Published Apr 11, 2014On his fourth solo LP, Pharoahe Monch remains a vital creative and conceptual force. PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder finds Monch drawing on his own bout with depression to fearlessly explore suicidal thoughts, drug addiction, mental anguish and societal disadvantages for a conceptual journey based on being in a "recollection facility."
Those familiar with the former Organized Konfusion MC will be cognizant of Monch's cavernous vocabulary, internal rhymes, precise delivery and thought-provoking metaphors; they remain undiminished 20 years after Organized Konfusion's landmark Stress: The Extinction Agenda. Drawing a dotted line from that release, "Damage" is the third and final song in the gun violence trilogy that started on Stress' "Stray Bullet" (the second part was on "When The Gun Draws," from 2007's Desire).
Aided by beats by Lee Stone and Toronto-born Marco Polo, among others, PTSD definitively stakes out its own ground. On tracks like the virtuosic lyrical exercise "Bad MF," Monch displays the skills that led Eminem to recently shout him out on "Rap God" and the suitably frenetic "Rapid Eye Movement" also features a blistering verse from the Roots' Black Thought. Seamlessly weaving complexity into internal rhymes in verses and the overall thematic premise, PTSD excels at both micro and macro levels.
Read an interview with Pharoahe Monch here.