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Social consciousness flows through Black Thought’s ‘Streams of Thought Vol.1’

Social consciousness flows through Black Thought's 'Streams of Thought Vol.1'
Black Thought & 9th Wonder’s new album ‘Streams of Thought Vol. 1’

The Roots frontman Black Thought shattered craniums around the globe with his freestyle on Funk Flex’s Hot 97 radio show last December. He broke the internet for 48 hours, providing his hardcore fans with validation that he is the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time).

In 2009, Black Thought, Mos Def and Eminem shut down BET Cypher with polarizing freestyles that had social circles buzzing. Hip-hop veteran Black Thought, whose given name is Tariq Trotter, has always been known for his extraordinary verbal ability during his almost 30-year career as the frontman of the legendary band The Roots. These days, The Roots is the house band for “The Tonight Show,” leaving the group only time to perform a handful of concerts throughout the year, much to the disappointment of fans. The Roots released its last album, And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, in 2014.

Finally, after 25 years in the industry, Black Thought released Stream of Thought Vol. 1, his first solo project with producer 9th Wonder and The Soul Council. In 2015, Black Thought hosted The Live Mixtape, a collaboration of classic and unreleased verses with mixtape guru J. Period.

Black Thought previously teased releasing a solo album to be titled Masterpiece Theatre, and there also were talks of a collaboration with producer Danger Mouse titled Dangerous Thoughts, but nothing materialized until this year when he joined forces with 9th Wonder and The Soul Council.

Streams of Thought Vol. 1 is a five-song project, combining throbbing beats with Black Thought’s rapid lyrics. The new album takes the listener on a 17-minute, adrenaline-filled journey of social consciousness, as he chronicles his trials and tribulations from adolescence to adulthood, delivers braggadocios rhymes, offers appreciation for fans and family, and shines light on his hometown, Philadelphia.

Artist Rapsody is featured on “Dostoyevsky,” a record paying homage to the Russian novelist; Styles P of The Lox is featured on “Making of a Murder,” a track previously released in 2016; and singer KIRBY appears on “Thank You,” a song acknowledging those who played a role in his rise.

Streams of Thought Vol. 1 is a banger, leaving fans thirsty for more from Black Thought, but they will have to wait until The Roots’ new album, End Game, is released in late 2018.

— josé be 3i3

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