It would take a miracle to restore faith in gansta rap, a hip-hop genre dying amid its own homicidal impulses. So, it’s
a good job that Pharoahe Monch has attempted something different to provide a real watershed album. The vastly underrated Queens, NY veteran MC has wedded deep, soulful, beats to unique verbal cadences, expert metaphors, and the lost art of storytelling for this, his second solo album. Not only does he have the balls to update Public Enemy’s ‘Welcome To The Terrordome’, and rhyme from the point of view of a bullet for ‘When The Gun Draws’, he also pays tribute to Elvis Presley with the spookily uncanny ‘Body Baby’. Monch stays versatile, political, and intellectual as he uses his many gifts to be at once motivational (‘Hold On’) and verbally ambidextrous (‘The Trilogy’). A winner.