Well I was late copping this album but finally got around to picking it up Tuesday night. I wasnt a real huge pharaoh monch or organized konfusion fan back in the day but I copped the internal affairs cassette a few years ago and was pretty pleased with it, but then completely forgot about son until last year when diddy channeled the spirit of him for the future track (which was ghostwritten by pharaoh) on his album. Later on I heard desire and Push which were both on our top 5 countdowns, I was feeling both of those joints so made up my mind to cop the CD when it dropped.
And Im damn glad I did
Dude sets the tone from the beginning with Free. A track where he compares the recording industry to slavery great lyricism and content over a banging beat. Next comes desire, an uptempo track with one of my favourite producers Alchemist behind the boards, and a cat named showtyme who sounds exactly like K-ci singing the hook. Nice track.
Push is a track where he starts getting a lil more experimental, its mostly a harmonizing exercise with some rhymes sprinkled in, but doesnt come off corny, or delve too much into the left field like some other rappers who tried to go the same route.
Welcome to the terrordome had me thinking that there was a Chuck D guest appearance but it wasnt, it was just Pharoah rhyming with the same voice, cadence and delivery as chuck over a public enemy style track, similar to how black thought mimicked BDK and G rap on boom. What it is and when the gun draws are good tracks as well, the latter is a concept track in the same vein as stray bullet.
lets go is another banger. Sounds kinda similar to Just blazes production on Fat joes the incredible. Theres a hilarious mini-skit/parody in between this track and body baby where somebodys scanning the radio and on one channel, hear some ignorant rapper talking shit on some Hot 97 type radio show, and on another channel hear some ying yangs whisper type snap track where a dudes spittin about jacking off. Then on another channel you hear some extreme backpack rapper rapping about save the trees yall, save the trees lol.
Next track is the only mis-step of the album body baby, the shit sounds like a combination of Will Smiths switch and B-Richs whoa now. I'll give him props for shouting out the T dot, but overall...Not feeling it, Ill give it a chance later on but right now I cant even listen to the shit in its entirety.
Bar tap is a track where Pharoah hits the club and hollas at a chick, for a backpacker, sons pretty good at doing these tracks whenever he attempts it. The light worked and this works as well great track, the production is on point, flow and delivery is good, female R&B vocalist laying down the chorus sounds smooth. This and hold on are probably the best bets for radio play and giving him some exposure and that crossover appeal. Hold on is a track featuring Erykah badu on the hook, pharaoh spits some positive uplifting empowering lyrics to the dark skin sistas. Nice track. Next we get to So good yo I swear if you want your girl to feel this CD just initially let it bump from track 9 and on..let her get into the lyrical shit afterwards shit is smooth. This track sounds like something the late great J dilla wouldve produced, nice baseline, soulfull and mellow..Next is a Trilogy a 9 minute masterpiece of a track which is actually 3 different tracks in one, its a story of a man who discovers his wife dead and how everything unfolds. Very well done, all three of the beats work well and blend together perfectly.
All in all this is probably the best album of the year so far, after a 8 year hiatus Pharoah came back and proved that he still got love for hip hop, still has skills on the mic and comes lyrically and intelligently without being too complex, but just complex enough to satisfy us real heads (youre gonna have to rewind a couple times). The G.O.A.T said hip hop is dead but weve got niggas like Pharoah monch, Common, kast, papoose, kanye etc. working the defibrillators maad hard.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Intro - Pharoahe Monch,
2 Free - Pharoahe Monch,
3 Desire - Pharoahe Monch, , Showtyme
4 Push - Mela Machinko, Pharoahe Monch, , Showtyme, Tower of Power
5 Welcome to the Terrordrome - Pharoahe Monch,
6 What It Is - Pharoahe Monch,
7 When the Gun Draws - Mister Porter, Pharoahe Monch, ,
8 Let's Go - Mela Machinko, Pharoahe Monch,
9 Body Baby - Pharoahe Monch,
10 Bar Tap - Mela Machinko, Pharoahe Monch,
11 Hold On - Erykah Badu, Pharoahe Monch,
12 So Good - Pharoahe Monch,
13 Trilogy - Dwele, Mister Porter, Pharoahe Monch, , , , Tone