Black Thought on Hot 97; Photo: Hot 97

It seems like just yesterday that Roots lyricist Black Thought was kicking a marathon-long freestyle on Funk Master Flex’s Hot 97, blowing everybody’s mind and reminding the rap multiverse that lyricism is still alive and well. Since then Black Thought has been quite vocal, not only claiming that he invented mumble rap, but also dropping a fresh album with famed producer 9th Wonder.

The Black Thought ethos is a measuring stick, and most recently he made another appearance on Hot 97 to discuss among many things the merits of writing. He touched upon the 10-minute freestyle and explained that everything he writes he commits to memory. Black Thought also brought up the topic of ghostwriting. “I think you can’t be top five if you don’t write what you’re saying,” he said. The statement comes fresh off the tails of the Pusha T and Drake beef where ghostwriting became a focal point in the barbs.

Not to be totally dogmatic on the issue, Black Thought did say that he’s rapped a hook written by someone else but never bars. He went on to explain that ghostwriting is something he’s considering doing for someone else. “I don’t take issue with it because I’m tryin’ to write for more people,” he said. “I think if that’s what you do then, you know, it’s all good.”

During the 40-minute long interview, Black Thought talked about numerous topics including lyrical inspiration, media influence and the do’s and don’ts of battle rap. Black Thought is often overlooked because of how long he’s been doing it, but he’s a savant and the interview offers fascinating insight from one of the most consistent lyricists in the game.