Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter has the theory that every seven years we become completely new people.
Literally every seven to ten years our body cells die and all regenerate, but we also regenerate spiritually, creatively and professionally, he says.
Trotter broke his life, from childhood in Philadelphia to co-founding The Roots with Questlove, in seven-year increments in an audio story called “7 Years,” which was part of Audible’s Words + Music series.
The series features artists such as Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Alanis Morissette, who told audio stories, including never-before-heard performances and rich storytelling.
“According to this theory, my life shifted in seven-year cycles, “Trotter said in the audio sample of” 7 Years. “” My catalyst years were 7-14, then 21-28, and then again 35-42. I learned a lot about myself and the world around me. “
Trotter’s “7 Years” story delves into these parts of his life with a “strong and personal” musical score, says Audible. It begins with stories from his childhood growing up in Philadelphia – from his father’s death to his house burning down while playing with GI Joes and a lighter.
“Because what’s the point of being led to believe if you can’t melt the face of your GI Joes when their tanker explodes in an imaginary war?” he said.
He told Metro Philly that the injustice and racism he faced as a black kid and teenager in Philadelphia are still present to today’s youth.
“The justice system in Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania has never been on my side. I am aware of certain dangers, including the ever-present threat of arrest,” Trotter said. “But that hasn’t changed. All the things I feared as a young person in Philadelphia, for my young son, young nephew, young relatives and family members just out on the streets of Philadelphia – they have to [be] concerned about the same things. “
Trotter said he was one of the “lucky ones” who had a passion like the art to get him through the tough times. For him, art was a way of expressing his thoughts and feelings that he found difficult to express.
As of January 2020, more than 820 people under the age of 21 have been injured or killed by gun violence in the city.
City council members and community activists have urged more funds and resources to be devoted to preventing youth violence, e.g.
Through “7 Years”, Trotter hopes to show people the extent of black identity.
He took a “deep, emotional dive” and lived through forgotten experiences to create the nearly two-hour audio book. He said the project was cathartic for him and hoped that it would be understandable for the audience. He said that people tend to use songs to remember specific times in their life and create a soundtrack of a specific time.
“When we remember, when we reminisce and remember the experiences of life, for many of us we almost remember those experiences through songs,” Trotter said. “We have these memories in our head, these beats and moments that are never accessible.”
He said that strong storytelling makes a work of art great, be it a visual, acoustic, or sensory experience.
“Audible’s Words + Music program exceeded our expectations in many ways and we’re just getting started” Rachel Ghiazza, Executive Vice President of Audible and Head of US Content, said in a statement Rolling Stone. “These extraordinary musicians have always had a special connection to their fans through their music. By weaving narrative storytelling into their work, they create truly unprecedented stories for our listeners. Our 2021 grid will have something for everyone, from hip-hop to classical to rock and blues.“