Pharoeahe Monch speaks out!

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You thought you had to wait a long time for Dr. Dre's next album to drop? Pharoahe Monch might have him beat.

He hasn't released an LP since his 1999 debut, Internal Affairs. The Queens homie said he's been held back because his label, Rawkus, folded into MCA and subsequently into Geffen. He wasn't feeling Geffen and almost moved over to Shady Records, which is under the Geffen/Interscope umbrella.

"That was real," he said about almost signing with Eminem. "But I was still contracted to Geffen and Rawkus. It wasn't like I was a free agent trying to sign to Shady. It was so much red tape, you wouldn't believe. At the end of the day, everybody is figuring if I sign to Shady, it would pop off and they were looking to get paid. So [Geffen] pretty much blocked the deal."

Eventually Monch, whose biggest hit is 1999's "Simon Says," was set free and was courted by several companies. Former Loud Records head Steve Rifkind's SRC won and is putting out Monch's Desire in mid-November.

"There are no rappers, but we have a couple of vocalists on the album," he said of the LP. "One is a female. She rhymes as well as sings. She killed it. Everybody knows who she is," Monch said, without giving any more details. "The other is Aretha Franklin. We're trying to get her. She heard the record and loves it."

In Monch's first single, "Push," he displays his own crooning ability as well as rapping skills.

"I caught a loop off this live soul gospel record, and I caught a feeling that was basically what they was trying to convey at the concert," Monch said of "Push." "I just came up with the notes that followed the horn and did what I was vibing. That's really how the album is. I really didn't sit down and science it out. If it's mad complicated, that's how I was vibing it. If it was simple, I was vibing that. But 'Push,' people was getting at me saying how they liked the 'My Life' record and how I was singing on the chorus."

Monch shot the video for the record last week in Brooklyn, New York.

"The video is harder than the song," he said. "The video is New York during the 1977 blackout. It's showing the looting and police and perseverance through that night."

Monch has been wearing the ghostwriter cap as well. He penned three songs for Diddy's Press Play LP over beats by Mobb Deep's Havoc and D12's Kon Artis.

"Puff called and was like, 'I'm working on an album. I'm hiring the best writers. I like your style,' " Monch said about how he got attached to the Diddy project

DAZ aka-Cyfa Lojik (PPL ON THE STREET)

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simon says shut the f*** up!!! 8)
hip hop is my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the lines and curl my back to reality-
the beat washes away from my soul the dust of everyday life-
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent!