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The Upcycled Self

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The Upcycled Self by Tariq Trotter
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Nov 14, 2023 | ISBN 9780593663110 | 232 Minutes

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  • Nov 14, 2023 | ISBN 9780593446928

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Praise

Praise for Tariq Black Thought Trotter and The Upcycled Self

“One of hip-hop’s greatest MCs, unpacking his harrowing, remarkable journey in his own words, with enough insights for two lifetimes.”—Lin-Manuel Miranda, award-winning songwriter, producer, director, and creator of In the Heights and Hamilton

“The lyricist renowned for rapid-fire intellectual freestyle gets a chance to slow down the self-reflection. . . . He’s out to reconstruct his ‘communally built self,’ honoring the many family members who strove to nurture a young man with artistic promise, while their own lives often fall prey to the destructive forces that besiege[d] South Philadelphia in the 1980s and ’90s. . . . The memoir is a deeply moving testimony of a young man who ‘upcycles’ himself by fusing the scattered scraps of family love and wisdom into a life-affirming philosophy.”The Washington Post

“Tariq Trotter, a founder of the music collective The Roots . . . could be hip-hop’s Dostoyevsky. Like the Russian novelist, Mr. Trotter (also known as Black Thought) has refined literary fire from the soulful furnace of pain and suffering.”—Barry Michael Cooper, The New York Times

“No one has ever been markedly better at rapping than Black Thought, and precious few musicians on earth have perfected their instrument to the extent that he has.”—Jack Hamilton, Slate

“The densely arrayed metaphors, the calibrated poise, and casual displays of erudition . . . Black Thought, née Tariq Trotter, is one of the greats in the pantheon of hip-hop.”—Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker

“A striking portrait of perseverance and creativity . . . Trotter powerfully gives due to the process of self-reinvention that has defined his life: ‘What if we . . . undid the stitches of ourselves that no longer served us, forgave them, and wove new legacies of old scraps?’ Candid, visceral, and written with the hard-won wisdom of hindsight, this leaves a mark.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An eloquently insightful autobiography from an iconic rapper and wordsmith . . . The book’s lyricism, clarity, and tone beautifully reflect Trotter’s facility with words, which he has demonstrated for years in the studio and on stage. . . . The author’s vulnerability, circumspection, and compassion render this an outstanding read.”—Kirkus Reviews

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