It’s an idea that made so much sense it’s crazy no one had ever done it…mix The Pharcyde with A Tribe Called Quest. Enter Amerigo Gazaway, the mind behind last year’s critically acclaimed mash-up Fela Soul which paired De La Soul raps with music from Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. In the few weeks since Bizarre Tribe was released the media hype has been intense, and members from both Pharcyde and Tribe have reached out with messages of support. But it’s 12ozProphet that has an exclusive chat with Gazaway.
12ozProphet: Walk us through the process of how long it took to put this project together?
Amerigo: I really started messing with the idea on Record Store day in April when Delicious Vinyl released a big boxed set of Pharcyde acapellas and singles. DJ Rate from The Boom Bap was the one who tipped me off, and I was like ‘Boom, Pharcyde remix.’
12oz Prophet: Was it on vinyl only?
Amerigo: It was in a boxed set; all vinyl 45″s, “Passin Me By”, “Soul Flower”, all the joints from Bizarre Ride. And they all had the acapellas on them, about 6 or 7 Pharcyde acapellas. It also came with a CD too. When you opened it, it starts playing “Ohh Shit! Ohh Shit!” As soon as I got it, I started thinking about what I could remix Pharcyde with, trying to come up with ideas, and I thought about this blend I use to do back in the days when I would DJ. I use to take the Bonita Applebaum with Passin Me By, I always thought it was a dope blend but I never thought about a remix. When the Pharcyde acapellas dropped I started thinking “That would be a dope remix.” It was the first one, and from there I started experimenting with other Tribe samples like Runnin with the Electric Relaxation beat, it worked perfect and from that point on I knew I had something.
12oz Prophet: Did you have a list of Tribe samples from songs that you would play over acapellas for hours?
Amerigo: On the internet there are a lot of compilations of all the samples from all the Tribe songs; all the Tribe samples from Low End Theory, all the Tribe samples from Midnight Marauders. I just went on a big downloading spree, put them in a huge playlist in iTunes and started listening to them, picking out the ones I thought were hot and listening to the acapellas over them. It was also a little different from Fela Soul because not many people have heard of Fela Kuti, so it was new musically. People have heard of De La Soul, but not Fela. With this stuff everybody has heard Pharcyde, everybody has heard Tribe, so there were a lot more switch ups, with every verse it is like a new beat. This one I feel is more of a mix tape where the last one was more of a mash-up album. This is more of a DJ thing, cutting stuff, dropping beats. That was the vibe I was going for, keeping it moving.
Text: Bryan Deese