MC Ricky Pharoe and MC/producer Phreewil put in proverbial work on their new Was And It Will Be. The two gentlemen of rap leisure hold grudges and dream big from the bottom over a pu pu platter of boom-bap beats — that sounds like a negative critique but I assure you it’s not. Guests Jewels Hunter and Tru ID are worthy invitees and the only two rappers other than the principles that don’t get shitted on. Tell a friend.
Ricky and Mark are Ricky Pharoe and Mark Gajadhar (of Art Vandelay and Champagne Champagne, respectively). Their new EP, Get A Real Job You Fucking Losers, dropped last week and it’s a real peach of an album — a half-eaten, partially-bruised, disco ball-encrusted peach. Ricky called it “accessible” in an email to me which is true: it’s easily the most danceable collection of tracks he’s ever been a part of (see the new wave-ish “In The City” and thrashing pop of “Round n Round”). Luckily he also takes time out to rap hard (“Family Matters”) in his trademark half-empty beer glass pathos. Mark’s production is on point and displays his wide range of influences and far-flung methods of meshing different sounds into something resembling pop music. If you’re a “struggling artist” trying to convince your unimpressed parents that you indeed have a future career in music, maybe Get A Real Job will finally make them see the light.
Preview the EP below and check out Ricky and Mark’s latest video for “Round n Round” below that.
206UP continues its run of special features in celebration of the blog’s five-year anniversary.
Today’s post is fairly significant because it marks the very first time the site has welcomed a piece by a guest contributor. Better still, the author of this post is one Ricky Pharoe, the MC from left-of-center groups Art Vandelay and Ricky and Mark.
You could call this piece a sort of coming-of-age Seattle hip-hop tale, blessed with the sort of acerbic wit and droll humor that colors the majority of Ricky’s lyrical bars.
We’re really happy to have him and think you should all read this — especially you down-and-out rappers who are considering ending it all by enrolling in community college.
Ricky’s life lesson begins after the jump.
Ricky Pharoe and Mark Gajadhar are “On 1” (see what I did there?) in their new video. Shot on Orcas Island (a brief whale ride away from my hometown of Lopez), I like how the off-beat hip hop track re-fits into the context of the outdoors. Shot by Griff J.
Ricky Pharoe keeps getting locked out of his house (typical). Best to squat in an abandoned roller rink, he supposes. Lots to unpack here, psychologically, but I’m not a shrink and neither should you be. Why don’t we just enjoy the song, yes?
This is a new track from Ricky and Mark — where “Mark” is Gajamagic, who you already know from Champagne Champagne because you’re soooo fucking cool, aren’t you? — and “Ricky” is Ricky Pharoe formerly (currently?) of Art Vandelay. (Nice homage paid to that group with the exterior shot of Tom’s Diner in Morningside Heights, New York… Now who’s the cool one, jackass?)
“The Three Rules” music video by Art Vandelay. Take 2. Ricky Pharoe “hated” the first version, and if you go back to our original YouTube post of that clip, you get an ominous “This Video Does Not Exist”. I can’t think of a more fitting message when it comes to Ricky and his producer cohort Mack Formway, Seattle’s top professors of hip hop pessimism.
“The Three Rules” is the opening track on Art Vandelay’s latest record, Eye 8 The Crow, which you can check for here and below. The video is a peek inside the tripped-out headspace of MC Ricky Pharoe and it’s a sight to behold (however: SEIZURE WARNING).
More interesting to me, though, are the rapper’s bars which seek to subvert the definition of what “success” means in the rap game. If a dope rapper spits a hot 16 in the woods, but no one is there to hear it, does he make a sound? Ricky Pharoe teeters on this sharp lyrical edge and production partner Mack Formway’s beat is wound appropriately tight.
Art Vandelay’s Eye 8 The Crow is due April 2. Ricky Pharoe and Mack Formway still think your television is brainwashing you. They’re probably right.