Finally! After much hype and numerous guest appearances and a mixtape to hold us over, "Desire" by Pharoahe Monch has arrived. And, I must say the cd more than lives up to the hype. It's not uncommon to purchase a hip-hop record with about twenty songs, only to like half that amount if you're lucky. Instead "Desire" has thirteen tracks, all of which are worthy of your attention. The rock-infused "Free" sets everything in motion with Pharoahe sounding off about being liberated from the major record labels (finally released from Rawkus records after years of legal battles). Dropping verses like "your A&R's the house, the labels the plantation, now switch that advance for your emancipation". It's no wonder why P. Diddy enlisted him as a ghost writer for his own CD. Next up is "Desire". The first thing that hit me was the appropriately used Holland-Dozier sample to give this that 70's soul groove. "Push" is another nice track that combines live horns and gospel flavored vocals. Pharaohe also does a great job on Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordrome". Breathing new life into a classic isn't a easy task but Pharoahe nails it. As great as all the preceding songs are, "What It Is" may be one of the best. Layered with nice a brooding fender rhodes sound, this is the type of jam that will remind you of "Simon Says". Pharoahe's biggest hit. "Gun Draws" finds Pharoahe giving a bullet a voice and allows it to explain that the easy access of weapons in our country is largely responsible for the unfortunate fatalities in our communities. "Body Baby" is probably my least favorite and that may have to do with the Elvis impersonator providing the chorus. However the rhymes are tight and the creativity behind the song should be noted. "Hold On" is an uplifting soulful song that also features Erykah Badu riding the chorus. Known as one of the best lyricist in the game, Pharoahe manages to enlighten and entertain throughout. Eight years since his last release, he has delivered one of the best hip-hop albums of the year. A must have!