Album artwork for The Upcycled Self by Tariq Trotter, Black Thought

Today Tariq Trotter—better known as Black Thought—is the platinum-selling, Grammy-winning co-founder of The Roots, and one of the most exhilaratingly skillful and profound rappers the culture has ever produced. But his story begins with a tragedy: as a child, Trotter burned down his family’s home. The years that followed are the story of a life snatched from the flames, forged in fire.

In The Upcycled Self, Trotter 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 vivid vignettes, he 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.

But beyond offering the compellingly poetic account of one artist’s creative and emotional origins, 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? This is the beautifully bluesy story of a boy genius’s coming of age that illuminates the redemptive power of the upcycle.

Tariq Trotter, Black Thought

The Upcycled Self

One World
Album artwork for The Upcycled Self by Tariq Trotter, Black Thought
Hardback

$26.99

Released 11/14/2023Catalog Number

9780593446928

Tariq Trotter, Black Thought

The Upcycled Self

One World
Album artwork for The Upcycled Self by Tariq Trotter, Black Thought
Hardback

$26.99

Released 11/14/2023Catalog Number

9780593446928

Today Tariq Trotter—better known as Black Thought—is the platinum-selling, Grammy-winning co-founder of The Roots, and one of the most exhilaratingly skillful and profound rappers the culture has ever produced. But his story begins with a tragedy: as a child, Trotter burned down his family’s home. The years that followed are the story of a life snatched from the flames, forged in fire.

In The Upcycled Self, Trotter 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 vivid vignettes, he 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.

But beyond offering the compellingly poetic account of one artist’s creative and emotional origins, 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? This is the beautifully bluesy story of a boy genius’s coming of age that illuminates the redemptive power of the upcycle.