Pharoahe Monch is acclaimed for his complex rapping technique – AllMusic says he has, “a reputation as one of underground hip hop’s pre-eminent lyricists, crafting intricate and intelligent raps.” Kool Moe Dee ranks him at 26 in his best MCs of all-time list, from his book, There’s a God on the Mic, noting: “Pharoahe Monch is like an eloquent linguistics professor moonlighting as a rhyme serial killer terrorist, challenging the listeners’ I.Q. while daring him or her to keep up.”
Monch compares writing and recording his lyrics to writing and filming a movie – in the book How to Rap he says he will ‘punch-in’ vocals so he can “retake some things, just like a film”, and he ‘rewrites’ lyrics, saying he will “go back as a screenwriter and rewrite scenes and leave more to the imagination.”
For his biggest hit, “Simon Says”, he comments that he wrote the choruses before he wrote the verses, and fellow rapper and collaborator O.C. notes that Monch will write single lines down and then use them five years later. His vocal delivery is inspired by Jazz music and musicians such as John Coltrane.
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