Pharoahe Monch and Mickey Factz headlined a UGHH-powered concert at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York on August 12, 2017. Months later, Mickey released a collaboration between the two emcees on the deluxe edition of his Nottz-produced album, The Achievement—which features an insanely stacked lineup of other guests as well, including Royce Da 5’9″, Phonte, Styles P, Skyzoo and more. On Monday, just over a year after the UGHH show, Mickey dropped a video for his “Masterpiece” remix—on which Pharoahe replaces Blu, who rocked the original—splicing together footage from their performance with some appropriately artsy Mr. Goodevening-directed visuals shot at the Queens Museum and the Whitney Museum of Art in Manhattan.
Both immaculate wordsmiths, Mickey and Pharoahe trade verses using the word “piece” (or “peace”) as a catalyst—referencing everything from guns and pendants to chicken and religion. “Peace sign to the streets that riot / The piece rise when there’s peace and quiet / The peace dies when the heat get fired,” Mickey spits on the Whitney’s outdoor terrace, standing before a statue of a rifle scope’s crosshairs by Rashid Johnson. Inspired by the iconic Public Enemy logo, the steel sculpture is titled “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” after the group’s song off their second album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back—a fitting choice for the concept of the song and video.
Queens-native Pharoahe also delivers parts of his verse in front of the 1964 New York World’s Fair Unisphere at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, where the Queens Museum is located. The Unisphere has been featured in other classic videos like the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” and fellow Queens representatives A Tribe Called Quest’s “Award Tour.” Incidentally, the theme of the fair—which the Unisphere was designed to symbolize—was “peace through understanding.”
After peeping “Masterpiece,” check out a UGHH exclusive promo spot for the aforementioned concert—in which Mickey, Pharoahe and I Am Many (who also performed) reflect on some of their least-favorite bars.