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The Roots

One of the most prolific rap groups, the Roots were also among the most progressive acts in contemporary music, from their 1993 debut through their conceptual 2010s releases. Despite the seemingly archaic practice of functioning as a rap band with several instrumentalists -- from 2007 onward, their lineup even featured a sousaphonist -- they were ceaselessly creative, whether with their own material, or through their varied assortment of collaborations. They went platinum and gold with successive studio releases and won a handful of Grammy awards. After they gained a nightly nationwide audience through a close partnership with television host Jimmy Fallon, they continued to challenge listeners with works free of genre restrictions.

The Roots' focus on live music began back in 1987, when rapper Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and drummer ?uestlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson) became friends at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. Playing around school, on the sidewalk, and later at talent shows (with ?uestlove's drum kit backing Black Thought's rhymes), the pair began to earn money and hooked up with bassist Hub (Leon Hubbard) and rapper Malik B. Moving from the street to local clubs, the Roots became a highly tipped underground act around Philadelphia and New York. When they were invited to represent stateside hip-hop at a concert in Germany, the Roots recorded an album to sell at shows; the result, Organix, was released in May 1993 on Remedy Records. With a music industry buzz surrounding their activities, the Roots entertained offers from several labels before signing with DGC that same year.

The Roots' first major-label album, Do You Want More?!!!??!, was released in January 1995. Forsaking usual hip-hop protocol, the album was produced without any samples or previously recorded material. It peaked just outside the Top 100 of the Billboard 200 and made more tracks in alternative circles, partly due to the Roots playing the second stage at Lollapalooza that summer. The band also journeyed to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Two of the guests on the album who had toured around with the band, human beatbox Rahzel the Godfather of Noyze -- previously a performer with Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J -- and Scott Storch (later replaced by Kamal Gray), became permanent members of the group.

Early in 1996, the Roots released "Clones," the trailer single for their second album. It hit the rap Top Five, and created a good buzz. That September, Illadelph Halflife appeared and made number 21 on the Billboard 200. Much like its predecessor, though, the Roots' second LP was a difficult listen. It made several very small concessions to mainstream rap -- the bandmembers sampled material that they had recorded earlier at jam sessions -- but failed to make a hit of their unique sound. Their third album, February 1999's Things Fall Apart, was easily their biggest critical and commercial success. Released on MCA, It went platinum, and "You Got Me" -- a collaboration with Erykah Badu -- peaked within the Top 40 and subsequently won a Grammy in the category of Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

The long-awaited Phrenology was released in November 2002 amid rumors of the Roots losing interest in their label arrangements with MCA. In 2004, the band remedied the situation by creating the Okayplayer company. Named after their website, Okayplayer included a record label and a production/promotion company. The same year, the band held a series of jam sessions to give their next album a looser feel. The results were edited down to ten tracks and released as The Tipping Point, supported by Geffen, in July of 2004. A 2004 concert from Manhattan's Webster Hall with special guests like Mobb Deep, Young Gunz, and Jean Grae was released in February 2005 as The Roots Present in both CD and DVD formats. Two volumes of the rarities-collecting Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Roots appeared at the end of the year.

A subsequent deal with Def Jam fostered a series of riveting, often grim sets, beginning with Game Theory (August 2006) and Rising Down (April 2008). In 2009, the group expanded its reach as the exceptionally versatile house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The new gig didn't slow their recording schedule; in 2010 alone, they released the sharp How I Got Over (June), as well as Wake Up! (September), where they backed John Legend on covers of socially relevant soul classics like Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "Wake Up Everybody" and Donny Hathaway's "Little Ghetto Boy." It earned Grammy awards for Best R&B Album and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. As they remained with Fallon, the Roots worked with Miami soul legend Betty Wright on November 2011's Betty Wright: The Movie, and followed it the next month with their 13th studio album, Undun, an ambitious concept album whose main character dies in the first track and then follows his life backward.

Work on the group's next studio album was postponed as an unexpected duet album with Elvis Costello took priority for the group in 2013. Originally planned as a reinterpretation of Costello's songbook, the album Wise Up Ghost turned into a full-fledged collaboration and was greeted by positive reviews upon its September 2013 release on Blue Note. Within six months, the band joined Jimmy Fallon in his new late-night slot, the high-profile Tonight Show program. Another concept album, the brief but deep ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, was released in May 2014. ~ John Bush & Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Dear God 2.0 (Radio Single)

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Track List: When The People Cheer (Single)

Comments

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can you sing a difficult song please an email saying that he would give me his number
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I love both their words and style. In some of their songs thiers heavey trueths spooken to those who will lesson and learn.
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I love the roots, black thought your my cousin, your grandfather and my mother are brother and sister Joseph Trotter, may he rest in peace! ❤
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The best..❤️
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The Roots are so talented.
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maria0411.mm
Love it
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Such a sexy beat
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green.cb
Hi
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trentnorth
Say iPhone 5
Name a Color
Post this on 2 other songs
Look under your pillow
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teritzel823
Hi
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Still rock to this. Classic
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greenmusic20 1 3
Guys, if you wanna make some cash online go check out ATOCE.COM you can sign up for free and everything. I've been able to make around $400 per week from it. I just wanted to share it with you guys as well. Copy and paste and it worked for you. Enjoy.
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rojamdj
Say iphone5
Name a color
Post this on two more songs
Look under your pillow
Report as inappropriate
Say iphone5
Name a color
Post on two more songs
Look under your pillow
Report as inappropriate
Illadelph life baby...215 Roots 4eva n**gaz
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phiferrn

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Mailk
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Kiss your hand ten times
Say your crushes name
Post this on two other videos
Check your hand
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Wow this Friday I cute boy kissed me in the check forever
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Jordon
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calihartsch8
Don't read!!! This really works!!! On the nearest possible Friday you will be kissed by the love of ur life. Post this on five other songs in 143 minutes. However, if u fail you will die in two days. After your done type f6 and your loves name will appear on ur screen.
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austinloynes 1 5
Wow
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I would like to play hid and seek:)
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Uptown funk you up is a hiphop song to me so how about you gise��
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What time of tittle song is that $$@@$$@@@$$@ @ $ $ @ @ $ $ @ @ $ $ @ @ $ $ @ @ $ $ @ @ $ $ % & % % % % & % & & & & & & & % % & % % % % % & % % % % % % & & & & - - - & & & & % & % % % & & % %
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����
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no silent treatment gotta voice my opinion on dis roots silent treatment my wi fi internet service in & out loosen signal like a gps trash talking like pretty boy Floyd mayweather
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They blew up with their 1994 hit single Proceed before they dropped their 1995 Album Do You Want More?!!!??!. . .
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Man.... Love The Roots from 1993 to now!!!
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rapheal saadiq on dis chorus mayne hold up 1% of tony toni tone the roots done dat it's a phat track
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You guys need to kill all that hocus polkus magic and grow the fU#K up!!!
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Could easily be a top 10 hip hop all-time classic album!!!! Definitely the best live album/CD in hip hop.
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Questlove slays the drums! Cool pocket!
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neejiah
If only real love could exist in such hard times happy belated to Miss Baduh
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jmbaggs67
Say iPhone 5 times
Pick a color
Post this on 5 songs
Look under your pillow
Report as inappropriate
Say ur name 15 times then say ur crushes 3times and he or she will KISS U ON FRI
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Love this group...ever y t h i n live and up front.....No doubt black thought is a top MC
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Nice song
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....,,,,,,,t h i s . M. Mmmmmmmmmmmm m m m m m m m m . Is. Good
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Yo the best crew out ,uh that's music you hear behind them,
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lasangredelj a g u a r 1 9
Nice song
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I <3 then in Jimmy Fallon! Quest Love!!!!
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stawarskiina z
Booooooooooo o o o o
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dltn_cwert
I like it too.
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mmarrero34
Lick your hand,say your crushes on celebrity's and look under your pillow
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Violet
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You will be missed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life.
Say ur name 10 times. Say ur mom's name 5 times. Say ur crushes 3 times. Paste this on 4 other songs. If u read this but don't paste it then u will have very bad luck
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I've always enjoyed THE ROOTS !
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Kiss your hand say your crushes name and a date and your crush will ask you out
Report as inappropriate
1.kiss your hand 5 times
2.post this two times
3.look under your pillow
Show more

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