June 26, 2020

Pharoahe Monch "Desire" (June 26, 2007)

"Raised on the infamous Southside of NYC's Queens borough, a young Monch caught the Hip-Hop bug early as the culture born in the Rotten Apple. It would be while attending art school that Pharoahe would find his calling as an emcee, and eventually co-founded the rap duo Organized Konfusion. It was here that a still young Pharoahe began to display his full potential for the first time, transforming himself into a superhero emcee, painting vivid verbal pictures on cuts such as "Stray Bullet" whilst amazing listeners with his unpredictable-but-flawless flow on the jaw-dropping "Hypnotical Gases". Now settled at Steve Rifkind's SRC Records, Pharoahe Monch, one of Hip-Hop's most gifted lyricists, is ready to reintroduce himself to a rap world crying out for genuine artists with his long-awaited album, Desire. At a time when a rapper's image and financial status appear to capture the attention of fans more than lyrical content and creative production, Pharoahe has refused to "dumb-down" his new project, choosing instead to adhere to the rules and principles he learnt growing up in Hip-Hop's Golden Age: be original, be true to yourself and be as skillful as possible on the mic device. But... don't expect to hear Monch stuck in a time-warp on Desire."

"With beats from the likes of Mr. Porter, The Alchemist, Detroit's Black Milk and long-time collaborator Lee Stone, the lyrical king of Queens is definitely looking to move the art form of Hip-Hop forward with this album. "I think the approach I took to making some of the songs is still underground," offers Monch when asked about the creative process behind Desire. "But in terms of arrangements and the song-writing, I wouldn't say it's commercial, but it's a bigger approach than I've taken in the past." Aside from lyrics about politics, love, sex and survival in the modern world, it's the sheer sonic scale of Desire that's impressive. There's a cinematic quality to the music, with the album's central theme developed through a series of dramatic interludes linking tracks together. Desire finds Pharoahe Monch wanting to be labeled only as an emcee and a true artist. But even if he achieves that goal and receives the mainstream critical acclaim his talent deserves, you still get the impression that Monch will never rest on his laurels. "When you become totally satisfied and you think you've reached perfection," he ponders, "then where do you go from there?" Desire, the album proves why Pharoahe Monch's name will be mentioned as one of the greatest emcees of all-time." - Ryan Proctor. Taken from the promotional newspaper that was released with Desire... you can see some of the original scans from it below. Listen to the album above or click HERE.