MP3 review: Pharoahe Monche’s “Desire”

If you don’t already know who Queens-born-and-bred MC Pharoahe Monche is: you definitely will in 2007. He just released a preview of the single “Desire” on SRC off of his forthcoming album of the same name, and it has been blowing up on the hip-hop blogosphere. The track is produced by Alchemist of Dilated Peoples fame, and in a post-Dilla universe, it is quite obvious from the first notes — razor-sharp strings coupled with heavy boom-bap breaks — that Alchemist is paying homage to the deceased master. Pharoahe gets wicked with rhymes like New York City respects my game like Joe Namath/ And I protect my name like your anus/in prison and I am the poetical pastor/slave to my label but I still own my master’s. Pharaohe’s new sound is a departure from the tracks he was making on Rawkus, where you were sure to hear robotic breaks and squelching synthy bass via Def Jux Productions. On this new slab of wax the man is ditching the Roland Juno synths and bringing the Delfonics and the Godfather of Soul into the perspective. In an era of hip-hop oversaturated with crunk and hyphy and in light of J-Dilla and J-Brown’s recent departures, now is a good time to bring the soul back into the mix.

Click here to stream Pharoahe — Oscar Medina

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