Tricks of the Shade

In the very early 90s I was lucky enough to see the Pharcyde live at a very small club in DC. I have a low opinion of live rap shows. A SanFran show featuring, among others: Digital Underground, Queen Latifah, Parris, Naughty By Nature managed to be a big bassheavy crap fest, tho i did get to high five Tupac. And a PE concert in Melbourne was a downright disgrace; a very high Flav couldnt keep pace with his guide vocal. But the Pharcyde were just great; lyrical and fast and tight. But not as fast and tight as the band that opened for them: a mostly white trio from Philly called The Goats. There was no DJ, no dancers, no posse; just the three MCs (MADD, Oatie and Swayzack) on a tiny platform. Their word play was dense and spitfire and red-blooded. A few months later their debut album Tricks of Shade came out. It was a political record, a little skit-heavy, and featured live musicians. They sound sounded part Beasties, part Cypress Hill, and part Black Eyed Peas (that really really small part of the Black Eyed Peas that doesn't embarrass itself.) Its a pretty solid record, but "Typical American", which I think was the single, is a standout.

The Goats are all but forgotten now. Their three? CDs are out of print, and only this place seems to sell their mp3s.

But thanks to the internet I now know that MADD is living fat in france, and Oatie has found a second career as a Biology and Physics teacher (how about it Jay-Z?). Swayzack is "MIA," and the groups musicians Pierce and EJ have a folk band