The Roots, for the uninitiated, is a live hip hop band that has been challenging the status quo of Hip Hop for more than 25 years. You may know them from their most recent gig as Jimmy Fallon’s house band on his show and the new Tonight Show.
With skits like these, it’s easy to see The Roots are more than just a backing band, they’re an intricate part of the show. Likewise, they are more than a Hip Hop act, they have been an intricate part of the Hip Hop landscape for decades. Sadly, if you are using wikipedia to see if I’m right, you will miss out on some of their oldest, amazing work on Do You Want More and Illadephia Half-life .
This week, The Roots release their 17th album, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. Once again, they ask us to reconsider what Hip Hop is, and can be. The album is by turns deeply emotional, unexpected, and solid head-nod-inducing. Well worth a listen. Check out their live performance of the operatic …And then You Shoot Your Cousin, from their NYC Public Theater performance below.