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Black Thought on The Combat Jack Show Ep. 1

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Combat Jack:

Rapper, actor, vocalist, Grammy Award winner, co-front man of the legendary Roots crew. You can catch him five nights a week on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." One of the greatest underrated MC's of our time. Internets, I welcome to the "Combat Jack Show" Black Thought.

Dallas Penn:

Yeah, yeah, rap royalty here.

Combat Jack:

What's up, sir?

Black Thought:

Everything, everything.

Combat Jack:

Welcome to the "Combat Jack Show."

Black Thought:

Thank you.

Combat Jack:

How you doing, man?

Black Thought:

I'm doing well brother.

Combat Jack:

So take us back to high school, man. You know, you met Quest. How'd you meet Questlove?

Black Thought:

Quest and I met, you know, I think I was either being suspended, so I was in the office, or I was returning from a suspension. So I was in the office. Ahmir, Questlove, he was coming into the office. He had a jacket on that was like hand painted with like some crazy psychedelic peace sign, and he had . . .

Combat Jack:

Was it some De La Soul kind of . . .

Black Thought:

Yeah, very, very much De La Soul.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

You know, very much, you know, Theo Huxtable type.

Combat Jack:

It was clean, clean for those times.

Black Thought:

He had some type of, you know, product in his hair, making it real moist.

Dallas Penn:

Quest done had his hair [pom], with the Care Free Curl? A [inaudible 1:42]?

Black Thought:

Yeah. He had some kind of curl, man. It was like something in there.

Combat Jack:

He used an activator?

Black Thought:

He had a medallion with like a black fist or something. And then this was also when, you know, the Casio SK1, like the first little key . . .

Just Blaze:

One of the first ones.

Black Thought:

Yeah, the first little sampler, and he used to walk around with that shit all the time, and he would just be constantly recording stuff, and you know like chopping it up and making beats out of it. So it was intriguing to me, because up to that point, like my last group was when I was in the fourth grade. So I considered myself a solo MC for most of my young life. Then this dude came around. He had some fly shit on. He had the little beat maker. So I mean I just wanted to, you know, like get down with him. So I was very much immersed in that whole world of hip hop, you know the Coogi Rap and the Ultra Magnetics. I'm saying like anything with MC's, I mean like real MC's, I was up on it, and Quest was an instrumental major. He was really up on all the James Brown stuff and like all the places that the music that MC's were rapping to at the time was coming from. You know what I mean? So it was just like a marriage kind of made in heaven. I'm saying he's the producer, I'm the rapper kind of thing from the gate.

Combat Jack:

Right. Yo Thought, man, you've been in this game for a long time, man. Have you ever been in any real beefs that we don't necessarily know about? Because the only beef that . . . I don't even want to call it beef, but the closest from the public eye that I've seen you get into beef, it was Nas.

Black Thought:

Yeah. That's probably the only little bump in the road. You know what I'm saying? That was something that we hadn't really met before when we was going back and forth.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

We weren't really going back and forth. I mean Nas he . . .

Combat Jack:

What happened? What happened?

Black Thought:

Nas got on . . . in some interview he made a comment about how whack it was for us to do the movie "Bamboozle" with Spike Lee . . .

Combat Jack:

Okay.

Black Thought:

. . . and how you going to call yourself The Roots and Black Thought, and then you're portraying a group called The Alabama Porch Monkeys in Spike Lee's movie with the ball and chain. You know what I'm saying?

Combat Jack:

So he was going on his

righteous path. That was [his

brand].

Black Thought:

Nas was spazzing out on a lot of people during that point in time, because he was losing his mom.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

You know what I'm saying?

Combat Jack:

So this was during the Ether time.

Black Thought:

Yeah. He had actual beef during that time.

Combat jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

This was just a comment that he made about The Roots.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

I hadn't really interacted with him at all up until that point. Then there was a show one night with Talib Kweli, and I think Kweli invited Nas and he invited me.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

We were all there in the building together. I had a chance to meet Nas. He explained to me that it wasn't coming from a personal place. You know what I'm saying? He basically apologized. He told me he was going through it. He lost his mom. I could totally relate to that. I lost my mom when I was 17. She was a murder victim.

Combat Jack:

Really?

Black Thought:

Both my parents were murder victims. You know what I'm saying? Got killed in Philly, like random. Like with my pop, it was the life he was living. You know what I'm saying? He was a dealing with a lot of people from the Nation of Islam, back in the '60s and '70s, and dealing with a lot of people from Black Brothers Inc. in Philly. And that's the type of thing that it has the potential to bite you in the ass.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

And I could just totally relate. Like I was going through something when I lost my mom. You know what I'm saying?

Combat Jack:

But to that lead up, man, were you at any point gearing to take Nas?

Black Thought:

I was ready for whatever, yeah.

Combat Jack:

Okay. Okay.

Black Thought:

Yeah, I was going to take Nas that night.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

You know what I'm saying? But, you know, it was like . . .

Combat Jack:

Now there was a lot of talk on the Internet at that time as to who would take who.

Black Thought:

I mean I was ready for Nas that night.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

You know, when I heard he was gonna be there, I was, you know you think a lot . . . I'm like, "Should I just slap the shit out of Nas?" You know I may just want some, because I know word of that would get around, and it would be like, oh, you know, like Nas said something about Thought and then he slapped the shit out of him at the joint in New York.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

You understand? But before any of that could, you know, I mean really go down there . . .

Combat Jack:

He defused it.

Black Thought:

He defused it like . .

Combat Jack:

A shout out to Nas for that.

Black Thought:

. . . once some real, you know, like some bigger man shit.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Black Thought:

You know what I mean? And it was done. I left that shit alone, right like then and there.


Nobody does real talk like Combat Jack. Reggie Ossie aka Combat Jack is a former rap industry attorney, media executive, author, and host of Combat Jack's Daily Mathematics internet radio show. In the premiere episode of Complex TV's Combat Jack show, our host interviews Black Thought.

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