Pharaoh is an eclectic Hip-Hop artist and producer from the Twin Cities, MN. With over a decade of experience, he’s crafted projects projecting his own creative sound and voice through sonic landscapes, plush melodies and introspective songwriting. His latest offering, “Mufasa Is Dead” comes on the heels of an ended relationship, and conveys the story of a new bachelor finding himself back on the prowl in the world of girls, weed, drank and parties – the liberating effects of the single life.
“Mufasa Is Dead” jumps right into things with the title track, as Pharaoh talks about how the end of his prior engagement to his fiance has increased his engagement on his craft and dream. The production is high energy and intense; a welcoming anthem of the artist’s individualistic liberation. He pulls no punches, proclaiming that along with space, he needs the vices and hedonistic acts that he desires. It’s a track that screams youthful freedom. This sets the tone for the rest of the EP.
“Gold!” contains an obscure folk sample, flipped over trap drums, as Pharaoh flexes over the instrumental about choosing success over having a love life – a continuance of the theme set in the opening track. He’s more content with turning up in the club, enjoying the single life and chasing his goals solo. It’s all about him and his team reaching their dreams, and less about being tied down by the wiles of a relationship.
“6AM” is a whirly, synth-driven cut with smooth overtones. Pharaoh explores his nightly exploits with a fly-by-night chick. “I’ll be gone ‘fore you wake” he tells her. It’s clear that Pharoah doesn’t want to be tied down. After escaping a long-term relationship that was on the brink of very serious times, he’s now addicted to the freedom of being able to be with whomever he wants, with no strings attached. There seems to be a continued theme here.
“Blunt In My Whip” is a slow-burning, trill-esque anthem to smoking and sex. It’s straight to the point. “Blunt” here is a double entendre, as Pharaoh holds nothing back in his message. He wants what he wants, and he wants it now . The smoke session is the pregame vibe-setter for a night of passion. He doesn’t want to hear about old girls or relationships. It’s all about what’s happening in the present.
“Yuh” has Pharaoh saying the repetitive refrain for a catchy chorus, and is a modern-day club banger of sorts. This is likely the most obvious choice for radio. It definitely matches the vibes of contemporaries such as Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert. This one is the standout record on the entire EP.
“Outta My Mind” sums up the 6-song EP. Pharaoh opts to melody and singing vibes for this one, as he finally decides to delve into the story of his failed engagement and past relationship. This is his most conscious and introspective record on the project and gives a glimpse into the reason for the EP in the first place. What’s interesting about this is that you could almost play the EP backwards and it would still make sense – this would explain how the rest of the EP played out.
Overall, “Mufasa Is Dead” is a quick snapshot of a man and an artist who clearly acknowledges that a serious relationship has slipped away. But instead of moping and sulking in pity, he’s chosen the route of escapism and deference. Now, on the surface, these could be perceived as just some really good party records. But to unpack the project psychologically, it seems to also be a sincere response to being confused and traded upon where one is at in life and trying to find a direction to go after losing such a serious union. But maybe we shouldn’t think that deep, and just enjoy the vibes. Pharaoh’s “Mufasa Is Dead” is available on all major streaming platforms.