I walk by faith and not by sight
Embrace my struggles
Endure my plight
I fear no man
I know wrong from right
We’re pushin’ ’til the day we see the light!
– from “Push” by Pharoahe Monche featuring MeLa Machinko & Showtyme
I bought the latest album from Pharoahe Monch. Admittedly, I missed out on Organized Konfusion and Internal Affairs, but I’m so glad that I got on board for Desire.
Pharoahe firmly places himself in the tradition of black sacred protest music by opening this disc with a rendition of the Negro Spiritual ‘Oh Freedom’ followed by his own hip-hop articulation with ‘Free.’
Then (a la Curtis Mayfield) he encourages his listeners to “keep on pushing” through the struggle with ‘Push’ and reinterprets Public Enemy’s ‘Welcome to the Terrordome’ for 2007 (“No need to question who I am…GOD KNOWS!).
In the process, Monch invokes three generations of black protest music: negro spirituals, 70’s soul, and hip-hop’s “golden era” without missing a beat.
Impressive, if you ask me.
THE “INTRO” TO DESIRE
Often times in the history of our planet, opressed people of all races, colors, and religous backgrounds, used prayer and harmonious vocals to sing there way through turbulent times. Free, is an old Negro Spiritual in which slaves reassured there commitment with God, rather than do the bidding of the slave masters.
This “Intro” to my album, has made me cry at least 15 times since it has been recorded. It is not only an ode to those who endured far more than I could ever fathom, but a metaphor for true artists who refuse to conform.
I would like to thank, Showtyme, Mela Machinko, Lenesha Randolph, and Candice Anderson for their contribution to my tears, as we began the journey into Desire. I truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank each and every individual fan and friend who endured this painful wait, by my side.