October 19, 2014

Pharoahe Monch "Internal Affairs" (Press Kit + Review, 1999)

From Pharoahe Monch's bio / press-kit, "Pharoahe Monch's legend precedes him like few lyricists committing words to wax in hip-hop today. After eight years as half of one of the rap music's most revered and enduring underground duos, Organized Konfusion ... the mighty Monch now delivers his inaugural solo album, Internal Affairs, on hip-hop skilltrade haven, Rawkus Records... "When we finished The Equinox," Pharoahe remembers, "our label was like, 'Go right back and do something else. We put so much into that album... I was just like, 'Prince... I can't do it. I'd be lying to you, myself and the fans... So I stopped. And then after that point the label gave us a release. And that's when the opportunities came and labels came runnin' at me. I was like, 'Wow, should I squander these opportunities or not? So I discussed it with Paul and we were on the same vibe. We eventually wanna hook back up. But it's really best that we work on solo projects right now." Internal Affairs marks not only a creative rebirth for Monch but a spiritual rebirth for an artist who finally feels a healthy camaraderie from a stable of comparable hip-hop talent with which to co-exist and collaborate with at Rawkus... 'Rap groups are supposed to have the integrity to keep etchin' it up a notch. Even if you have to battle yourself. And I don't think most cats really take that integrity to the game - being passionate about working with artists that have that same position... That's what good lyricism and good hip-hop is all about ... And that's what Pharoahe Monch is all about." - 1999

A review in CMJ, says: "Few artists in hip-hop garner the respect and admiration of their peers quite like Pharoahe Monch. On his Rawkus debut, Internal Affairs, he raises the intensity level to a fever pitch with their masterful set of thinking-man's hardcore. Monch holds his own when scrapping with Canibus and M.O.P., and then gets deep with cats such as Common and Talib Kweli with nary a flinch in the transition. He even reunites with Organized Konfusion partner Prince Poetry on "God Send," one of the album's standout cuts. Also check out the rowdy street corner remix of the anthem-of-the-moment, 'Simon Says," featuring Method Man, Redman, Busta Rhymes, Shabaam Sahdeeq and Lady Luck." - CMJ New Music Monthly, November 1999. This is a classic!