Since cracking open hiphop's cerebellum with the dizzyingly dark, swirlingly complex, and intellectually sizzling Organized Konfusion in the early '90s, New York's Pharoahe Monch has remained many things: poignant, profound, political, punk as fuck, and even, perhaps, a bit picky. Over 20-plus years Monch has released precious little: three records with Organized Konfusion, and three solo outings (and relatively few guest spots). Part of this, it seems, is Monch's desire to complete whole albums rather than chase singles. Monch's LPs establish arc, flow, and narrative through-lines. Although he's always tugged at the threads of conspiracy and injustice—not to mention gleefully throwing wrenches at pop music's twisted hierarchy—in the Obama era, Monch has become increasingly appalled by the US's imperial warmongering abroad and ever-expanding threats to both privacy and equality at home. Monch's most recent record, 2010's W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)
, sounds prescient, as if written in response to the news of today. Which makes the long-awaited, soon-coming P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
all the more scintillating. Expect to catch a glimpse tonight. ANDREW R. TONRY Also see My, What a Busy Week!