Black Thought, iconic rapper and the lead emcee of The Roots, returns to feed us knowledge once again with the new album Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Abel, predictably spilling genius-level bars with every poetic line. 

 

It is absolutely incredible how Black Thought is still creating timeless music with such an accomplished career. In 2018, Black Thought dropped both volumes of Stream of Thought, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Now, he’s finally decided to drop Vol. 3 and forces us to use our minds in order to see past the socially constructed barriers of life. 

 

“State Prisoner” makes it is crystal clear that Black Thought is not afraid to tackle the inequality and the unjust conditions that Black people face in America. Lionhearted lines like “Salute your father, I’m headed back to Wakanda” and “It’s gatekeeper’s responsible for this place, but historically, the authorities been morally bankrupt. Enter the executioner, speaking of retribution,” create intense and vivid imagery. Victorious with his bars and unparalleled with his rhyming ability, the passionate lyricist delivers undeniable truth to everyone who is willing to open their eyes to it.  

 

On “Good Morning,” Black Thought once again integrates substance-filled writing and makes it known that “The difference between Black and white is mad privilege.” Pusha T and Killer Mike undoubtedly bring their own lyrical talents to the table on this special collaboration. While Pusha T adds heat through relentless wordplay, Killer Mike lays some unforgettable history out for us, rapping “Before we ever sold cocaine, we civilized Spain. You are not the first Black man in the Mediterrane’.” Beautifully tying it all together, Swizz Beats is on the chorus and throughout the track hypes up the prophetic lyricists. Ending the track with laughs shared between the crew, it is clear that there is still room to rejoice, even while we push through the necessary activism. 

 

Closing the album out with “I’m Not Crazy,” we get a short-lived resolve that ends the album on a soothing note. The guitar strumming flawlessly opens up the track and as we are left with one final message; “A man called Portugal got with the oracle. We move from metaphorical to historical.” 

 

Press play and Black Thought’s class is in session. 

 





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