Today in Hip Hop History: October 19, 1999
Former member of Organized Konfusion, Pharoahe Monch, released his debut solo album, Internal Affairs, through Rawkus Records and Priority Records in 1999. Internal Affairs featured production from DJ Scratch, Lee Stone, The Alchemist, Diamond D and Monch himself. It contained outside vocals from M.O.P., Canibus, Prince Po, Common, Talib Kweli, Method Man and others.
Internal Affairs is considered a grimy underground classic but remains out of print due to Monch’s refusal to record under Geffen Records after their acquisition of Rawkus under Universal Music Group. Thus, the physical album is still a rarity. The album sported a darker and angrier Monch than seen on previous Organized Konfusion projects. The renowned lyricism of Monch was displayed at its finest on this debut album.
The single “Simon Says” remains as his most known song, for its largely hyped beat and insanely aggressive tone.
The song was remixed and still slaps hip hop audiences across the world to this day.
Internal Affairs is an underground cult classic album. It peaked at #41 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and #6 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums Chart. The album received phenomenal critical reviews, sporting a 4.5 from The Source and Allmusic. Internal Affairs opened up the underground hip hop scene to a larger audience and for that we say thank you Pharoahe Monch!