Black Thought, stalwart MC of the Legendary Roots Crew, has found a new voice 30 years after first picking up a mic.
For the past year and change since he and the Roots have been entering the homes of over a million Americans on a nightly basis as the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Thought (real name Tariq Trotter) has stimulated new audiences with not only lyrical dexterity, but also his semi-secret singing talent. Now he’s prepping his first-ever solo LP for Def Jam—The Talented Mr. Trotter.
“I’ve always been a vocalist...I’ve always been able to sing,” Thought told the New York Post in a recent interview.
“I was in [the] city choir when I was in second or third grade, and I was in a choir at college. I’ve been an MC since the age of nine. When the Roots came out and got our first deal in 1993, it was just a different climate in hip-hop. It wasn’t necessarily embraced for a rapper or an MC to showcase their singing skills as well. Now you’ve got your Drakes and Nicki Minaj, and it’s like you almost have to know how to sing as well to be considered the full package.”
Prior to the Trotter LP, which is expected later this year, Thought will be releasing a mixtape with his new side project the Money Making Jam Boys, featuring frequent Roots collaborators Dice Raw, Truck North and Sugar Tongue Slim. The tape is called Jam Boy Magic: The Prestige and is set for release in two weeks. The group recently leaked its first single, “Tear It Down.”