Pharoahe Monch had been on a career long mission to keep his music independent and still reach the masses. On 2011’s WAR the wordy Queens MC battled the “business” while tackling themes like the shady recording industry, politics, and our every day struggle. PTSD is the aftershock; the man with the rattled cage battling the demons of dissatisfaction and depression. Should he fill that prescription, or is the noise behind his eyes a necessary piece of the puzzle?
The record has a concept feel, but more importantly it’s a testament to his craft. Monch never slacks on the mic, loading up his verses with detailed metaphors, verbose internal rhymes, and vivid imagery. This scholar has got skills. The production throughout hovers above the land of boom-bap, a homage to the sound that Monch helped define nearly twenty years ago.
“Time2”, “Losing My Mind”, “D.R.E.A.M.” featuring an energized Talib Kweli, and “Rapid Eye Movement” with Black Thought are the true heavyweights in this 16 song set. A few tough years at war served Pharoahe Monch well; as PTSD is the unnerving sound of settling back in.