Black Thought Honored With Mural In Philadelphia; “That’s The Stuff Of Legends” 

The “amazing” tribute to Black Thought is in the same local area he used to tag with Graffiti under the name of Double T.

Black Thought was honored with a mural in his Kensington, Philadelphia hometown titled “The Talented Mr.Trotter: You Can Be Anything.” 

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The Roots co-founder was on hand during Thursday’s official unveiling ceremony and reflected upon the significance of the artwork. As a child, Black Thought used to tag local buildings with Graffiti and would even be arrested for it. 

Black Thought: “This Is Huge”

“This is huge for me,” Black Thought explained to local news outlet The Philly Voice. “To go from scaling buildings to get a little bit of rep and tag my name somewhere that may never be seen, to having my face plastered on the side of this four-story building. It’s pretty amazing. That’s the stuff of legends. This reward overshadows every recognition that I’ve ever received.” 

Black Thought was arrested for his Graffiti art at just 12 years old and received a sentence of long hours of “scrub time.” He was tasked with removing Graffiti in local areas as part of a local government initiative to replace street art with more conventional pieces. He now sits on the board of the Mural Arts Project that worked on the Anti-Graffiti project back in the 1980s. 

“The beauty of it all was that I began to work with the Anti-Graffiti Network in Philly, and that’s when I first connected with [Mural Arts Executive Director] Jane Golden,” Black Thought continued. “Every time I get to work with Jane, it represents a full-circle moment for me.”  

“I didn’t know (Black Thought) when we were doing the Anti-Graffiti Network,” Golden admitted to The Philly Voice. “I mean, I had a vague idea that he was with us, but we work with so many thousands of young people. Then when we unveiled The Roots mural (in South Philadelphia), he looked at me and said, ‘We know each other.’” 

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The Artist On Inspiring Future Generations

Created by Roberto Lugo in collaboration with Black Thought, the mural is deeply personal to the Hip-Hop legend. The vase framing his head symbolizes royalty, while the Arabic lettering on the vase spells out the names of his children. Additionally, the mural’s vivid colors signify the imagery Lugo saw growing up in the city. He hopes his art will inspire local children to pursue the creative arts.