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Massive music weekend infiltrates Breck

BRECKENRIDGE – West Coast hip-hop infiltrates Breckenridge at a free show with co-headliners the Pharcyde and Souls of Mischief, as part of the Spring Massive Festival.

Los Angeles’ the Pharcyde has lost half of its crew, but Imani Wilcox and Romye “Booty Brown” Robinson are still rocking the crowd with their formula of animated dancing, witty lyrics and funky beats.

It all began with Brown, Imani and Tre “Slimkid” Hardson in 1990 when the trio hooked up as part of an L.A. B-Boy dance crew called Two for Two, which made its mark on “In Living Color.” Two for Two became the Pharcyde with Derrick “Fatlip” Stewart and released an experimental album, “Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde” in 1992. Though some fans thought it was scattered, the album went gold.



Known for its witty and un-gangster take on West Coast hip-hop, the band took a few stylistic chances on its 1995 release, “Labcabincalifornia,” and things went downhill from there. Fatlip left, and the record label postponed the release of its next album because of financial problems.

The trio put out “Testing the Waters,” focusing on straight-up hip-hop, inspired by the beats that originally brought them together as dancers and later released “Plain Rap.” Slimkid left in 1999, leaving only Brown and Imani to work on their next album, “Humbold Beginnings,” due out in summer. The two are starting their own label to gain more creative control over the album.



“We’re still experimenting like with “Bizarre Ride,’ but, man, if I was still doing those things today that I was doing on that album, I’m just a dumb asshole. Basically, that’s how I look at it,” Brown said. “I would be the most burnt-out man if I was still saying “please, officer, don’t pull me over.’

“Every album is like a mirror on my past – me being young. We didn’t know anything about the music business. We were just excited. That’s what that album reflected. We just wanted people to know we wasn’t gangsters, but we’ve had our share of downfalls.”

Those downfalls have led to a new, more grown-up side of the Pharcyde – one with more of a social conscience.

The East Oaklander crew Souls of Mischief co-headlines with the Pharcyde. Members of the loose underground hip-hop consortium known as the Hieroglyphics, the group consists of MCs A-Plus, Phesto, Opio and Tajai. A-Plus and Tajai started a band in second grade, adding Opio in seventh grade and Phesto by the time they reached puberty.

Their debut album, “’93 Til Infinity,” pushed the envelope in 1993, creating a jazzy, funky, Bohemian-styled, hard-core hip-hop. The whimsical storytelling drew comparisons from critics to De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Always taking the music to the next level, the band threw out the formula that attracted the college hip-hop set. Its latest release, “Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution,” is a dark, trippy exploration of the boundaries of hip-hop.

“That’s all we do – trying to push the envelope, even to our detriment because sometimes fans want more of the same,” A-Plus said. “I make music I like that they’ll dig – not to get way too far out and go into space with the music because I want people to understand what I’m saying. I try to keep it simple. Even if it’s on a lighter topic or deeper, we still want people to understand it, even if they don’t understand the grammar or the slang. We’re more into the middle ground of things as opposed to people going out far.”

The show starts with California DJ Ted Shred, who blends everything from “The Godfather” to James Brown layered with hip-hop and drum-and-bass anthems, at 2:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center. Souls of Mischief take the stage at 3 p.m., and the Pharcyde starts at 4:30 p.m.

Skiers and riders also can catch DJ Blake9 and DJ Rephlex at the Bergenhof Restaurant at Peak 8 and at the Maggie on Peak 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday as part of the Spring Massive Festival.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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