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The Pharcyde drops science about AIDS, Menudo, and Zig-Zags in “Soul Flower (Remix)”

In Hear ThisA.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week: What’s one of your favorite songs to dance to?

About a year ago, I did what so many of my music-industry peers have done and decided to sell off all my CDs. My husband and I have a ton of records and, really, the CDs just weren’t getting all that much use. I took a bunch of bins down to Reckless Records in Chicago, got a sizeable amount of money, and bought LP replacement copies of some of the CDs. No sweat. What I didn’t anticipate, though, was that I’d get some of the CDs back because, ostensibly, they had no resale value. How could this store not want every single part of my lovingly curated collection? Blasphemy! 

I think I got about 20 CDs back, and since it seems silly to just throw them away, I’ve been working them in and out of rotation in my car. I don’t drive all that often, but when I do, I’ve got a cheap CD to take me down memory lane. Recently, I drove out to the suburbs and put in one of those sad, rejected records: The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde. After realizing just now, years and years after I bought the record, that the cover contains a drawing of a vagina, I was struck by just how solid the whole LP is. I knew this, of course—it’s been recognized as one of alternative hip-hop’s best records for about 20 years now—but I hadn’t listened to the actual record in at least three years, if not more. 

But while songs like “Oh Shit” and “Passin’ Me By” are straight-up classics, my favorite track on the whole joint is “Soul Flower (Remix).” Kicking off with an A-plus sample from Howard Morris’ Jetsons ditty “Eep Oppp Ork Ah-Ah,” the track spirals into a drug-induced psychedelic rant, accented with well-placed horn samples. Running about four and a half minutes long, the track has room for everything from playground-style call-outs about Zig-Zags to rhymes about Menudo, Judo, and how, “If Magic can admit he got AIDS, fuck it—I got herpes.” The whole thing’s incredibly tongue-in-cheek but delivered with such aplomb that its wacked-out weirdness is infectious. It’s a guaranteed pick-me-up, STD references and all, and it’s absolutely guaranteed to get me on the dance floor every time. Now I just have to get more clubs to play it.