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The New Classics

They do make ’em like they used to. Latter-day landmark discs worth latching on to.

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AMPLE EVIDENCE OF GREATNESS ”The Pharcyde is coming and I hope we’re not wack/But at this point there’s no turning back.” They hope they’re not wack? Clearly, this is not your typical hip-hop album. A jam-packed anti-gangsta carnival, Bizarre Ride is bursting with tricky rapping and lip-tangling wordplay (try saying, ”Please, don’t pull me over Mr. Officer, don’t pull me over Mr. Officer, please” three times fast). The L.A. quartet spins giddy tributes to failed romance, old-school rap, and their pot dealer, creating one of the funniest and most inventive hip-hop albums ever. AWE-INSPIRING TRACK The sidesplitter ”Ya Mama.” ”Ya mama’s got a peg leg with a kickstand,” they sneer. To which the only response is, ”Ya mama’s got a Afro with a chin strap.” LINGERING EFFECTS This bizarre ride proved woefully short. A 1995 follow-up, Labcabincalifornia, was a glummer affair, earning respect but little love. Rapper Fatlip went solo, while the rest reunited for 2000’s Plain Rap. The group’s Tre ”Slimkid” Hardson is set to release his solo debut in September. Early word suggests his mama’s got a glass eye with a fish in it.