“Backpack rappers” get a bad…rap…because, well, it tends to either be pretentious and sanctimonious, or obtuse and prolix. In short: not at all fun to listen to. Pharoahe Monch avoids these pitfalls, yet still creates something political with intelligent narratives, a funky mainstream production, articulate wordplay, and furious delivery. You probably know “Simon Says”, but the bulk of his 2007 full length Desire is sick, a must have.
As is, I presume, the forthcoming album from Monch, entitled W.A.R. (We Are Renegades). The first taste will only make you hungry for more. “Shine”, produced by Diamond D and featuring frequent Desire guest MeLa Machinko, is a welcome return to the scene for Monch. His narrative in “Shine” harkens back to the likes of Nas’ “NY State Of Mind” and his flow lands like a more venomous Mos Def. The second chorus starting at 1:51 is some deft lyrical business which alone should make Monch a strong contender for a top spot in this year of hip-hop. Check out the whole track below (via Culture Bully ).
W.A.R. is due out September 14th via his own new label also titled W.A.R. Media in conjunction with Duck Down Music.