What do people mean when they say “alternative” hip hop? I know the artists they reference when they use this term, but what are the themes that run through these MCs and groups? Los Angeles’ Pharcyde were always alternative. They were original, coming with fresh aesthetics no one had ever seen before in their musical direction and videos but at the same time, always celebrating and honoring the roots of hip hop. Pharcyde was mind expanding, a profound and enlightened form of party hip hop that got everyone dancing to soulful beats and bars that didn’t have a shred of negativity in them. Pharcyde lifted the soul. This is why it was so important that the party didn’t stop.
The Far Side, composed of Slimkid3, Imani, and Fatlip, knew their purpose as a group was to celebrate life through the medium of hip hop. Ironically, the group’s reunion was sparked out of the grief that came after Imani’s grandmother passed away, inspiring him to give Slimkid3 a call after they hadn’t spoken for years. The past was put behind them for the greater good and as they tour the country, they’re spreading that greater good everywhere they go. So yes, the Far Side are alternative, in the sense that the alternative to a world full of hardship is nights like this one at 1720 where everyone turnt up to see these 3 MCs do the thing they do better than anyone else.
Photos by: Erika Reinsel