“One of the things I'm able to do is pull from my experiences,” he says of “Broken Again,” the first song recorded for what was originally to be an EP. Where Monch is usually either a confident romantic or a raunchy lothario on records about women, this song finds him surprisingly vulnerable in a place where he doesn’t have the answers. “The story is metaphoric because the girl became an addiction. She helped me mask everything I was dealing with like a drug would do, and when it didn't work out it was hard for me to mend from that…” “Broken Again” is complemented by equally introspective sonic time stamps like “Rapid Eye Movement” (featuring Black Thought) “D.R.E.A.M.” (featuring Talib Kweli and produced by Lee Stone) “The Jungle” and “Times2” produced by Marco Polo. However, by the end of the album a sense of fear sets in that we’ve reached the end of a journey as well, that the demons from Monch’s dystopian nightmare have emerged victorious. “If you listen to the skit at the end he gets charged into that facility and he's been there for a long time. When he wakes up the laws have changed and he's placed under arrest for what's in his head,” says Monch of the dystopian theme. “This is possibly my last Pharoahe Monch album.” But what does ‘last’ mean for a meta-MC who habitually leaves self-referential Easter eggs linking his past and present like strands of DNA? On the aforementioned title track where he outlines his struggles with mortality he leaves us with a semblance of hope as he says, “do not despair, breathe, fight/ because there is more life to live…believe.” With self-preservation as a prime directive, Monch has finally made peace with his internal affairs and his desires. Having identified the impact the war has had on his psyche, the fight will continue but on his terms. “To get in there and put my fuckin’ soul on these songs…that's what it's about.”
Jerry L. Barrow


Lost In Translation


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Pharoahe Monch – Broken Again


Pharoahe Monch – Still Standing (Official Music Video)
Pharoahe Monch – Black Hand Side featuring Styles P and Phonte