Black Thought of The Roots performs on stage at Hampden Park National Stadium on July 23, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Black Thought of The Roots performs on stage at Hampden Park National Stadium on July 23, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images.

New Black Thought Memoir ‘The Upcycled Self’ to Release In November

Black Thought, member of the legendary hip-hop band The Roots, will be releasing his debut memoir The Upcycled Self on November 14.

Black Thought of The Roots is opening himself up to avid book readers. On Monday (July 31), the rapper and frontman of The Roots announced his debut memoir, The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are, which releases November 14 via One World and Roc Lit 101.

Thought, born Tariq Trotter, will recount his upbringing in the memoir, beginning with his childhood home being burned down, along with other “other trials and tribulations” that have followed throughout the 51-year-old’s life.

“Long before Black Thought would become known as one of the greatest rappers of all time, way before the Grammys, the viral freestyles, and the Tonight Show fame, Tariq Trotter was a young kid with a rich imagination and a curiosity about the world—a world shaped by Philadelphia's skyline and grounded by the South Philly sidewalks and train tracks where he would play,” the memoir’s description reads. “Tariq refers to himself as "the son of survival" for making it out of the violence that plagued his childhood; his father was murdered when he was just one year old, and fifteen years later, he would lose his mother to another brutal homicide. Tariq knew the end of their lives was not the end of their legacy, and he carried their stories with him as he tried to build the man he would become.”

It continues, “In ‘The Upcycled Self,’ Tariq offers pieces of himself, forged from the Philly of the '70s and '80s, in letters, lyrics, images, and stories. We journey via episodic spotlights—through the early days of hip-hop, when he would pick words from the dictionary to incorporate into his rhymes. We feel the promise of a new art form that can tell Black life as it really is while life itself becomes more harrowing, with the rise of organized crime and crack. As rap grows in popularity and influence, Tariq hones his creative voice, mastering his unique skills in gritty storytelling and mercurial wordflow.”

In April, Trotter released the collaborative album Glorious Game with El Michels Affair. The emcee is expected to release the fourth installment of his Streams of Thought series later this year.

The Upcycled Self is available for preorder now.