How do your favorite rappers write their rhymes? To find out, Complex TV has started a new series, The Process. Hosted by Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg and shot at New York City's legendary Chung King Studios, The Process features intimate conversations with established legends as well as exciting up-and-comers about how they put their rhymes together and the magic that happens when the pen hits the pad. New episodes of The Process premiere every Tuesday on Complex TV.
In our latest installment of The Process with Peter Rosenberg, Pharoahe Monch details his writing technique during his early years in Organized Konfusion. The New York rapper says it was a joint effort through and through, with him and Prince Po bouncing ideas off each other. "Back then, we were doing the music as well, so I would do a beat, Prince [Po] would do a beat, the crew would do a beat, and then we would conceptualize." Describing the process as, "Straight pen to paper," Monch also breaks down his "alphebet style" approach to rapping.
Later in the conversation, Pharoahe Monch talks about making a conscious effort to be conscious in his raps. "As long as you are true to who you are, it will cut through," Pharoahe states. "I feel like if you don't express all the different facets of who you are, you're fronting regardless, because nobody is cerebral all the time."
Monch also details his classic record, "Simon Says," which he describes as a complex record despite its playful tone. "Everything in that song is calculated and thought about, even in its freestyle simplicity," Pharoahe explains. "Because of the energy of the beat, this is not a song chorus-wise where you would ask of anything. You have to demand of something."