September 27, 2012

Welcome home to the man who passed more essays than motorcade police parades through East LA. Pharoahe’s last album did the impossible (make me ambivalent about one of my all-time favorites), but this is a blistering return to his hyper-technical but melodic conspiracy rap. There is a bit of singing, but he seems to have overcome his Gnarls Barkley rock-rap aspirations. What I like most about “Damage” is that it incorporates the guitar hero limp of the last few records, but fuses them with the boom-bapped, stressed and hammer-wielding Monch.

Maybe it’s me, but I do not want to hear Pharoahe on some spiritual blessed Dalai Lama tip. I want to hear him tell me that he is a murderer who shot the mayor and is looking for the Masons. This is that. You do not want him ringing your bell.

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