Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The Pharcyde - Passin Me By
Kanye West's favorite album of all time is The Pharcyde's 1991 debut album Bizarre Ride II. Its considered a seminal classic of jazz and groove influenced hiphop, at a time when gangster rap was dominant. The story behind the making of the album is that the producer and one of the founding members of the group, J-Swift, wrote 15 of the 16 tracks, using samples, drum machines, and his own bass and keyboard playing, only to get into a disagreement with the other group members and eventually get kicked out.
He received no credit or compensation for his work on the album. Although other opportunities arose following the success of Bizarre Ride II, such as a short lived deal with Tommy Boy, by the late 1990s J-Swift had lost his studio, and was homeless in L.A., begging change to buy crack. His story is the basis of the 2007 documentary "1 More Hit" which chronicles his descent from visionary hip hop producer to total destitution. Its a cautionary tale - no matter how talented or successful you are, if you let people take advantage of you - they will. And if you dont check your head - nobody else will.