by Sherif


I don't know if I believe that this was actually not prepared because it's basically amazing, even if it took hours to write, especially if you really listen for the imagery and double entendres. Here's my favourite lines from Tariq Trotter aka Black Thought's freestyle. Enjoy!

We were heading for the web even before there was computers
— Black Thought

This a possible double entendre, either referring to their vision or destination. Here I think the web refers to the World Wide Web as well as just easily accessible knowledge in general, especially since his homies were telling him to "come to the masjid." In contrast, perhaps "the web" means lies and delusions of deception Black Thought wanted to be free of, as in the phrase, "Oh! what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." To bring this full circle, computers these days give us a lot of information, but people actually know less, relying on search engines. In a way, the web took knowledge away.

I never thought you’d give me a reason to do this. Cain and Abel, Jesus and Judas, Cesar and Brutus.
— Back Thought

This guy just mentioned the greatest betrayals ever, from the Bible and Roman history. When Cesar was stabbed by everyone on his council, he was shocked to see even Brutus stab him. Bleeding, Cesar asked "et tu brutus?" (even you too Brutus?). Some people think Black Thought is not legit because he works on a comedy show with The Roots, a band with Quest. Specifically, he works with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show. 

Here's an interview:

I told you keep out of the hood, circumcized. 
— Black Thought

Hands down my favourite line. "Circumcized" from the hood, literally meaning to be removed from the hood. Also though, male foreskin is basically a hood for the penis and is removed during circumcision. Hilarious bro. Out the hood, in more than one way.

archeologists found my image in parchment rolled into a scroll holding a message for you, it said the only thing for sure is taxes, death and trouble
— Black Thought

Is this guy trying to transcend time and space? He's new but the message is ancient. Crazy. This truth is something he thinks is timeless, like the pyramids, but it's not that original. The original phrase is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin in a 1789 letter: “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

We going to see a nice bag when a rapper’s dead. The mask black, the flag green, black and red, probably wave a white flag after plasma shed 
— Black Thought

This is just great wordplay around colour and let's just be honest, white people vs black people. Here the most important colour is red though, the colour of plasma or blood. The flag "greed, black and red" might refer to the Pan-African flag: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-African_flag

Yo these weaklings is claiming they cutting up in the street, nigga peace, you ain’t working with nothing but the police.
— Black Thought

oh man, I can't watch this.

How much CB4 can we afford? It’s like a shariah law, on my [cherie amour], how much hypocracy can people adore, but ain’t nobody working on a cure
— Black Thought

Kyle from the comments says: It’s “How much CB4 can we afford? It’s like a shariah law, on MY CHERIE AMOUR”...referencing the Stevie Wonder song and CB4 is referencing the Chris Rock 90’s flick regarding fake gangsters and exploiting the culture.

haha I thought he said CP24! Oops. This is a bit wrong: Since 9/11 we seen the war on Islam and Muslims all over the world, and it's not founded at best to those that really know. Black thought is calling out the media and CB4 explicitly for perpetuating lies and not trying to give people the truth, or the cure. CB4 works particularly well when asking "how much can we afford" because there are numbers in the name - value, numbers, dollars, epic connection.

They tried to capture me and brand me on the cheek, with a fleur-de-lis. The inside of my heart’ll be more discrete
— Black Thought

French colonialism in Africa? "The inside of my heart will be more discrete," well this could refer to just keeping his true feelings hidden, but also is reminiscent of the Christian king who the early persecuted Muslims sought refuge with.

My mother was a working class very loving woman. Who struggled, every dinner could’ve been the last supper.
— Black Thought

This is a great reference to the last supper, but the double entendre here is that when you're poor, you don't know where food is coming next, and so literally the meal you're having could be your last. 


Listen to the whole thing:

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