In the early 90’s, when gangsta’ rap consumed the airwaves, and the majority of West Coast rappers strapped on their Locs, Chuck Taylor’s & Ben Davis’, The Pharcyde decidedly maintained a willfully weird vision. Opting to stay true to themselves with their left field but still South-Central sensibility, rap had seen few groups so self-deprecating and so smart, four visionary rappers adroitly able to split the difference between helium-voiced and hard-core.
Listening to “Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde” decades after its release, its sense of timeliness is unmistakable. Every song on the album inverts a hoary hip-hop cliché. With classics like “Oh Shit,” “Otha Fish”, “Ya’ Mama,” and hit single, “Passing Me By,” it is not surprising that it shipped over a million units, garnered comparisons to De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest, and everyone from Pitchfork Media to The Source has hailed it as one of the greatest albums ever made.