P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) – Y’all know the name! Or least you should. For a proper intro into the background of Mr. Pharoahe Monch, you mind as well check the review from his Organized Konfusion brother, Prince Po. As for P.T.S.D., it shares some similar qualities with In Death Reborn, in that both albums showcase emcees that weave in and out the topics of war, violence and.. straight geek. Pharaohe is more the serious, conscious emcee, though. Until you pair him up with fellow battle-slinger Black Thought (of The Roots) on “Rapid Eye Movement”, a natural fit for the duo with rapid keys, Batman ’66 synth drops and, hell, even a Chewbacca namedrop. Monch also wraps up the third of his “gat trilogy” (see “Stray Bullet” from Stress: The Extinction Agenda, or “When the Gun Draws” from Desire). His oft-producer in arms Lee Stone surey delivers the greasy heat on that one and throughout the LP. The next two joints, “Broken Again” and the title track, showcase Monch’s more sentimental side, which is easily picked up by one of the most soulful songs of the season, “D.R.E.A.M.” featuring Talib Kweli. I can just picture the duo placing smiles on about anyone at any venue with their lyrical playfulness. This will lift your spirits, folks.
And just when you thought it was safe… Simon Says he’s “Losing My Mind”. It’s a track featuring Monch’s own battle with depression, a grinder itself with some of the LP’s most introspective rhymes: ““My family customs were not accustomed to dealing with mental health / It was more or less an issue for white families with wealth / Void I defected, employed, self-annoyed / Went independent, enjoyed stealth / Now doctors prescribed sedatives and Prozac / The rent’s cheaper in the ghetto, but you can’t go back / So, I spin the cylinder on my revolver / Then, maybe let it draw blood like chupacabra.” If there’s any track I wasn’t feeling, it was the One Flew of the Cuckoo’s Nest nuttiness of “Scream”. On a conceptual level, I get it; but the gross beat and crooned-into-the-phone hook just didn’t work for me. But hey, if nothing else, Monch keeps us guessing. From the bad-ass battle boasts of “Bad MF” to the emotional leaps and lows — and most known for lyrical acrobatics — on “Time2”, it’s the audience who leaves the psycho-cinematic experience of PTSD wanting more. And that’s a damn good thing. 4.25/5.