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The Roots

Rap and Hip-Hop

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About The Roots

The hip-hop group Roots were formed in Philadelphia in 1989, by MC Black Thought and drummer-cum-DJ Questlove. To begin with they performed with Questlove on drums while Black Thought rapped because they could not afford the DJ equipment used by most hip hop groups. Over time having instruments on their albums and in live performances became the group's signature.

The group's major label debut Do You Want More?!!!??! was released in 1995, followed by Illadelph Halflife in 1996. It was the group's third album, Things Fall Apart, however that brought them to a wider audience's attention, with breakthrough single You Got Me (featuring Erykah Badu) winning them a Grammy Award, and the album winning critical acclaim as part of a new breed of conscious hip hop.

The Roots Come Alive followed in late 1999, and Phrenology in 2002. In 2004, the band created their own production company and record label – Okayplayer, and released the album The Tipping Point in 2004.

In 2010 they released two albums: How I Got Over and Wake Up!, on which they collaborated with John Legend.  A duet album with Elvis Costello called Wise Up Ghost came out in 2013. The Roots' latest studio album is 2017's End Game.

The Roots joined the ranks of US late-night talk show bands in 2009 when the became Jimmy Fallon's house band on TV's The Late Show and then followed him to The Tonight Show in 2014, where they currently perform.

Last updated: August, 2017