Pharoahe Monch Album On The Way Via New Deal With Steve Rifkind's New Label

Pharoahe Monch has joined forces with Loud Records/SRC founder Steve Rifkind to release Monch's first album since his 1999 debut Internal Affairs, on Rawkus Records.

Pharaohe Monch will release his highly anticipated album, Desire, on a new unnamed label Rifkind has founded and runs, after a bidding war which is also distributed by Universal.

A bidding war for Pharoahe's new album was reportedly between Sony, Bad Boy and Eminem's Shady Records.

Rifkind eventually signed the rapper after hearing what he dubbed "the album of the year."

"On a creative and business level, I've never been this excited," Monche said in a statement. "I've had the time to work on this album, and being a perfectionist, it's really come to fruition. It's very soulful, very gospel, a fresh, new sound for me. It shows so much growth spiritually, almost as if I'm a new artist. When I play the record for people, that's how they hear it."

Pharoahe Monch was a member of the renowned group Organized Konfusion.

After releasing his critically acclaimed album Internal Affairs, label politics slowed down the rapper's career.

Rawkus signed a distribution deal with MCA and later, the label was absorbed into Geffen.

Monch recorded an album for Geffen but the recording was never released as the rapper attempted to free himself of the Geffen deal.

"There's an element of obvious patience, but that's just who I am," he said. "I've learned that it was best for me to wait for the best situation. Everything happens for a reason. This is my expression and creation. I know people are waiting for this album, and I respect my fans enough to put out quality music."

The first single from the album will be the white labeled "When the Gun Draws," which will be accompanied by a short film.

"It's a concept record," said the rapper. "About life from the perspective of a bullet."

The first commercial single will be "Push."

No release date was available for the album as of press time.