December 12, 2016

Black Thought "Masterpiece Theatre" Interview (The Source, 12/00)

"Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter, voice box of those show mavens, the Roots, has a lot on his mind. His solo debut, Masterpiece Theater, is scheduled for a February release, yet he's only been able to master one track thus far. The other six that he's previewing today are, in his words, "works in progress." Another five songs exist solely in his brain... But that's not the cause of Tariq's pressures. His time management has been complicated by the upcoming OkayPlayer tour that will have the Philly native on the road for two months. But even more telling is the pressure Tariq has been putting on himself. After acting as the consummate team player for 13 years, many of his ideas for the group were shot down. Not because they were sub par, but because they didn't fit the Roots collective. And he understood. So now Black Thought is under pressure from Black Thought to present the Roots' most celebrated vocal instrumental to the world - without the Roots." Cont'd...

"I got a whole discography of shit to get off my chest that is just different from the Roots vibe," he explains of his solo venture. "All those people who wanted to hear me over different tracks will get that chance to hear Black Thought with some different texture. That texture begins with "Water," a track flooded with Timbaland-like hand claps and a sweet crooning tenor sample (produced by Headrush). On the song, Tariq warns those obsessed with the streets to "walk straight and master their high ... I done seen these streets make a lot of guys cry." The posse cut, "Gladiators," featuring EST (3x Dope), Boobonic (Philly's Most Wanted) and Marly G, drops with Philly pride. And the powerful social commentary of "Usual Business," supported by M-1 and of Dead Prez, will remind you why Tariq, one of hip-hop's lyrical elite, should be included on more high-profile collabos. "A lot of MCs are scared to rock on a joint with me," he informs. "They don't want to have to work harder. But it's like, I ain't trying to kill them, I'm just trying to kill the joint." Hence, Tariq is amped at getting an opportunity to put together a hip-hop junkie's wet dream. "I'm doing a joint with Rakim, Prodigy and Pharoahe Monch," he confidently quips. Those pressures just keep mounting." - The Source, Issue #135. It (still) makes me sad that we never got this album; I even remember the early adverts to promote it. (Updated with a new audio link above).