Rapper Black Thought Net Worth and Income Sources

Let’s take a quick look at Rapper Black Thought net worth and his main sources of wealth. 

Black Thought co-founded The Roots with drummer Questlove in Philadelphia. The rapper has a reputation as one of the most prolific rappers of his time and is lauded for his unique rhyme schemes, live performance skills, and political messages. He sings for the Roots and also raps on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”. 

Black Thought net worth is believed to start at $12 million and is likely to be higher than $13 million – but these numbers are only estimates because the musician hasn’t made his financial data public [1]. 

Let’s break down his main sources of income. 

Black Thought Net Worth: $12 to $13 million 

Black Thought Income Sources

Black Thought Net Worth : Black Thought on Jimmy Fallon. Credit: Instagram@blackthought
Black Thought on Jimmy Fallon. Credit: Instagram@blackthought

Black Thought has several advantages that boost his profile. Firstly, is a critically acclaimed musician in his own right, and secondly, he has a prominent presence on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” where he frequently plays games with Jimmy and his guests on the show. All this increases his fan following and allows him to diversify his income stream. His biggest sources of income include:  

  • Ad monetization from YouTube videos
  • Album sales (sales figures from album sales are not known)
  • Merchandising (sales figures are not known) 

Income Source 1: YouTube 

Black Thought generates a sizable percentage of his wealth from YouTube. 

Black Thought, who co founded The Roots, has over 453,000 subscribers on the official YouTube platform. The platform releases music videos, interviews, and podcasts. The channel is mostly popular for its music videos which tend to do fairly well and fetch anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 views. 

Black Thought YouTube channel SubscribersViewsEst. Net Earnings/per month
The Roots 453,000224 million $90  –  $1.4K

*Note: The earnings for social media personalities, especially musicians, depends heavily on how many repeat views they get for each video. The more views they generate per person, the greater their sales earnings. 

Income Source 2: Album Sales

Black Thought Net Worth : Black Thought promoting Jimmy Fallon. Credit: Instagram@blackthought
Black Thought promoting Jimmy Fallon. Credit: Instagram@blackthought

The Roots is one of the most successful music bands of all time with over 2.17 million album sales, including 2 million in the United States and 120,000 in the United Kingdom. Their best selling album is “Things Fall Apart” which is said to have sold 1.1 million copies.

“Things Fall Apart” is also their breakthrough album and reached No.4 on the Billboard 200 charts and even went on to earn a gold record. 

Income Source 3: Merchandising 

With such a sizable fan following, it comes as no surprise that Black Thought and his band, The Roots, is able to generate a fortune from merchandising opportunities.  Fans can purchase merchandise on various platforms including okayplayer.com and merchbar.com [2]. 

The most common items for sale include t-shirts, stickers, and posters. 

Black Thought Early Years

Black Thought Net Worth : Black Thought promotes products. Credit: Instagram@blackthought
Black Thought promotes products. Credit: Instagram@blackthought

Black Thought had a troubled upbringing with horrific tragedies. His real name is Tariq Trotter and he was born in 1971 to Cassandra Trotter and Thomas. Young Thought’s father was killed when he was one year old. His mother was killed when he was in high school. 

He accidentally lit his Philadelphia apartment on fire at the age of six when he played with his plastic army toys. This incident would change his brother’s life forever. Thought’s brother Keith, started a fight with the firefighters accusing them of stealing jewelry. Keith was arrested and this incident sent him down a pathway of legal problems. 

Thought himself was no stranger to legal problems. He was arrested at 12 years old when he was caught tagging a basketball court. He also started selling crack cocaine to make money, but a timely intervention by one of his uncles resulted in him being sent to Detroit to start a fresh life [3]. 

His mother was addicted to cocaine and had eventually gone missing. Thought eventually learned that his mother was stabbed to death. 

He went to Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts and pursued journalism at Millersville University. 

Thought was eventually able to turn his life around by pursuing a career in music. 

Black Thought Career

Black Thought Net Worth : Black Thought with Common on Jimmy Fallon. Credit: Instagram@blackthought
Black Thought with Common on Jimmy Fallon. Credit: Instagram@blackthought

Thought started his hop hop group called “The Square Roots” which he cofounded with Questlove, a drummer. The group released their debut album in 1993 to good reviews. They released their second studio album “Do You Want More?!!!??!” in 1995.

Their work was usually made without any samping and became highly popular among fans because of the unique lyrics and political message. The Roots eventually won the Grammy Award for “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group” for “You Got Me” in 2000. 

They have since released several successful albums including The Tipping Point, Game Theory, How I Got Over, and Undun. For a full discography, check out Black Thought’s official Discogs page [4].

Black Thought Controversy 

Black Thoughts has managed to steer clear from controversy, which is a surprise given his career spanning decades. He has earned the admiration of millions from around the world. 

One of his most popular YouTube music videos is Thought vs Everybody

Black Thought Quotes

“I was married to a state of mind and I divorced it.”

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Black Thought Biography

Legal NameTariq Luqmaan Trotter
Net Worth$12m to $13m
Source of WealthYouTube ad revenue, album sales, merchandising
Date of BirthOctober 3, 1971
Place of BirthPhiladelphia, United States
Height5’ 7”
Straight Marital StatusMarried 
Children4 sons, 1 daughter 
Names of ChildrenNot known 

Frequently Asked Questions Black Thought 

What is Black Thought’s net worth?

Black Thought may have a net worth anywhere from $12m to $13m. 

Who is Black Thought’s wife?

Black Thought married Michelle Trotter. The couple have five children. 

How Did Black Thought Get his Name? 

Black Thought wanted to send a political message with his music and felt that Black Thought achieves this remarkably well. 


[1] https://socialblade.com/youtube/c/theroot – The Root’s Social Blade page

[2] https://www.merchbar.com/r-b-hiphop-rap/black-thought – Black Thought merch

[3] https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/roots-black-thought-songs-1107397/ – Black Thought’s legal problems discussed through his music. 

[4]https://www.discogs.com/artist/12466-Black-Thought – Black Thought discography. 

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