On Friday (April 14), Black Thought released his sixth solo project in the last five years. Since 2018, a time when The Roots have not been dropping albums, the co-founder of The Roots has enhanced his solo career with his first-ever projects of this kind. Thought launched the Streams Of Thought series, pairing albums with 9th Wonder & The Soul Council, Salaam Remi, and Sean C., respectively. In 2022, Thought also partnered with Danger Mouse for Cheat Codes and Seun Kuti for African Dreams. Now, he follows alongside El Michels Affair with Glorious Game.
In 2018, when Thought dropped his first SOT, he revealed that more were in the tuck—and then delivered. It appears that the Grammy Award-winning MC feels that way in 2023. Timmhotep Aku of The Fader interviewed Thought about his new album, and got some exciting news.
Thought confirmed that Streams Of Thought, Vol. 4 is recorded. For the next installment, the MC teamed with 14KT. That Michigan native producer has previously worked with Skyzoo, Diamond District, and contributed to Elzhi’s Lead Poison. Tariq was introduced to KT through Roots member/Soulquarians cofounder James Poyser. “I never knew [14KT]. I wasn’t familiar with his work. But I’ve got lots of connections to Detroit — family, longtime friends. DJ Jazzy Jeff does these retreats at his home annually where he flies in writers, producers from all over the world,” Thought said. It at the Grammy Award-winning producer/turntablist’s Delaware home where James and 14KT linked.
Poyser reported to Thought. “[He] like, ‘Yo, I met this dude. He’s a brilliant producer. He said he’s a huge fan. He has this one beat he wants to play for you.’ We chopped it up. KT sent me this beat to a song called ‘Blaaaaack!,’ and that became the first song I recorded, me and Yasiin Bey, on Streams of Thought Vol. 4. It’s a timeless classic. It’s been in my vault for a couple years already.”
Black Thought told fans to be prepared for a sudden arrival. “It could come out at any point in time, and it’ll still represent a seismic shift in the game just because of how powerful it is and what it speaks to. I was like, ‘Yo, if this is what the process is gonna be like, let’s keep it rolling, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.’”
The Fader conversation also included tidbits about the features. Rick Ross, JID, Redman, Fabolous, Big K.R.I.T., Curren$y, Pharoahe Monch and Tobe Nwigwe are among guests, besides the artist previously known as Mos Def. In 2019, Thought, Pharoahe Monch, Tobe Nwigwe, and Yasiin appeared onstage together at the Roots Picnic.
Episode #106 of Ambrosia For Heads’ What’s The Headline podcast (embedded above) includes discussion about Black Thought’s newest album, and plans surrounding his next work. The topic of Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Vol. 4 begins at 53:45.
Black Thought, Yasiin Bey, Pharoahe Monch & Tobe Nwigwe Make A New “Live At The BBQ” (Exclusive Video)
#BonusBeat: Various selections from Black Thought & El Michels Affair’s Glorious Game are currently on the Ambrosia For Heads playlist: