Booty Brown (The Pharcyde) - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
The Pharcyde: The Name Lives On
When you talk about some of the most underrated groups in Hip Hop history, The Pharcyde has to come to mind. Originally consisting of Booty Brown, Imani, Slimkid and Fatlip, the group released their classic debut "Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde" in 1992. The Pharcyde went on to have a successful run over the years, gaining critical acclaim. However, eventually the group disbanded, as Fatlip and Slimkid decided to go their own ways. Now with Booty Brown and Imani holding the fort down, the duo is looking to preserve the legacy of the group and prove The Pharcyde is far from dead. With their new album Humboldt Beginnings, Brown and Imani offer a fun filled record that epitomizes a laid back Cali vibe. While touring for the album, Booty Brown spoke with MVRemix.com about the group's transformation over the years, as well as their new album.
MVRemix: Most Hip Hop heads are familiar with The Pharcyde's story, so I don't want to touch on the past too much, but let me start off with some background questions so fans can get to know you personally. So where were you guys born and raised, and what was it like growing up there for you over the years?
Booty Brown: I was born in L.A., but raised in Pasadena. Pasadena is the suburbs. Its laid back, but if you want to get in some shit it's there for you, like any other place. Pasadena has a lot of different cultures that grew up together so you get a chance to somewhat understand people's different backgrounds. But going to party it was all in L.A.
MVRemix: How would you say your surroundings and environment
helped shape who you are as a man today?
Booty Brown: East Coast emcees seem to refer to movies, television and things that are related to indoors. Where as West Coast emcees refer to driving, hanging at parks and things that are related to outside activities. This is due to weather though. The weather can do all that. But everyplace traveled and every new person you meet effects and shapes you as an individual.
MVRemix: What is your first memory of Hip Hop?
Booty Brown: That would be hard to say. In L.A. we had an underground dance scene called Trendy. Hip-Hop was intertwined with that style, which was maybe around '84.
MVRemix: What album did you listen to constantly growing up?
Booty Brown: The first album I bought was in a store called Zody's. It was Parliament's Aquaboogie, and I used to bang that album all the time.
MVRemix: How did The Pharcyde form? Specifically, how you came into the group?
Booty Brown: It formed off a dance group called 242, which consisted of Imani, Robert, Tre, and myself. Fatlip at that time was solo. But we all met J-Swift through hanging out at a place called SCU. It was a recoding studio and eventually we decided to become a group, and Imani came up with the name.
MVRemix: Do you feel that The Pharcyde fails to get the credit it deserves by the Hip Hop public today?
Booty Brown: We are the artists' artist and a cult band. That it special in itself. I don't worry about the public catching up, because we just keep going.
MVRemix: Why did Fatlip and Slimkid decide to leave the group?
Booty Brown: Thought they were bigger than the money. Everything happened too much too fast. It’s the same stereotypical things that all groups go through.
MVRemix: Did their absence damper your spirits at all, or our motivation to do music?
Booty Brown: Fatlip has been gone since '97 and Tre since '99. It's '05 now, so I keep it movin'. Every hurdle jumped over pushes me to jump the other.
MVRemix: Did you ever think about dropping The Pharcyde name and starting over as a new group?
Booty Brown: Not me, I didn't quit the group. I invested my life in Pharcyde. Why should I give up?
MVRemix: With the new album Humboldt Beginnings, what can fans expect out of it? What type of songs, issues and topics will they hear?
Booty Brown: Cool music that is different than our other albums, but it's still the Pharcyde. It's a concept album, as there is a main theme followed, but it deals in the different areas of the theme.
MVRemix: How would you say this album differs from previous Pharcyde albums?
Booty Brown: Two emcees, as oppose to four. Also, throw in some years....
MVRemix: How much weed do you smoke a day or week?
Booty Brown: Just enough.
MVRemix: What is your favorite type of weed?
Booty Brown: Free weed.
MVRemix: Blunts or bong?
Booty Brown: Whatever is free.
MVRemix: Corporate America has basically taken over Hip Hop and brainwashed the public to think that what you hear on the radio and TV is real Hip Hop. Is there any hope against the corporate takeover of Hip Hop?
Booty Brown: There has always been a certain type of mainstream emcee. Whether it’s the Hammer's or Vanilla Ice's. There is a market for that and Hip Hop is unaware of it's magnitude of other markets other than just racial or gender. There is also an age market from the '80's, who are the 25 and over and still into Hip Hop. In '05 the market for 25 and up is huge. These are the parents and the older siblings that grew up with 80's and 90's Hip Hop. This is just one out of the many other markets that exist. We do not take advantage of Hip Hop like we should, so other people do. It's that simple.
MVRemix: Overall, what is your vision for the future?
Booty Brown: We just had a sewer leak from the city that shut the whole basement down, along with about 10 other businesses. So shit happens and I cannot predict the future. Hopefully the creator keeps me and my family in his thoughts.
MVRemix: Any last words, shout outs or plugs?
Booty Brown: Thanks to the fans out there who still show support. It ain't over, one love!
MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and
Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles
"In '05 the market for 25 and up is huge. These are the parents and the older siblings that grew up with 80's and 90's Hip Hop. This is just one out of the many other markets that exist. We do not take advantage of Hip Hop like we should, so other people do. It's that simple."