The Pharcyde make return to the stage

By Landon Antonetti

Los Angeles has produced some of the greatest hip-hop crews since the conception of the genre in the late 70’s. Pivotal groups like N.W.A., Jurassic 5, the Living Legends and Digital Underground have been able to revolutionize hip hop with their unique sounds and styles, and at the same time remain relevant throughout the years. Another such group that gets little recognition for its contribution to hip hop is The Pharcyde.

The Pharcyde, which consists of Fatlip, Bootie Brown, Imani and Tre Hardson, has released plenty of sleeper hits, but are best known for its debut album “Bizarre Ride II.” Unfortunately, as the focus of hip hop began to shift away from the west in the late 90’s, the group disbanded for unknown reasons.

Many rumors began to swirl around about the groups most decorated member, Fatlip. One such rumor was that Fatlip’s addiction to cocaine caused the group to split up in 1995 while on tour promoting their latest album, “Labcabincalifornia”. Since then, members of The Pharcyde have been working on their respective solo carriers.

Fatlip released a successful solo album and even made a cameo on MTV’s “Jackass” while Tre, Bootie Brown and Imani all held it down with cameos on other successful projects.

Fast forward to 2008. As this summer arrives in full swing, music festivals begin to kick off such as Bonnaroo, Scribble Jam and of course Louisville’s own Forecastle Music Festival. Despite these big name festivals, it was the Rock The Bells festival that was able to bring all of the original members of The Pharcyde back together to rock crowds across America.

Both Fatlip and Tre Hardson have been working together on various projects since last year, but it was early this year that all four members were able to put their differences behind them and return to the stage and perform for the countless Pharcyde fans who roam this earth.

Their first concert will be in Chicago on July 19 at the Rock the Bells festival. Others performing are A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Nas, Mos Def and the god MC himself, Rakim. Visit the Rock the Bells Web site ( for a list of more performers and tour dates, and don’t forget to support real hip hop!