Black Thought’s Master Class

By A. Smith

The Philadelphia native will be leading a free three-day workshop called the Thought Master Class from Mon, 3 Feb 2020 – Wed, 5 Feb 2010 at the Carnegie Hall, New York, United States. 

“Legendary hip-hop artist Black Thought leads a three-day workshop for rising and professional MCs ages 18–35 that culminates in a showcase by the invited participants. Over the course of the workshop, participants will explore the history of hip-hop and examine the technical skills employed by the genre. Invited MCs should come prepared to workshop their music, focusing on lyricism, flow, style, and delivery.  

Black Thought will equip participants with tangible exercises to improve their overall artistry. This exploration will give participants the opportunity to hone their technical abilities and continue to craft their individual sounds. The workshop will also provide participants with invaluable insight into Black Thought’s outstanding career of more than two decades, as well as opportunities to reflect on how one can achieve and sustain excellence as an artist.” 

Black Thought (Tariq Luqmaan Trotter) is a lyricist and the lead emcee of the hip hop group/band The Roots, which was co- founded by him and musician/ drummer extraordinaire Questlove (Amir Thompson). The Roots released their debut album Organix in 1993. Do You Want More?!!!??! came out in 1995, singles released from their album were ‘Distortion to Static’, ‘Proceed’ and ‘Silent Treatment’. Their third album Illadelph Halflife released in 1996 featured guest artists such as Amel Larrieux (Groove Theory), Common, Raphael Saadiq, D’Angelo and some Jazz musicians such as Cassandra Wilson and David Murray and more.  

Things Fall Apart was the album I got introduced to The Roots. ‘You Got Me’ featuring Erykah Badu and Eve is one of my favorites. Fun fact: Jill Scott co- wrote the song but she was replaced by Erykah Badu who was more well-known than Jill Scott at the time - she had released Baduizm by then. The video was directed by Charles Stone III.  

A part of Black Thought’s genius is that he is able to paint vivid imageries through his lyrics, for a minute I thought I was the Ethiopian Queen from Philly, lol!  

“Somebody told me that this planet was small/ we use to live in the same building on the same floor/ and never met before/ until I'm overseas on tour/ and peep this Ethiopian queen from Philly/ taking classes abroad/ she studying film and photo flash focus record/ said she working on a flick and could my click do the score/ she said she loved my show in Paris at Elysee Montmartre…” 

For more information on the master class and tickets, please visit the Carnegie Hall’s website: 

A powerful speech from Black Thought at the ‘Here Are All The Black People’ event:

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