As part of our ongoing artist series giving tribute to Fela Kuti, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter shares with us his memories and favorite Fela Kuti tracks. Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter is the co-founder and MC of the legendary Philadelphia-based hip-hop group The Roots. Thought is highly renowned in the Hip-Hop community for his socially aware, informed and character-driven rap style.
“I was introduced to the music of Fela Kuti in 1994 by my good friend Santi Gold. I accompanied her to a record store in Philly to purchase some of her dad’s favorite music as a birthday gift for him. I decided to purchase the album “Original Suffer Head” for myself and the rest is history. I identified with the Nigerian Afrobeat sound in a way that I had never identified with any other music before and the spirit and feel of Fela’s music became the soundtrack for the best part of my life.”