The Squeezebox: Pharoahe Monch- W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) (2011)

21 03 2011

Pharoahe Monch is back again on We are renegades, a war themed (Obviously) Hip Hop Concept Album Relating to Iraq and conspiracy theories. The concept quickly falls to the wayside however, and Pharoahe comes with some of his sickest flow and wordplay since Internal Affairs. tracks like Evolve, Clap or The Hitman Prove once again that he is one of the dopest MCs to ever touch a Mic. spitting dizzying complex barrages of lyrics that would leave some of the best tongue-tied attempting. The Beats on W.A.R. are uniformly Strong throughout as well; Half is produced by Australian Beat-maker M-Phazes while other tracks feature Heavyweights like Diamond D, Marco Polo, Exile, and so on drawing from familiar but rewarding Hip Hop Staples: Soul, obscure strings samples, Organs, etc.

W.A.R. also packs some Rock influences into its arsenal. Thick Live sounding drums mix with Bombastic guitar solos and choir singing invade the title track to create a thumping, Post Apocalyptic, Fight-Song. A rare hip hop album that is both progressive and consistently Great. It’s stacked with great Songs and many incredible what I like to call, “Oh Shit!” Moments from Monch‘s word-weaving.   The only thing that can detract from such a great album  is the common pitfall of some Unfortunate guest spots.   Detroit Rapper Royce Da 5’9‘ drops one of the corniest and disgusting verses in recent memory on Assassins, which will roll both your eyes, and stomach. And how about the rather off-sounding Citizen Cope feature on the chorus of The Grand Illusion.  None of this can detract from Monch’s Gift as a lyricist though, and he delivered A Hip Hop album that’s becoming more and more rare these days.

87/100 -Armordillo

Live Radio Performance of “Clap” off the new album (W.A.R.)

He straight up kills it.




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