Black Thought was honored with a colorful mural in his Kensington hometown on Thursday (June 2) that will forever be embedded on the side of The Clay Studio at 1425 N. American Street, a non-profit art gallery that showcases local art.
Crafted by Roberto Lugo, “The Talented Mr.Trotter: You Can Be Anything” features Black Thought’s face in the center of a vase as vibrant multi-colored plants flourish around him. The project was handled alongside the Mural Arts Education Program, Olde Kensington Neighbors Association and South Kensington Community Partners.
“This is huge for me,” Black Thought told local outlet The Philly Voice. “To go from scaling buildings to get a little bit of rep and tag my name somewhere that may never be seen, to having my face plastered on the side of this four-story building. It’s pretty amazing. That’s the stuff of legends. This reward overshadows every recognition that I’ve ever received.”
Ironically enough, The Roots co-founder was arrested at 12 years old for tagging local buildings with Graffiti, and in turn was sentenced to long hours of “scrub time.” This meant he had to go around and remove Graffiti from local buildings as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, which had been established in the 1980s alongside the Mural Arts Project to help swap out junky graffiti for more detailed pieces of art. Black Thought now sits on the board of the Mural Arts Project.