A true underground classic, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde is an album beloved by many. In honour of the 20th anniversary, Delicious Vinyl question various respected figures in the music industry and beyond about their experiences and feelings towards the Pharcyde…
Next up we have Chris Read from the online music database Who Sampled speaking out about Bizarre Ride. The London DJ and BBE artist shares his personal Pharcyde memories, and as the content and community manager of Who Sampled, breaks down the intricacies of the albums DNA:
‘When I first heard –The Pharcyde– I was in…’?
…a friend’s car I think. I would have been about 15/16 years old. I was a skateboarder as a kid, so we were always swapping cassettes and listening to them in our friends’ cars on the way to places to skate.
Favourite Pharcyde song and why?
I think it must be the “Passin’ Me By (Fly As Pie remix by L.A. Jay)” with the Roy Ayers sample. I had a cassette single which got listened to death. I remember pulling it out of a box of old tapes and listening to it on my portable stereo, on the first day in my college room the day I moved out of home.
Favourite sample used in Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde?
I think it has to be the combination of samples and references in ‘Officer’. The use of the Ramsey Lewis hook and the lyrical references to Public Enemy’s ‘Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos’ are just a great combination that combines comedy with deft sample mining.
Is there a sample in Bizarre Ride that you found surprising at all?
The Jimi Hendrix sample in the original version of “Passin’ Me By” was a bit of a surprise for me. You’d expect a sample like that to give the track a rocky feel but the part they used and the way they used it just adds a great texture to a mix of other sample sources.
Best song that has sampled The Pharcyde?
There are two tracks that I particularly like that have sampled or referenced the Pharcyde. The first is Kero One’s ‘The Cycle Repeats’ which uses a small vocal sample from ‘Passin’ Me By’ scratched on the hook. It’s not particularly notable as a result of the way the sample is used, but it’s classic hip-hop methodology in quite a modern setting. My second choice is ‘Clin D’Oeil’ by Jazz Liberatorz, a fantastic jazz / soul band and production outfit from France. In this case the reference is not a sample but a subtle interpolation of the hook from Pharcyde’s “Bull****” played on Rhodes Piano. A great track.
What do you feel makes a good use of sampling?
In terms of Pharcyde tracks? I would say Dilla’s use of Suadade Vem Correndo on “Runnin’”. It’s not that the sample was flipped in a particularly adventurous way, but the fact that people were rarely sampling that style of music at the time and the way he just grabbed that hook from somewhere deep in the track, you know he must have listened through a lot of music to arrive at that choice … and it still rocks a club more than 15 years later.
Favourite ‘Ya Mama’ joke?
I can barely hear that phrase without singing to myself about glass eyes and fish. “Ya Mama’s got a glass eye with a fish in it.” Maybe not the funniest but it’s a hook that’s stood the test of time.
Words: Alice Price-Styles.