Pharoahe Monch Details His Upcoming Album. He Vows It’s His Hardest To Date (Audio)
Pharoahe Monch has not released an album in almost five years. The Queens, New York MC/producer boasts a consistent catalog, whether solo or his three albums with Prince Po in Organized Konfusion. 2014’s P.T.S.D. was a critically celebrated release that examined the stresses (and stressors) of the world and in Troy Jamerson’s personal life.
In the time since, Monch has supplied fans with a litany of potent guest verses, from a standout Wu-Tang Clan remix verse this past summer, to work with Apathy, Saukrates, Diamond D, O.C., and Ghostface Killah. However, he is working on a project that he boasts will be something special in a catalog that spans back nearly 30 years.
Pharoahe appeared on Take It Personal Radio‘s tribute to him, alongside PhilaFlava, Kevlar, and music from DJ 360. In the midst of nearly five hours of music (including rarities, remixes, and some new exclusive renditions), Monch looked back at his career. At 2:12:00, Monch speaks about what he has in store for fans. “It’s really, really, really insane. I’m looking at the [collection] of our records, and I’m thinking it’s one of my best projects, ever. It’s the hardest project [that I have] ever [done]. It’s the darkest project ever [too]. The bars are somewhere between [Stress:] Extinction Agenda and Internal Affairs,” he says, referring to O.K.’s celebrated sophomore and his solo debut. “This new project has a heavy Rock influence. It’s hard as f*ck. It’s super bar’d-out; some of the of the songs don’t even have choruses. It’s everything that I’ve been wanting to do over the last eight years.” Monch, an avid Rock & Roll fan, says he can describe Black Sabbath as an influence on the upcoming LP.
“My production partner from Internal Affairs, Lee Stone, is spearheading this sh*t. It’s joints from Nottz that I think people are gonna know it’s him, but be like, ‘Where the f*ck did he find this?'” In 2018, the Virginia-based Nottz made the PopDuke album with Bumpy Knuckles. Later, Monch says, “Look, I know every artist puts out a new album and they’re like, ‘Yo, son, this my best sh*t.’ I’m feeling like there’s a certain temperament of cats that’s gonna be like, ‘Yo dog, this my best project.'”
Hosts ask Monch about the likelihood of more Organized music. “I don’t know. I just sent [Prince Po] a beat that he loves. That’s where we’re at with it right now,” says Pharoahe. “For me, the sh*t has gotta be super-organic. As long as its that, I don’t care what the vibe is. The vibe can be all funny sh*t. The vibe can be all Funk sh*t. The producer could be this guy, it could be that guy.” In 2014, the pair reunited (with O.C.) for a video single. It was the latest in a series of collaborations in the 21 years since the pair’s last LP.
Elsewhere in the chat, Pharoahe reveals that Organized Konfusion had the beat to O.C.’s “Time’s Up.” However, after recording to the beat, it was not a fit. The next day, Monch’s childhood neighbor and longtime friend/affiliate O.C. recorded the first verse. The track became a calling card hit for the D.I.T.C. MC (1:28:00). He recalls how a publishing deal allowed him to write for Puff Daddy in the mid-2000s (2:09:00). Monch describes how late producer Paul C. shaped the sound and style of Organized Konfusion. He also describes hesitancy from labels to sign him and Prince Poetry. While Russell Simmons and Def Jam Records made an offer, it was less than half of what the Disney-backed Hollywood Records paid the Queens duo.
Tomorrow (September 13), Monch joins Rakim and Black Thought for a “live mixtape” New York City event orchestrated by J. Period. Ambrosia For Heads will be in the building.