Probably the most highly anticipated album for the genre this year, how pleasantly ironic that we all endeavor to suffer from ‘PTSD’! Lyrically, Monch sounds like he did back during ‘The Equinox’, and the production perfects the formula used on his work from three-years ago. Easily his most commercially viable yet aesthetically satisfying project (sublimely balanced in content presentation; i.e. contrast “Time2” with “D.R.E.A.M.”), this Pharoahes’ reign is still very strong, with no signs of losing ground.
A very impressive and timely concept piece, the title is a condition borne as both badge and stigma for our day; Monch narrates his broken-down-rebuilt-stumble-and-stagger-off vision with not only consummate confidence, but also honesty of vulnerability. The placement of interludes/skits are perfect segues—he literally turned images of pain and struggle into a work of art, like lead into gold! How many so-called artists in our culture can actually do such a thing, to “use your confusion” so to speak? Not all music is alchemy. By far the only lyricist, of his era, I follow whose catalog has steadily increased in quality since the debut—seriously, the lone flaw with this offering is a danger of plateauing the next one. Running on octane from “Damage” and “Bad M.F.” for around 18-months at least, I definitely held impossibly high expectations. There will no doubt be fans and newbies who are going to wax disappointedly at the lack of sustained beast-mode bravado—but they would also be missing the idea entirely. So be it, one can occasionally get what they have asked for; we are pulled into PM’s head and taken through a refreshingly weird and real/real-ish experience. Even with the excusably loose theme-line, even with the production-remix of “Eht Dnarg Noisulli” (the alternate ending of sorts, via “Stand Your Ground”, on the digital copy is much appreciated), my attention and faith never wavered—and I have much faith in very few things. Perhaps he should get depressed more often, if this is what he is going to give us; I mean, “Rapid Eye Movement” was absolutely ridiculous—and Thought’s verse is the first of any guest to damn-near outshine a duo-collaboration with this cat (remember “The What” with Method Man, or “Renegade” with Eminem, plus unquestionable nods to Monch’s “Oh No” spot and Thought’s on “Super Lyrical”: it was like that). Good music does often take time and context to create, and I feel the wait was worth enduring.
As per the HHDSM: our subjects’ current condition is one of terminally ill status, whose etiological roots are a matter of ‘Internal Affairs’, which insatiably ‘Desire’ an external and socially disruptive ‘W.A.R.’ for healthy expression: his state at present is necessarily understandable. I do not think there is a single, or team of physicians who could prescribe a medicinal regimen or submit some other type of cure for his sickness—and that is a good thing! Now, “go tell your favorite rapper…”: salute Monch.
Written April 10
Updated April 14