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Longtime listeners to the show will recall Pharoahe Monch as OTL’s first three-peat guest, first appearing on the show in July 2012. This time, we sat down with Pharoahe and his manager Guy Routte to talk PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Pharoahe’s new album that’s dropping today. With a desire to continue exploring themes of violence, peace, war, and recovery as well as exploring his own dealings with mental health, Pharoahe transformed what was originally supposed to be an EP into a full length album following his last album, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades).

PTSD is at once a very personal and a very removed project. Pharaohe speaks for many people beyond himself through PTSD, slipping into different narrators to communicate larger issues of dealing with trauma in multiple spheres — in marginalized black communities, in war veterans, and in his own life. The narrator of the record splits into multiple layers — a PTSD riddled veteran grappling with problems of love and drugs and Pharoahe talking about his own career and personal life.

We talked PTSD, how the hip hop genre has changed, how mental health affects the black community, themes of gun violence, sanity and insanity, dealing with depression, the musical and thematic evolution of Pharaohe’s style, and whether or not PTSD is actually Pharaohe’s last full-length album.

Tracks featured in this episode:

  1. Pharoahe Monch, “Let My People Go”
  2. Louis Armstrong, “Let My People Go”
  3. Pharoahe Monch f/Black Thought, “Rapid Eye Movement”
  4. Pharoahe Monch, “Losing My Mind”
  5. Pharoahe Monch f/Dr. Pete, “Sidefx”
  6. Pharoahe Monch, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”
  7. Vinnie Paz, “Is Happiness Just A Word?”
  8. Pharoahe Monch, “Damage”
  9. Pharoahe Monch, “Damage”
  10. LL Cool J, “Mama Said Knock You Out”
  11. Pharoahe Monch f/Black Thought, “Rapid Eye Movement”
  12. Nas, “I Gave You Power”
  13. Pharoahe Monch, “Stand Your Ground”
  14. Pharoahe Monch, “Damage”
  15. Pharoahe Monch f/Black Thought, “Rapid Eye Movement”
  16. Pharoahe Monch, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”
  17. Pharoahe Monch, “Time2”
  18. ODN, “Empire State Building shooting: Two killed in New York”
  19. Slaughterhouse f/Pharoahe Monch, “Salute”
  20. Pharoahe Monch f/Jean Grae & Royce da 5’9”, “Assassins”
  21. Pharoahe Monch f/Talib Kweli, “D.R.E.A.M.”
  22. Pharoahe Monch f/Talib Kweli, “D.R.E.A.M.”

Show notes:

  1. Dr. DeGruy on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
  2. Pharoahe Talks PTSD in The Source
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