Black Thought Opens Up About The Roots, His Famous Cypher, Malik B., & Fallon | PEOPLE’S PARTY LIVE


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In this episode of “People’s Party With Talib Kweli,” Kweli sits down with rapper, singer, actor, author and lead emcee of the legendary Philadelphia-based hip hop collective The Roots:


Here’s what we got into:

• Thought gives his take on why Talib”s verse for ‘ ‘Double Trouble’ didn’t make it on the record.
• Yasiin Bey holding up a studio session when disappeared after going to grab a fish sandwich.
• Bringing his skill set into the acting world and writing the musical titled, ‘Black No More.’
• Roots’ challenges in being recognized as fully-fledged emcees when the arrived on the scene.
• How Thought managed to cope with losing his mother and father at such an early age.
• Breaking down the origin of his rap name and how it was inspired by the visual arts.
• Thought’s original rap name of Hawk Smooth and how it was inspired by BDK’s ‘Set It Off.’
• His belonging to the lineage of pioneers like Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G Rap.
• Feeling honored to be one of the torch bearers of keeping the soul of hip hop alive.
• The legacy of Sean C and LV and how much love Big Pun had for Black Thought.
• Questlove’s role in the Roots crew and his being “the gatekeeper of all-things musical.”
• Why Talib’s roommate threw out his ‘Do You Want More?!!!??!’ album during an argument.
• Biggie’s reaction to The Root’s song and video for ‘What They Do’ and if Thought has regrets.
• Thought’s take on Drill Music and if he feels it deserves a space in today’s hip hop scene.
• What The Root’s album, ‘Things Fall Apart’ means to the city of Philadelphia.
• The song ‘The Love Of My Life,’ and how it was inspired by Common’s ‘I Used To Love H.E.R.’
• The genius of Malik B and the unknowing influence he had on so many before his passing.
• The viral Funkmaster Flex Freestyle that changed the trajectory of Thought’s career.
• How The Roots’ original bassist Leonard Hubbard played such a vital role early-on.
• Taking the gig as Jimmy Fallon’s band and why it was undoubtedly the right move.
• Rich Nichols being an essential piece of the Roots’ legacy as the early visionary for the group.