The Queens emcee spoke on everything from Eminem’s name checking Pharoahe, to the lawsuit involving the Godzilla sample for “Simon Says” and vaguely stating he’s retiring the moniker “Pharoahe Monch.” What that last part means, we don’t truly know, but it was one of the more interesting responses from the entire session. Below are a few highlights. Be sure to grab Pharoahe’s P.T.S.D. available on iTunes now.
Were you a fan of the new Eminem album where he name checks you a couple times?
+ Em is the fucking man for that shout out. Big fan.
How did you wind up remixing “Rehab“?
+ It was an inside label thing, where they got me the instrumental. It was totally unofficial.
How much trouble did you get into for sampling the Godzilla theme for Simon Says?
+ The label, the distributer and myself were sued for $420,000 (O.O) and life hasn’t been the same since … LOL
Any interesting story [sic] about rappers behind the booth?
+ The way M.O.P. records their vocals is amazing. They’re masters at adlibs. Sometimes they do the adlibs first. It’s amazing to watch. Also, Styles P doesn’t write; everything is feel and off the top until he gets it correct. Dope watching him record as well.
Who would you like to do a collaboration with?
+ I still haven’t worked with Preem. There are too many artists to name. I’m a huge fan of a lot of artists right now. Guilty Simpson, Roc Marciano, Reks, etc.
How was it like working with j dilla?
+ The Dilla joint was scary. He asked if I was nervous but I wanted to be on the project so bad. He was already a legend. I recorded the vocals, he told me he loved it! He passed before I was able to see him again.
Who are a few of your biggest influences and why? Who are a couple of your favorite producers?
+ Led Zep, Rush, Maiden, Sabbath, The Police, Hendrix, Coltrane, Eugene McDaniels, PE, Rage. The Large Professor is my favorite hip hop producer.
Any young talent that you’re interested in collaborating with?
Is there any chance you and Prince Po will ever reunite for another Organized Konfusion album?
Will we be seeing a new motif in your future projects or will you continue the War one?
+ I’m a huge Danny Brown fan, Action Bronson, etc. Me and prince have new music *see Animal Serum. Pharoahe dies at the end of PTSD. I’m no longer recording under that name or doing anymore traditional albums!
What song took you the longest to write?
+ “The Trilogy“!
Can you share any of your thoughts on Jasiri X and where he fits into hip hop’s landscape, as well as any thoughts on hip hop activism?
+ Hip Hop activism is alive and well, and artists like Jasiri X do amazing work. I had no idea of the work he accomplished until we got to chat. I told him lots of artist would like to be more active in their communities and even worldly but they don’t know how. It becomes frustrating because recording every time there’s an incident or issue gets redundant. We need more Jasaris!
Was it hard putting everything out there like you did on “Broken Again“?
+ Yes, but also liberating. Today was even scary waiting on the reaction to the video, it’s not what I usually do, but I think good artists take risk and don’t redo the same old shit or what’s trendy.