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Though plenty of hip-hop heads are more than familiar with exactly how talented Black Thought (aka Tariq Trotter) is, he’s always ready to remind everyone at the drop of a hat. Whenever the uninformed posters of the internet reveal their ignorance of his immense skill level, Black Thought fans always rush to defend his honor. It’s almost become a meme itself at this point, but not quite, because he really is that good! Just in case anyone was left with any doubts, Trotter recently returned to his old stomping grounds at The Tonight Show to discuss a project he briefly left the show to work on.
Trotter took a hiatus from The Roots and late night to help adapt John Ridley’s novel Black No More into a musical that will be playing in New York until February 27 (tickets here). So of course, Jimmy Fallon had his former coworker back on the show to actually talk about the musical and what Trotter experienced during the process of working in live theater. But it wouldn’t be a Black Thought appearance if there wasn’t also some off-the-cuff freestyling, right? After sharing some middle school memories, and with just a tiny bit of mild coaxing, Trotter unleashed a bout of speed-rapping — on command, no less — that’s so epic it really does put most MCs to shame. Kendrick better come with that rumored new single as soon as possible if he wants to stay in the running for greatest rapper alive, at least that’s how I feel when I watch Black Thought take the mic. Check it out above.