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USC Visions and Voices
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The Upcycled Self: An Evening with Black Thought from The Roots


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. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop and Trotter’s brand-new book, The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are (November 2023), Trotter will discuss his life and work in an intimate conversation with Jason King, Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music.

In The Upcycled Self, Trotter explores 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 tells a beautifully bluesy story of a boy genius’s coming of age that illuminates the redemptive power of the upcycle.

Admission is free. Reservations required.