The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, June 20, 2014, Music

Pharoahe Monch

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (W.A.R. Media/Ingrooves)

Fourth album Post Traumatic Stress Disorder arrives three years after a commercial dud. We Are Renegades, in turn, landed four years after Desire. That latter sophomore effort proved so hot it had many believing this gifted Queens rapper a shoo-in for stardom. One quickly understands how little that spotlight matters on PTSD ..., a 16-track clip allegiant only to its MC. "I'm gonna use my power to shine my light," raps Monch, 41, on gritty NYC serenade "The Jungle." A quartet of tracks earlier, on second interlude "The Recollection Facility Pt. 2," there's the assertion "Your dreams cannot change reality." And so it unfolds. Assessment. Acceptance. Assault. Troy Jamerson remains one "Bad M.F.," most evident on fifth track "Damage," a pointed anthem about pop culture and sociological injustices over a searing sample extracted from LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out." Pharoahe Monch, "Sick enough to walk into an art gallery and piss on a Picasso."


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