The Pharcyde’s Ladcabincalifornia turns 20 Saturday, Nov. 14, so it’s time to revisit the hip-hop group’s hit single “Drop.” I’ve got a personal connection to this song, as it’s the first hip-hop track that really grabbed my attention back when I was young, beardless, and still rather large.
Back when I was younger, I was not much of a hip-hop fan. In fact, I was likely fairly obnoxious about it, talking ill of rap back when I was riding a high of just having discovered music that didn’t blare from a bland TV commercial or the boom box in my school’s gym class. However, my intrigue for alternative music and a fascination with music videos led to some fortunate Googling. I eventually wound up going through an old Stylus Magazine list of the Top 100 Music Videos of All Time, spending hours watching nearly every video because I needed to absorb as much new music as possible (and I didn’t have much else to do, really).
“Drop,” well, dropped in at No. 21, and the Spike Jonze-directed video made an immediate impact on me. First off, it’s a kickass video. Jonze had the Pharcyde crew perform and walk backwards throughout Los Angeles, giving the whole thing a cool, surreal vibe that young me absolutely dug. In fact, it had quite a few fans, given the future videos that took some inspiration from Jonze’s filming decision.
More importantly, my obsession with the video helped break off my anti-hip-hop blinders. At first I thought I just dug Jonze’s creation, but soon I became hypnotized by the Pharcyde’s flow. Even 20 years later, “Drop” is a blast of a track and I feel rather indebted to The Pharcyde. With groups like Run The Jewels, Kendrick Lamar, and all the other tremendous hip-hop artists killing it these days, it’s always good to look back and throw some props out to the track that pointed me in a great direction.
Now Hear This is a regular column in which Alex Bieler writes about music – both new and old – that he thinks you should introduce to your ears. If you’ve got a musical suggestion that you think he should highlight, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at him at @Catch20Q.