Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde

Ron Morris, this is for you, the album you blared like a Pinoy badass out the CD player at all hours; it was pretty funny then, to say nothing of infectiously phat, but food service makes you punchy and just about anything with a beat would have sufficed. Nowadays, I'd have to say I've got some reservations, starting with the cover, not something I'd probably have out when my mother's visiting; let's say I've never seen a rollercoaster with a dentata, and "Oh Sh*t" just goes down from there with the kind of scatological situations that'd make Eddie Murphy blush back in the day. When you have to be over the top to try for funny, you're trying way too hard, but fortunately if you stick with it it's still as fun as I remember overall. J-Swift's production may have been pharmacologically enhanced, but that doesn't mean he wasn't dead on, and it's refreshing to have a hip-hop album infested with a relaxed chaotic insanity that doesn't succumb to cheap gangsta thrills. "Ya Mama" manages to be hilarious without being overly foul, showing they can really be as funny as they wanna be, "Officer" is a great antidote to the excesses of NWA pretenders while still getting their point across about the crime of DWB, "Pack The Pipe"'s subtle smoking snark is amazingly cleverly played and "Passin' Me By" shows what they were musically capable of when they decide to grow up (they didn't). Only the skits get a little dumb at times, and "Return of the B-Boy" sounds like they were phoning it in, the only other low points on an amusing yet influential outing. The best track in my average white opinion is the well-constructed "4 Better Or 4 Worse," complete with Chronic callback and a startling crank call with a very credible female victim; though this one goes off the rails like many the others, Fatlip does have the presence of mind to admit that "Okay, I think we've gone a little overboard." Yeah, maybe. But I'm still enjoying the ride anyway. (Content: pervasive drug and sexual references, profanity.)