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August 16, 2021

Black Thought to school young rappers during master class at Carnegie Hall

Ten people will be chosen to learn the art of rhyming from the legendary Philly emcee

Tariq Trotter has been demonstrating how to properly rock the mic for decades as Black Thought, the frontman of The Roots. Those who are unfamiliar with the Philadelphia native's work need only watch his 10-minute freestyle on Hot 97 in 2017 to understand that he more than lives up to a boast from 1999: "I'm one of the illest of all time."

So how great would it be to learn how to rhyme from hip-hop royalty? Ten lucky emcees are about to find out.

Trotter is partnering with Carnegie Hall for another session of his "School of Thought," a free, four-day master class from Oct. 25-28 on all things hip-hop held at one of New York City's most iconic concert venues. 

Carnegie Hall's website explains:

"Over the course of the workshop, participants will explore the history of hip-hop and examine the technical skills employed by the genre. Invited MCs should come prepared to workshop their music, focusing on lyricism, flow, style, and delivery. Black Thought will equip participants with tangible exercises to improve their overall artistry. This exploration will give participants the opportunity to hone their technical abilities and continue to craft their individual sounds. The workshop will also provide participants with invaluable insight into Black Thought’s outstanding career of more than two decades as well as opportunities to reflect on how one can achieve and sustain artistic excellence."

Producer Sean C. Cane will return to the "School of Thought" as an assistant teacher. His resume includes working with artists such as Mobb Deep, Big Pun, Ice Cube, Ghostface Killah and Jay-Z. Trotter said this year's master class will also feature "a day of workshops with industry leaders in branding, publicity, digital and more." 

Applications are free and open for anyone ages 18-35 until Sept. 7. Those selected to the master class will be notified on Sept. 24 and must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, according to Carnegie Hall's website. 

For more information on how to apply, click here. Don't forget to bring your best bars. 

"No struggle rappers," the Philadelphia native wrote on Instagram. "Lol. But for real."

Trotter also said he plans to bring the "School of Thought" to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., this spring. Details for that class are pending. Check out a recap of the 2020 "School of Thought" below. 

People who want to learn more about how Trotter became Black Thought and founded The Roots with Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson can check out Trotter's audio story, "7 Years," which was published earlier this year as part of Audible's Words + Music series.