Rapper Black Thought of The Roots joined the latest installment of the at-home version of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series to premiere three new tracks from his home office (look at those beautiful GRAMMYs on his speakers, too). Sitting down, Black Thought flowed through reading lyrics from his cell phone and straight from memory with “Thought vs. Everybody” and “Nature of the Beast”, set to debut on his Streams of Thought Vol. 3 EP in the near future. The former was backed by Portugal. The Man via livestream.
Thought also performed “Yellow,” a song from his upcoming off-Broadway musical Black No More, adapted from a 1931 Harlem Renaissance novel by George S. Schuyler. “I feel like this play has the potential to change the landscape of musical theater so I’m excited to introduce it to the world,” Black Thought said. “It’s an afro-futurist, sci-fi racial satire… in it a black doctor takes on the impossible task of creating an invention that could turn black people white in his attempts to solve all the world’s problems. Proving successful, it could change the landscape of racial America. The number called “Yellow” has a character who’s also a black man and has decided that he’s over the whole black experience, and that includes women of a darker hue. From now on he wants everything yellow. Yellow money, yellow women, yellow taxis.”
NPR’s Abby O’Neill said in a press statement, “While our culture adjusts to the ‘New Normal’, artists are revealing the threads of our common humanity as they find new ways to bring their work to virtual communities. In this installment of Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts, hip-hop wordsmith Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought of The Roots crew, took the occasion to premiere three new songs.”
Watch Black Thought’s performance above. In more music news, Philadelphia rapper and A$AP-affiliate Chynna has passed away at 25.