Posted by: Dave on July 5, 2007 at 9:02 am

PharoaheMonchDesireNote: Pharoahe Monch was one half of the 90s underground rap duo Organized Konfusion. He released his debut solo album Internal Affairs in 1999, and eight years later (after record label issues and several notable collaborations), this is the follow-up.
Sound: Gritty, street-level hip hop with beats that incorporate big funk horns, spiritual soul choirs, hard-driving rock riffs, buttery r&b electronics and ominous droning organs.
Lyrics: Dark social commentary on gun violence and the unstable global climate, surviving and staying positive in the struggle, and sex/love are among the topics covered.
Look For: His cover/repurposing of Public Enemy’s “Welcome to the Terrordome.” Pharoahe spits the lengthy and mighty first verse word-for-word with gripping fury. Then, he drops an original second verse. The brassy, funked-out version explodes out of the speakers and is head and shoulders above the original in my opinion.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Welcome to the Terrordome”; “Desire”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Trilogy”; “When the Gun Draws”; “Body Baby”; “What It Is”
Recommended: It’s great to hear one of the most skillful and riveting MCs in history return with a new album. Desire covers a surprising range of styles and occasionally feels disjointed. But this is a solid comeback and one of the best underground hip hop albums of the year thus far.
Grade: A- (Top 20 Albums of 2007 Candidate)

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes (clean version)

One Response to “Pharoahe Monch Desire (SRC/Universal Motown)”

  1. haloedbmyname Says:

    I bought the CD and listened to it on a trip down the coast from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. I was most impressed by the song “trilogy” which expertly tells a story of adultery, extortion, and revenge. The production on this album is earnest and can be enjoyed for its attempts to create soul from synths, some live collaboration, and carefull samples. The lyrics are thought provoking and clever and are most impressive when Pharoahe is using his skills to describe a situation (i.e “Hold on”) rather than bragging about what he is and what you are not (i.e.”what it is”).
    The songs “Body Baby” and “Bar Tap” are not good. Positive erudite rappers can never contact the sexual immediacy that dumb-assed rappers who can’t think passed their dicks seem to conjure into hits almost unconsciously. Another issue is that the use of R&B choruses on every song is kind of like when three times dope got with Steve Arrington from Slave for live from Akniculous land (read: not good).
    That said, I would recommend you buy or download this CD. It may be the only thing to save you from the thug-rappers of the future who will weigh you down with a platinum chain and then suck your brain out of its skull.

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