Black Thought AKA Rik Gees, photographed by Mel D. Cole: Miguel, Rae Sremmurd, Bilal + More Rocked Night 2 Of The Roots Jam Session 2015! [Photos + Recap]
Black Thought AKA Rik Gees, photographed by Mel D. Cole: Miguel, Rae Sremmurd, Bilal + More Rocked Night 2 Of The Roots Jam Session 2015! [Photos + Recap]

Black Thought Trio Performs Live At MOSCOT Shop, NYC To Benefit GrassROOTS + Mobileyes Foundation

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Photo by Mel D. Cole for Okayplayer + VillageSlum

Okayplayers know Black Thought can move any crowd, whether rocking for a cause or rocking just because. This past week the microphone rebel had a definite cause in mind, as the Black Thought trio (comprising Tarik "Black Thought" Trotter on mic control, Ray Angry on keys and Jeremy Ellis on flying drumpads) set up shop at MOSCOT's LES location on Orchard street, NYC to perform at a benefit concert and launch event for Thought's own GRUNYA collaboration with the boutique eyewear brand. 100% of proceeds from the limited edition line of fly, tortoise shell sunglasses go towards vital non-profit work, being split between MOSCOT's Mobileyes Foundation and Trotter's own GrassROOTS initiative (scroll down for more info on both).

The trio performed "Web" from The Tipping Point as well as "Tomorrow" from The Roots' latest LP ...and then you shoot your cousin. Thought introduced the song with a story about a woman who had shared with him that it kept her spirits lifted during her battle with terminal cancer. It happened that he was in touch with someone close to her and made it a point to attend her funeral when she passed was a very touching moment for the trio and the fans; a testament to how much the music means to them as artists, especially knowing the work it can perform in the lives of others. It didn't take much of  leap to understand why the charities they were there to support are so important to Thought, and why it's something he dedicates as much time and resources to as possible.

Heightening that sense of personal connection, the store made for an intimate setting, almost like having Black Thought perform for you in your living room (with about 75 of your closest friends) and everyone there seemed to respect and appreciate the rarity of what was experienced. He was within arms' reach all night, stopping to talk to people as he made his way out. Always a man of and for the people. Be sure to support the GRUNYA initiative (and look fly doing it!) and get a glimpse of the live experience with this exclusive clip of the trio performing "Without A Doubt"--a "Double Trouble" jamwich that Ray, Thought and Ellis elevate into its very own composition of go-go gold:

Videographers: Joe Mischo & Justin Hall for Fourwind Films,

Recorded at MOSCOT benefit concert & launch party Feb. 12th, 2015 in LES, NYC.

Purchase the limited edition "GRUNYA for Tariq Trotter" frames from MOSCOT at:

Proceeds from the concert benefit GrassROOTS Community Foundation

+  MOSCOT's Mobileyes Foundation, providing free eyewear & exams to youth in NYC.