For over 20 years, Black Thought has amazed fans with his lyrical abilities as a member the legendary Philadelphia hip-hop band The Roots. Finally, after fans have been begging it for it for years, he finally drops his first solo project.
Thought’s EP, Streams Thought, Vol. 1, is a collaborative project with Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder and the Soul Council. At only five tracks, it’s just enough to give people want they need to hear in Black Thought.
As a whole, Streams will no doubt remind listeners that Thought is one the most lyrical, loquacious, lexiconic rappers in hip-hop. The Illadelph MC’s verbiage is limitless and quite amazing.
The two standout tracks on the EP features guest rappers. On “Dostoyevsky,” both Thought and Rapsody commit lyrical homicide rapping some the grimiest bars at their detractors. On “Making A Murderer,” the Philly rhymer and Styles P drop quotable punchlines that will make you dizzy.
Overall, Black Thought's Streams Thought, Vol. 1 EP is a must-have if you appreciate beats and rhymes. If there's a Vol. 2, let us pray that it drops before the year is over.
After several spins, we picked the ten best lyrics from the album. There are plenty great lyrical moments on the project, but these caught our ears.
An ode to his Philadelphia stomping grounds, “Twifteen” represents the city’s area code (215). On the song, Black Thought delivers a deluge metaphors, onomatopoeias, and alliterations without a chorus in sight. The rap vet’s words are clear and precise – no mumble rap here. In this verse, Thought brilliantly flips every word to mean he’s fly, dope and spiritual when he rocks the mic.
Elsewhere on "Twifteen," Black Thought proclaims that Black people's lineage comes from kings and that everything that we possessed inside is as valuable as gold and minerals.
On “9th vs. Thought,” Black Thought once again shows just how ferocious he is with his lyrics. Every line is a sharp lyrical spear aimed at his detractors who even try to test him. Over a crackling beat, eerie guitars and blaring horns, the Philly lyricist proclaims that he’s the best to ever do it. Hard to argue with that.
Continuing with his braggadocio, the Illadelph MC slams wack rappers who spit fantasies ("Peter Pan") while he delivers intellectual bars to strengthen his people African descent ("Pan-African").
“Dostoyevsky” is a fantastic head-nodding banger as Thought teams up with North Carolina lyricist Rapsody. On the song, they trade cutthroats bars together and murder wack MCs. The title is named after the Russian novelist who wrote Crime and Punishment, which Thought mentions on the song. Call the police; a double homicide was committed.
We can't leave out Rapsody who also delivers some great bars and almost outshines Thought on the track. In her verse, the Jamla artist references JAY-Z's classic line on his 2001 hit "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" to explain how treacherous the music industry still is and salutes the late Detroit producer.
Another major standout on the album, “Making A Murderer” is audio pro that Black Thought is one the most lyrical, loquacious and lexiconic rappers in hip-hop, period. The song features a brilliant display punchlines delivered by Thought and his guest LOX rapper Styles P.
Not to be outdone, Styles P delivers tough rhymes and several catchy punchlines as well. On this verse, Ghost compares himself to Black Thought and brags about his lyrical abilities.
As the title suggests, Black Thought gives thanks to everyone and everything that has supported or inspired him through his journey in the rap game and his life.
On the same song, "Thank You," Thought reflects on his innocence growing up in Philly and relating it to today's youth who are facing even more obstacles living in his beloved city.