It's the beard.
Black Thought is fresh off the release of his latest project Streams Of Thought Vol. 1 with 9th Wonder. The project was announced earlier in the year but it wasn't until recently that they announced the release date. Black Thought recently discussed the project in a lengthy interview which ultimately led him to discuss his hip hop doppelganger.
Black Thought recently spoke to NPR about his latest project, Streams Of Thought Vol. 1. While he spoke about The Roots, Jimmy Fallon and more, he ended up revealing that he's often confused Rick Ross. While you'd think he'd bother to correct them, he explained that he lets people have their moment and doesn't bother to correct him. However, it is a good bit whenever he's doing comedy.
"Something that is funny, that I use sometimes if I'm doing comedy, is the fact that I'm now often mistaken for the rapper Rick Ross. And I don't know that I've ever corrected anyone — like I've never said, "No no, I'm not Rick Ross, I'm Black Thought from The Roots." He said, "Just a couple weeks ago I went to Puerto Rico to do a benefit concert down there. I arrived at the hotel, the doorman came and opened the car door and I stepped out, and dude was talking and I just heard him — in broken English because he had, like, a Spanish accent — I heard him, just, "Welcome, Mr. Ross." I'd rather not correct them. I let people have that moment, because for them it's just as special."
He goes on to mention that he'll get people approach him and talk to him for 10 minutes about how much his music means to them and the impact he's had on their lives. When he thinks they recognize him as Black Thought, he finds out they think he's Rick Ross by the end of the conversation.