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Black Thought’s Next Venture is Venture Capitalism
The lead MC of the Philidelphia hip-hop band, The Roots, and the backing act of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Black Thought is now a venture capitalist.
Black Thought wants a seat at the Shark Tank. Tariq Trotter has become a venture capitalist.
The lead MC of The Roots, Trotter, has partnered with the investment firm Impellent Ventures to connect small tech startups in the Rust Belt states with East Coast tech hubs in New York and Boston. As a venture capitalist, he’ll be investing money in the startups in exchange for part-ownership, or equity, in the company. The companies can benefit from the investment as well as the mentorship of the firm’s established East Coast partners.
Trotter hopes his new role makes the idea of venture capitalism less intimidating to other musical artists or people from marginalized communities.
"My brand is kind of like a bridge, and then people also look to my lyrical content for historical and political commentary, which helps inform them," Trotter said in an interview with Axios. "When people see me out on the street, they don't feel I'm the sort of celebrity that [is] far removed from them, on another planet with nothing in common... There's a blue collar rock star thing about The Roots that's approachable and understandable, and I think any company or brand aligned with that will appear more so as well."
Black Thought’s lyrical content and political commentary come from a socially conscious space, which is why it may be a bit ironic that the same MC who said, “Your life could depend on the laws of averages / The difference between Black and white is mad privilege,” on his 2020 song “Good Morning,” would see the lack of people from marginalized communities in the venture capitalist space as due to hesitancy and not a lack of capital.
Although, now that he has stepped into the investing space, Trotter will have the chance to choose where to plant seeds of capital going forward.