They’re the house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and the musical entertainment for Vegas Seven’s fourth anniversary party on March 14 at Brooklyn Bowl. Here’s what lies below the Roots’ surface:
- Last year Rolling Stone praised the group as “the greatest” live hip-hop band in their list of New Immortals.
- The band was born in 1987 when MC Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and bandleader/drummer Questlove (Amir Thompson) met at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts.
- Think those stage names are creative? Other members include Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr.” Bryson and “Captain” Kirk Douglas.
- If you want to get official, you should refer to them collectively as “the Legendary Roots Crew.” It’s how Jimmy Fallon introduces them nightly.
- Their first album, Organix, was released in 1993 on the indie label Remedy Records. The next will be a concept album titled And Then You Shoot Your Cousin on Def Jam. No release date has been set, but Black Thought told XXL, “Hopefully sometime this spring.”
- Their last release was 2013’s Wise Up Ghost, a collaborative album with Elvis Costello—who will play with the Roots at Brooklyn Bowl on March 15-16.
- Songs from the band’s 10 studio albums (and countless freestyles from five years on late-night TV) register in the thousands, but the one you’ll recognize at first riff is “The Seed 2.0” featuring Cody Chestnutt, from 2002’s Phrenology.
- Questlove is the most visible man of the group—and not just for his rockin’ crop of hair. He served as musical director for Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central, founded hip-hop culture site OkayPlayer.com, authored the memoir Mo’ Meta Blues in 2013, holds a weekly Bowl Train residency at Brooklyn Bowl’s New York location and spins here regularly at Hakkasan’s Ling Ling Club.
Brooklyn Bowl at the Linq, 10:30 p.m. March 14, and 9 p.m. March 15-16 with Elvis Costello, $35 and up, 862-2695, Vegas.BrooklynBowl.com.