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Humboldt Beginnings

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Album Review

Whittled down to only two original members, Imani Wilcox and Bootie Brown (aka Romye Robinson), the Pharcyde embraced the immensely soothing aspects of weed for fourth album Humboldt Beginnings. This 22-track record, leavened with the contributions of new members Spaceboyboogie X and "Greg" Smooche, begins with a bongo-led jam called "Homegrown" and benefits from a raft of workmanlike productions. In the Pharcyde's attempt to crawl back into the hip-hop limelight, though, they scatter their efforts working in a variety of styles. The frequent weed songs are interspersed with club thumpers ("The Uh-Huh"), smooth '80s-influenced lovers tracks ("Knew U," "Right B4"), and one of the most hilariously overblown gangsta tracks (perhaps humorous?) ever performed ("Bongloads II").

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An influential alternative rap quartet from South Central Los Angeles, the Pharcyde was formed by MCs/producers Tre "Slimkid" Hardson, Derrick "Fatlip" Stewart, Imani Wilcox, and Romye "Booty Brown" Robinson. Hardson, Wilcox, and Robinson were all dancers and choreographers who met on the L.A. underground club circuit in the late '80s, worked together for a while, and served a stint as dancers on In Living Color. Stewart, meanwhile, performed at local clubs and eventually hooked up with the others...
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