tariq trotter


An Analysis Of The Concept Of Freedom & Its Usage In Black Thought`s 2017 Funkmaster Flex Freestyle

free·dom /ˈfrēdəm/ noun

The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

Constraints & barriers take many forms when working to identify where flexibility is/isn’t present in any given situation. More of than not, we find ourselves considering as many options as possible to not only maximize our return, but optimize the experience towards the return as well. All of this micro-calibration finds itself at home in the minds of those whom welcome dynamism with open arms whilst understanding the risks associated with falling short of the preset expectation.

A premiere example of this concept is characterized by the Recording Artist, Performing Artist, Poet, Author, & Activist Tariq Trotter, more notably Black Thought. There are dozens of excerpts that display Trotters’ will power & resolve to utilize the constraints presented to his advantage. It is in these excerpts where a deeper meaning can be extracted, reviewed, & processed in order to reach for a heightened perspective towards the approach being taken. In this post, I intend to touch on Trotters’ 10 minute 2017 Funkmaster Flex Freestyle & the ironic usage of the word “free” only once throughout the entire presentation.

“I’m not crawlin’, I’m a free man like Morgan, seeing manhood in the hood is a damn good bargain”

Whilst being mesmerized by the sheer capability of ones mind to execute such a display of skill, 8:05 seconds timestamp the first (& only) use of the word “free”. Not only is the explicit use of the word within the context of the high-level presentation make it interesting, but it is also the frequency at which it was used, the effort being put forth, & the cost/benefit analysis. When unpacking the freedom of ones style, accessibility comes to mind. When a concept, information, product, or expression becomes accessible by anyone, it can being to undergo multiple mutations & transitions, keeping the ideological cost low. This enables a free input to translate to a free output when expressed from an individuals unique perspective.

The limiting variable here is the individuals ability to compile, process, & execute these resources to inject quality control into the output. Thus creating different levels of output from what was once the same input. Trotter finds himself well within his comfort zone as he takes a tangible, accessible, & economical resource known as Hip-Hop & provides his iteration based on the information he has at his disposal. Topics ranging from war, politics, domestic mismanagement, personal drive, uncertainty, & hope (to name a few of the several) become valuable components that the listener can draw a deeper basis of understanding from. Not only are the words being used free to access, but the platform where the freestyle is being viewed is free to access as well, alongside the free replay value as well. The Cost/Benefit ratio here is incredibly high, thanks to the senders resolve to focus on the accessibility of the entire package as a whole. Overall, Thought could have gone any direction previously traversed by any artist when the DJ queued up the instrumental, however it is the MCs’ unique resolve that makes a highly accessible narrative truly priceless.

Style Is Free.
Cost Represents Dominion.
& Therefore Freedom Is Priceless.