"How to Hold a Choppa": Black Thought and Salaam Remi
Production: Salaam Remi
Album: Stream of Thought Vol. 2
‘Gramps told my father they sold his poppa for gold and copper/ even though he was the strongest cropper/ now, am I wrong if I teach my son to properly hold a choppa/ and how to bring down a helicopter.’
It’s easy to characterize Black Thought as a classic ‘beats and rhymes’ kind of rapper without fully appreciating the intensely sharp edge of his pen. On ‘How to Hold a Choppa’ Tariq exposes the language of America- racialised violence- and contemplates how he can raise his child in such an environment. There are a whole host of songs that have explored this dynamic but few have done it with such precision as Black thought in only one verse. The density and profound delicacy of the language is what makes this song a standout in the expansive discography of Black Thought.