Looking at this album cover the first thing I thought was, "I didn't know Mumra from the Thundercats was dropping a new rap album in 2007?" After a second glance though I quickly realized that it was not actually the great Mumra, but the rapper Pharoahe Monch wrapped in some dusty rags. Whether P. Monch is dressed like a dirty ninja or not, as a true hip-hop head you have to appreciate his contributions to the game over the years. Even back in 1991 when he was part of the Organized Konfusion duo with partner Princ Po asking the question "Who Stole The Last Piece of Chicken?"...he was still dropping knowledge dammit! I have always felt that Pharoahe was ahead of his time with his unique rhyme flow and subject matter. Even though Organized Konfusion released several solid albums over the years, it wasn't until Pharoahe released his classic solo album "Internal Affairs" in 1999 that most folks started really paying attention. I realize that the word "classic" is thrown around pretty loosely these days when people talk about their favorite albums, so I will try to clarify why "Internal Affairs" honestly deserves that recognition.
One of the main attributes that a classic album must have in my opinion is BALANCE. The balance between street feel and a mainstream appeal. There were tracks on this album that were definitely targeted for the underground heads, but there were also several that were radio friendly without losing the integrity of the overall project. That's a difficult task in itself for most rap albums, but Pharoahe pulled it off lovely. Outside of balance he had some of the dopest rappers in the game during that time like Common, M.O.P, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, Redman, Method and Canibus who contributed several dope verses on the album without overshadowing Monch. Personally, I hate when the featured artists come off better than the main artists. A lot of wackadoscious artists run that game all of the time to trick the fans! *Cough "Puffy Combs" Cough*..Dayum, I think I'm getting sick? Yeah, sick of all the BS artists in the game today!! Last, but definitely not least is the ill production on that album. I must admit that Diamond D, The Alchemist, DJ Scratch and Pharoahe himself laid down some incredible and creative beats for that project! I enjoyed the fact that they were willing to push the envelope with the production. Take the track "Rape" for instance where an eerie loop of a woman agonizingly screaming in fear was used to smartly compliment the storyline, or the infamous cadence sampled from the old Godzilla flicks on the "Simon Says" joint. Classic material! That's all I have to say about that, but if for some silly azz reason you haven't heard "Internal Affairs" and you swear that you love hip-hop, slap yourself really hard and then go buy yourself a copy ratt nah!
Fast-forward to 2000 and 7, and P. Monch has been missing in action for approximately 8 years dammit! Back in 2003 I read an interview on some obscure rap web site where P. Monch stated the he was contemplating leaving the rap game for good? He had been royally chopped & screwed over by his record label and was tired of having his career put on hold. Lucky for us Monch finally found a new record label and he's preparing to release his highly-anticipated second album "Desire" on June 26, 2007. It's about dayum time! Since, I am the man sitting next to the man, sitting next to the main man...I have already put ears on the new joint. Personally, I really like the album, and feel comfortable in knowing that he hasn't lost a step over his years of being absent. Outside of the dope lyrics and interesting concepts, the bulk of the production is being handled by Mr. Porter (D12), Black Milk, The Alchemist, and Pharoahe himself! Plenty of dopeness for everyone, but the one track that had me buzzing immediately was the 9 minute trilogy joint featuring Dwele! That is Pharoahe Monch at his best...
Checkout the this video off of the new album:
Pharoahe Monch - Gun Draws
Myspace P. Monch too before you bounce:
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