Classics / Canon edition of the DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club

The use of samples on the record is really subtle and inventive. The little snatches of Maiden Voyage and Autumn Serenade and of course Summer in the City - all really well known songs but used so cleverly that they never sound over familiar or self-consciously ‘jazzy’. That Prince baseline/riff on Return of the B- Boy is an inspired bit of crate digging though and it’s ace.

yeah def, some of the samples may be a little obvious (officer) but the execution is solid.

fatlip’s verse on passin me by >>>>>

On board.

(To what extent, remains to be seen. But know that Wza be lurkin’.)

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chemistry on this is great, the call and response type stuff.

some of the humour is dubious

When I was first listening to this album I hadn’t heard any of the songs that had been sampled, aside from maybe the Jimi Hendrix one. And it wasn’t until years later that maybe my Dad was listening to a John Coltrane CD or something that I’d think “Oh shit - that’s from The Pharcyde!”.

Not something that applies to just this album, but definitely a gateway into loads of different music for me.

Listened to this in the car on my way home from the seaside today (had to skip Oh Shit as my son was in the back). Just a timeless album, really. Went with the original 1992 version. I think I’ve said this on here before, but it’s a joy going back to albums like this that I probably bumped on an old Walkman or my crappy tape deck and then listening on a decent set of headphones or on a half decent car stereo. So many details that you’d missed.

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bit of trivia, I’d always wondered why the Soul Flower track was credited as a remix, wasn’t until a few years after hearing it that I’d discover the original, which was The Brand New Heavies feat. The Pharcyde. anyway the original is as much of a jam as the remix

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Ah, interesting. That whole album was great. Love the track with Grand Puba.

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been a minute since I listened to this so I’ve enjoyed bumping it this morning, still one of the most fun albums ever I think. officer to otha fish is a really great four track run. love ‘on the dl’, think it might be a bit underrated amongst the more famous / obvious standouts, maybe. whole album is great though


I’d typically say this, but i decided to reconsider it on this listen through. Labcab is a really great album, but it’s almost become hip hop head cliche to say it’s the better record.

I think Bizarre Ride is pure escapism and entertainment. It does border on novelty rap at times, but it also does exactly what the cover and title suggest – transforms you to a weird and wacky world that seems at once grounded in, but a million miles away from the realities of being a young black duded in South Central LA in the early 90s. Music is a way out for them. Labcab is a more typical rap album, futuristic in its beats but more grounded in its lyrical content and in LA (again, see title, see cover – you’d think it was another band).

Ultimately, I think the two albums compliment each other actually, in the sense that it shows they weren’t one dimensional. It’s hard to pick a favourite because they are pretty different, but I think that for anyone who enjoys Bizarre Ride, Labcab is essential listening.

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For newcomers who like the Pharcyde record and want to dig deeper, we’ve also had a few records from previous rounds in the club that they might find interesting:

Two really great LA jazz rap albums have been posted - Aceyalone’s All Balls Don’t Bounce and Casual’s Fear Itself. Both challenging the Gangsta rap norms with some leftfield jazzy styles.

Meanwhile, I described Odd Squad’s Fadanuf Fa Erybody as “Pharcyde with a Southern funk swing” and would highly recommend it to anyone into this record (although be prepared for a few tracks with some pretty heavy misogyny as discussed in the thread)


Weird - why is Officer missing from this album on Spotify? OG and reissue.

Maybe? Idk doesnt seem like a common opinion in my experience.

agree with all this

KRS-One — Return of the Boom Bap
Picked by @bornin69x


Ohh nice. Just listened to the Take It Personal Podcast KRS-One special so have been revisiting a bit of KRS and BDP. His catalogue is amazing, but for some reason there aren’t many albums that I go back to, apart from this one.

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I’m not sure what constitutes the hip hop ‘canon’ - I would say that this is one of the very greatest hip hop albums ever released but it seems to be a slightly forgotten record, perhaps because it was slightly a record out of time - one the last great albums of the ‘golden age’, recorded by an MC who had been around since pretty much the start and just before the music became the commercial behemoth it was to become. It didn’t sell well at the time and pretty much disappeared from view for a time, but there is a sense that it has been acknowledged since for what it is. There may be better hip hop albums but I wouldn’t want to be put under pressure and asked to name ten of them.

Mostly it’s great because KRS is a seriously great MC, with fabulous control of tempo and rhyme, amazing clarity of delivery, an incredibly wide range of styles and techniques and an ability to write on almost any topic you can think of. Most of all he has an undefinable quality of ‘authority’ that makes you sit up and listen. A lot of the lyrics are old school rap braggadocio, but they are utterly compelling - he sets out the history of hip hop, his part in it and the shortcomings of (almost) everyone else in a way that is hard to argue with. At the same time he is demonstrating his skills in a way that supports his arguments - he mainly is punchy, plosive and sharp but he can be conversational, or sing song, or can dip utterly convincingly into patois and dancehall stylings.

As well as the hip hop history he does righteous rage (Black Cop, Sound of Da Police), sort of romance (Brown Skin Woman), an outrageous, complex song-long metaphor about dreaming he is a blunt (I Can’t Wake Up) and simple party stuff (Mad Crew). And after all of that, at the end of the record he drops one of the most profound, powerful, ‘conscious’ lyrics ever in hip hop on Higher Level. How many rappers have been brave enough even 20 odd years later to place part of the blame for the situation of black Americans on black churches?

Musically it’s great too. The main thrust is of course the powerful, punchy ‘boom bap’ itself. As sampling technology developed hip hop at this time was increasingly using extended, often over-familiar and over-identifiable samples. There’s none of this here - everything is short and to the point and even if you know the sample you probably won’t recognise it. The whole thing bounces along like a party record but has hidden depths. DJ Premier does some of his best work on this record (and that is saying something). His productions are ‘jazzy’ but always tough and on point. KRS’s own productions are sparser and harder edged, eventually (on Uh Oh) pretty much nothing but the beat itself.

It’s a great record. Hope it has some other fans on here.


I’m actually most familiar with the self titled as that’s the one I first got on CD as a kid. For that reason alone I’d say it’s probably my favourite, and the one I go back to most. Must be a few years since I’ve listened to Return of the Boom Bap so I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself. Obviously KRS was pretty untouchable in the late 80s/early 90s

Good stuff @bornin69x

I think one of the reasons he isnt brought up as much as he should be is because this:

That authoritative tone is used like a father figure always teaching you and chastising you so you know what’s right. It sinks in for years but there’s a certain point you just stop hearing it. The older he got the more he dug in seemed to narrow his focus on the real vs the fake (my least fav topic). He probably lost a lot of young fans along the way.

There is more than enough perfectly honed righteous indignation in his catalog and when it hits (like it did for his first 3 solo albums and with BDP) it really hits. His political stuff is as good as anyones. I learned a lot from KRS one!

Great album, great rec. Gonna spend more time with it and KRS in general over the week.

Sound of Da Police is one of my favorite songs ever.


I always thought Premier did the whole album, but just having a poke around on Wikipedia and apparently KRS produced some of my favourite tracks himself, and Showbiz did Sound of Da Police. Anyway, it still ticks lots of Classic Album boxes for me - (almost) single producer so a nice cohesive sound, right amount of tracks, no skits, (almost) no guest spots. Just feels really definite

There’s a track or two that I might skip nowadays (I can’t sit through Sound of da Police anymore) but on the whole it’s aged really well IMO and it just a great front to back listen.

KRS-One is funny one for me. On that podcast I posted they discuss his ‘standing’ and how he probably isn’t in a lot of peoples top 5, or even 10, and why that might be. I pretty much gave up on him after I Got Next. There’s an interesting bit on the Stretch and Bobbito documentary where he’s freestyling about a British massacre somewhere and it transpires that he had basically made it up, but he speaks with such authority that you just take it as gospel. Same with the Westwood spat. This guy is The Teacher - he’s always correct! But then I started realising he often spoke complete shit. And that’s when I gave up on him.


Weird. I think we were typing almost the same thing at the same time.