Taking its name from Queen Latifah’s 1994 single, Black Hand Side is Pharaohe Monch’s latest effort featuring Styles P and rapper/singer Phonte. Over producer Mike Loe’s soulful violin sample, the three emcees flow (and sing) about the cold realities of life. First up is Styles, who lays down a typically smooth verse depicting the hardships of the everyday grind: “Every different day a different black man die / Shorty mamma trippin’ off of crack mad high / Now he watchin’ TV lovin’ the bad guy.” Pharaohe flows second, pushing Black Hand Side from above-average to absolute must-listen status with this gem: “And they say I’m insane / ‘Cause I see the remains of the whips and the chains in the hood where it ain’t all good,” while Phonte’s chorus is the icing on the cake. Everybody, including producer Mike Loe, brought it on this one. And the result? Soul stirring, string sampling dopeness. For more of Pharaoh’s soulful stylings (holy alliteration) make sure you grab his upcoming project W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), dropping March 22.
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