If Black Thought’s latest album isn’t a standalone reminder of the mastery of his craft, his live performance on COLORS should be. His sheer energy is on display as the rapper and co-founder of the legendary Philly trio The Roots performed “State Prisoner,” a lyrically packed track off the latest installment to the Streams of Thought trilogy. 

In his COLORS performance, Thought embodies a stream of consciousness in his effortless delivery, spitting off lyrics loaded with political consciousness and resistance, complex language, striking metaphors and statements of self-empowerment, “Misinterpret my level of genius and call it cuckoo.” There is meaning to every word that flows off his tongue, with a purpose that seems so casual yet so intricate that it takes more than a single listen to appreciate all of its details. 

Amidst the plain ambience of the COLORS studio, Thought simultaneously boasts charisma and defiance, filling up the dull, featureless steel blue background with a fiery passion, occupying and transforming the whole space. Through his performance and contrasting sleek black clothing, he stands out in a spirited delivery, perfectly exemplifying the COLORS artistic goals: “All COLORS shows seek to provide clear, minimalistic stage that shines a spotlight on the artists, giving them the opportunity to present their music without distraction.”

With an impressive solo and group career already under his belt, Black Thought only continues to build upon his often prescribed status, as seen on his shirt, “The Greatest of All Time.” But he doesn’t settle, as he expands on his sound and delves deeper in his lyrics.

Check out Black Thought’s performance on COLORS below and read The Key’s review of Stream of Thought, Vol 3 here.