Pharoahe Monch: Wikis


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Pharoahe Monch

Background information
Birth name Troy Donald Jamerson
Born October 31, 1972 (1972-10-31) (age 37)
Origin Queens, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop, Alternative Rap
Years active 1989–present
Labels Hollywood/Priority Records
Rawkus/SRC Records
Duck Down/W.A.R. Records
Associated acts Organized Konfusion, Busta Rhymes, Adam F, Shabaam Sahdeeq

Troy Donald Jamerson (born 31 October 1972,[1] better known by his stage name Pharoahe Monch, is an American hip hop artist. He is known for his complex delivery, internal and multisyllabic rhyme schemes[2].



Pharoahe Monch's name is derived from the monkey dolls, Monchhichis. After receiving a bad haircut, which left Monch looking like a "chimpanzee", girls in Monch's class at the High School of Art and Design began calling him "Monchhichi", which was later shortened to "Monch". Monch adopted the "Pharoahe" prefix after meeting future Organized Konfusion partner Prince Po.

Monch released three albums as part of the rap duo, Organized Konfusion with partner Prince Poetry: The self-titled Organized Konfusion, Stress: The Extinction Agenda and The Equinox. The duo handled a large amount of production on these albums themselves. All albums received positive critical reviews, but moderate sales. As a result, the duo split up after recording their final album The Equinox in 1997. Prince Poetry has since denied the possibility of an Organized Konfusion reunion.

Pharoahe Monch then signed to Rawkus Records, an indie label. After making several guest appearances on albums like the best-selling Rawkus compilation Soundbombing 2, Monch's much-hyped debut, Internal Affairs was released in 1999. The first single of the album, Simon Says, was a major hit in 1999; he was later sued for the use of a Godzilla sample for the beat. He also had a 2001 hit with " You" off the Training Day soundtrack (the clean version was called "Got You"), though the single ultimately didn't sell well. In 2003, Pharoahe released his final single through Rawkus Records, "Agent Orange", a war inspired song which revisited the 1991 Organized Konfusion track "Releasing Hypnotical Gases".

Pharoahe's song "Simon Says" was featured in the 2000 cinematic release Charlie's Angels. Viewers will recognize the song and backbeat in the scene where Sam Rockwell is lighting a cigarette in the castle, while holding Drew Barrymore hostage. Two of Monch's songs, "Right Here" and "Simon Says" were featured in the movie Boiler Room.

Pharoahe is also affiliated with the rap group The HRSMN. Although not a member of the group (there are only four real members), he is constantly linked to someday join the group when/if they ever expand.

There were rumors his next album, Innervisions, was to be released under Denaun Porter's new Shady Records imprint Runyon Ave., but apparently the deal fell through; Monch has since announced a deal with Street Records Corporation, home of Wu-Tang Clan, David Banner and Terror Squad. In June 2007 Monch released his second solo album Desire to critical acclaim. Monch said about the album; "'s very soulful, very gospel, a fresh, new sound for me." The album's lead single was the self-produced track "Push", with "Let's Go" as its B-Side. The song's music video and single were released in late September 2006. Monch released a second music video entitled "When the Gun Draws" at a Brooklyn music festival in February, 2007.

Monch also produced and ghost-wrote the track The Future and ghost-wrote the track Hold Up with Mobb Deep member Havoc on rap mogul Diddy's latest album Press Play. Critics contest that Monch's writing is evident in both the content and the delivery of Diddy's rhymes.

Pharoahe Monch sang the Madden NFL 2002 theme for the game and six years later Desire was featured on the soundtrack of Madden NFL 08.

Pharoahe Monch will release his third solo album W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) in 2010. He revealed that the album will be a "throwback to 1993, '94 hip-hop" and will feature production by Black Milk, Mr. Porter, Lee Stone & M-Phazes. A ten year anniversary re-issue of Internal Affairs will also be released featuring a documentary about the making of the album. [3]

Rapping technique

Pharoahe Monch is acclaimed for his complex rapping technique[2] - Allmusic says he has, "a reputation as one of underground hip-hop's pre-eminent lyricists, crafting intricate and intelligent raps."[4] Kool Moe Dee ranks him at 26 in his best MCs of all time list, from his book, There's a God on the Mic[5]. Kool Moe Dee notes: "Pharoahe Monch is like an eloquent linguistics professor moonlighting as a rhyme serial killer terrorist, challenging the listeners' I.Q. while daring him or her to keep up."[5]

Monch compares writing and recording his lyrics to writing and filming a movie - in the book How to Rap he says he will 'punch-in' vocals so he can "retake some things, just like a film"[6], and he 'rewrites' lyrics, saying he will "go back as a screenwriter and rewrite scenes and leave more to the imagination."[7]

For his biggest hit, 'Simon Says', he comments that he wrote the choruses before he wrote the verses[8], and fellow rapper and collaborator O.C. notes that Monch will write single lines down and then use them five years later[9]. His vocal delivery is inspired by Jazz music and musicians such as John Coltrane[10].




Album information
Internal Affairs
  • Released: October 19, 1999
  • Billboard 200 chart position: #41
  • R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #6
  • Singles: "Simon Says"/"Behind Closed Doors", "The Light"/"Right Here (Remix)"
  • Released: June 26, 2007
  • U.S. Sales: 12,200 (First week)
  • Billboard 200 chart position: #58
  • R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #13
  • Singles: "Push"/"Let's Go", "Desire"/"When The Gun Draws", "Body Baby"
W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) [3][11]
  • Released: Summer 2010


Album information
The Awakening[1]
  • Released: December, 2006


  • 1999: "Simon Says"
  • 2000: "The Light"
  • 2001: " You"
  • 2002: "The Life"
  • 2003: "Agent Orange"
  • 2007: "Push"
  • 2007: "Let's Go"
  • 2007: "Body Baby"



  1. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006) The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195313734
  2. ^ a b Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 327.
  3. ^ a b Pharoahe Monch Vs. The Black Panther,, 2009-01-12. Retrieved on 2009-05-07.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Kool Moe Dee, 2003, There's A God On The Mic: The True 50 Greatest MCs, Thunder's Mouth Press, p.147.
  6. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 276.
  7. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 198-199.
  8. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 190.
  9. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 164.
  10. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 255-256.
  11. ^

External links


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