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Black Thought Announces New Memoir, ‘The Upcycled Self’

The Roots rapper’s upcoming book will tell the story of “four powerful relationships that shaped him — community, friends, art, and family”

Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter announced that he’s releasing a new memoir. The Upcycled Self is set to arrive Nov. 14, Variety reports. The Roots co-founder’s story “begins with a tragedy: As a child, Trotter burned down his family’s home,” according to an announcement describing the book, and “doesn’t just narrate a riveting and moving portrait of the artist as a young man, but gives readers a courageous model of what it means to live an examined life.”

In 2021, Black Thought previously shared the story of his life and career in seven-year increments in his Audible original, 7 Years.

According to publisher One World’s official description, the memoir “tells the dramatic stories of the four powerful relationships that shaped him — community, friends, art, and family — each a complex weave of love, discovery, trauma, and loss.”

The description continues: “Trotter explores the vital questions we all have to confront about our formative years: How can we see the story of our young lives clearly? How do we use that story to understand who we’ve become? How do we forgive the people who loved and hurt us? How do we rediscover and honor our first dreams? And finally, what do we take forward, what do we pass on, what do we leave behind?”


Black Thought’s journey is also portrayed as “the beautifully bluesy story of a boy genius’s coming of age that illuminates the redemptive power of the upcycle.”

Last month, the four-time Grammy Award-winning and three-time NAACP Image Award artist marked the the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, by sharing his own love letter to rap music in collaboration with BET. The Benny Boom-directed doc featured Black Thought charting and celebrating the history of rap music, and sharing how the genre’s legends influenced today’s artists.

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