I haven’t written for a while because I have been thinking of ways to revamp this site from an mp3 blog to strictly a writing blog. To that end I will be writing feature stories about bands that I think are not only making waves in the music industry but in humanity as well. There are tons of bands that are great in music, but do nothing with their status to give to others and advance worthwhile causes instead of lining their own pocket books (I’m talking to you Billy Corgan). So the first in this series is the Roots.
The Roots are a hip/hop band out of Philadelphia. but calling them simply a hip/hop band is doing them a disservice. They are truly an amazing conglomeration of musicians & human beings in general. They are one of the few hip/hop bands that plays their own instruments & many of the interchangeable members have actually left to pursue ventures in Jazz (The Josh Abrams Quartet) & become great producers (Scott Storch). While much of hip/hop speaks of violence and the belittling of women the Roots music speaks of love togetherness. They are active members of PETA and vegetarians. ?uestlove is one of the best drummers of his generation. He has been guest drummer on the Dave Chappelle Show & Late Night with Conan O’Brien when Max Weinberg is on tour with Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band.
The musicianship of the Roots is amazing. They incorporate a Tuba player into the mix for Christ’s sake. They do what most hip/hop bands can’t do, say that they are really musicians. They write their own music, they have fantastic lyrics, melodies & while they may not go platinum they have a loyal following since their beginning in 1987 in Philly. Along with their work with PETA they have performed on the children’s show, Yo Gabba Gabba, extolling the virtues of one’s family. They don’t fill their music with ridiculous slang or the divisive language that litters much of hip/hop today. This is truly the 21st century’s version of Sly & the Family Stone. They talk so much of love & peace that it brings out the inner hippie in me. They are not some clean cut group that doesn’t speak of the struggles of inner city living but they are not full of hatred or anger & it’s truly refreshing.
Recently, the Roots, ?uestlove in particular, have hinted at a retirement from touring & this is only becoming more evident with their new contract signing as the House band for the Jimmy Fallon show next year when he takes over for Conan O’Brien (who is taking over Jay Leno’s spot). Check out some of their stuff they are really a phenomenal band that is so unselfish with their gifts.