Tariq Luqmaan Trotter (born October 3, 1971), better known as Black Thought, is an American rapper and the lead MC of the Philadelphia-based hip hop group, The Roots, as well as an occasional actor. Black Thought, who co-founded The Roots with drummer Questlove (Ahmir Thompson), is widely lauded for his live performance skills, continuous multisyllabic rhyme schemes, complex lyricism, double entendres, and politically aware lyrics.
Black Thought was born Tariq Luqmaan Trotter, to Thomas and Cassandra Trotter, both members of the
Nation of Islam. His father was murdered when Trotter was one, and his mother murdered when he was in high school. He spent time  tagging "DT" or "Double T" with graffiti around Philadelphia. He sold crack cocaine briefly, and was sent to live with family in Detroit for a few months in high school. Trotter attended the  Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts and Millersville University studying Journalism. In 1987, Trotter became friends with drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and formed a drummer/MC duo performing on the streets of Philadelphia and at talent shows. Trotter would subsequently spend some time as one of two MCs in the group The Square Roots: the other one was  Malik B., whom Tariq met in college. In high school, Black Thought became interested in the lessons of the  Nation of Gods and Earths, which you can still hear resonate in some of his bars. 
The Square Roots renamed themselves the Roots and released their debut album
in 1993. The Roots signed to DGC and followed up with Organix in 1995. Recorded without any sampling, the album was more popular among alternative music fans than those of hip hop. Around the release of the album, The Roots performed at the Do You Want More?!!!! Lollapalooza alternative music festival and Montreux Jazz Festival. , the band's 1996 album, became its first album to chart within the top 40 spots on the Illadelph Halflife because of the successful single "What They Do". Billboard 200  followed in 1999, the year the band played at the Things Fall Apart Woodstock 99 concert. 
In 2000, The Roots won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "You Got Me", with guest performances by
Erykah Badu and Eve. The Roots' album  Things Fall Apart was nominated for the Best Rap Album award. For  Jay-Z's acoustic concert for the television program , The Roots provided instrumentals. MTV Unplugged Succeeding albums were  (2002), Phrenology (2004), The Tipping Point (2006), Game Theory (2008), Rising Down (2010), How I Got Over (2011), and Undun (2014).
...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Black Thought starred in films such as
(2000), and the 2001 films Bamboozled , Perfume Love Rome, and . Brooklyn Babylon 
Black Thought's numerous musical guest performances include "Pimpas Paradise", by Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley; "Hard Hitters", by
Dilated Peoples; "Stolen Moments Part 2", by  Common; "X-Ecutioner Style", by  Linkin Park; "My Favorite Mutiny", by  The Coup; "Right Now", by  Fort Minor; and "Rafiki", by  Zap Mama. 
Black Thought recorded a solo album, to be titled
Masterpiece Theatre and released in 2001, but the project was scrapped after he learned that the album would not count toward The Roots' contractual commitments. Most of the songs from the project appeared on The Roots'  album.
In 2006, he began working on a collaborative project with producer
Danger Mouse, titled Dangerous Thoughts. As of September 2017, the album had not been released.  
In a June 2008 interview with Brian Kayser of the website
HipHopGame, Black Thought spoke of another solo project that was scheduled for release on the Razor and Tie music corporation. He stated that there would be the possibility of Questlove working on production. As of September 2014, neither Black Thought nor the solo album are listed on the Razor & Tie website.  
In February 2011, Black Thought, along with 10.Deep and the "Money Making Jam Boys" collective--the latter of which includes
Dice Raw, S.T.S., Truck North and P.O.R.N.--released the mixtape The Prestige. 
Together with U.K. artist
Lotek, Black Thought appeared on the song "Living in Bunkers", by Australian hip hop group Hilltop Hoods, which was released on the Drinking From The Sun album in March 2012. Also in March 2012, Black Thought performed with  Nneka and Clef nite at BET 106 and Park. They performed the song "God Knows Why", from the former's album Soul Is Heavy, which they collaborated on.  
In early 2013, Black Thought confirmed his continuing work, with
Jim James and Tunde Adebimpe, on a solo album entitled Talented Mr. Trotter. At this time, he began work on a  memoir with journalist and music critic Jeff Chang, as well as filmmaker Maori Karmael. 
As of April 2015, the rapper has yet to release a solo album, but when asked about the long-awaited project, by a fan on Twitter, he said he's "working on it". He did not offer further details.
In February 2016, Black Thought joined forces with
Fashawn, Murs, and Del the Funky Homosapien to record a new track called "Rise Up" for the video game Street Fighter V. A music video for the song was released by Capcom, and includes appearances by Black Thought and his fellow collaborators. 
In December 2017, Black Thought appeared on
HOT 97 with Funkmaster Flex where he performed a 10-minute freestyle over "The Learning (Burn)" instrumental by Mobb Deep. This freestyle went widely viral, trending over Twitter for the next days and hitting millions of views on YouTube.   , a collaborative EP with producer Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 9th Wonder, was released on June 1, 2018. 
Black Thought is married, reportedly to a woman named Opal.
 He has five sons and one daughter.  
Discography Solo With The Roots
Appearances 1995: "Meiso",
Meiso, DJ Krush 1996: "Da Jawn",
, Kollage Bahamadia 1997: "Get This Low",
, The Psycho-Social Jedi Mind Tricks 1997: "Stolen Moments, Pt. 2",
One Day It'll All Make Sense, Common 1997: "Listen to This",
Listen To This, Walkin' Large 1997: "The Agenda",
Sou, Inoran 1998: "It's About That Time",
Soul Survivor, Pete Rock 1998: "Live From the Stretch Armstrong Show",
Lyricist Lounge Volume One, Various Artists 1998: "Super Lyrical",
Capital Punishment, Big Pun 1998: "Tabou (Roots Remix)",
Princesses Nubians, Les Nubians 1999: "Burnin' and Lootin'",
(Post-Humous Remix), Chant Down Babylon Bob Marley 1999: "Respiration (Flying High Remix)",
Respiration 12", Black Star 2000: "Cold Blooded",
Like Water for Chocolate, Common 2000: "
Hurricane", , Black Thought, The Hurricane Soundtrack Common, Dice Raw, Flo Brown, Jazzyfatnastees and Mos Def 2000: "Network",
, Plain Rap The Pharcyde 2001: "Hard Hitters",
Expansion Team, Dilated Peoples 2001: "Zen Approach",
, Zen DJ Krush 2002: "Clap!",
Next, Soulive 2002: "Guerilla Monsoon Rap",
Quality, Talib Kweli 2002: "X-Ecutioner Style",
Reanimation, Linkin Park 2004: "Live From The PJs",
Revolutions, The X-Ecutioners 2005: "Appreciate",
Love and Life, LaToya London 2005: "Flutlicht",
Sinnflut, Curse 2005: "Pimpa's Paradise",
Welcome to Jamrock, Damian Marley 2005: "Right Now",
The Rising Tied, Fort Minor 2006: "Love Movin'",
, The Shining J Dilla 2006: "My Favorite Mutiny",
, Pick A Bigger Weapon The Coup 2006: "Yes, Yes Y'all",
, Timeless Sérgio Mendes 2007: "Clean Up",
Deep Hearted, Strong Arm Steady 2008: "Give It Up", Thee Adventures Of A B-Boy D-Boy, Muja Messiah
2008: "Hold Tight", The Million Dollar Backpack, Skillz
2008: "Cause I'm Black",
Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman), Styles P 2009: "Hot Shyt", "Back to the Feature",
Wale 2009: "Live Forever",
Velvet Ballads, Cradle Orchestra 2009: "Philly Boy", Rádio do Canibal, BK-One
2009: "Reality TV",
, Jay Stay Paid J Dilla 2009: "Slow Down",
Chiddy Bang 2010: "Philadelphia Born and Raised", Meek Mill
2010: "Ill Street Blues", More Demand 2, STS
2010: "In tha Park",
, Apollo Kids Ghostface Killah 2010: "Let Freedom Reign",
, Let Freedom Reign Chrisette Michele 2010: "Philly Sh*t Remix, Young Chris, Meek Mill & Eve
2011: "The Masters of Our Fate",
, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang Raekwon 2011: "Too Long",
, The Greatest Story Never Told Saigon 2011: "Million Star Motel",
Pennies In A Jar, Nikki Jean 2011: "Riot" LA Riot,
Thurz 2011: "God Knows Why", Soul is Heavy,
Nneka 2011: "Mathematics", The Welcome Mat, OCD: Moosh & Twist
2012: "Living in Bunkers",
, Drinking From the Sun Hilltop Hoods  2012: "TNT (Remix)",
¡Mayday!, DJ Khaled, Stevie Stone, Jon Connor & Jay Rock 2012: "Congregation",
Talib Kweli, Ab-Soul 2013: "Art Imitates Life",
Gravitas, Talib Kweli, Rah Digga 2013: "Try Again",
, Black on Blonde K-os 2013: "Bird's Eye View",
, Extended Play Statik Selektah, Raekwon & Joey Bada$$ 2013: "Thought Process",
, The Piece Maker 3: Return of the 50 MC's Tony Touch 2013: "Codes and Cab Fare",
, No Poison No Paradise Black Milk 2014: "Rapid Eye Movement",
, PTSD Pharoahe Monch 2014: "The Imperial",
, What Goes Around Statik Selektah, Action Bronson & Royce da 5'9" 2015: "Money Makes Us Happy",
, Music for My Friends Skyzoo & Bilal 2015: "
Immortals (Remix)", , Make America Psycho Again Fall Out Boy 2015: "Extradite",
, Shadow of a Doubt Freddie Gibbs 2015: "Wishin' II",
, PRhyme ( PRhyme (Deluxe Version) Royce da 5'9" & DJ Premier) 2016: "Rise Up",
, Street Fighter V Del the Funky Homosapien, Murs & Fashawn 2016: "Making A Murderer", featuring Styles P produced by 9th Wonder
, Everybody Logic featuring Black Thought, Chuck D, Big Lenbo and No I.D.  2017: "Who Want It,"
The God Box, David Banner and Watch the Duck 2017: "Ng'yekeleni",
Thuto, Cassper Nyovest 2017: "Nobody",
, Laila's Wisdom Rapsody featuring Anderson .Paak, Black Thought and Moonchild  2018: "Roman Candles", , Bread The Alchemist featuring Roc Marciano and Black Thought 
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