Blacking Out

Black Thought – ‘Toca Tuesdays Freestyle’

One of the reasons you persevere with this rap shit just might be those increasingly rare moments when the flow, cadence and wordplay combine into a moment of pure rap supremacy. Back in Feb 2010, Black Thought had one of these moments when he unleashed two non-stop verbal tidal waves as he proceeded to demonstrate what might commonly be referred to as ‘blacking out’. Even though he was suffering from strep throat or whatever happens from too much cot-damn rappin’, it served as a refresher to – those of us who have become too accustomed to associating him with ‘sophisticated’ Roots songs – just how raw he can get.

It also got me thinking – what is your favorite moment of an MC absolutely slaughtering a beat or ‘blacking out’?

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71 Comments so far
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super-ill.what does that thing hes doing with his fingers mean

Comment by tim.b 03.03.11 @

5 favorites that come to mind…
1. Big Daddy Kane blacking out on “Just rhymin with biz”
2. Grand Puba blacking out on “Step to the rear”
3. ODB blacking out on “Diesel”
4. Rakim blacking out on “Hypnotic”
5. KRS blacking out on “Feel the vibe”

Comment by mecbar 03.03.11 @

Black Thought is hip hop’s 5th element.

Comment by qbd1 03.03.11 @

Believe it or not…. RZA on ‘Wu-Gambinos’ where he was like… “I will blind you like some diamonds; I recline in the sky on a cloud w/silver linin…”

Comment by bboycult 03.03.11 @

Was just listening to this Black Thought freestyle (who I happen to agree is mad underrated as an emcee), and as I was doing so I clicked on the Freestyle Professors link/advert. There’s an ill drum beat that plays in the background on their site, and it absolutely fitted PERFECTLY with Black Thought’s freestyle, so much so for a little while i thought it was the beat he was rapping over!! Try it, it bangs!!

Comment by Steve 03.03.11 @

wow.breath that.dude’s a beast.i might give the roots another chance.

Comment by swordfish 03.03.11 @

so underrated since i can’t remember when.

Comment by kaybee 03.03.11 @

kool g rap jive talk
mf doom rhymes like dimes
krs one we in there freestyle on yo mtv
big l stretch n bobbito
biggie any freestyle

Comment by TED 03.03.11 @

Pun -“Wrong Ones”
Cannibalism is livin in my metabolism…..

Comment by Gunzoid 03.03.11 @

Kool G. Rap when he was standing in front of Rikers Island on Yo MTV Raps……

Or G.Rap on “Men At Work” – the first two verses are a perfect example of “Blacking Out”…..

Or Black Thought out shining “Ghostface” on that joint “In The Park”…….Sometimes I wish Black Thought would finally release a solo-album over raw beats…….In the late 90’s he released a couple solo singles “Hardware”, etc, but the album never dropped…….

Comment by SHAMZ 03.03.11 @

Cappadonna on “Winter Warz” always come to mind, also Freddie Foxxx on either “The Militia” or his last verse on “Part of Me”.

Comment by claaa7 03.03.11 @

damn, I gotta agree with Puba on Step to the Rear.

Rebel INS “rat pack eat up your average alley cat” verse on Wu’s “Bang Bang”;
Tupac’s “clown around” debut on “All Around the World”;
And Brother J riding the “Verbal Milk” beat are some that come to mind.

But also.. Kool G Raps blacks out on anything he raps on. Especially that Anthem track

Comment by cenzi 03.03.11 @

Eminem and Royce 5’9- 12 Min Freestyle

Peedi Crakk- 9 min Freestyle on Official Street Radio

Comment by Cricket 03.03.11 @

That ODB A-S-O-N-U-N-I-Q-U-E you have nothing on me freestyle before he went to jail on the stretch armstrong world premiere.
He was that stoned nobody was getting between him and the mic..
ras kass tried but failed.

Comment by Bjorn 03.03.11 @

I forgot about how raw Black Thought is until I saw the Roots at a show recently. The first few songs Black Thought went for delf and then the Roots got sophisticated…but until that he was ripping.

Comment by dj 33 03.03.11 @

Cassidy 7 minute freestyle on YouTube with 5+mil views….

Comment by Jhon da Analyst 03.03.11 @

black thought is definitely one of the best emcees of all-time whether raw or sophisticated…

as for emcees blacking out, some of my favourite lyrical moments off the top of my head include:

cappadonna on wu’s ‘winterz warz’
melle mel on ‘the truth’
canibus on lost boyz’ ‘beasts from the east’
inspectah deck on gang starr’s ‘above the clouds’ and also wu’s ‘triumph’
freddie foxxx on bdp’s ‘ruff,ruff’
big pun’s ‘dream shatterer’
big daddy kane freestyle on tim westwood’s capital radio show in 1989
joe budden freestyle on green lantern’s show over onyx ‘last dayz’
munk with da funk on ‘exersize’
r.a. the rugged man on hell razah’s ‘the renaissance’ and jedi mind tricks’ ‘uncommon valor’
black thought on ghostface’s ‘in the park’ and the roots’ ‘clones’

and the list goes on and on lol…

Comment by Ryan Proctor 03.04.11 @

Cosign on Cappadonnas feature on Winter Wars, thats a mean verse forever, other favorites is Vordul Megas verse on Metal Gear, Rakim on Follow the leader, Aceyalone on Human Language and Eyedea(RIP) on this remix:

Comment by PAS 03.04.11 @

Oh and Black Thoughts feature on the Dj Krush album Meiso is amazing as well!

Comment by PAS 03.04.11 @

@PAS – thought of rakim on ‘follow the leader’ seconds after posting my comment lol – that is a masterclass in lyrical precision – classic!

Comment by Ryan Proctor 03.04.11 @

Moments that had the hair on the back of my neck standing on end …

Royce on I’m Me from the Bar Exam II
Ice Cube on the Grand Finale
Rage and Kurupt on Drikin Tanqueray and Puffin Blunts
Kane on Wrath of Kane
Cosign Cappadonna on Winter Warz
Ra – No Omega, Follow The Leader
Monch on Extinction Agenda (the verse about chess and priests)
Canibus on Beasts From The East, Desperados
LL on 4,3,2,1
Big Pun on Triplets
Chino XL on The Anthem (This and That)

Comment by Brock 03.04.11 @

The most recent blackout I’ve heard is Reks’ 2nd verse on 25th Hour, I was blown away

Other than that, I have fond memories of G Rap OBLITERATING Frankie Cutlass’ Know Da Game

Comment by reiser 03.04.11 @

Self explanatory

Comment by M.Turn 03.04.11 @

i don’t understand how anyone could ever forget how dope an MC Black Thought is, no matter how “sophisticated” The Roots song he raps on (for me “How I Got Over” and “Marcberg” were equally insane). Tariq is top 3 alive right now.

Comment by claaa7 03.04.11 @

I’d put Thought verse for verse against anybody.

Cappadona excalibered Winter Warz. He rhymed like his life depended on it.
Canibus – Beast from the East That’s how you make everyone else on a track just…. vanish.
Canibus – Tony Touch 50 MCs Freestyle << brutality
Nas and AZ – Serious. They went the fuck off on this shit.
On the unsigned artist blackout tip: Check out Warpath from The Autobotz on this one:

I'll add some more if any come to mind.

Comment by clubba lang 03.04.11 @

Streetlife on Hellz Wind Staff
Ghostface Killah on – Clipse of Doom

are two that pop up immediately

Comment by Christov 03.05.11 @

Big Daddy Kane – Set it Off!!! Go listen and tell me he didn’t!!!

Dee El Sends P.E.A.C.E

Comment by Dee El 03.05.11 @

He almost sounding like Big Twins on this freestyle no?? Dope shit.

Comment by Dialect 03.05.11 @

Canibus-how we roll
dude blacks out on nearly everything.

Comment by kaybee 03.05.11 @

Canibus on beasts from the east, desperados and there was a track he did with common on the “one day…..” Around that time he was destoying everything he got a feature on!!

Comment by antony112 03.05.11 @

Love the ones listed so far, forgot about some of them. Two more of my favorites:

AG on “Fat for the 90s”
Big L on “You Know What I’m About (Original Mix)”
Biggie on Tracey Lee’s “Keep Your Hands High” (each verse gets crazier)
50 Cent “Your Life’s on the Line” (3rd verse)

Comment by Scott 03.05.11 @

Oh, and I almost forgot:

Scarface – Bring It On (there’s a reason why he went last on this 8+ min Geto Boys posse cut)
G-Unit – Footprints (a Young Buck solo record, murders it over a crazy Nottz beat)

Comment by Scott 03.05.11 @

u bit the pic and post from steadybloggin u shark nigga.

Comment by d1 03.05.11 @

KRS-One “Just To Prove A Point”
Freddie Foxxx on “Ruff, Ruff” seconded!!!

Comment by vollsticks 03.05.11 @

Del on “Press Rewind” is underrated…Big Jus (Co-Flow) on Lune TNS.

Comment by vitaltwofor 03.06.11 @

PUN on “Beware”, “Capital Punishment” and “Wishful Thinking” Bodies all Bodies.

Comment by Future Gleam 03.06.11 @

Y’all peep that Just Ice Back In The Days partial verse in Thought’s freestyle intro?

Cappadonna-Winter Warz
Rza-Duck Season
Keith Murray-Hostile
Canibus-1000 Bars
Devine Force-Holy War (whole song)
FT-Metal Thangz
Five FT of Black Moon-Son Get Wreck
Big Pun & Canibus verses-Fantastic Four
Black Thought-Concerto of the Desperado (whole song)
Beanie Sigel-Fuck Jadakiss
BDK’s verse-Tim Westwood Freestyle (1989)
Kool G Rap-Bad To The Bone
Keith Murray freestyle over Where My Homiez beat.
Styles P-Fuck Beanie Sigel
Rhymewrecka-Tony Touch-50 MC’s Vol. 1
Keith Murray-95 Live pt. 2 (EPMD beat)

Comment by Mreman 03.07.11 @



Comment by QUITDABS 03.07.11 @

The first thing I thought of when I saw the question was Cappadona on Winter Warz. Also, surprisingly, DMX on Funkmaster Flex freestyle. Big L on the intro to The Big Picture.

Comment by BIGSPICE 03.07.11 @

Rakim – Lyrics of Fury
Jay-Z at Big Daddy Kane’s Birthday Party Freestyle
Doctor Ice – Mic Stalker
Kool Keith – Technical Difficulties off the Dr Octagon Album
UG from Cella Dwellas – Mystic Freestyle
Supernatural in that Battle with Juice
Camp Lo live freestyle with Rahzel and Talib Kweli in Germany (YOUTUBE THAT!)

Comment by DOC SAMSON 03.07.11 @

El da sensei – “A lil sumthing” Off the Hard 2 Obtain “ism and blues” album

Raekwon – Tony Touch Power Cypher 3 freestyle

Cappadonna – Winter warz

Billy Danz – “Life” off the ill kid records compilation

The LOX – Chest to chest freestyle on Dj Clue shit

Comment by Tokyo Cigar 03.08.11 @

damn, i forgot Big L on Da Graveyard, Prodigy on Murda Muzik and Vordul Mega on Iron Galaxy

Comment by Tokyo Cigar 03.08.11 @

Kool G Rap-Some of y’all already mentioned his first verse on Men At Work but what’s ill is the fact that it was his ORIGINAL verse for The Symphony. They didn’t use it ’cause it was so long Marley ran out of tape. Imagine if that would have made it? Kane would have said “nah, that’s aight, I’ll catch y’all on the next one.” The verse he used was a blackout moment anyway.
Kane-Wrath of Kane (probably what inspired Rakim’s Hypnotic.)
Speaking of Ra-I think he blacked out on some calm, smooth shit on My Melody. An overlooked blackout:from Don’t Sweat The Technique, The Punisher. And don’t sleep on Kick Along.
Kool Keith-Ultra’s Kool Keith Housing Things, Funky (remix) and the first verse to Give The Drummer Some.
Redman-basically, everything between the Tonight’s The Night remix to the Doc’s Da Name joint but if I had to pick one: his last verse on the original version of How High. You damn near forgot Meth was on there.
Nas-On some rhymin’ for the sake of rhymin’: his second verse on that unreleased joint Understanding.
Ghostface-shit, his entire existence is one long blackout but to choose one joint, Holla. How you gonna black out over a Delfonics joint, vocals and all?
ODB-one word, Rawhide.

Comment by oskamadison 03.08.11 @

Hold up, how did I forget? LL’s Rock The Bells pt.2. That’s what you call blacking out. As far as Thought’s freestyle go, well, that was just another day at the office for dude. Thought been blackin’ out longer than Charlie Sheen. It’s funny, Thought’s not in my top 5 but I don’t want anyone in my top 5 to have to see him, especially live. On the low, they probably don’t either.

Comment by oskamadison 03.08.11 @

He been nice man

Comment by Selorm Denu 03.08.11 @

Yeah ODB Rawhide. How did I forget that … ?

Comment by Brock 03.09.11 @

Mickey Factz FREESTYLE! Destroys it!

Comment by EroCentrique 03.09.11 @

Prodigy on Apostle’s Warning

Comment by McNulty 03.09.11 @

Greatest display of real rap I’ve heard for a very long time.

Comment by FACTUAL 03.09.11 @

BLACK THOUGHT RULES UNQUESTIONABLY. There is NO ONE fuckin’ with with him in the zone.

Dude said “Dreams like Kurosawa” What?! Do the science and come back to me next millenium.

Only one seeing Thought IS Thought. See:
= THOUGHT @ WORK on Phrenology — Slices, dices & Slap-chops the Apache beat harder than even Nas “made You Look” or Ultra “Ultra II”
= THOUGHT @ 15 — showing the outrageous skills as a teen.
= 75 BARS — Enough said. He opened up dormant brain cells in listeners & himself here. Dirty razor raw.

Tariq “Black Thought/Riq Deezz” Rules, period.

Comment by Daoud 03.12.11 @

@ Daoud


Where Nas coasted on Made You Look, Thought definitely whipped “Apache” and chopped its foot off. points for the MC Ultra pt. 2 reference that’s one of theier overlooked joints. Kinda scary that there’s not really that much difference between “Thought @ 15” and Thought now. Imagine him and Special Ed going at it back in the day.

Comment by oskamadison 03.12.11 @

Dice Raw On The Roots “The Lesson Part 1” one take blackout.

Comment by vitaltwofor 03.13.11 @

Tame One-Whats up now muthafuckaz Nas-Take it in blood Masta Killa-glaciers of ice Rakim-the punisher Raekwon-Faster Blade Pharoe Monch-13

Comment by tony 03.13.11 @

Rakim- Lyrics of fury/ paid in full/ i aint no joke/ my melody/ follow the leader/ dont sweat the technique/ know the ledge

Guru- words I manifest

Shabazz the disciple- Diary of a madman

Grand Puba- step 2 da rear

LL Cool J- Rampage/ murdergram/ 2 da break a dawn/ jinglin baby

Trech- uptown anthem/ guard ya grill

Gza- Cold World

The Smith Bros. – Broken language

Big Pun- Beware/ firewater/ deepcover 98

Big Daddy Kane – The wrath of kane/ set it off/

RZA- Tragedy/ graveyard chamber/ 2 cups of blood/ 12 jewelz/ Lab Drunk/ better tommorrow/ holocaust

Keith Murray- The most beautifullest thing in this world/ hostile/ dangerous groundz

Nas- Simple livin/ The world is yours/ live at the bbq

ODB- Brooklyn Zoo

pharoah monch- agent orange

The Lox- Well well well/ we gon make it

U-God- Da Mystery of chessboxin/ turbulence

Jeru The damaja- Jungle Music/ d original/ wild cowboys/ come clean

AZ- Lifes a bitch/ I feel for you

Buckshot shorty- Slave/ I gotcha opin (OG)

Poetic- Dangerous Mindz/ 2 cups of blood

Cormega- F*ck Nas/ on the real

Prodigy – Crime Connection/ still shinin/ everyday gunplay

Biggie smalls- everything he put out before ‘ready 2 die’ was insane!

Canibus – Clue freestyle over cappadonnas 97 mentality…think it was on cluminati 97…jesus h christ! fucks me up how fast he fell off everytime I hear that shit…

Jay-Z – Murdergram/1 900 hustler/ u dont know

Alchemist – Take drugs (ill verse)

Beanie siegel- its on

damn theres so many!!

Comment by QUNYC 03.13.11 @

Grand Puba on Straight talk (DJ honda)
Inspektah Deck on above the clouds

Comment by BIGSPICE 03.13.11 @

Pun on the DITC-produced “Drop it heavy”
Biggie on that freestyle he did w/ Tupac:

Comment by QUITDABS 03.13.11 @

Let me add on some more…MC Shan “I Pioneered This”. Hands down, the best shit he ever did lyrically. Biggie “Long Kiss Goodnight”. The Pac diss record that “wasn’t” a Pac diss record. Let me blow the dust this forgotten joint on some west coast shit: D.O.C. “Portrait Of a Masterpiece”. Dude’s wind and breath control was nuts. One more: BDP “I’m Still #1” remix. Kris did Poet real dirty on that joint.

Comment by oskamadison 03.13.11 @

@oskamadison, Yo, MC Shan went in on “I pioneered this. I think Juice Crew Law was his illest, though. That second Shan album is a lyrical sleeper.
As for the best Ghost, Hands down, he blacked out the most on “The Champ” off that Fishscale album.

Comment by DOC SAMSON 03.14.11 @

Slaughter Rico.

Comment by farns 03.15.11 @

@ Doc Sampson
Shan did his thing on Juice Crew Law but I Pioneered This was a statement. I think dude was tryin’ to re-establish himself after gettin’ tortured by KRS. Another sleeper from “Born To Be Wild”: “So Def”. That style was nuts. Another Ghost black out: “The Watch”. Who makes a joint havin’ an argument with his watch?!!!!…and kills it?

Comment by oskamadison 03.15.11 @

Percee P – Lung Collapsing Lyrics!

Comment by Hooligan 03.15.11 @


Comment by QUITDABS 03.15.11 @

This is why I FUX wits this site. Nuff respect to all the heads that posted. Y’all really reached back at pulled out some gems.

Let me add:

Just-Ice- Cold Gettin Dumb 2
Kool G Rap- Poison
EPMD- I’m Madd (Parrish Smith 1st verse)
Ultramagnetic(Really just Kool Keith)- Poppa Large
Righteous Teachers- Rock This Funky Joint
Eminem- Renegade

Comment by BKThoroughbred 03.15.11 @

@BK Thouroughbred

You know this is where the TRUE heads break bread. G Rap dumbed out on the first 2 albums. Youtube “I Declare War”, the best G Rap joint that NEVER came out. If you want to take it to Poppa Large, check out “Pluckin’ Cards” from the “Funk Your Head Up” joint. Dude dissed everyone he could think of as only Kool Keith could. Nothing to say about Em’s verse on “Renegades” that hasn’t been said already. What about P’s verse on “Rap Is Outta Control”?

Comment by oskamadison 03.15.11 @


Good Looking on the G Rap joint! I can honestly say I never heard or even remember that one.

I also peeped that “Plucking Cards”. I was always rocked jewels(had a thick solid rope a with “Jesus on an anchor” pendant) back in the mid-late 80’s; so I felt Keith when he dissing cats for faking like they was conscious and switching up w/black medallions and beads just cause De La said so.

And Rap is Outta Control, WAS MY JOINT!!!

Comment by BKThoroughbred 03.16.11 @

MEGA MONTANA over dre beats……..

my toungue’ll leave a razor sliced on mics im type nice…………….. right!!

iceberg jeans and ice coming out the jeans…..

Comment by brytburken 03.16.11 @

some have been mentioned, like RA the Rugged Man on “Renaissance,” Canibus on “Beasts From the East” and Rakim on (among many others) “Lyrics of Fury”
i got a few more to add:
Thes One on “The LA Song” (he’s in the pocket rhyming on that beat)
Aceyalone on “Guidelines ’94” (aptly-named)
Big Pun on “Full Scale” (take a big breath, Pun!)
Big Daddy Kane on “Wrath of Kane” (live version)
Krumbsnatcher on “Make Them Pay” (slept on)
Cormega on “What’s Ya Poison?” (despite studio punch-ins)

Comment by Goodwill Hunter 04.07.11 @

oh yeah:
Percee P on “Throwback Rap Attack”

Comment by Goodwill Hunter 04.07.11 @

@tim.b- Thought is flashing the Black Brothers Inc. symbol that was shown at a the Black Mafia Ball in the early 70’s in Philly. Check the book Black Brothers Inc. for more info. My Blackout moment was Kool G Rap after Kane on a Mr Magic Rap attack promo. Five minutes of some of the dopest rhymes in history.

Comment by King 04.09.11 @

um…. Godfather Don Hazardous

Comment by Herb 04.21.11 @

It took me awhile to think of one due to my high expectations of rappers, Termanology is no Black Thought, but I think he blacked out with his verses on this track with Sheek Louch called Stick up. Check the technique I’m gonna have to revisit this post several times in the future to add more when I think of em.

Comment by gstatty 06.21.11 @

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