The last time we heard from Pharoahe Monch he dropped the well-received W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) LP in 2011. Fittingly, he’s return back from W.A.R. and is enduring P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Talk about real rap, huh?
The Queens MC has a well-earned rep as one of the most talented lyricists of all time. He’s a rapper’s rapper with a precise approach to his bars from the delivery to the syllables, with a genuine touch of soul in between. Lucky for us, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder features Monch delivering more of exactly what he’s known for. Let’s take a look at the best moments from the project. Gas masks are optional.
“Time2” (Verse 1)
My top spin’s perpetual, make the connection/
You sleep cause reality bites, inception
The Monch kicks off PTSD with an illusion to a recent favorite, Martin Scorcese’s “Inception.” Anyone who has saw the movie knows the symbolism of the spinning top, and anyone who is familiar with Pharoahe Monch knows that his style of rap isn’t based in fairy tales.
“Time2” (Verse 2)
La-la-la-last ye-ye-year they hired me/
And this-s-s-s we-we-we-we-week the-the-they fired me/
And I g-g-g-got all these b-b-b-b-bills to pay/
And what the f-f-f-f-fu-f-f-fuck am I supposed to say/
T-t-t-t-to my wife she’s p-p-p-p-pregnant/
And if the kid does not go to college his life’s irrelevant
Monch is known for his complex rhyme schemes like this one here. He picks his syllables perfectly and delivers the bars in a way that makes them stick to your ribs.
“Losing My Mind” (Verse 1)
Would someone explain who’d/ Leave a Dick in charge of a Bush,
Of a colon I’m screwed/ Saw more war than Warsaw Poland, viewed…
Monch’s criticism of America’s elected officials stems from the failures of the Bush Administration. Listen as he ties the names of George BUSH, DICK Cheney, and COLIN (COLON) Powell into his rhymes, comparing them with the nether parts of the human anatomy along the way.
“Losing My Mind” (Verse 1)
Lights flash, if I could only put the past on a flashdrive, I’d/
For peace of mind, install an external drive/
So I’d be more driven internally to survive/ I’m…
Another moment of intricacy to get a point across here. This time Monch uses some computer knowledge to detail how his past still haunts him.
“Losing My Mind” (Verse 2)
My family customs were not accustomed to dealing with mental health/
It was more or less an issue for white families with wealth
A very interesting look at life in the inner-city/urban lifestyle. When you think of struggle in that community it usually deals with violence and lack of funds. Pharoahe opens that side of Pandora’s Box by telling us that not only was he having the mental issues that are only looked at as problems in White suburbia, he had no support because of his family’s already tough time dealing with life in general conditioned him.
“Damage” (Verse 1)
Before displaying some of my various tattoos (Trayvon)/
The Oscar award-winning Aiyana Jones (Hey Sean)
If Pharoahe Monch didn’t touch on these subjects, who would? Pharoahe dives into the discomforting trend of young African Americans being murdered by law enforcement or those claiming self-defense.
“Bad MF” (Verse 1)
Who put these pussies on top/
Putting out that pussy music, call it pussy pop
Monch takes a shot at chart chasers who he feels have compromised the raw element of hip-hop for status by making more radio friendly records, which he alludes to, hilariously, as pussy pop.
“Bad MF” (Verse 2)
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
A moment of imagery here. Pharoahe sets up a scenario which will bring some type of picture to your head. I’m not going to name anyone, but I’m pretty sure you may have the same image as me.
“Rapid Eye Movement” (Verse 1)
Me and the ammunition’s in a relationship that’s monogamous/
It’s like I’m married to the silencer/
Until I file for divorce and release my ex-calibers
Just some ill wordplay here. If all gun-lines were as creative, we might still want to hear them.
“Rapid Eye Movement” (Verse 2)
Cause I’m trying to see man united without referencing UK soccer teams
Pharoahe with another slick bar here. This time he uses the popular soccer team from London to advance his quotes.
“Rapid Eye Movement” (Black Thought) (Verse 3)
I bear arms like button-downs without the sleeves/
Manic depressive and possessive like apostrophes
This verse by The Root’s frontman was just disgusting. My goodness. I mean, just listen.
“The Jungle” (Verse 2)
I understand sometimes we all feel fenced in/
But utilize your mind to define dimensions/
Just then I lost the little monkey’s attention/
As he stared into the distance focusing and squinting, at a/
Beautiful gazelle that was grazing in the grass with/
Muscular legs and a rhinoceros ass
Monch drops knowledge to the youth who will lend an ear. We all know it can be hard to get out of a rut, but we should never let the physical define our boundaries. Unfortunately, this advice will probably fall on deaf ears. The kid that he’s speaking to has already fixed his attention on a fine ass female. The attention span of this generation in one line.
“D.R.E.A.M.” (Verse 1)
Yo, you know the limericks are limitless, not limited in sentiment/
But increments of infinite potential in the scenes/
You could benefit from getting off of the internet/
For just a minute, it’s a simple song
Another line that’s likely directed towards the youth, and important in the grand scheme of things. These days, we spend more time on our laptops and phones than we do anywhere else. Some get so lost in these devices that it consumes their minds. If we could just get away from them for one second. Easier said than done?
Verdict: It’s no surprise that Pharoahe Monch delivered one of the better albums of the year. The technically-gifted rapper didn’t miss a step on P.T.S.D.. Monch sounds as fresh as he did when we last heard him at his best on W.A.R. This is certainly worth a listen for any true fan of hip-hop, if not for Monch, at least for the deadly verse by Black Thought on “Rapid Eye Movement.”