Any Hip-Hop lover would certainly turn his head and pay immediate attention to someone mentioning the name “The Roots”. The Roots are a neo-soul and Hip-Hop band; being a prominent name in Rap music and also for their lead vocalist/rapper, Black Thought. Now we are going to see one his highly advanced, yet content infused couplet which is often a key to grab a listener’s ears.
The Rhyme Scheme we are going to study is taken from Black Thought’s feature verse on Pharoahe Monche’s song- Rapid Eye Movement, from the album “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”.
I’m diabolical, follicle triggers that I cock and squeeze/
Sending shots to ancient Greece to pop Socrates/
The Flow Diagram:
1 – Diabolical/Follicle
23 – Cock and Squeeze/Socrates
2 – Shots/Pop (Separated in 2nd bar)
3 – Greece (Separated in the 2nd bar)
How does this work?
Black Thought introduces a couple of multi-syllable rhymes in the beginning of the bar (i.e. 1- Diabolical/Follicle), and closing the first bar with a compound rhyme (i.e ‘Cock and Squeeze’). Here’s the trick, in the second bar, thought splits the compound rhyme he used and uses the first half of it once- i.e ‘shots’, then he uses the latter half of the compound- i.e ‘greece’. Once again, by the end of the bar, Black Thought uses the first half rhyme type- ‘pop’ and ends the couplet with a full compound rhyme.
Replicate the flow of this couplet, and try to keep the syllable count as close it can be, try doubling the intensity of your couplet using sharp metaphors and adjectives.
Remember, the key is to first bring two multisyllables, then a compound rhyme. Split it, then use these rhymes again, then join them back before you close the couplet. Best of luck!
Written by: Free-D