J-Swift.

It's a bit sour between them and Imani. I read he didn't approve of things the other guys were doing like Tre appearing on the Korn album.

Check out Slimkid3 (Tre) on FB - he posts regularly and has recently made an EP with DJ Nu-Mark from J5.

UK Music Fan   #5   09:46 am Aug 14 2012

I am a fan of Pharcyde. I am currently putting together an album of Pharcyde/Lightning Seeds mashups, called: "Bizzarre Seeds to the Lightning-Cyde." I emailed J-Dilla 6 weeks ago to get him on board but he hasn't responded yet, he must get a lot of emails and not got round to rading mine yet because he is so busy. I want to get Spike Jonze to direct the videos. I reckon this project will explode.

The "Passin' Me By/Life of Riley" mashup is outstanding. Since the project is a clash between Hip Hop and Brit Pop I am calling the new genre I have invented Brit-Hop, or Hip Pop. Or maybe Brap. Stay tuned. This is the future.

Flava   #6   10:47 am Aug 14 2012

Life will def pass you by if you wait for a reply from J-Dilla! I'm trying to get tix to CHCH show...

Broke and Lazy   #7   11:05 am Aug 14 2012

The name says it all. Not witty enough to win your vote with humor/too lazy to try. I just wanna hear some beats.

Axel   #8   11:13 am Aug 14 2012

I would really like to win these tickets because I've been told this act is a quintessential hip-hop act that would enrich my understanding of earlier hip-hop. Every time I've encountered a real quality act I've come away better off and better educated about what proper hip-hop should be like. It inspires me to hear genuine quality, and real quality tracks and I can take the experience away to help inform my music-writing. So I am excited about this gig and I hope that this comment can help me get the opportunity to benefit from Pharcyde's styles.

Si   #9   12:38 pm Aug 14 2012

I would like to win the tickets cos I haven't got much on on Friday night.

Skinni   #10   12:39 pm Aug 14 2012

I am so keen to see these guys, i have multiple records singles and lps of the Pharcyde and would love an oppourtunity to get this signed, i have never won anything before, usually pay for every gig i go to but am super broke this week and dont think i can afford the tickets..a shameless cry for a handout but hook it up mr sweetman please?


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