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 Song:

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”.

*The couplet starts from 2:25 to 2:30.

The Couplet:

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.

The Challenge

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

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Showing 7 comments
  • Jack

    This is awesome. Three years later, will the thread be revived?

    You abominable, unconscionable with your actions
    It’s been four score since the bastion of Mordor faction

  • Buggy

    A dreamer,glimmers wary,he’s tryna be legendary
    Stars,fetch em and carry but his precision vision’s bleary



    1-dreamer, glimmers,
    23-legendary,vision’s bleary
    2-fetch em, precision

  • Young Prodigy

    The bliss of ignorance is vigorous on the youth with careless mottos/ Glass of Paris champagne bottles that make you cherish Aristotle

    • Free-D

      You nailed it! the couplet is dope and you carried out the slicing appropriately plus the content was dope as well, kudos Young!

  • Eiree'E

    Pharoahe Monche, and Black thought, are some Great technical rappers. I’m going to attempt this it might be crap, But Idc lol I’m just trying



    I keep mentioning traditions, wearing a stiff in my face//
    in a fitting timid phrase, that missing gifts, in given pains//

    23-stiff in my face/ given pains
    2-fitting/ timid/ missing/ gifts
    3- phrase

    Ok I followed the rules I believe mostly, I just have some ‘internal rhymes’ in there.

    Let me explain my meaning of this. I’m talking about life with disappointment. But I’m to quite to say I was disappointed, So on the inside it’s building pain.

    • Free-D

      Alright, starting with the rhyme placement, you’ve nailed it. So it’s safe to assume you are familiar with counting bars.
      The problem you have is with perfect rhyming and syllable managing.

      In rhyme type 1- traditions and mentioning aren’t perfect rhymes man, only the last few syllables of these words rhyme. For example:

      Take mentioning: defend a king, pretend to bring, sent to sing, sentencing, length that brings, and so on, you can see how all the syllables match with the enunciation and they rhyme wholly.

      And for your rhyme type 23- you have entered “stiff in my face” and “given pains”, they aren’t perfect rhymes either man, stiff in my face has an extra syllable in contrast with “given pains”, maybe you can balance that by adding an extra syllable like “given the pain” or “given ’em pains”.

      And in your rhyme type 2- all the rhymes were fine except for “gifts”, again a syllable missing man. You really need to work on that. I recommend you to check out some Hopsin verses or Old school Eminem to grow your knowledge on compound rhymes.

      Your content is on point though, appreciate that!

      • Eiree'E

        I’m sorry I’m getting to this late. I didn’t want my rhymes to be perfect, btw I wanted slant rhymes. I appreciate the feedback man Mos def. I like adding my own twist to things. But I feel, I did nice on the assignment. Pay close attention to the rhymes, their off rhymes and I wanted it Like that.

        Thanx again

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