Considered members of the Native Tongues school (Tribe, Jungle Bros., De La), ‘90s rap trendsetters the Pharcyde are legitimately unique, being at once the first successful LA underground crew to break the gangsta mold with positive (often humorous) lyrics backed by mid-tempo beats and jazzy samples. Tre "Slim Kid" Hardson, Romye "Booty Brown" Robinson, Derrick "Fat Lip" Stewart and Imani Wilcox made skilled rap songs with stoned urban themes that, unlike pretenders in the field, showed authentic talent with melody and lyrics. Relying on their diversity of rap styles, the performers often broke into R&B-tinged solos within their free-flowing rap style. This collection has the hits, namely two rap masterpieces, "Otha Fish," and "Passing Me By," classics from their gold record debut. The only new tracks are a rather barebones Jay Dee remix of the soulful "She Said" and an unreleased party jam "Panty Raid." The fact that the dispersed group now has a "best of" album after only two releases says something. The rap game moves quickly, and pioneers don’t come along every day. This is a good find for fans who appreciated the group’s spotty brilliance and influence within left coast hip-hop but never bought any of the albums.