Rhymefest Reveals Black Thought’s Secret To Writing Those Monster Rhymes
Chicago, Illinois MC, songwriter, activist, and actor Rhymefest recently appeared on Ebro In The Morning. The Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe Award-winner spoke on several topics, including a recent appearance on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Following a public 2018 dispute surrounding the condition of Donda’s House, a community and arts non-profit named after West’s late mother, the MC has reportedly mended fences with Kanye (who he calls his “brother”), and Kim Kardashian. However, for music fans, ‘Fest provided a noteworthy update to a project that excited many Heads late last year when revealed by producer S1.
Just over 24 minutes into the interview, Ebro asks, “What does it take for us to get this Black Thought, Phonte, Rhymefest super-group that I’m reading [about] on the paper here?” The Southside native responds, “Phonte just came out with a [Pacific Time] project. Love to Phonte. The project—” Before he can finish his sentence, Ebro interrupts, “I don’t even think Hip-Hop knows they need this. Let me start there.” Co-host Peter Roseberg echoes that sentiment.
‘Fest continues, “You know, Black Thought and I did a couple [of] joints. We did like five, six joints. One of them is at the end credits of the film The Public. Go see The Public [on] April 5; you’ll hear the song with me and Black Thought, and Raheem DeVaughn called ‘Make Noise.’ And really, the project is evolving right now. And so it’s me, Black Thought…and so far, it’s me, Black Thought, and Raheem DeVaughn.” Ebro looks to the camera and says, “Phonte, what’s [up], my guy?” Peter Rosenberg mentions his friendship with Phonte and Devaughn, and says that he’d be happy with “either, or both.”
The guest follows up with, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you’ll be seeing it this summer.” The “Jesus Walks” co-writer who worked extensively on DJ Jazzy Jeff’s M3 last year provides some additional detail. “The problem I had with it…go back to words, at first the project was called ‘Ego,’ and because the project was called ‘Ego,’ everything was starting to be disrupted. It was just crazy. So, now the project is renamed ‘Egot.’” While ‘Ego’ means many things, it also applies to a club of winning an Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar.
Ebro points out that the collective likely has these awards. There is a reason a T was added, alluding to a Tony Award. “Black Thought’s on his way to a Tony; he’s actually writing his own version of Hamilton right now. I don’t even want to get in [to it]. He’ll come and tell you about it, but he’s writing musicals right now.” Previously, Black Thought and The Roots worked on The Hamilton Mixtape. Earlier in the interview, Rhymefest expresses the belief that the words we say come back to find us later. He admits regret with some lyrics in 2007’s “Angry Black Man In An Elevator,” featuring Lil Jon.
Rhymefest also reveals one of Black Thought’s secret weapons to rhyme-writing. “Yo, he gave me the best rhyming advice anybody ever gave me. I was like, ‘Yo, bro, why do you rap so good? Like, what is wrong with you?’ He said, ‘Man, if I told you, bro, you wouldn’t even listen to me.’ And when a master say that, you be like, ‘Tell me, please.’ And he was like, ‘I take naps.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ He’s like, ‘Bro, when you take naps and wake up, you’re in-between dream state and this realm, and then create.’” While too many Rap fans are sleeping on Black Thought, he’s sleeping too.
The Public is directed by veteran actor Emilio Estevez. His parents, actors Martin and Janet Sheen, saw Rhymefest’s documentary, In My Father’s House. Impressed with the passion of Che Smith, they suggested their son consider casting him. The multi-talented artist discusses this earlier in the interview. He adds that Kenneth Cole recently asked him to be a model following his acting work.