“Putting the Pieces of the Puzzle Together: Black Thought from Mo’ Meta

A few misconceptions were dispelled in my mind by Mo’ Meta Blues, the Questlove book. First of all, I’ll never again doubt the validity of a statement by Black Thought that, and I quoth a fine, strangely underexposed song “Thought at Work,” “You’s a thug / ‘Not really’ is the answer to that.” He’s “Stamped and bona fide,” as Mr. Fantastic on the MF Doom album would say.
Except I don’t think of him as a “thug,” and I never will. He’s got too much gumption and charisma, and he’s not an intrinsically antagonistic person. How I Got Over, standing as it does as the band’s umpteenth record (actually ninth, by my count, but who’s counting), will forever, for me, have the mark, it’s only mark, that is, of bearing a sort of Black Thought lyrical denouement of perfection. Black Thought realizes that life is not a destination we reach — it’s a condition. We are constantly being subject to players on all sides that seek, whether through their own choice or not, to defeat us. Thought reaches into this motif, looks right into the fire, and chops it into true art — slicing and dicing… ok, I’ll cut with the metaphoric language — he hits home. I get him, and when I’m listening to lines like “Technology turning the nation into zombies,” his voice is a vehicle I can let carry me off, into a fine new day.
See, there’s a feeling you get from your favorite band. In 2005 I truly realized they were my favorite, 2002 I’d started to get the faint inclination thereof, but still though, are they really better than Nirvana? They broke down the walls in my mind of what music could do at the live show where I saw them — the IU Auditorium (Indiana University, Bloomington that is), April ’05. The show brought some much-needed substance to the weekend-long drunk-party that was the pointless Little 500 bike race. The following summer I’d be walking around and someone would yell at me “Little 5!”, and I was supposed to yell back something like, “Whoo-whoo!”, but I was with this girl, and neither of us said anything. The guy was all, like, “How about a response?” Well, I didn’t have a response. The Roots concert was the year before, there you go. And I don’t know how better to describe my favorite band. They gave me something to say.

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