Revisiting Pharcyde’s ‘Drop’ Backwards Music Video


Yesterday we shared an amazing time-lapse music video spanning 24-hours on a Parisian rooftop.  While the video did, in fact, make my jaw “drop” (there’s a pun coming), it got me thinking about one of the most amazing music videos I’ve ever seen: “Drop” by The Pharcyde.

Released in 1996, this video is an amazing feat pulled off by none other than director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaption, Where the Wild Things Are).  The video is incredible.  Take a moment and see what I mean:

What makes it even more fun is realizing that the band had to actually memorize their song phonetically backwards so it would sync up with the film when played forward.  They went so far as to hire a linguist specifically to help them formulate the phonetic sounds of the backwards rapping, and spent a week memorizing these reverse phonetic lyrics.

There’s a surreal quality when watching the video to realize that their actions are all recorded in reverse, and the effect is really sold when the lip syncing matches up well. Especially in the first 30 seconds, which seem pedestrian at first glance.

There’s a good “making of” video as well that speaks with the linguist and band, and shows the cue cards being used to help everyone remember their lines.

  • Zos Xavius

    I love pharcyde! Totally and completely underrated!

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Coldplay’s “The Scientist” had more interesting visuals to go with the music though.

  • Pat David

    Keep an eye out for Ad Rock and Mike D from the Beastie Boys making a quick cameo as well! :)

  • you must be

    who cares, it’s coldplay

  • Justin Haugen

    ^^^*slow clap*

  • Guest

    same: Coldplay’s “Scientist”

  • Pat David

    Just over 10 years after Spike Jonze did it with this video (and you don’t have to listen to coldplay…)

  • gs

    Ill take monumentally better music over visuals any day.

  • jcltay

    check out “The Typical” by Mutemath!

  • Cibo Matto – Sugar Water from Gondry !

  • Zos Xavius

    coldplay ripping someone off? what a shock!