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February 14, 2023

Black Thought gets introspective about 'That Girl' on second single from upcoming collaborative album

The Philly rapper teamed up with Brooklyn soul group El Michels Affair to create 'Glorious Game,' which drops April 14

Music Albums
Black Thought/ El Michaels "That Girl" Provided Image/Sesse Lind

Rapper Black Thought and the soul group El Michels Affair have released 'That Girl,' the second single off their forthcoming album 'Glorious Game.' The first, 'Grateful,' debuted last month.

Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and the Brooklyn soul group El Michels Affair have released the second single off their forthcoming collaborative album "Glorious Game."

On the track "That Girl," Black Thought, the longtime emcee for The Roots, reflects on a special girl over an old-school, soul-sampling, bass-heavy beat, with help from El Michels Affair frontman Leon Michels, who provides background vocals.

"Some nights, I lay awake and feel all of the thoughts running," he raps. "This old heart was icy, the cold part I thought to find a wifey wasn't likely, my lover, friend, my spiritual twin, yet nothing like me, and rightfully so, I never met somebody more striking. I'd probably do anything for that girl."

The album's first song, "Grateful," debuted last month, featuring lyrics like, "Dale Carnegies with big dreams to get rich quick that fail horribly, never been in pursuit of the American dream."

Over the past three years, Black Thought has ramped up his solo career with two studio albums, "Streams of Thought Vol. 3: Cain & Able" and "Cheat Codes," the latter a collaboration with songwriter and producer Danger Mouse. He also put out the EPs "Streams of Thought Vol. 1" and "Streams of Thought Vol. 2," as well as "African Dreams" with Nigerian afro beats artist Seun Kiti

In 2016, he and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson won a Grammy for best musical theater album for producing the Hamilton cast recording.

Trotter and Michels formed a kinship in the early 2000s after crossing paths and discussing how much they liked each other's music. The pair worked together, performing at benefit concerts in Philly and New York over the years.

Black Thought has often visited the El Michels Affair's studio to work on music with the band. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Trotter reached out to Michels for new material, and the two began working on what has become "Glorious Game."

The album, which will be released on April 14, features artists KIRBY, Son Little and Brainstory. Take a look at the complete tracklist below:

• "Grateful" 
• "Glorious Game" ft. Kirby 
• "I'm Still Somehow" 
• "Hollow Way" 
• "Protocol" ft. Son Little 
• "The Weather" 
• "That Girl" 
• "I Would Never" 
• "Alone" 
• "Miracle" 
• "Glorious Game (Reprise)" 
• "Alter Ego" ft. Brainstory

"Glorious Game" can be pre-saved on music streaming services Spotify and Apple Music as well as preordered on iTunes; both singles are available for streaming and purchase.