Kid Tested, Mother Approved, and 100% Sucka Free

Behind the Mind's Eye: Pharoahe’ ManC

| Friday, January 16, 2009


A producer, lyricist, turntablist, and designer from THEE Winston-Salem, NC, Pharoahe’ ManC (Roman) stands primed and ready to represent for the Middle East. His production company, Knowledge Meets Nature (KMN) has released the first of many projects to come in 2009, starting with the “Desperate Measures” EP.

Radioactive Man Snippet


“Primarily the purpose of the project was to raise money for J Dilla’s family. I know their estate has been tied up and his mother and daughters have needed help. It just seemed simple to put out a project and donate the money to the legal problems. But I couldn’t find a way of getting permission to use his songs, and I couldn’t sell the EP in good conscious without getting the go ahead from them. It’s still in my thoughts and prayers though. I won’t forget about it til it’s resolved.”

Nevertheless, the EP is available for free download. Labeled as a ‘mini-album’, “Desperate Measures” takes five J Dilla instrumentals and transforms them into a concept album, debuting Roman’s unique style of poetic lyricism:

“and when I’m sugar free like ‘babe, you forgetting me?’
She just replies like ‘muah times infinity’…
We make love like music: a symphony of
Parts contributing…our hearts at the centerpiece”…

Also what stands out is his definitive vocal tone, an asset he explains came via an arduous process.

Buttermilk_2 snippet


“It’s weird, it took me SO long to find my voice. My favorite voice coming up in Hip Hop was Ghostface Killah’s. When I was like 13 and was writing all these songs, my voice fit the lyrics cause I sort of wrote them from a Ghostface cadence. But then after puberty hit and my voice changed, I was lost in the game.”



So for years, Roman stuck primarily to the beats, and while he kept writing, he wouldn’t step in front of the mic and spit for some years. Then he found an album that solved his problems.

“I got a copy of MF DOOM’s ‘Operation: Doomsday’ and it unlocked my voice. I was listening to DOOM and he kind of reminded me of a baritone Ghostface with his delivery. With him I found a cadence that allowed me to speak just as passionately as Ghost, but one where I didn’t have to fight with my own voice…after DOOM I was able to rap much more easily…I could finally hear myself on beats.”

Date with Destiny Snippet


He took that momentum and worked on a summer project in 2006, “Roman Noodles”. Here he borrowed beats from J Dilla, 9th Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Georgia Anne Muldrow to experiment with his delivery and word play. Now in 2009 he has reemerged with “Desperate Measures” and says that there is much more music on the way.



“I’ve never stopped writing. I have about 5 more mini-albums planned and about 20 full length projects in store. Even when I wasn’t recording because of my voice I knew that one day I would find it, and I prepared by writing as many songs as possible.”

One of the forthcoming mini-albums “5ive and 13irteen” will be available next month, appropriately on Friday the 13th. The project pairs Roman with his “DM” partner Gemini 5ive, who will take responsibility over the beats. Again, the project will consist of only 5 songs.

Listen Up! Demo Snippet



“I figure that when I get the privilege of doing music full time and can live off the music [we] make, then we’ll be more than happy to make full length albums. But right now-I’m a full time student, and a full time employee, and as painful as it is, I only can do music part time for now. Hopefully that will be changing soon though.”

And soon he and KMN may be able to make a name for themselves, yet Roman insist that you don’t confuse him with another, more prominent “Pharoahe’ M.” in Hip Hop.

“[Laughs] I am well aware of Pharoahe’ Monch and the similarity between his name and mine. All I can really say about that is before I was Pharoahe’ ManC, I was Chris Williams…so it seems like no matter what I was going to run into problems. No idea’s original I guess, but alike minds think great.”




Pharoahe' ManC Facebook
Pharoahe' ManC's myspace page
Desperate Measures EP Download

6 comments:

Mr CeZar said...

Ill material Bruh! Definitely looking forward to the download

Angie and Supa said...

Classic Material, we are fans

Jaesoreal said...

great stuff!

Monsta said...

Listen up is my ish

Monsta said...

Listen up is my ish

Bianca said...

Highly impressed with nc talent