This is branded content created in partnership with Sound Mind.
Society is what drives Troy Donald Jamerson, better known as Pharaoh Munch. The Queens-born MC known for his decades-long career built on intricate, interwoven lyrics and songs credits his intimate knowledge of Black America’s struggle for stability as a formative force in his life. Troy’s mother and father worked to punish early transitions, and Troy saw how this hard work provided a stable ground in the face of adversity.
But this safe harbor could only isolate Troy for so long, and with so much external conflict around it, it was hard to believe that the internal conflict was significant. “When you want to discuss emotional instability, it’s hard to feel entitlement,” he says in the latest installment of his Sound Mind Unmasked video series. “It’s something you don’t talk about.”
Each video in the Sound Mind Unmasked series features an artist who shares his mental health journey, opening up about the cartoons that it can take to walk around and record. Unmasked focuses on highlighting free mental health resources available to all, as well as promoting an open dialogue about mental health for artists and audiences alike.
Uncompromising dialogue has always been part of Troy’s artistic drive, and that candor has helped him deal with his emotional and psychological battles. He points to the power of his music and personal community to help him through the dark times in his life. “Fortunately I have the best family and best friends and I feel like these guys have supported me,” he says. “What flies in hip-hop culture is that it respects true truth and honesty.” his 2014 album, Post-traumatic stress disorder: Post-traumatic stress disorder, explored those candid themes with skillful lyric poetry, putting words into the struggles he and many others experience.
However, Troy knows that many in his universe and community are facing their own demons on their own and hopes to change that by partnering with Sound Mind on the Unmasked series. “Often we feel societal pressures to function in our daily lives amid the weight of overwhelming circumstances,” he says. “I hope that by sharing my story we can highlight the strides we have made by identifying the root cause of some mental health issues. If we continue to evolve in our communication and encourage people to better express their feelings, we can one day eradicate the tragic outcomes.”