The Queens MC Pharoahe Monch asked the packed room at SOBs, “Where was hip-hop?” And the crowd replied, “Right here.” From the diehard fans vigorously reciting lyric after lyric verbatim to the slew of guest performers taking the stage, hip-hop was definitely in the building. Last night, the rapper celebrated the release of his third studio album, P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), introducing the crowd to some new songs and performing some well-known hits from his Organized Konfusion days.
The show opened with Dysfunkshunal Famile member Napolean Da Legend. While the DMV rapper only performed for a little over 30 minutes, his spry stage presence left the crowd wired for the main act. He performed some songs from his first solo album, The Myth Or The Legend, and his most recent release, The Awakening.
Before Pharoahe Monch took the stage, Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg joked with the audience about watching his new VH1 show This Is Hot 97, humbly bragged about his recent interview with NPR and The New Yorker, and introduced Monch as one of the greatest lyricists of all time. Monch opened his set with two songs, “Losing My Mind” and “Damage,” from his new album P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). His backdrop screen was full of images alluding to mind control through government and technology. “This is my most personal album, yet,” he said.
Next, Monch took it back with some old jams like Organized Konfusion’s “Bring It On,” “No Mercy,” “Ante Up,” “Clap (One Day),” and “What’s Love?,” bringing Big Rock, M.O.P.’s Lil’ Fame, Torae, Showtyme, and DJ Boogie Blind to the stage. The guest performers didn’t leave the stage without telling the crowd to buy Monch’s album P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), released yesterday. With the steady head bobbing, hands and fists in the air, and howling, the crowd was pleased—yes, yes y’all.—Tahirah Hairston