Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter is demonstrating his talents as a wordsmith in another medium besides rap music. The Roots frontman’s Audible Original Words + Music production titled 7 Years is out today (July 8).
“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,” wrote Black Thought on Instagram.
He continued, “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 recent pieces.”
Black Thought’s 7 Years examines the celebrated emcee’s life and career in seven-year installments. Listeners will get to hear him discuss his childhood in Philadelphia, the American justice system, and learning to adapt to commercial success.
In an exclusive snippet of 7 Years provided to AllHipHop.com, Black Thought talks about his rebellious nature. The 49-year-old entertainer also reflects on adjusting to the cultural shift that took place in the 1980s and learning life lessons in his 20s.
As a member of The Roots, Black Thought helped create well-received Hip Hop albums like Do You Want More?!!!??!, Things Fall Apart, Phrenology, The Tipping Point, and Game Theory. The group won its first of three Grammy Awards in 2000 for “You Got Me” featuring Erykah Badu and Eve.
Black Thought has released his own projects as well. The prolific songwriter’s personal music catalog contains the Streams of Thought series. 2020’s Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Able is considered Trotter’s debut solo studio LP.
In addition to recording audiobooks and albums, Black Thought wrote the music and lyrics for the off-Broadway play Black No More. The musical is an adaptation of George S. Schuyler’s Harlem Renaissance-era novel Black No More: Being an Account of the Strange and Wonderful Workings of Science in the Land of the Free, AD 1933-1940.