After a few postponed attempts, Philadelphia emcee and Roots co-founder Black Thought is at work on a solo album. Thought was rumored to be planning a solo effort for some time, but tracks from that project, such as “Thought At Work,” were eventually co-opted into songs on The Roots’ albums.
“The solo joint is in the works right now,” Black Thought told the New York Post. “Right now I’m putting together an EP for Def Jam; it’s probably going to be called The Talented Mr. Trotter. The Roots songs come from just a core foundation of contributors, but for my solo endeavor I’ll probably be reaching outside of that circle.”
Before fans see The Talented Mr. Trotter, Black Thought is working on a mixtape with fellow emcees Dice Raw, Sugar Tongue Slim and Truck North. Collectively known as the Money Making Jam Boys, Thought says their mixtape, entitled “Jam Boys Prestige,” should be released within a few weeks.
In the meantime, Black Thought holds down his nightly gig with the rest of The Roots as the house band for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” The position has allowed Thought to showcase his vocal range as a fill-in background singer for some of the show’s booked musical guests. And while those who don’t remember songs such as 1995’s “Silent Treatment” may be new to the idea of Black Thought as a vocalist, he says he’s been plying the trade since elementary school.
“I’ve always been a vocalist…I’ve always been able to sing,” Thought added. “I was in city choir when I was in second or third grade, and I was in a choir at college. I’ve been an emcee since the age of nine. When The Roots came out and got our first deal in 1993 it just a different climate in Hip Hop. It wasn’t necessarily embraced for a rapper or an emcee to showcase their singing skills as well. Now you’ve got your Drake’s and Nicki Minaj and it’s like you almost have to know how to sing as well to be considered the full package.”