W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) is the third studio album of American hip hop artist Pharoahe Monch released on March 22, 2011 under Duck Down Records. Producers include Lion’s Share Music Group, Exile, Marco Polo, M-Phazes, Mike Loe, Fatin “10” Horton, Diamond D, Samiyam, and Fyre Dept.’s Adam Deitch and Eric Krasno, while vocal features are contributed by Idris Elba, Immortal Technique, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, Showtyme, Styles P of The LOX, Phonte (formerly of Little Brother), Mela Machinko, Mr. Porter, Jean Grae, Royce da 5’9″, Citizen Cope and Jill Scott.Scratches are provided by DJ Boogie Blind of The X-Ecutioners.
The album’s release date was announced during Pharoahe Monch’s tour alongside supergroup Slaughterhouse, during early 2010. Featured guests were confirmed in July 2010 along with the tracklisting of the album. The original release date was October 26, 2010. Since then, tracklisting and features have been slightly changed.
The album debuted at number 54 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 9,600 copies in the United States. In its second week, it sold 4,600 copies and dropped to number 149 on the Billboard 200.
We Are Renegades received a perfect 5 star rating from HipHopGame.com and an average score of 86 out of 100,on the review site Metacritic, based on four reviews, indicating “universal acclaim” Nathan S. of DJBooth.net awarded the album four out of five stars, hailing it as “…nothing but quality.”
Thus far, the album has four singles: the first one, “Shine”, a collaboration with Mela Machinko was released on July 27, 2010. The song was produced by Diamond D.
The second promotional single, “Clap (One Day)”, was released on January 18, 2011. Produced by M-Phazes, the song features Showtyme & DJ Boogie Blind, who have collaborated with Pharoahe Monch on various occasions. A ten minute extended music video was released on March 8, 2011, depicting “a police raid gone dramatically wrong”. It was directed by Terence Nance, with a score by Lion’s Share Music Group, and appearances from Gbenga Akinnagbe (known for his portrayal of Chris Partlow in HBO’s award-winning drama series The Wire), Kim Howard and Josiah Small.
A third promotional single, “Black Hand Side”, has been released on March 3, 2011. It was produced by Mike Loe and features Phonte (formerly of Little Brother) and Styles P of The LOX. Pharoahe Monch and Styles P have collaborated before, on Styles P’s 2002 Ayatollah produced single “My Life”
On March 15, 2011, the fourth promotional single, “Assassins”, was released. Australian producer M-Phazes crafted the beat, while featured guest verses were provided by Jean Grae and Royce da 5’9″.
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