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The Pharcyde



The last few years have been rough on the Pharcyde. With their first album in 1992, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, they helped blaze the trail for skills-based hip hop on the West Coast. In typical early '90s fashion, this little-known underground crew rode a wave to mass acceptance and mainstream stardom on the strength of one of hip hop's flyest love songs ever, the bonafide classic "Passin' Me By."

Then things got complicated. By the time of the release of the underrated second album, Labcabincalifornia, in '95, trouble was brewing. There were internal rumblings of dissatisfaction with the final cut of the album. Soon afterward Fat Lip left because of creative differences, personal problems, and desire to pursue a solo career. Then the group's remaining members debated kicking Slim Kid Tré out of the group, though at this point, it looks like he's still down.

In the midst of a seemingly endless transition period, the Pharcyde still managed to record dope material and are now on the upswing. Imani and Bootie Brown turned in "Funny Styles" for the extra-hype Beats and Lyrics compilation of West Coast hip hop. The 'Cyde also reappeared in the underground recently with the independently released EP Testing The Waters, and word on the street is they are in the process of recording an album with Bay Area Hiero counterparts Souls Of Mischief. So expect more dopeness in the near future.