Interview with Pharoahe Monch

Interview with Pharoahe Monch

You’ve done a lot of work with many different people as well as solo work. Where are you nowadays in terms of your music advances?

I mean, I’m promoting the new album, which comes out May 1st. SRC’s the label. I’m here tonight doing this, just doing the rounds before I go on the road. I’ll do Rock The Bells with Rage and Wu-Tang, Nas. Doing Coachella in California. So it’s the usual run, but this time I’m really excited because you know the word on the street and just the word is that it’s the classic album and I’m waiting for it to drop.

You’ve done most of your work with more underground acts like Talib [Kweli]. Are you deliberately staying away from mainstream?

It depends on who you ask and what you know. I wrote 2 songs on the Press Play album. I think Puffy is pretty mainstream. It was Hold Up and The Future.

In your work how much attention do you pay to pure lyricism as opposed to the beats and production work?

Both equally. Honestly they go hand and hand.

Who do you mostly work in terms of your production?

It depends. I did 3 on the album myself. This album is different from last album because I work with different producers each time.

Where do you think is New York Hip Hop?

I think it’s coming back. It was real fucked up for a minute but that only brings about what’s about to happen, cause it goes back and forth. I think it happens for a reason. There is about to be reemergence of some real dope shit from what I’m hearing, from what people are showcasing. It’s the perfect timing for me too, because people are ready for this swing.

As far as the underground situation in New York, where do you think it is? That’s where most of the talent came from.

I think it’s hot. I think that people complain but they don’t really go out and dig like they used to. You’re not gonna get a full representation of what’s hot listening to the radio or watching the television. You got to go out there and really dig. I don’t think nothing ever happened to the underground scene in New York, really. I just think that people stopped paying attention, stopped digging, stopped going out to look for it. Even back in the days you had to go to the shows to find out what’s coming and then you would become a fan. That’s an aspect of Hip Hop that’s faulted in the last 5 years too. People don’t support everybody in New York and everybody’s an artist. There’s some real dope acts there you just got to go find it.

Do you have any upcoming shows in New York in the near future?

No, now they are all out of the city.