41. The Pharcyde "Pack The Pipe" (1992)
Album: Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
For better or worse, The Pharycde acted a little crazy, like they were hanging-out with the Joker at Arkham Asylum planning to him break out so they could all go skateboarding. Yet, coming out at a time when other rappers were trying to kill each other, the Pharcyde's goofy debut Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde was a welcome diversion from all the Blood, Crip, crack and guns scenarios. (For an amazing take on the album, buy a copy of Brian Coleman's dope hip-hop text Check the Technique.) Not everybody could be NWA or Above the Law—thank goodness.
Like the Native Tongues with better smoke and garages, these cats embraced the jazzy side of things and on “Pack the Pipe” beat-master J-Swift flips heavy-hitters Coltrane, Herbie Mann and Cannonball Adderly into a jazzy gumbo. In addition, Fuct designed a stunning tribute to P-Funk art kings Pedro Bell and Overton Lloyd for the album cover. It's the kind of cover high people can stare at for hours.