at a glance...
Los Angeles, CA
Tre 'Slimkid' Hardson -- vocals, production
Romye 'Booty Brown' Robinson -- vocals, production
Imani Wilcox -- vocals, production
Derrick 'Fatlip' Stewart -- vocals, production
J-Swift -- production
De La Soul, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Freestyle Fellowship
A defiantly unconventional hip-hop act straight outta South Central, The Pharcyde were formed circa 1990 by Tre 'Slimkid' Hardson, Romye 'Booty Brown' Robinson, Imani Wilcox and Derrick 'Fatlip' Stewart. Eschewing the gangsta posturing synonymous with many of their West Coast contemporaries, The Pharcyde's playful silliness and inherent sense of hilarity afforded them significant crossover potential, and their cheeky and infectiously funky debut Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde was received with critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. A stint on Lollapalooza marked the act out as one of hip hop's premier live draws, with their background as dancers and choreographers evident in the bouncy, block-party atmosphere of their stage show. Eclectic and electric in equal doses, it was nevertheless the group's intrinsically organic sound that signalled them out as visionaries. A traditional jazz dynamic blended effortlessly with the contemporary sonics of hip-hop and the sound of four "kids" having the time of their lives. Labcabincalifornia, a more considered follow-up, was a mature-sounding effort that purposefully refused to emulate the joyful exuberance of their debut. Five years and one departure (Fat Lip) later, the Pharcyde returned with Plain Rap, which came in a novelty brown-paper cover but whose title turned out to be fairly unironic.