Watch the Roots' Black Thought Freestyle About Bruce Willis - Rolling Stone
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Watch the Roots’ Black Thought Freestyle About Bruce Willis on ‘Fallon’

Rapper mimicked Justin Timberlake, Drake during ‘Tonight Show’ bit

The RootsBlack Thought channeled his inner Justin Timberlake on Tuesday’s Tonight Show, performing a Bruce Willis-themed freestyle in the actor’s presence. The rapper-singer laughed at himself as he belted in a higher-than-usual range, with the band mimicking the elastic funk-pop of “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” “If you wrote a song about yourself, it would probably make people get loose,” he sang of the Death Wish actor. “And you know we’re really huge fans of you, so just welcome, Bruce.”

Black Thought also approximated Drake’s half-rapped/half-sung delivery on a pseudo-cover of “God’s Plan,” using an audience member’s love of Olympic figure skating as a lyrical starting point. “Sylvia, New Jersey’s where you came from/ Then we asked the question, and your answer was fi –/ –gure skating’s your favorite Olympic game, huh?/ Well, I think we should probably call this dance ‘Nathan Chen.'”

In the bit’s strangest moment, a bold audience member requested that he perform his own freestyle, touching on this Sunday’s Academy Awards, Sandra Bullock and his admiration for Black Thought. “You go to the Oscars and see Sandra Bullock – no my lady, she’s next to me; she’s smilin’ but wilin’,” he rapped over a palm-muted guitar riff that recalled Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” “I’m ’bout to flip the script, Tariq, and you’re the man/ I’ve idolized you for like 10 decades, my man/ I’m only 40; that’s kinda weird – the math doesn’t work/ If I win the Oscar, I twerk and say, [gibberish].'”


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