It was also an unambiguous articulation of the beautiful mind Black Thought possesses: a brain with enough power not only to construct such a tour de force, but to fucking memorize it. His freestyle clocked in at a little over 2,000 words. I can’t even begin to fathom how that sort of retentiveness is possible. There can’t be more than 100 people on earth with the synthesis of IQ and worldliness and technical proficiency and command of language necessary to do what he just did.


In the line where he cites Tesla, he also cites Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare and Voltaire—all white men commonly recognized as geniuses (“I’m at a level of intelligence you can’t define/Einstein, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Tesla/Recording artist slash psychology professor”). I’d imagine that, for those aforementioned arbiters of creative genius, this line reads as an especially ridiculous stretch of hyperbole. Because of course a black rapper from Philadelphia couldn’t possibly possess that level of intellect.

I also believe Black Thought was wrong to compare himself to them. Because he was selling himself short.