Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter | The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are

Recorded Nov 18, 2023
Direct Download: 20231118-tariq“b.mp3

In conversation with Airea D. Matthews

The winner of three Grammy Awards and three NAACP Image Awards, Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought, is the MC and co-founder of The Roots. The Philly-based hip-hop group has produced 11 albums and is the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Trotter’s solo work includes three volumes of Streams of Thought, collaborative albums with Danger Mouse and El Michels Affair, and guest appearances on dozens of other artists’ tracks. He also co-wrote, co-composed, and starred in the off-Broadway play Black No More; acted in other such varied projects as The Deuce; Tick, Tick . . . Boom!; and Brooklyn Babylon; and, with Roots partner Questlove, founded the production company Two One Five Entertainment. “Refined literary fire from the soulful furnace of pain and suffering” (The New York Times), The Upcycled Self tells the story of Trotter’s difficult early life, his redemptive steps toward success and happiness, and the lessons he gleaned that readers can use to move forward on their own paths.

Airea D. Matthews is the 2022–23 Philadelphia Poet Laureate and directs the poetry program at Bryn Mawr College. Her collection Simulacra won the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize and her work has appeared in The New York TimesBest American Poets, Gulf CoastHarvard Review, and VQR, among other journals. Matthews’ other honors include a 2022 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, a 2020 Pew Fellowship, and the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Her latest work, Bread and Circus, addresses themes of income inequality, commodification, and conventional economic theories through poetry, prose, and imagery.

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