Philadelphia’s Black Thought, co-founder of The Roots, gets to the roots of things with his new Audible memoir.
During a week where Philly-born-and-bred co-founder of The Roots, drummer, Tonight Show bandleader, and now, film director Ahmir Thompson gets celebrated for his documentary filmmaking debut “Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” and its rare look at 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival, it is important to not look far from The Roots’ other co-founder, Black Thought.
After a season of firsts, including his lockdown iteration of Samuel Beckett’s show about nothing for NYC’s The New Group, a Zoom based Waiting for Godot that found Tariq Trotter more than holding his own against fellow thespian tramps Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, and Wallace Shawn, comes the rapper and lyricist’s first foray into the field of memoir with Audible.
Audible’s Words + Music series, already has some formidable guest speakers in Sting, Billie Joe Armstrong, Gary Clark, Jr., and Sleater-Kinney.
In his freshly released “7 Years,” an Audible Original where the Philly-born rapper tells stories from his life and career in thoughtful seven-year increments, Trotter comes off as a natural storyteller and a dramatic presence. Subtitled “Words + Music,” the Audible volume not only goes back to days in North Philly and good times with Thompson and Malik B, but allows the listener great insight into what drove Trotter through the raps of Do You Want More, Phrenology and such early Roots classics, as well as what drove him as a young man – to go beyond street circumstance, to find art and joy in even the worst of times and crimes – to create.
“This has been almost two years in the making… and I’m honored and excited to announce that my new @audible original piece “7 Years” comes out today,” he wrote on Instagram.
“It’s inspired by one of my life theories that every 7 years I should be actively working to become better creatively, emotionally, personally, and mentally as my body also changes and new cells replace the old. So in this piece of words and music I’m sharing some of these key important periods that have made me into the man I am today — with an original musical score that highlights the very first freestyle I ever wrote to our @theroots classics to performances of some of my more.”
Trotter isn’t all talk by the way. If you go to this Rolling Stone link, you can hear one of Thought’s earliest freestyles that is part of “7 Years,” and be amazed. Or you can stop being cheap and just buy his Audible. Now.