Pharoahe Monch Delivers The Long-Awaited Album Alongside His Band Th1rt3en

In the last week, 2021’s Hip-Hop release calendar got an exciting jump-start. Pharoahe Monch treated fans with his first album in more than six-and-a-half years. Since that time, the Queens, New York lyricist and producer had described a dark, Hard Rock-influenced album. In 2021, that presumed material surfaced alongside Monch’s new band Th1rt3en. For more than a year, Monch has teased fans with the grouping—which includes guitarist Marcus Machado and drummer Daru Jones—who are each also members of Pete Rock’s Soul Brothers lineup.

January 22’s Fat Beats-released A Magnificent Day For An Exorcism includes Cypress Hill as guests, as well as production from Monch, Nottz, Parks, Marco Polo, E. Jones, and longtime Pharoahe collaborator Lee Stone. “I came up with a multitude of music in the crib, from Gospel to Rock to Soul and Blues, Jazz. My oldest brother was very much into [Led] Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, a lot of ’70s classic Rock. That’s where it got implemented into my lexicon. Since then I’ve been attracted to it, even in the Hip-Hop sense,” Monch told Flood Magazine‘s Soren Baker—a member of the Ambrosia For Heads and AFHTV family. “So I wanted to really go in that direction with this project, in a way, but not lose any Hip-Hop temperament in terms of the production. As I go deeper into it, I’m like, ‘Yeah, this idea needs to be brought to another level by finding the musicians who could actually form a band—not studio musicians or tour musicians—and stick to these guys in the making of this record.’ So I obviously needed somebody with rock chops as well as Hip-Hop chops, which is how I reached out to Daru [Jones] and Marcus Machado. With  the recordings, I still wanted to have an almost chopped, sample feel, because I always hate it when a lot of the other mashups would kind of lose that tightness.”

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True to Monch’s blueprint since Organized Konfusion, concepts are very much at play. Songs like “Racist,” “Cult 45,” and “666 (Three Six Word Stories)” address social and political perils, while being executed with clever care. Monch last released P.T.S.D. in early 2014.

Heads can catch recent AFH What’s The Headline interviews with Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Mobb Deep’s Havoc, Duckwrth, and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available wherever you stream your pods.

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Here Is What Else Is Happening Of Note:

The Juggaknots’ Breeze Brewin has released his debut solo album Hindsight. The Matic Records release features De La Soul’s Maseo, DJ Spinna, Marco Polo, and Black Milk. The LP arrives nearly 25 years after the heralded Clear Blue Skies on Bobbito’s Fondle ‘Em. The onetime Weathermen member and Fat Beat shop alum previously served as the protagonist MC on Prince Paul’s 1999 Prince Among Thieves.

D&D Studios co-founder David Lotwin told the Breaking Atoms: The Hip Hop Podcast that comedian Russell Peters is producing a documentary on the famous Midtown Manhattan recording studio and subsequent record label. Lotwin also shares stories involving KRS-One, DJ Premier, Peter Tosh, and The Lost Boyz. Gang Starr, D.I.T.C., Da Beatminerz, and Tony Touch were among the Hip-Hop artists that set up shop in the enclave between the mid-1990s and 2000s.

The Roots are re-releasing a deluxe edition of 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??! The March 12 3LP vinyl reissue will include rare remixes, including in-house work as well as Da Beatminerz and AJ Shine. Questlove and Black Thought will include track-by-track liner notes, retrospective photographs, as well as essays on the original gold-certified Geffen Records release. (OkayPlayer)

In his final days in office as President, Donald Trump not only pardoned Lil Wayne, he offered the same gesture to alleged Death Row Records financier Michael “Harry-O” Harris, rapper Kodak Black, as well as Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez and her husband/colleague “O.G.” Juan Perez. (Variety)

A fresh investigative report by journalist Mosi Reeves examines at how sample-sites can create legal issues for producers, especially in Hip-Hop, and shape the music industry. The comprehensive piece has input from Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf and former label manager-turned-Madlib manager Egon. (Pitchfork)

#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads’ official playlist, featuring new music from Pharoahe Monch, Statik Selektah, AZ, Tobe Nwigwe, Royce 5’9, Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, Ill Bill, Nana, Cordae, Lyric Jones, Nas, Oddisee, Boldy James, Benny The Butcher, 2 Chainz, REASON, Jack Harlow, MC Eiht, The LOX, and others.

Press image provided by Pharoahe Monch.