Pharoahe Monch: Right Here, Just Tryin' to Eat

Pharoahe Monch: Right Here, Just Tryin' to Eat

As Organized Konfusion ranked somewhere between auld tyme rap stars and the Golden Age (bka the DAISY Age), it seems as if the ensemble didn’t necessarily show up at the right time to properly capitalize on their skills. Perhaps realizing that, towards the end of the nineties, Pharoah Monch headed out on his own, struck up a deal with Rawkus (then in its first incarnation) and began guesting on some albums.

Monch’s efforts on Soundboming II weren’t for nothing – both volumes of that compilation, today, still rank as important when attempting to define the era. Of course, coming at the turn of the millennium, the period ranks as a time that’s begun to go out of print. And while digital file sharing is going to make pretty much any piece of media endlessly available, Monch’s solo debut, Internal Affairs, hasn’t been in print for a while. If you head over to Amazon, though, you can buy a used copy for anywhere between seventeen and sixty dollars. Yup, a sixty dollar used cd.

But if the disc is late nineties’ triumph, what accounts for it going out of print? It’s certainly not lack of demand.

The issue, which has more recently effected DOOM’s re-release schedule, has to do with sampling. Now, I’ve been under the impression that part of what governs the usability of a sample is the amount of time it’s used for. And while it’d be difficult to not figure out the main sample in “Simon Says” comes from Godzilla related movies, there’s only the most brief snippet of music used. Whatever the case, Monch found himself being litigated against by the song’s composer. And since Internal Affairs isn’t available currently, we should all figure licensing has at least a small part in that.

Regardless of what’s happening with the album legally, the music it comprises remains as crisp and engaging twelve years after its release as when it was first released. While  Monch was chastised for including some blue lyrical content, not jiving with Organized Konfusion’s public image, songs like “Official” should make up for any perceived transgressions. In addition to the beat being one of the better pieces of music contributed here, Monch is able to get off lines about hockey, of all things, while still boasting and making Marv Albert jokes. Yeah, some of this is inextricably tied to the time it was recorded, but Internal Affairs is strong enough to get passed that pretty quickly.