Pharoahe Monch is the stage name of Troy Donald Jamerson and is one of the founding members of the rap duo Organized Konfusion (with Prince Poetry). Pharoahe branched out on his own in 1999 and ‘Desire’ is his third solo effort.
According to the press release, Monch says, “be original, be true to yourself, and be as skillful as possible on the mic device.” Mic device? Well, you know what they’re talking about.
Monch does try something different to my untrained ear in that he starts the album off with a gospel intro that will make listeners think they’ve picked up the wrong disc. He then connects the next track “Free” to the spiritual in that it deals with freedom from slavery, etc.
“Push” features Showtyme, Mela Machink, Tower of Power, and some great horn work. “Welcome to the Terrordome” samples the title track from Pubic Enemy and also “Come and Get it” by H. D. Rogers. “Body Baby” even has a sound like a song from the ‘40s.
Grammy winner Erykah Badu even turns up on “Hold On.” The epic 9-minute “Trilogy” follows a fellow finding out his wife is cheating to the events that unfold after that revelation.
Monch lays down some good rap but also puts in enough interesting variations to keep my untrained ears listening (and rap is not my favorite genre). I liked what I heard.