|Black Thought Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 7 in|
|Date of Birth||October 3, 1971|
Black Thought is an American rapper and songwriter, best known as the leading MC of the hip hop group The Square Roots, which he co-founded with a drummer Questlove. The group’s name was changed to The Roots before they released their debut studio album Organix in 1993. The 2nd and 3rd studio albums, Do You Want More?!!!??! (1995), and Illadelph Halflife (1996), followed quickly because the group got noticed by DGC Records. After a 3-year break, the group got signed to MCA Records, and albums Things Fall Apart (1999), and Phrenology (2002) came out.
After the release of a studio album Game Theory (2006), Black Thought and his group members got signed to Jay-Z‘s label Def Jam Recordings, which led to release of albums Rising Down (2008), How I Got Over (2010), Undun (2011), and …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (2014). In 2009, The Roots joined the television talk-show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in form of a house band, which Black Thought said allowed for more time to focus on their music as they didn’t have to tour. After the well-known TV host moved to another TV show – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2014, the band followed. Black Thought also released his debut EP album in 2018, titled Streams of Thought, Vol. 1. The second EP, titled Streams of Thought, Vol. 2 was also released a few months later in 2018.
Tariq Luqmaan Trotter
Black Thought, B.T., Roots, DT, Double T, Tarik, Tarik Trotter
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
- New York City, New York, United States
- Tokyo, Japan
Black Thought attended Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. He was later expelled due to repeated disciplinary issues.
He then enrolled in Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, United States, where he studied journalism.
Rapper, Songwriter, Actor
- Father – Thomas Trotter (d. 1972)
- Mother – Cassandra Trotter
- Siblings – Keith Trotter (Older Brother)
Black Thought is represented by –
- Coolhunter Management (Manager) in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, United States
- Sweet180 (Manager) in New York, New York, United States
- Vox (Talent Agent Voice, Commercial) in Los Angeles, California, United States
- Donovan Public Relations (Publicist) in New York City, New York, New York, United States
Hip hop, Rap
- Def Jam Recordings
5 ft 7 in or 170 cm
73 kg or 161 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Black Thought has dated –
- Karrine Steffans (2001) – He had a brief affair with the author in 2001 according to her memoirs, but she went on to date another rapper the same year.
- Opal (2010) – Black Thought kept his personal life out of the spotlight to the best of his ability but announced that he got married to a woman named Opal in 2010. Together, they have 5 sons, out of which he mentioned two – Ahmir and Benjamin, and 1 daughter, named Saaliha.
- Michelle Trotter – In a similar fashion, he didn’t share any details about his relationship with Michelle, which kept fans guessing about the year they started dating. Judging by her last name on social media, it was likely that they got married at some point, and she took his name in marriage. Black Thought posted a picture on his Instagram and mentioned that she was the love of his life on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
Race / Ethnicity
He is of African-American descent.
- Long, thick beard
- Often wears hats and sunglasses
- Clear, steely voice
Black Thought has collaborated with MOSCOT, an eyewear brand, and created a limited-edition of sunglasses. He has also promoted Clearweather sneaker collections in 2017.
Best Known For
- Being a part of hip-hop group The Roots, and releasing 11 studio albums between 1993 and 2014
- Joining the TV talk-show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2009, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2014 as part of a house band, The Roots
- His solo EP albums in 2018 – Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 and Streams of Thought, Vol. 2
- His roles in movies Brown Sugar (2002), Love Rome (2004), Explicit IIIs (2008), Night Catches Us (2010), On the Inside (2011), and others
Black Thought, as the co-founder of the hip hop group The Roots, released his debut, independent, studio album Organix on May 19, 1993. It consisted of 17 tracks, out of which the most notable ones were The Anti-Circle, Pass the Popcorn, Good Music, Grits, I’m Out Deah, and Popcorn Revisited. The album was re-released in 1998 under the same name but via Cargo Records.
First TV Show
Black Thought made his first TV show appearance as himself in an episode titled 1970 of the documentary VH1 series I Love the ’70s in 2003.
Black Thought Favorite Things
- Interests – Fashion, Design, Art, Cooking
- Musicians – Mac Miller, Aretha Franklin, Pharrell Williams, Pusha T
Black Thought Facts
- Both of his parents were devout Muslims, and part of Nation of Islam, an African-American movement.
- His mother raised him Muslim, while his maternal grandmother was a Christian, which taught him how to meditate between different religions and be compassionate.
- He had a very traumatic childhood because his dad, Thomas, was murdered when he was only 1 year old. In an interview in 2008, Black Thought said that he simply left one night, and never returned home. He later found out that he was executed tied to a chair, and shot all over his body in an empty lot.
- His mother was also murdered while he was in-between the 11th and 12th grade. A mentally unstable stranger kidnapped her off the street, and r*ped, strangled, and stabbed her 40 times, which was incredibly traumatic and scarring for Black Thought.
- The trauma in his life led him to sell cocaine for a time, but he quickly decided he was destined for great things.
- His brother, Keith, stayed on the path of crime and spent almost half of his life in prison. Black Thought said that visiting his brother in jail, and seeing 20 other friends behind bars assured him he was on the right path in life.
- Black Thought became was very interested in the Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE/NOGE) or Five Percenters movement and their teachings.
- He became friends with Questlove, one of the founders of The Roots hip hop group, when they both attended Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts.
- He met Malik B., who was the other member of The Roots, at Millersville University.
- In 2000 and 2001, Black Thought was prepared to record and release his debut solo album, which was supposed to be named Masterpiece Theatre. However, he found out the project wouldn’t be covered under his recording label, and the songs ended up on his group’s album Phrenology (2002).
- Black Thought collaborated with the record producer Danger Mouse in 2006 on an album titled Dangerous Thoughts. As of April 2019, the album was not released, and it was likely scrapped completely.
- Black Thought and his group collaborated with the well-known singer John Legend on a collaborative album titled Wake Up! (2010).
- Black Thought, alongside The Roots, also collaborated with the singer Betty Wright for the collaborative album Betty Wright: The Movie (2011).
- In early 2013, Black Thought confirmed that he once again began working on a solo album that was supposed to be named Talented Mr. Trotter and to be accompanied with a memoir of his life. As of April 2019, none were released.
- Black Thought recorded a track titled Rise Up for the well-known video game Street Fighter V in February 2016. The game’s publisher, Capcom, released a music video that featured him and rappers Fashawn, Murs, and Del the Funky Homosapien on the track.
- In 2016, The Roots members were sued by an ex-member of the group, Leonard Hubbard, who joined in 1992 and left in 2007 due to a blood cancer diagnosis. He claimed the group has not paid a fair percentage of royalties that were owed to him by the contract.
- Black Thought won a Grammy Award in 2016 in the category of “Best Musical Theater Album” for the album Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording), shared with everyone involved with it.
- He appeared on the American radio station HOT 97 in December 2017 and performed a 10-minute freestyle with instrumentals for the song The Learning (Burn) by Mobb Deep. The video of the freestyle had more than 8 million views on YouTube and was trending on Twitter for days after its release.
- Black Thought was nominated for an Awards Circuit Community Awards (ACCA) in the category of “Best Original Song”. It was for a song titled It Ain’t Fair from the movie Detroit (2017). The most notable actors in the movie were John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, and Algee Smith.
- His debut solo EP album, Streams of Thought, Vol. 1, released on June 1, 2018, peaked at the 62nd spot at the US Billboard 200 chart, 33rd on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and 7th on the Billboard Independent Albums chart.
- After their studio album …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (2014), Black Thought announced that he and his hip hop group were preparing their next album. The working title was End Game, but as of April 2019, no release date was announced.
- Visit his official websites @ okayplayer.com, and streamsofthought.com.
Featured Image by Black Thought / Instagram