Tré Hardson Biography
He first introduced himself to the world as “Slimkid Tre,” dazzling crowds worldwide with his infectious ability to wholly entertain as part of legendary rap quartet The Pharcyde.
A South Central Los Angeles native, seventeen-year-old Tre Hardson began honing his dance skills on the L.A. underground club circuit in the late ‘80s, where he linked with two fellow dancer/choreographers to form the dance/rap group 242. Working together for three years, their skill and dedication to their craft landed the group a stint as dancers on “In Living Color” in 1990. Meanwhile, a fourth talented member joined the group, 242 changed their name to The Pharcyde, and a new day dawned in the world of hip hop.
The Pharcyde recorded their first demo that year, and their creative blend of freaky humor and far out lyrical imagery, backed by a funky jazz-laden soundscape, sparked a bidding war for the group, resulting in a deal with Delicious Vinyl in 1991. A year later marked the release of their eccentric, influential debut album Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde, which went gold with now-classics like “Ya Mama” and “Passin’ Me By.”
For the next two years, the group honed its stage skills, touring the U.S., Europe, and hitting Japan for dates with De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. After a successful spot on Lollapalooza’s second stage in 1994, The Pharcyde released its second album, Labcabincalifornia. With hits like the lead single “Runnin’” and the surreal “Drop,” the sophomore set went on to sell over 450,000. Following this, Delicious Vinyl had a run of bad luck with distributors, and the group left the label.
In 1997 Tre appeared with The Pharcyde on sketch-comedy show Mad TV, demonstrating his ability to entertain on-screen. Although Tre is primarily a musical entertainer, the camera couldn’t resist, catching up with him again in 1999, this time in the form of a guest appearance on MTV’s The Real World. But Tre’s real re-emergence came when he began working with live music as a solo act in 2000 and performing with a live band. This seasoned entertainer draws his audience in and takes them on a journey through his life, to rock the crowd like only he can.
His debut album, LIBERATION, was released this year through Artist Direct/BMG Records. It includes hip hop material as well as introduces Tre’s singing abilities with songs reminicent of Bill Withers type love ballads. The new project has an organic feel to it and it’s as honest as it is musically diverse and heart felt.
The process of recording “Liberation,” although very much Tre’s vision, was also a collaborative process. “I wanted friends on the album, and people I respected.” There are adjectives that go along with each of the people that Tre’ mentions – all of them in the vicinity of uplifting, soulful, extraordinary, or inspiring. Guest artists include Saul Williams, Chali 2na, N’Dea Davenport (Brand New Heavies), MC Lyte, Kim Hill (Black Eyed Peas), and Dionna Nichelle.