Visit this artist's website: http://www.myspace.com/theroots
THE ROOTS is as fluid and amorphous as the hip-hop culture that spawned it, ever-shifting and ever-changing. The influential and critically acclaimed Philadelphia-based septet has won numerous accolades for its jazz-influenced, eclectic approach to hip-hop, including two Grammys and a 2007 NAACP Image Award. Its audiences are as diverse as its music, playing everywhere from Lollapalooza to the Montreux Jazz Festival, from Lincoln Center to the Apollo Theater.
Innovators in rap and hip-hop, The Roots began focusing on live instrumentation in recordings and concerts in 1987, when rapper Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and drummer ?uestlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson) met at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. Forsaking the usual hip-hop protocol, The Roots produced its first major-label album, Do You Want More?!!!??! (1995), without any samples or previously recorded material, and made a name for itself by defying genres and conventions. The Roots has collaborated with a wide range of artists from different genres, including Roy Ayers and Cody Chesnutt, and continues to push the boundaries of hip-hop when, at a recent performance at The Apollo, The Roots crew made the bold move of performing the 1963 Bob Dylan classic “Masters of War” to a sold-out crowd of hip-hop lovers.
The Roots is known for its complex and politically aware lyrical content, ranging from violence and its consequences to the crime, poverty, guns, and drug culture plaguing its hometown of Philadelphia. ?uestlove once predicted that eight years of Republican rule in the U.S. would produce more creative and innovative hip-hop music, and he’s determined to make this come true at least for The Roots.
In the years since its debut album Organix, The Roots has become ubiquitous producers and collaborators, and have worked with some of hip-hop’s most illustrious practitioners such as guest MCs like Mos Def, Styles, Talib Kweli, Common, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. ?uestlove has collaborated outside the group with such artists as neo-soul singers Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, and is known for his production and drumming for a wide range of artists, including Christina Aguilera, Fiona Apple, Common, Zap Mama, Al Green, Bilal, Joshua Redman, and others.