See the Roots' Black Thought Freestyle for 10 Minutes - Rolling Stone
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See the Roots’ Black Thought Freestyle for 10 Minutes

Tariq Trotter goes from house band perch to guest chair on ‘Tonight Show’ to discuss viral 10-minute Hot 97 freestyle, how rapper met Questlove

The Roots‘ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter sat down with Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon Friday to discuss the rapper’s epic, viral 10-minute freestyle.

“One step closer to behind the desk,” Trotter joked as he made his way from the Roots’ house band perch to the guest chairs to talk about the freestyle, which Black Thought laid down Wednesday on New York hip-hip station Hot 97. Video of the freestyle has been viewed over 800,000 times on YouTube.

“I planned on doing 10 to 15 minutes… Here’s the thing, Funkmaster Flex, Hot 97 freestyle, it’s an iconic moment. It’s super meaningful for a rapper to get that platform. In recent weeks, recent months, I’ve been checking out videos and the bar has been set kind of high,” Trotter said.

Fallon recounted the internet reaction to the freestyle and gifted Trotter with a long scroll etched with every line from Black Thought’s freestyle. Trotter then gave a summary of the Roots’ history, with Trotter discussing how he first met Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in the principal’s office of their Philadelphia high school.

To close out the segment, Trotter brainstormed a one-minute freestyle live on the Tonight Show. “The meaning of a scrimmage I forgot / I go full throttle, whether exhibition match or not / On my off day, I get it how I live, the boss way / Years of blood, sweats and tears would have cost me / To ball like Vince Lombardi and Paul McCartney / Think like Marcus Garvey and dress sharply,” the rapper doled out. “Messages from Manuel and Puff for me / Fifteen minutes of fame ain’t enough for me.”

Check out Black Thought’s interview with Fallon about the freestyle below:


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