Roots Picnic, founded in 2008 and hosted annually in Philadelphia, has evolved into a major staple within the Black community. Every June, attendees have been treated to some of the fresh faces in the music space as well as appearances from seasoned veterans. One thing that always occurs is Black Thought taking the stage and reminding everyone that there is a short list of rappers who can compare to what he brings to the microphone. This year was no different, as The Roots’ lead MC blessed his hometown at the 2022 event this past Saturday (June 4) alongside Rick Ross and Benny The Butcher during the “Live Mixtape” showcase.
Ross and Benny performed some of their most popular records before the 50-year-old hijacked Ross’ “Hustlin” and Butcher’s “Johnny P’s Caddy” beats and delivered momentous freestyles. It didn’t stop there either; Black Thought went back even further and spit over LL Cool J’s “I Shot Ya,” UGK and Outkast’s “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You),” and Pharoahe Monch’s “Simon Says.” If that wasn’t enough, the “State Prisoner” artist joined the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige during her set later in the evening and added a new verse over her classic 1992 record “What’s The 411?”
Black Thought’s pen isn’t to be questioned, but this exhibition of sharp lyricism is especially noteworthy as he is on the road to releasing Cheat Codes, a collaborative project with Danger Mouse on August 12. The project, confirmed in May, is set to feature the late MF Doom, A$AP Rocky, Run The Jewels, Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, Conway The Machine, Russ, and more. So far, Thought and Mouse have released their first single “No Gold Teeth.”
Check out what you can expect from Cheat Codes in the 2022 Roots Picnic footage above.