The Legendary Roots Crew
The Roots, a.k.a. The Legendary Roots Crew, are an influential, Grammy Award-winning American band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, famed for a heavily jazzy sound and live instrumentation. They made their debut in 1993 and have gone on to collaborate with artists from a range of genres, such as Roy Ayers and Cody Chesnutt. Inspired by Stetsasonic, The Roots themselves have garnered critical acclaim and influenced later beat and R&B acts.
Badu's lyrics are highly personal philosophies which throw emotional challenges in the face of the listener. She weaves unusual musical influences together creating a rich texture of sound. In many instances she references old school rappers and songs in her songs, adding a general Hip hop sensibility to her music.
The band tours extensively, and their live sets are frequently hailed as the best in the genre. Recently, the band played a concert in NYC's Radio City Music Hall with Common, Nas, Talib Kweli and Big Daddy Kane. They also backed Jay-Z a third time, for his Reasonable Doubt Concert, a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the release of his first album.
The Roots have been featured in three movies: Dave Chappelle's Block Party; both performing album songs and playing as a backing band for other artists, Spike Lee's Bamboozled, and Marc Levin's Brooklyn Babylon, in which Black Thought plays the protagonist, Solomon, and former band member Rahzel narrates. Black Thought and ?uestlove were both featured in the movie "Brown Sugar," Black Thought also made an appearance in the film "Love Rome" as Tariq Trotter, and ?uestlove currently appears in the 2008 documentary movie about TBC Brass Band called From the Mouthpiece on Back, which lists The Roots as one of the executive producers of the movie.
The band guest performed on August 25 and August 26 with the Dave Matthews Band during their 2007 summer tour. Members of The Roots played in various forms as well as a whole band on DMB's back to back concerts at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin.
The group made an appearance on The Colbert Report on April 15, 2008 when Stephen Colbert spent a week in Philadelphia prior to the 2008 Pennsylvania Democratic primary. During the appearance, they performed the intro song to the show, and closed the episode with a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.