FLASHBACK: Hip-Hop’s Funky Side, The Pharcyde’s ‘Passin’ Me By’

It’s Flashback Friday, and in the nature of Vashtie.com we are taking it back to 1992. Early 1992 Pharcyde released, “Passin Me By,” a revolutionary song for the time, which has shown it’s worth by still being relevant over 20 years later. The song has been sampled in at least 55 different songs for example, Jamie Foxx’s “I Don’t Know”. Anytime that groovy beat drops, heads are sure to bump.

“That was back in the day when each line had to mean something,” says Fatlip. “That 16-bar verse was a movie I was creating.”

The song details the crushes of the four group members, ImaniSlimkid3, Bootie Brown, and Fatlip. In a time where rap was all about the hyper-masculine gangster lifestyle, this track was a refreshing twist on music. The group rapped out bars in a visual manner that is lost today in the mumbled words that play through the radio. The only thing that enhanced the visual even more than lyrics was the actual video. If you haven’t seen it, you can check it here.

The video opens with the group members contemplating their whole lives in the back of a car on a rainy day. The uncomfortable feeling is only enhanced by the shots of them rapping upside down. As the blood rushes to their heads you somehow get the same feeling. These simple artistic choices take a universal feeling of a crush and bring you straight to those feelings. The black and white music video perfectly illustrates the rawness of what a crush really is. That venerable moment when you don’t know what the other person feels, realize you can’t have them, or are looking back on the time you spent with them. The chaotic stream of emotion was greatly contrasted by the simplicity of the black/white color choice.

The whole time you are hoping these boys get the girl of their dreams, but never get the satisfaction. The simplicity of this video is the genius behind it. Taking a universal relatable feeling and creating the perfect visual for an already visual song leaves you with a video you’ll never forget. It’s one of those videos that you’ll remember the first time you see it whether it was in 1992 or just now, right here.

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