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At last, The Pharcyde has returned to the masses with yet another gem. The groups new album, Humboldt Beginnings, delivers all the creativity and talent from their Bizarre Ride days plus much more. It is the culmination of over ten years of honed musical passion and maturation. In that time The Pharcyde has put out 4 albums, been through one break-up, and formed their own record label; its been a bizarre ride indeed. The new ride for The Pharcyde starts with Humboldt Beginnings. The album gives their fans a trip down memory lane with the same laissez-faire vibe and fertile lyrics from the Pharcydes past classics while paying homage to their favorite plant (and even providing a recipe for special brownies on the inside sleeve of the CD). The album showcases the skills that make the duo of Booty Brown and Imani a relevant force in todays hip-hop landscape, not just classic hip-hop ambassadors. Humboldt Beginnings mix of songs and skits takes listeners on a journey that seems simple at the beginning but is in fact highly complex. Its like walking down a hallway with many doors, says Brown, Youre trying to get to the door at the end but along the way you get sidetracked and explore the other rooms along the way. Knew U is the lead single; an atmospheric joint about how the people you think you know best may have another side to them you never thought possible. Illusions combines a musical nod to synth-driven 80s funk with a lyrical critique of people who front like theyre hard or special when in reality they are insecure and utterly ordinary. The Bomb displays the albums proclivity toward experimental production by combining banging beats with electronic soundscapes that flow and ebb through the song. Lest you doubt the fun side of The Pharcyde, The Uh-huh and Bongloads II are head nodding compendiums and odes to a familiar subject: Cannabis sativa. With a mischievous smile Brown explains, Some hip-hop is so serious these days. We made this album for people to vibe to. For those who need a bit of hip-hop history review, the band burst onto the scene in 1992 with their classic debut, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. The Californian quartet consisted of Tre Slimkid Hardson, Romye Booty Brown Robinson, Derrick Fatlip Stewart, and Imani Wilcox. The innovative group broke the mold of West Coast gangsta rap by combining witty rhymes and jazzy beats with hilarious skits, clownish antics, and stoned perceptions. The Pharcyde quickly became known as true innovators not only by hip-hop heads, but also crossed over and became favorites amongst the alternative music crowd. Fans anxiously waited three long years for the follow-up album, LabCabinCalifornia. Unleashed in 1995, the album revealed the growth of a band that had endured the realities of the music industry and fame. "Devil Music" contains perhaps the most quoted Pharcyde lyric of all, one that reflects the damage that the music industry can reap on recording artists spirits: "Every time I step to the microphone / I put my soul on two-inch reels that I don't even own." In 1997, the ride began to turn bizarre. The Pharcyde had just completed their third album, Plain Rap, and were enjoying the fruits of their labor as once-struggling artists who had risen up and truly impacted the world of hip-hop. Things were going well for the group when Fatlip unexpectedly decided that it was time to leave the group and pursue a solo career. It was not long before Slimkid followed suit, leaving Booty Brown and Imani to make sense of their decisions emotionally, musically, and financially. Imani and Booty Brown stayed focused and clung to the Pharcyde recipe of success: retreat into the studio, lose yourself in the music, test yourself by pushing boundaries and hustle like you never knew what a record deal was. They took breaks from their musical endeavors in the studio by embarking on several worldwide tours. These tours saw the band start to use live instrumentation, which elevated their performances to a level they had never achieved before. They also took time to complete one of their biggest milestones to date; they decided to eschew the tribulations of dealing with record labels and took control of their own destiny by forming their own record label, Chapter 1 Records. Today finds the group in fine form. They have become renowned for their dynamic live shows and tireless touring schedule. The lush video for Knew U is getting rotation and introducing the group to a new generation of fans. They have their hands in several side projects, including Browns appearance on the new Gorillaz album (on the upcoming single Dirty Harry) and Imanis forthcoming debut solo album. The future is bright for these hip-hop legends. "Were continuing to build on the sound weve created over the last decade," Imani vows. "Our music is innovative and creative!" Word. And by the way, to any doubters, the Pharcyde have a few things to say: Ya mama, ya mama, ya mama. www.thepharcyde.com
ZEALE is an emerging Hip-Hop/Indie/Alternative artist from Austin, Texas. Often playing chemistry with the genres of Hip Hop, Indie Rock, and Electro, ZEALE seeks to create a hybrid of music with depth. With miles of mixtapes behind him, ZEALE is currently working on his first LP to release in the first half of 2012 featuring artists like Los Angeles' Awolnation and, the newly reunited, At The Drive-In's Jim Ward.
Phranchyze is The Black Larry Bird "Phranchyze is quite literally battling his way to national prominence. The 26-year-old local rapper, otherwise known as financial adviser J.J. Shaw, is an emerging star…" (Austin Powell of Austin Chronicle). The Nigerian-American born Jason Herman Alan-Jamal Shaw-Ogunro, JJ, has been curating his combative inflections in Austin since junior high. At the age of 16, Phranchyze won seven local hip-hop battles in a row, and knew that he had found his craft. Today, Featured in the international "battle" spotlight, he's consistently more jarring, charismatic, funny, and witty than any competitors. Phranchyze's YouTube portfolio of rap battles is conducive to wasting work hours. Having released over five full length albums and mix-tapes, his studio work is often regarded as vivid, concise rhymes mixed with compelling, moving beats. Over the past ten years, Phranchyze's unheard of "freestyle" skill has created a unique image that evokes intelligent, affluent thought. Whether for underground hip-hop networks like Grind Time Now, or Eminem-sanctioned Red Bull promos, Phranchyze's features are top notch, winding, eight-to-ten minute slabs of humanism. In 2007, he cruised to the finals of the World Rap Championships, instinctively touting his Austin, Texas roots with a chip on his shoulder. Placing 3rd at the international finals in New York City, Phranchyze was able to add another impressive title to his other success: 2 x Rap Olympics Champion '04 World Rap Championships Houston Division Winner '07 5 X No Hurt Feelings Freestyle Battle Champion '07, '08 Toyota Scion "Keys to the City" Freestyle Battle Champion '08 2 x Epedemiic Freestly Battle Champion '09, '10 Red Bull "Road to Eight Mile" Freestlye Champion '10 5x Voted top ten in Austin Hip-Hop: '06, '07, '08′ '09 '10. Phranchyze's battle career has developed a unique personality for the rapper, and has differentiated his brand in the international genre. "He'll do homework on adversaries and pen exquisite one-liners, but leave the room and you will find a man that can flip a moment and leave an album in stitches with signatures." On Flowmasters (2006, 2007), Phranchyze was smooth, crispy, and hungry to show the world his abilities. His crossover style burst on Customs (2008), and featured themes that blew the album into a behemoth regional sneaker pimp anthem he'd win you over with. Released at the SXSW festival in 2009, Errybody Hates Me, took the flow high octane. Featuring mix-tape legend DJ Rapid Ric, the work featured Phranchyzes love for Austin and annoyance with popular culture. The Black Larry Bird was Phranchyze unhinged. Featuring stalker odes to porn stars, learned hometown hero raps brimming with persona, his biggest hooks, best laid to wax stanzas, and over the top production value, the album is Phranchyze's latest work and beginning to grow esteem in the local and regional marketplace. Explore the region and you will find that Phranchyze not only freestyles, but writes and creates unique material. With packed, sweaty, and booming shows around Texas, Phranchyze has set the table for an aggressively fruitful 2011. It'll be a banner year.
Who is Notion? He is a dj, graphic artist & promoter to name a few of his skills. But those are just titles & classifying Notion with 1 title or category is just not possible. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to do design work & share the stage with many of HipHop's greats including: • Wu-Tang Clans: Method Man, RZA, Ghostface, Raekwon, Inspektah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God & affiliates Cappadonna, Killah Priest & Street Life • Rakim • De La Soul • Black Sheep • Slick Rick • Talib Kweli • Akil of Jurassic 5 • The Coup • Lyrics Born • Devin The Dude & The Coughee Brothers • Hieroglyphics: Del The Funky Homosapien, Souls of Mischief, Pep Love & Casual • Boot Camp Clik's: Black Moon, Heltak Skeltah, Smif N Wessun, O.G.C., DJ Mister Nash • People Under The Stairs • Sach of The Nonce • Time Machine • 2Mex of The Visionaries • Living Legends: Murs, The Grouch, Bicasso, Luckyiam & Sunspot Jonz • Project Blowed's: Abstract Rude, DJ Drez, Zulu Butterfly, C.V.E. & more • DJ Vadim • Yarah Bravo • One Be Lo • Kool Keith • Mr. Lif • Akrobatik • Weightless Recording's: Blueprint, Greenhouse Effect, illogic & DJ Raregroove • Fatlip (ex-Pharcyde) • Planet Asia & Rasco of Cali Agents • DJ A-Trak & The Rub • Stonesthrow's: Oh No, Roc & DJ Romes • Count Bass D • Insight • Shapeshifters • Jedi Mind Tricks • Jern Eye • Tableek of Maspyke • Icon The Mic King & countless others. He is also the co-founder of the austin based, musicNmind. Responsible for the organization of countless independent concerts & tours across texas featuring the best of national & regional artists.
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