Brian Coleman Breaks Down The Classics – The Pharcyde’s “Passin’ Me By”
Brian Coleman penned Rakim Told Me in 2005, and the follow-up, Check The Technique, in 2007. Brian decided to break down some of his favorite tracks from some of the classic hip-hop albums he covered in his books. Check for Brian’s next volume of Check The Technique later this year. For more info on what he is up to, visit http://www.waxfacts.com/
By: Brian Coleman
SONG #2 FROM “CHECK THE TECHNIQUE” AND WHY I LOVE IT
Pharcyde “Passin Me By” (1992)
This song is 20 years old this year and it still sounds amazing. I would point to two things that make this song especially unique and dope. First is the style and construction / composition. Very laid back, almost like a jazz ballad. Jimi Hendrix sample (very few people ever fucked with Hendrix samples, which is a shame). Interesting stops and starts, great chorus with dusky sax snippet. It flows and I bet even a shitty rapper could sound great over this. It’s inspiring when you hear it, it makes you want to flow.
Luckily the Pharcyde weren’t shitty rappers. In fact they were top-shelf, dexterous, unique, funny, fun and – when needed – serious. This is a serious song, a song about unrequited love. The type of track usually relegated to singer-songwriters in Midwestern coffee shops. But the Pharcyde step up and each one of the quartet shares their own story of females passing them by. How often do you hear an MC admitting that a female dissed him? Not often enough. Biz Markie is of course a father to this style with “Just a Friend,” but Pharcyde take it to another level.
It is just another reason why their 1992 debut, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (Delicious Vinyl), is so amazingly unique and great. Never mind the fact that the group almost killed each other in the studio by the time it was recorded. They made it to the finish line and gave the world one of the most unique hip-hop albums of the 90s.