Pharaohe Monch

Straight up: few rappers can hold a candle to Pharoahe Monch when it comes to the art of emceeing. It’s only the Jamaica, Queens native’s discontent with the commercial process and delayed trickle of releases that’s kept him something of a secret—dropping only three solo records in a dozen years is a surefire way to keep even the best music relegated to the underground. But his March release W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), filled with criticism of the political system as intense as his targeting of the music industry, stays on par with his precluding insta-classic Internal Affairs and Desire. As easily as it could have been a battle record, Monch’s militant lyricism and clapping beats form more of a concept album: “No, justice, no peace, no settle/We are renegades, fuck your gold medal.” With Scribes, Th3rd. NICK FELDMAN

Fri., June 10, 8 p.m., 2011

 
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