The Roots are the influential and critically acclaimed Philadelphia-based band — described by Rolling Stone as “one of the greatest live acts in the world” and by the Boston Globe as the “greatest hip-hop band in the land”. The band has paved the way for live instrumental rap and has won numerous awards for its jazz-influenced, eclectic approach to hip-hop, including two Grammy’s and a 2007 NAACP Image Award.
The hip hop/neo soul band formed in 1987 by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Malik B., Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, and Josh Abrams were added to the band, originally called The Square Roots.
Organix was the band’s first album, released and sold independently. It was released in 1993. It generated enough industry buzz for offers from music labels, and the band later signed to DGC. This album is how it all began!
Since their debut album, the band has released 10 studio albums, two EPs, two collaboration albums and has collaborated with a wide range of artists from different genres. The Roots have hosted the highly anticipated Jam Session, which takes place each year the evening before the Grammys. With the premiere of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on March 2, 2009, The Roots joined host Jimmy Fallon as one of the coolest house bands in late night television history. The Roots’ work has been repeatedly met with critical acclaim.
“The Roots’ low-profile debut set out many of the themes they would employ over the course of their successful career. An intro, ‘The Roots Is Comin’,’ is barely over a minute long, yet long enough to exemplify the band’s funky bassline (here played by Leonard Hubbard), their dreamy and emotional organ chords (thanks to Scott Storch), and their ferociously swift yet clear rhymes from the group’s focal MC Black Thought…This album should be a part of any Roots fan’s collection… because it allows you to see where they came from and how fruitful of a journey it’s been.” – Qa’id Jacobs, allmusic.com