The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter shares one of his earliest raps in an excerpt from his new Audible original, 7 Years, out Thursday, July 8th.

In the clip, Trotter remembers how he began writing his first raps when he was about nine years old: “I wanted to be one of them,” he says, “one of those guys in the cyphers just laying folks out.”

As a kid, Trotter and his friends would climb onto the roof of a recreation center and look down at the parties and rap battles that would take place on the basketball courts. While Trotter says he was just an observer at first, he eventually worked up the courage to spit some bars of his own. Trotter then launches into a swift-footed verse that opens with the bars, “Well I’m a hip-hopper, never-stopping/Rocking all around the clock/Double T, you know it’s me/I’m rocking on the M-I-C.”

7 Years finds Trotter recounting and examining his life and career in seven-year increments. 7 Years is part of Audible’s ongoing Words + Music series, which has featured contributions from Billie Joe Armstrong, Sting, Gary Clark, Jr., and Sleater-Kinney.

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