Pharoahe Monch’s new album We Are Renegades is excellent. Go buy it. If you’ve ever listened to Monch, then you know that he doesn’t fake his rhymes. As is visible above, the back cover of his most recent album is littered with asthma inhalers. Here is Pharoahe on the impact that his breathing struggles have had on his rhyming style.
“The asthma forced me to really go against the issue and push the envelope in terms of breath control and doing runs that I wouldn’t probably try if I didn’t have asthma,” he explained. “If I didn’t have asthma, I’d probably rhyme like the Hip Hop rock-the-spot [style]. But the fact that that shit is an element that I was fighting against, I was like, ‘Fuck that, let me make that battle, lyrically [speaking].'”