PHAROAHE MONCH – PTSD (POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER) Review

By SUNEZ

Bizarro world nigga be this.  A bizarre of bad beats and breaks from capital consuming ciphers of sorrow.  All rights reversed but I’ll premierely reposition it.  Reverse disorders where however you order the order it ordains this Hip Hop.  So the dignity of diggers is relegated to realness—that is the realness is relegated to diggers of dignity.  Left the daily dose to prescribe that today’s sickness is pushed by the wicked with weak agendas and now that ill sick is just sickly.

Case studies of the fake are all over.  Knowledge the agenda construction but don’t stumble on the commas of disgust that pause.  Like this chandeliered charlamagne, labeled as me, the God, but unalike I, hovering over the landscapes of trends, helping the dastardly dominate.  Telling the rapper who can’t rap to come out the closet and be himself.  But if a named young thug can’t rap then how we gotta believe he ever could clap.  I just can only wholly be sure he young and ignant enough to get clap up the hashtag.  So charla tells the gayly boy to be gay in open bars and markets will open up too.

Fake lifestyles, made of social conditioning and westernized epigenetics, are grafted stories told in this Hip Hop worsened cause motherfuckers can’t rap.  Only hashtagging their legacy, these joke journalists are now the worst of prophetic historians for it all.  Bizarre it!—the contradiction of the true artist is now wasteful – Bizarro! – hypocrisy is a knowledge for only use of markets, niche to pop.  Now, the recommended daily allowances of politically correct answers are based on the fakest governing body.  Hip Hop lyricism’s rebellion and insight is more necessary than ever…and even more rare…

The universe I’m from is Real and our Hip Hop is pop too. It’s got the brothers everyone knows are legends like KRS or Rakim.  The argued stars that warred in the bizarro cipher like Pac and the catalog masters as Ghost and Nas.  Yet our pop MC that has the highest balance of techniques, lyrical verse hooks, inflections, flows, voice pitches and pure athleticism is Pharoahe Monch.  The release of this new album, PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), premierely celebrated [HERE], itself qualifies him as a legend by actual factual concrete catalog crates.

Pharoahe Monch is an MC who is ideal for a double LP.  Aside from techniques he has a wealth of content to share and explore.   After going solo after the three supreme Organized Konfusion LPs, Monch revealed himself to also be a dynamically rebellious experimentalist.  With PTSD, he then builds off his previous successful experiment with an exploration on depression, mental afflictions and the legal/illegal drug relationships between them.  The LP hits limitations only because of the walls Pharoahe has chosen to paint on. Yet when those pieces are studied we see a gallery of aural literature that only GOAT candidates can match.

The LP’s specific theme is clear and its addressing is progressive in and of itself.  It isn’t that our Black/Brown aren’t just addressing depression and other mental illnesses.  It is that we are oppressed and so these conditions are accepted as the condition of normality.  And the more that Pharoahe rhymes of the chaos of the entire world the more we are to realize we can no longer accept it…And certainly not just superficially over medicate it, courtesy of the multi-billion pharmaceutical drug industry.  These commentary jewels are throughout as on “Time2” from devil traffickers raping Mexican women and girls, the genocide the world over and the cycle of violence that defines post traumatic stress disorder (“Protection orders for my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Molested Mexican daughters, stretch across the borderThe streets paved in gold often fade/When the paint they use to pave the streets is henna/And greener is the grass on the other side/Except for when that other side is geno[cide]…”).  It leads to an articulate fury of rebellion in all its exaggeration that only cements the seriousness best heard on “Scream” (“Press your luck/fuck a press kit/ press can’t harm me/But chest presses a deadlift/ bench press zombies/Hysteria rap burn the flag/ fuck America/Start the revolution/poison the water with malaria/Fuck it, I came back from the war of scorn…”).  PTSD’s greatness is its highlights of drug abuse (“Broken Again”) and ensuing depression (“Losing My Mind”) from the first person reality to become an incredible Art show (“D.R.E.A.M.”) of all this hell we work out from (“Eht Dnarg Noisulli”).

“You are now working with a renowned Master/ with mastery over conjugated verbs and nouns”

 – “Scream”

As all his solo LPs, the quantity is far too short but every last line is a jewel that is best built on tech for tech.  Pharoahe writes himself out of hell with crafted alliteration, double entendre, rhyming the lead word and with the end of the bar and endless wordplay (“We were told that the Hell below was a fiery inferno/I rediscovered my soul between the lines inside my journal/Trapped within a Penn State of mind, Joe Paterno/External gratification is not happiness eternal/Interject, intellect, intercept, Internet/A slave majority with one percent benefit…” – “Eht Dnarg Noisulli”).  Dominating in display here is his revolutionary formatting of hooks within the lyric.  He literally breaks tempos, injects inflections and couples words together that make them hooks inside the lyric.  The entire second verse of “Time2” is not merely studio effects and punch ins.  It is a feat of aural word Art that I have witnessed in his live performance…effortlessly.   While alliteration and word coupling is constantly heard (“Generally a general for generations of jams generated for criminals” – “Scream”), the jewels that come with it are signature moments of understanding as on the intimate confessional “Broken Again” (”She rescued me, my heroine to the end/But then she morphed into heroin in a syringe/Around my bicep, I would tie a shoestring/Tap five times to find a vein in there//Squeeze 7cc’s so I could see the seven seas/And CC all my friends so they could see what I was seeing/But what they saw was a despicable human being/So, I guess they just wasn’t seeing what I was seeing…”).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPiAXuXjlJU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Despite all this, Pharoahe is able to make digestible “pop” showcases of his complex skill in pure battle rap at a very varied slow mid-tempo.  “Bad MF” is a verse of choruses that crowds follow Pharoahe’s cleverness slow stated. Yet with bridges and chants past he still acapellas a lead gem (“The best liar told a lie inside a room full of liars/The lie was so exciting that all of the liars admired/When the truth walked in the building every liar retired/Deception was defeated and deceit became deleted…”).  “Damage” is a slow tempo finale to the Stray Bullet trilogy (“Stray Bullet,” 1994 & “When the Gun Draws,” 2007) that propels Monch as a live MC, filled with chants, call and response moments and fiery militancy that makes this the illest type of pop.  There are few who can record songs as this and only Pharoahe has songs that are immediately ill and similar (i.e. W.A.R. LPs “Clap” & “Shine”).  In the universe where Hip Hop isn’t the counterculture sold as a pop subculture, “Damage” and “Bad MF” are the two platinum singles.

Beatwise, Monch succeeds in track selection.  The ideal indie work, quality is found with little cream down.  The proper arrangements are necessary as on “Damage” and “Bad MF” but the musicality is apparent through the pensive selections.  The womp and crisp snares on The Lion Share Music Group’s “Broken Again,” or Marco Polo reppin powerfully with the rolling drum and tough guitar licks of “Time2” and the mean bass and cymbal snare crash of “Rapid Eye Movement” where Black Thought rhymes forever and ill with Pharoahe coupling obsessively and de/accelerating his flows with great smoothness.  Lee Stone’s upbeat “D.R.E.A.M.” works in drawing up classic Monch verse though Kweli hop scotches too much goody goodiness with a verse, technically strong, but only one Brooklyn gentrifiers could love.  Musically, the LP parallels W.A.R., not with a Rock foundation, but, better, a more Funk approach.  The musical direction enhances and guides Monch’s millions of techs and ideas into our ears well.

Pharoahe Monch doesn’t follow an agenda or search for mass appeal to let his money grow like grass.  He’s a word painter that must be read in the mind yet demands and delivers the liveness of the GOAT MCs.  Reverse the repercussions of reversed revolutions in our music and PTSD is the pop album of choice.  A Hip Hop album, as PTSD,  focused on a specific issue yet encompassing myriad insights, with supreme techniques of puzzling complexity and immediate appeal, is often an impossible dream far from sight.  For Pharoahe Monch, a GOAT candidate MC, it’s just a result of his determination running every aspect mentally on the mic.