This 1998 Black Thought & Common Freestyle Is An Incredible Hip-Hop Moment In Time

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s own DJ Cosmo Baker is known worldwide for his connection to Hip-Hop and Neo-Soul, frequently creating classic party series such as The Rub and The Remedy. The latter, which he hosted alongside DJ Rich Medina, helped to spotlight artists such as The Roots, J Dilla, Jill Scott, and others.

This week, Baker shared a “you-had-to-be-there” freestyle session by The Roots’ Black Thought, Common, Dice Raw, and others from the early 2000s. “The epicenter of Philly Hip-Hop culture could be found every Monday night at a small second-floor nightclub directly off South Street called Fluid,” he wrote of the bygone club.

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More than just a weekly party, The Remedy served as a breeding ground for Hip-Hop heads to connect, compete, and contend for the spot of illest lyricist in the City of Brotherly Love. “The Remedy became the destination for music and culture lovers alike,” Baker shared. From hometown acts like The Roots and Bahamadia to out-of-towners enjoying Philly’s vibes such as Slum Village and Pharoahe Monch, it was not uncommon to have these parties featuring noteworthy guests and attendees.

“On this particular night in 1998, it was DJ Jazzy Jeff on the ones-and-twos,” Baker wrote, flashing back to the legendary moment, “And we brought up Philly’s own Black Thought to bless the mic, followed by Common who ripped it to pieces.” Roots Crew affiliate Dice Raw, Scratch, Maylay Sparks, and =ehani all stepped up to rip the session to shreds, and it was an impressive display of rapping abilities.

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Rapping to Spoonie Gee’s “Love Rap” instrumental, Tariq sets it off with off-the-top rhymes that weave in the club, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Slum Villa’, and more. Sharp-eared rap heads can hear Black Thought even kick a bunch of the rhymes that would go on to appear as “Adrenaline!” on The Roots’ iconic album Things Fall Apart, which is celebrating its 20th-anniversary this year.

After some beat-boxing from Scratch, the beat blends into Bob James’ “Take Me To The Mardi Gras.” Black Thought returns to the mic to pay homage to Philly O.G. Schoolly D’s “Saturday Night.”

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At AFH TV, there are interviews with Black Thought, Common, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and many others. We are currently offering free 7-day trial subscriptions.

New music by Black Thought is also presently available on the official Ambrosia For Heads Playlist.