Pharoahe Monch

Making a name for himself in the early ‘90s as one of New York’s more eloquent and technically deft wordsmiths, Queens-based rapper and record producer Pharoahe Monch (born Troy Jamerson on October 31st, 1972) first rose to prominence as the younger half of Organized Konfusion alongside fellow emcee Prince Po. Making incremental gains with a flurry of joint albums from 1991 to 1997, two of which reached the Billboard 200, the pair mutually decided to pursue solo careers, and Monch signed to local label Rawkus Records. In mid-1999, he unveiled his jaunty, brass-based debut solo single “Simon Says”. Peaking at #97 in the US, it marked his first appearance on the Hot 100, and came accompanied by an all-star remix featuring the likes of Method Man, Redman and Busta Rhymes. The song served as the lead single from his debut album, Internal Affairs, which landed in October of the same year and reached #41 on the Billboard 200. The ensuing years saw Monch collaborating extensively with some of the era’s biggest stars in hip-hop, including Mos Def, Nate Dogg, De La Soul and Eminem, appeasing fans while he perfected his second album. Desire finally emerged in 2007, amidst another high-profile period in which Monch worked with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Justin Timberlake and Black Thought. Climbing to #58 on the US charts, the LP demonstrated that his long-standing fans were here to stay. Maintaining a steady output in the following years with the self-released concept albums W.A.R (2011) and P.T.S.D. (2014), Monch later assembled a new trio, Th1rt3eN, alongside guitarist Marcus Machado and Jack White’s drummer, Daru Jones. Incorporating a more rough-and-ready, acoustic sound into their recordings, the group debuted in 2021 with their first LP, A Magnificent Day for An Exorcism. Its lead single, the Cypress Hill collaboration “Fight”, garnered critical acclaim, with journalists praising its timely commentary on police brutality.

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