When the discussion of underrated emcees comes up, Black Thought‘s name is frequently mentioned. And we here at UpNorthTrips take that as an insult. It’s 2012, and the Philly-bred front man for The Roots has been slaying every mic in his path for two decades now – in concerts across the world, and on over a dozen LPs, without taking a breather. He’s even managed to stay relevant with rap purists while holding down a gig on Jimmy Fallon’s late night NBC talk show. Tariq Trotter is a one-of-one in this rap shit. There is no other artist with his stage presence, stamina, versatility, and straight up skills to pay the bills. He’s the quintessential master of ceremonies.
To celebrate his 42nd birthday, we give you a special edition of The 10s entitled “Thought At Work,” because dude stays on his job, and doesn’t ever let up, having held his own on tracks with everyone from Big Pun to Ghostface Killah to Mos Def, in addition to his countless classics with The Roots. Read about our selections below, listen to the mix, and next time you want to talk underrated MCs, please leave his name out. Black Thought only belongs in the Top 5 Dead Or Alive discussion moving forward.
Check the song by song breakdown here.