Pharoahe Monch, Photo by Karston "Skinny" Tannis

Exclusive: Pharoahe Monch Announces Follow-Up to 'Internal Affairs': 'The Bar Has Been Reset in Terms of Elite MCs'

Exclusive: Pharoahe Monch Announces Follow-Up to 'Internal Affairs'

Published Thu, July 27, 2023 at 2:00 PM EDT

Pharoahe Monch has announced the highly anticipated follow-up to Internal Affairs will arrive in 2024. Aptly titled External Affairs, the album picks up where his W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) album left off.

As Pharoahe Monch explains to Rock The Bells, “On March 22, 2011, I released the W.A.R. album. The album intro leads off with Idris Elba discovering and deciphering information in the future. That date was July 27, 2023. He warns us about classified information, which was External Affairs. Now, the upload is almost complete. 

“I thought it would be a challenge to try to follow up or conclude the fan favorite Internal Affairs for various reasons. The main challenge is the landscape and ideology of the planet has completely changed from how music is disseminated and consumed, to where the bar has been reset in terms of elite MCs. Twenty-five years wiser, I’m prepared to explore more existential topics that effect our very humanity on all levels with External Affairs.”

Like clockwork, the announcement has landed on July 27, 2023 and is accompanied by a trailer for the album. In true Pharoahe Monch fashion, the visual—directed by Todd Ang—has a sci-fi element that only heightens curiosity of what lies ahead.

Internal Affairs, Pharoahe Monch’s debut solo album, was released in 1999 through Priority and Rawkus Records. It marked Monch’s first musical project since parting ways with his Organized Konfusion co-founder, Prince Po. Guest features included Method Man, Redman, Lady Luck, Busta Rhymes and Prince Po, while production was handled by Diamond D, The Alchemist, DJ Scratch, Lee Stone and Monch himself. Internal Affairs also spawned the single “Simon Says,” which peaked at No. 97 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 3 on Hot Rap Songs and No. 29 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. 

Despite the success of the single, it proved to be the catalyst for controversy. Toho, the Japanese production company behind the Godzilla franchise, sued Monch and his former labels over the unauthorized use of the film’s theme song, “Gojira Tai Mosura” by Akira Ifukube. Consequently, Internal Affairs was pulled from stores and ultimately became a collector’s item. Even as digital streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify began transforming the music industry, it was still nowhere to be found. 

Then in 2019, Pharoahe Monch revealed Internal Affairs would finally be uploaded to streaming services, and by August 2020, the once-shelved album had arrived, opening Monch up to an entirely new generation of Hip-Hop fans. 

Monch has released three additional solo albums since Internal Affairs, including Desire (2007), the aforementioned W.A.R. and PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (2014). More recently, he teamed up with drummer extraordinaire Daru Jones and renowned guitarist Marcus Machado for a trio they dubbed TH1RT3EN (Thirteen). Their inaugural album, A Magnificent Day For An Exorcism, was released in 2021. They’re currently working on album number two, a testament to Monch’s unwavering work ethic and commitment to making musical magic. 

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