New Album Takes on Mental Health and Hip-Hop Culture

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Pharoahe Monch performs on stage during the 2008 Good Vibrations Festival on Heirisson Island February 17, 2008 in Perth, Australia. (Paul Kane/Getty)

Have you ever used art, music, or any other creative medium to help you overcome trauma? We asked you, and hundreds of listeners weighed in. Whether it was writing in a journal, or sitting back and listening to music, creative mediums have helped us all through tough times.

In hip-hop, the music frequently becomes a direct memoir. Eminem made a career out of rapping his autobiography. With his music, he showcased his anger, his addictions, and his dreadful family problems.

In the case of Pharoahe Monch, self referencing is not self indulgence. Monch tries to tackle a profound public health issue in the African-American community: Post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD is something he has struggled with, and in his fourth studio album entitled "PTSD," Monch tells stories that represent painful experiences for him, but they have also made him a champion for people whose limitations and challenges have never made it into popular culture.

but they have also made him a champion for people whose limitations and challenges have never made it into popular culture



Pharoahe Monch

Produced by:

Tim Einenkel


T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]


Thank you for expanding the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder term.... It should just be called Traumatic Disorder Syndrome Disorder . The precious few can attain how getting up everyday can be an extraordinary experience in itself...

Jun. 04 2014 12:27 AM
Kay Merkel Boruff from Dallas

Music & the Muse & Madness

Rachmaninoff’s “Concerto in C# Minor,” my final piano recital, played in my head when I began to write about my nervous breakdown in college, my life in Viet-Nam 1968-1970; the death of my Air America husband Jon Merkel flying in Laos 18 Feb 70; my life as a widow with PTS; the loss of my adopted daughter to her birth mother; the suicide of my best girl friend of 22 years; my 89 year old mother’s death; forced “retirement” from 38 years teaching; my 101st Airborne brother dying in my arms pleading to me—Please don’t let me die. Futurist “Blacksheep Army” from Burning Man 2012 rattles in my head now as I write & volunteer teaching creative writing at the Veterans Recovery Center/VAMC/Dallas.

Jun. 03 2014 12:55 PM

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