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PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Album Review

Going big with his 2014 release, Pharoahe Monch offers a conceptual album that is somewhere between Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Marvin Gaye's What's Going On with a bit of the influence of Philip K. Dick, the sci-fi writer who gave the world Blade Runner and Total Recall. The Dick bit comes from the theme that a company called Recollection can remove anxiety, stress, and other bad thoughts from the brain, but with Monch pulling such inspiration and creativity out of isolation (the Pink Floyd influence) and injustice (the Marvin Gaye influence), the album as a whole is a vibrant argument against the Recollection company's tactics. It's a funky blow against the empire as well, as "Damage" borrows a weird bit of LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" to tell its tale of gun violence; then there's the stately and aptly titled "Bad M.F.," which comes on like the brightest, proudest Kanye West production, thanks to longtime collaborator Lee Stone. Speaking of beats, check out the psychedelic kick Quelle Chris puts behind the rapper's cathartic therapy session called "Scream," while "D.R.E.A.M.," featuring Talib Kweli, finds Stone brewing up a sweet and soft funky shuffle over which Monch offers dreams both sublime ("You could benefit from getting off the Internet/For just a minute") and ridiculous ("I dreamed of candy-coated cars and panties that go with bras"). All of it comes together for an album that's deep, attractive, and well-executed, but it's also incredibly wise, as the 40+ rapper turns in a series of age-appropriate rhymes packed with insight and, at times, an "I can see clearly now" sense of purpose.

Customer Reviews


People sleep on this dude every day. One of the greatest. No doubt this will be one of the best albums this year.

The Cure

Locked in your head, with your thoughts and fears, plagued by worries or stress?Threw my headphones on, laid my head down and listened from start to finish. Was like a whole new world, when i looked up. Relaxed and feeling myself again. Real music, real medicine.

Nothing but the best.

There is no doubt that thus will be the best album of 2014.


Born: October 31, 1972 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While a member of the New York City duo Organized Konfusion, Pharoahe Monch developed a reputation as one of underground hip-hop's preeminent lyricists, crafting intricate and intelligent raps with partner Prince Poetry. After recording three albums together from 1991-1997, the two amicably split up, and Monch pursued a more aggressive solo style with the terrific independent label Rawkus. He made guest appearances on other artists' records and contributed tracks to the Rawkus compilation Soundbombing,...
Full Bio