The Pharcyde to me represent a whole strand of hip hop away from the gangsta rap so common in the 90s and today.
A West Coast group, they use innovative beats and slick rhymes in a way that still sounds fresh today, and even their lesser known songs tend to be fun to listen to in a way that a lot of gangsta rap could never be.
Although the group are from the same time and place as N.W.A, (South Central LA, early 90s), they are worlds apart from that sound.
The sort of hip hop made by the Pharcyde is more about chilling. It appreciates clever production and clever wordplay, and tends not to be angry about things.
The lyrics are provided here by Bootie Brown, Slimkid3, and Imani, in that order. Slimkid3 in my opinion has the best verse, but that isn’t to say the other two were slacking. It’s all good stuff!
The production was by J Dilla, which helps to explain why it’s such a sick song…
He used a Beastie Boys vocal sample in the chorus (Mmm…Drop), from the 1986 song “The New Style”, and the riff in the verses is actually a twisted up sample of a harp, from Dorothy Ashby’s 1962 song “Django”.
The song was the first single off Labcabincalifornia, released in 1995, which was the group’s second album.