The love affair between Portland and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, drummer for hip-hop vets the Roots, is well documented. And apparently, his affinity for the Rose City is starting to rub off on his bandmates as well.
Last night, Roots rapper Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter stepped out from his duties fronting The Tonight Show house band to serve as the show's musical guest, performing a medley of "Quiet Trip" and "Nature of the Beast," two tracks from his new solo EP, Streams of Thought. And he called upon two Portland-affiliated artists to back him up: alt-rock hitmakers Portugal the Man and rapper the Last Artful Dodgr.
Of course, in the era of COVID, musical performances on late-night talk shows often look different than they did in the Before Times. In this particular case, it's really more of a music video, using the studio versions of both tracks (which Dodgr and Portugal the Man also appear on) and mixing it with spliced-together footage from everyone's respective quarantine situations.
Still: pretty cool.
Black Thought and PTM have collaborated before: In 2018, the rapper made an unannounced appearance during the group's set at an anti-gun rally in downtown Portland.
"That was very Portland," frontman John Gourley told WW. "He was staying up the street, and I just shot him a text explaining what was up and to see if he was down, and of course he was. It was amazing, Tariq—one of the best MCs of all time—just coming up on stage and absolutely killing it."
As for Dodgr—who's now back in her hometown of L.A.—this is the second time she's appeared on The Tonight Show, when she supported Amine during his own network television debut in 2016. She knew she'd be back, too.
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Last election cycle (nov. 2016) @amine invited us out to sing background for him during his 1st @fallontonight performance — Shit was epic & changed my life (thx AD💛) When I shook Jimmy’s hand that day I told him I’d be back 😈 and BICH we NEVER LIE!! All in due time 🙏🏾 TN ON FALLON w/ the SUPREME 🐐@blackthought & my loves @portugaltheman ✨