Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
People who love the idea of hip-hop and believe it can be as complex and broadly emotional as any music, but who are weary of the rigidity with which rappers define themselves, salivate over groups like the Pharcyde. The f... more »
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People who love the idea of hip-hop and believe it can be as complex and broadly emotional as any music, but who are weary of the rigidity with which rappers define themselves, salivate over groups like the Pharcyde. The foursome comes from the gangsta rap mecca of South Central L.A. but their musical vision veers closer to the worldwide vibe of east coasters De La Soul than any Gat-toting sellout. Their 1992 debut Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde unveiled a group with flair and personality--both smart and whimsical--and an honesty rarely heard in rhyme. During the three years that followed its release, group members Imani, Tre, Romye, and Fatlip moved from their Pharcyde Manor in South Central to a suburban L.A. home/studio, Lab Cabin. The long-awaited sophomore effort, Labcabincalifornia, reflected the group's new environment with a sound more polished, more mature, but a lot less uproarious than before. The group apparently labored meticulously in Lab Cabin, where they cleaned and tightened the Pharcyde sound. But, it seems their upscaled style sanitized the energy and enthusiasm so abundant on Bizarre Ride. Tracks like "Runnin'" and "She Said" roll with more subdued and disciplined west coast jazz/soul samples and feature technically strong but often aimless and uninteresting rapping. Even a promising cut titled "Splattitorium" turns out to be a quiet stoned mumble over mellow piano tinkles. Perhaps with Labcabin, the Pharcyde guys grew too much. Hopefully next time around they'll remember how to be kids again. --Roni Sarig
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Recognize a classic when you see one!
Brian | SF Bay Area, CA | 04/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm tired. I am tired of having to wait years between decent hip cop cds that I can listen to and absorb and get something new from everytime I listen to it. I long for the mid 90's, when, in my opinion, hip hop was at its prime. And folks, this CD embodied that spirit of innovation and fun that made me fall in love with hip hop.I remember when the source robbed this CD, giving it only 3 1/2 mics(?). I was mad as hell, but after they gave Master P and Westside Connect praises, I realized how wack and political the source had become. I think that when this cd came out, there was a battle within the industry between being all about the cash and all about the art. We know who won that battle. It set the stage for characters like Jay-Z and Mase to come in and cash in with unoriginal, recycled production a la puff.Recognize that this is one of the best hip hop contributions ever. Fatlip delivered some of the most memorable verses put on wax. And the production by Jay Dee was fresh and original, as opposed to his work with the Ummah that has sadly become predictable (with his patented beat manipulations that have grown tiresome - check out love movement by tribe, although his work on Common's last joint is alot better). The attitude was fun and innovative. This here joint represents what we lost with the evolution of the rap industry. If you don't have it, you are not hip hop, money. Go get it."
You can't not fail to not dislike this album!!!
Buzz Advert | Milwaukee | 01/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Labcabincalifornia is actually several notches above the Pharcyde's debut, which had only one song that is superior to anything on Labcabin ("caught 'em in the a** on the downstroke!"). This effort is much more the creative and rich, engaging listen. On Labcabin the Pharcyde show a wonderful blend of soul, play (some, of course, tasteless), rap, and great beats. This is one of the few albums I know of that makes a suitable heir to 70s soul because, unlike a milktoast act such as Maxwell or ultra-sheen cr*p pop like Missy Elliot, the Pharcyde update soul and have some grit, just as Stevie, Marvin, Curtis, etc. did in the early 70s. In my book this is also one of the top 10 hip hop albums of the decade. Miss it at your peril!"