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Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R (We Are Renegades) Tracklist + Listening Session (22.03.11)

RuffDraft
RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
edited June 2011 in The Essence
pharoahe-monch-WAR.jpg

Tracklist:

1. The Warning feat. Idris Elba (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
2. Calculated Amalgamation (produced by Lion Share Music Group)
3. Evolve (produced by Exile)
4. W.A.R. feat. Immortal Technique & Vernon Reid (produced by Marco Polo)
5. Clap (One Day) featuring Showtyme & DJ Boogie Blind (produced by M-Phazes)
6. Black Hand Side featuring Styles P & Phonte (produced by Mike Loe)
7. Let My People Go (produced by Fatin "10" Horton)
8. Shine featuring Mela Machinko (produced by Diamond D)
9. Halie Selassie Karate featuring Mr. Porter (produced by Sam I Am)
10. The Hitman (produced by M-Phazes)
11. Assassins featuring Jean Grae & Royce Da 5'9 (produced by M-Phazes)
12. The Grand Illusion (Circa 1973) featuring Citizen Cope (produced by Adam Deitch & Eric Krasno)
13. Still Standing featuring Jill Scott (produced by M-Phazes)

Be interesting to see how the Immortal Technique track will turn out with Marco Polo on the boards - hoping it's a well produced track, rather than some of his weak repetitive beats that I'm personally not feeling.

Great to see Phonte too with Jean Grae and Royce Da 5'9, hopefully this will live up to expectations...

The one thing that I'm most excited about for this album is that Exile has been recruited as a producer!!!!! Good to see Monch feeling some good production, that could be a great track.

Comments

  • rip.dilla
    rip.dilla ... push up the fader... bust the meter... shake the tweeter Members Posts: 17,412 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    Monch never disappoints on the MIC. Def copping this.

    Pre-ordered since last year.
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    rip.dilla wrote: »
    Monch never disappoints on the MIC. Def copping this.

    Pre-ordered since last year.

    Nice Dilla, should not disappoint as you say, definitely looking forward to this release... what you think to the guest features and producers?
  • rip.dilla
    rip.dilla ... push up the fader... bust the meter... shake the tweeter Members Posts: 17,412 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    RuffDraft wrote: »
    Nice Dilla, should not disappoint as you say, definitely looking forward to this release... what you think to the guest features and producers?

    Straight indie route. I likes.
  • Stew
    Stew Rap Music Is My Religion HTTRMembers, Moderators, Writer Posts: 52,234 Regulator
    edited March 2011
    Will be checking for this. Didnt even know he was coming out with something. Anybody gotta 1st single?
  • Neslom
    Neslom Members Posts: 431
    edited March 2011
    Looks good. Lots of features

    He's performing here next month since Common cancelled. Don't know if I can make it. Anyone seen him live?
  • traestar
    traestar Atlantic City, NJMembers Posts: 6,030 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    rip.dilla wrote: »
    Monch never disappoints on the MIC. Def copping this.

    Pre-ordered since last year.

    Yea I agree, for as long as I've been listening to him, he doesn't play around!
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    rip.dilla wrote: »
    Straight indie route. I likes.

    haha the Independent albums already have the mainstream in a chokehold!
    hlf wrote: »
    Will be checking for this. Didnt even know he was coming out with something. Anybody gotta 1st single?

    Great track, IMO. The clap at the end is nice...

    'Nicer than Santa with no Clause' lol.
    Neslom wrote: »
    Looks good. Lots of features

    He's performing here next month since Common cancelled. Don't know if I can make it. Anyone seen him live?

    He should revisit a beat like Simon Says and Got You, his vocals over those type of beats are flawless...

    I haven't seen him live, but if he was coming over I'd definitely go see him, his catalogue along with his work as half of Organized Konfusion is too good to miss.
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    Getting my hands on an advance copy of Pharoahe Monch's W.A.R. is quite an exciting proposition. The album is easily one of my most anticipated of 2011, and that is after being one of my most anticipated albums of 2010 (it's original release date). It is both an honor and a privilege to be able to write one of the first reviews for it.

    Pharoahe Monch has a near perfect 20 year Hip-Hop record, going back to his days with Organized Konfusion, and his two instantly classic solo albums, Internal Affairs and Desire. He is one of the most underrated MC's to ever hold the mic. His delivery, lyrical ability and content are second to none. As Jay Electronica infamously said, "Eminem got skills, he nice, so what? Pharoahe Monch is 20 times nicer than Em."

    With that in mind, my expectations are understandably very high for W.A.R. He is one of those artists who doesn't put out a lot of material. It's quality over quantity. So I'm not going into this as an average Hip-Hop listener -- I'm looking for revolutionary music, another classic album.

    Okay, enough with the introductions and expectations, and on to what you want to know: Does the Pharoahe deliver another masterpiece?

    Simple answer: YES

    The opening two tracks serve as an intro -- The Warning comes in at just 54 seconds, while Calculated Amalgamation is really an extended intro with a verse. The album officially kicks off with the smooth, haunting, and deep, Evolve. I had never imagined Pharoahe Monch rocking over an Exile beat, but it proves to be a perfect match as it is easily one of the best tracks on the album. Pharoahe is at the top of his game here, with one-of-kind-wordplay and his usual scathing commentary of the industry and society over the beautiful Exile production.

    Next up is W.A.R., the album's title track. My biggest complaint comes here, but it ultimately a small one; when I see "feat. Immortal Technique," not getting a verse from Tech is a disappointment, as he is only found on the hook. However, putting that aside, this a great anthem joint. We Are Renegades! Pharoahe's lyrical content contains what every mainstream rapper is too afraid to say.

    "I got a middle finger for mass media, mute the news / cause When The Gun Draws received a million views / which gives me the right to break the rules / say 🤬 radio if the people can't pick and choose!"

    The revolutionary vibe of the album is felt throughout, which brings us to one of W.A.R.'s brightest moments: Clap! (One Day) which serves as the albums first single. A blunt and harsh condemnation of the police and the American Police State, everything about this song is perfect: the production, the chorus, the lyrical content; and the a capella finale is absolutely genius.

    Pharoahe links up again with Styles P (after their successful collaboration for My Life) on another standout track, Black Hand Side. One of the most soulful joints on the album (which is full of soul and funk!), Styles P gets the opening verse and is able to hold his own alongside Pharoahe. Styles also drops a nice but easy-to-overlook shot at Obama.

    Shining is a shining example of Monch's completely unique flow and delivery. Who sounds like this? And his inventive lyrics never disappoint: "In the struggle, the stress make him asthmatic / Where I'm from, we do not eat organic (talk about it) / You see my mama cannot afford Whole Foods / She break fast for the bread, call it soul food."

    On Assassins, he is joined by Jean Grae and Royce Da 5'9", and it serves as the only posse cut as well as the only song on W.A.R. that is not dominated by Monch. While both come through with strong verses, particularly Ms. Grae, it is not one of my favorite tracks, but I can see this being a favorite for a lot people.

    Still Standing, with the always great Jill Scott, is the closing track and is fittingly one of the most inspirational -- and one of my favorites.

    My Top Tracks:

    Evolution (🤬 . Exile)
    Clap! (One Day)
    Still Standing ft. Jill Scott
    Black Hand Side ft. Styles P
    W.A.R. ft. Immortal Technique

    Conclusion: Now on my 4th listen through as I write this review, the album does not have any weak songs. His revolutionary and conscientious approach and unmatched lyrical ability and delivery make every track worth untold listens. The production overall is fantastic, as the album holds cohesively to a soulful and funky vibe that matches Pharoahe Monch's unorthodox flow. I'll just go ahead and say it: This is classic material.

    W.A.R. drops March 22nd. BUY IT. Support Real Hip-Hop.

    OVERALL -- 9.2 / 10

    One Love,
    Real

    Sounds like it doesn't disappoint and it's nice to see the Exile track being featured as one of the best tracks, I mean it when I say Exile is possibly THE producer right now, he can create a soundscape like Kno can and other than them two, I find it hard to say who else is in their league like that, independent of course.

    Don't agree with the reviewer dropping the word classic though, lol. But I guess it's easy to get carried away with Monch.

    Looking forward to it...
  • Stew
    Stew Rap Music Is My Religion HTTRMembers, Moderators, Writer Posts: 52,234 Regulator
    edited March 2011
    RuffDraft wrote: »

    Great track, IMO. The clap at the end is nice...

    'Nicer than Santa with no Clause' lol.


    O 🤬 , dopeness. Considered copped. Thanks homie
  • rip.dilla
    rip.dilla ... push up the fader... bust the meter... shake the tweeter Members Posts: 17,412 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    Dope ass review.

    All good then
  • traestar
    traestar Atlantic City, NJMembers Posts: 6,030 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    This is really harsh tho!!
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    hlf wrote: »
    O 🤬 , dopeness. Considered copped. Thanks homie

    No problem, it's a great single, I'm impressed with M-Phazes production as well; he's on a number of tracks for the album - he might just be the hottest new producer I've never checked for before!

    M-Phazes has produced for Kweli and Slaughterhouse too... his debut album came out last year, I'm going to check for it...
    traestar wrote: »
    This is really harsh tho!!

    I'm not listening lol. I listen to the singles, not the album tracks, can't wait to get it though, I heard it was close to the work they did before? My Life? If so, wow.
  • traestar
    traestar Atlantic City, NJMembers Posts: 6,030 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    RuffDraft wrote: »
    No problem, it's a great single, I'm impressed with M-Phazes production as well; he's on a number of tracks for the album - he might just be the hottest new producer I've never checked for before!

    M-Phazes has produced for Kweli and Slaughterhouse too... his debut album came out last year, I'm going to check for it...



    I'm not listening lol. I listen to the singles, not the album tracks, can't wait to get it though, I heard it was close to the work they did before? My Life? If so, wow.

    lol..
    but yea its a feel good track!
  • stupot0607
    stupot0607 Members Posts: 1,914 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    Mannn i cant wait for this album to drop!!!! when this drops im guna get it on my ipod, just ignore everybody and listen to it 100%.

    2011 looks like another amazing year for hip hop with all these dope underground releases.
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    Pharoahe Monch's Black Hand Side with Styles P was featured this morning on Soccer AM!!!

    Can't wait for this release now...
  • stupot0607
    stupot0607 Members Posts: 1,914 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    RuffDraft wrote: »
    Pharoahe Monch's Black Hand Side with Styles P was featured this morning on Soccer AM!!!

    Can't wait for this release now...

    Hahahahahaha mannn Soccer AM do their thing for music... i have to giv it up to them, especially on Showboats they have some decent tunes.

    they always have a indie act on the sofa aswell..
  • Ounceman
    Ounceman Members Posts: 6,702 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    Props for that review. ive been patitently waiting for this album to drop for the longest. ive stated this already, but i dont know if anybody saw it, seeing as how this thread is the most appropriate place for it i might as well say it again. imo, monch is personally my favorite emcee still rhyming today. he's had an impeccable career over a span of 20 years now. so if there's anybody anxiously holding their breath for this album right here, it would be me.
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2011
    stupot0607 wrote: »
    Hahahahahaha mannn Soccer AM do their thing for music... i have to giv it up to them, especially on Showboats they have some decent tunes.

    they always have a indie act on the sofa aswell..

    They do always have a good selection of hip hop on there, can't knock them for it!! :tu
    Ounceman wrote: »
    Props for that review. ive been patitently waiting for this album to drop for the longest. ive stated this already, but i dont know if anybody saw it, seeing as how this thread is the most appropriate place for it i might as well say it again. imo, monch is personally my favorite emcee still rhyming today. he's had an impeccable career over a span of 20 years now. so if there's anybody anxiously holding their breath for this album right here, it would be me.

    There's definitely artists that can be placed alongside him, but agreed he is definitely one of the most consistent, similar to Masta Ace.

    Looking forward to hearing the album though, it's available for pre-order via Amazon as well, so going to cop it this week in time for early dispatch, hopefully.
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2011
    Video for the much discussed 'Black Hand Side,' found this in The Reason but likely that thread will die...
  • traestar
    traestar Atlantic City, NJMembers Posts: 6,030 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2011
    RuffDraft wrote: »
    Video for the much discussed 'Black Hand Side,' found this in The Reason but likely that thread will die...

    Thats very true, I just finished it seconds ago, good video!!
  • ty the great
    ty the great Members Posts: 162
    edited June 2011
    I really wanted to like this album, being a fan of Monch since the Organized Konfusion days, being one of the few rap acts I;ve had the pleasure of seeing live (dope show too, very lively), but this album was just a lot of "meh" to me. Didn't really captivate me and I felt little desire to revisit much of it after a few listens. Disappointing , to say the least.
  • stupot0607
    stupot0607 Members Posts: 1,914 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2011
    I Dont think it lived up to the expectation i had for it....

    After Desire was a great, (near classic maybe?) cd.

    This has a couple of great tracks, but for me no real replay value and i cant get into it...

    I Dunno if anybody else thinks this?
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2011
    I'm with both of you on this one, I liked it, but that's all really. I never revisited it as much as I would have thought I would have...

    But it dropped when CunninLynguists dropped, I never had this over their album anyway.... but still, Pharoahe has an incredible catalog and the album is far from wack... just that the production never reached the heights of Black Hand Side or the quality really. He still has one of the nastiest flows ever.
  • ty the great
    ty the great Members Posts: 162
    edited June 2011
    Yeah, this dropping same time as Oneirology didn't help. Oneirology dominated my listening for weeks while WAR got pushed to the background. Perhaps I'll give it a revisit some time later the year, but I don't expect to hear anything that will make me change my mind.
  • RuffDraft
    RuffDraft Members, Writer Posts: 4,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2011
    Yeah, this dropping same time as Oneirology didn't help. Oneirology dominated my listening for weeks while WAR got pushed to the background. Perhaps I'll give it a revisit some time later the year, but I don't expect to hear anything that will make me change my mind.

    Same @ both. But this track was also nice on Monch's: