The Kennedy Center

Black Thought



Biography

Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought, is an American rap artist and MC for the Philadelphia-based hip-hop group, The Roots. Trotter, who co-founded The Roots with drummer Questlove, is widely lauded for his complex and politically aware lyrical content and his sharply live performances.

The 4-time GRAMMY Award winning artist – along with his band The Roots – are a staple in late-night television, starring as the house band for NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

As an influencer and innovator in the music industry for more than two decades, the rap lyricist has collaborated with numerous industry-leading artists. Tariq also served as a co-producer on the GRAMMY Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton.

Additionally, Trotter’s fluidity as a performer can also be seen in his on-screen roles, most recently he co-stared in HBO’s The Deuce. The Roots have also announced they are developing an animated children’s series in partnership with Amazon.

Watch Past Performances

Video 9/28/2014: Target Family Night: RAISE UP – YOUNG PEOPLE TAKING ON THE DROP OUT CRISIS

Youth Speaks, in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Millennium Stage, present an evening to celebrate the winners of the national spoken word competition designed to foster discussion among young people and adults about the challenges and opportunities students face as they strive to stay on the path to graduation. Hosted by D.C. hip-hop artist Gabriel “Asheru” Benn, the program will feature performances from each of the five winners, plus an appearance by DJ Questlove and Black Thought, NPR’s Glynn Washington, and Hill Harper.  The RAISE Up project is part of American Graduate - Let's Make It Happen! - a public media initiative to address the drop out crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the Hall of Nations starting at approximately 4:30 p.m., up to 2 tickets per person.

Black Thought