Can we talk about joy for second? Like real, unbridled, joy? Is that OK? Because I’m not sure you have enough of it in your life. It’s not like we have to base that on any substantial statistics; few of us do. Life is dreary. Existence is average at best, and at best it’s average. You’re more likely to watch other people have joyous experiences – on screens, on billboards in the streets – than you are to have one yourself. But all that is about to change, today, for four minutes and twenty three seconds. With enough patience, joy can be restored to almost anybody instantaneously, and the best way to do that outside of a huge hit of morphine is with music. You can see it at festivals when certain audience members lose their minds at a section of a song that is seemingly uninteresting to everybody else. These kinds of things fascinate me; the reasons why some tune-hunters only learn the bridge to a song and forget the chorus, know the drum beat but not the words, love the outro more than the actual tune itself. How curious this phenomenon, how strange are our brains, how quickly can we be made happy by something that simply passes other people by. Can we talk about joy for second? Because that’s what I get from this little number
As the authority on all classic forms of hip-hop, Dave was writing about The Pharcyde back when he was still a highschool kid, comparing them to The Gorillaz no less. Their Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde dropped in 1992 and is Kanye West’s favourite record, which makes complete sense as it’s inventive use of sampling forgotten soul artists was perhaps only rivalled by the rising production career of Dr Dre, post-N.W.A. But where Yeezy and these highschool punks differ is that rather than trying to push an uplifting message exclusively through lyrics, The Pharcyde radiated positivity in every fibre of their being. ‘Soul Flower’ is perhaps the happiest rap song I’ve heard, ever. I couldn’t tell you what they are rapping about – it could be HIV and forced labour for all I know – but aesthetically, it just shines with joy in the particular marriage of samples and the unashamed exuberance of four kids who had somehow gotten away with the ultimate scam of getting a record label to pay them to make music. If you’ve ever wondered what makes Tyler, The Creator get up in the morning, it’s probably the prospect of one day being able to feel as good as this.
In this sense, I am guilty as anyone, because the joy I am describing to you with this Pharcyde track number eight happens in the fourth verse, which occurs just shy of two minutes in. According to our analytics, most of you spend around 1:57 seconds trawling this here page every day, which means the chances of you getting to Slimkid3′s epic scat-rhyme-glory-bomb are next to nothing. But I’m telling you now, so there’s no excuses. Once you’ve got the toes tapping and the head nodding to that cranked-up Grover Washington lick and you’re feeling pretty damn swell about life, here comes a rapper who sings like he’s in church on the sunniest Sunday ever and God just gave him a brand new scooter. Those ‘shoop-doo-be-doops’ are my favourite thing on this Earth right now and it’s going to be remarkably difficult to convince you why unless you take the gamble and find out for yourself. Can we talk about joy for second? Because there isn’t a lot of it left in this industry any more, so kick back with South Central’s golden children and remember what it was like to careless.
The Pharcyde – ‘Soul Flower’ (Remix)