Friday, November 19, 2010

A (Very) Brief Conversation: L.A. Jay

John Barnes III aka L.A. Jay recently joined Philaflava's message board, where he answered some questions regarding production credits on tracks by The Pharcyde. Shameless fan that I am, I decided to hit up Mr. Barnes on twitter with a few questions of my own.

I had questions regarding the Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde chapter in Brian Coleman's excellent book Check The Technique: Liner Notes For Hip Hop Junkies -- which I'm certain we've all read.

When discussing the track Otha Fish, Slim Kid Tre mentions that the version included on the album (produced by L.A. Jay & Tre) was not the original version recorded. The original version was produced by M-Love; a friend of the group. I asked Jay if he could recall the original track. He sent me a link to this track...

The Pharcyde - Otha Fish (The Heavy-Head O.G. Mix)

I have this version!

I've had it for years as an owner of the Otha Fish CDS. I guess the "O.G." in the title was referring to recording history, and not, errr...original gangsters. Was a little disappointed as I hoping to unearth a gem. Of the mixes included on the single, this was always my least favorite. What Jay and Tre did with the Herbie Mann sample was perfect, and I believe we all can agree that the sentiment in the lyrics was better conveyed on the final album version.

L.A. Jay - "yeah, he went into the zone over my beat. the tempo change let his verse breathe more, accentuating the emotion in the lyrics."

Another track discussed in Brian Coleman's book was "My Man". Described as "Funny, daffy, and just amazing", deadlines and infighting prevented this track from being completed and included on the album. I asked Jay about it, but he didn't seem to remember it. Not all that surprising since it was recorded almost 20 years ago.

"I'm sure I heard it way back then...I'll ask Tre about it."

And there you have it. Wasn't able to turn up anything (yet) as far as demos are concerned, but the Otha Fish trivia was great as I'm very appreciative of any information concerning the recording of this album.

Shout out to L.A. Jay for responding to my tweets, and for producing some great tracks for The Pharcyde. Follow him on twitter @john_the_third

The Pharcyde - Pork

The Pharcyde - The Rubbers Song

The Pharcyde - Passing Me By (Fly As A Pie Remix)


Mr Bozack said...

Embarrassed to confess I haven't read that book - badly need to get.

Mo' Codenames said...

Your Tweeting skills for questioning rappers about trivia and rare material are unmatched.