When they first broke through in the early to mid-1990s, the Roots were championed as a Hip-Hop band with the chops of a jazz quartet, and for the better part of 30 years now, Questlove, Black Thought and Co. have carried the torch for Philadelphia Hip-Hop specifically and Philly music in general. The Roots’ discography is one of Hip-Hop’s most consistently acclaimed, with Black Thought a fixture atop almost any “Greatest MC” list of the past 20 years. Quest’s rep as a producer, and annual events like the Roots Family Picnic have made this beloved band one of contemporary music’s institutions. (Doesn’t hurt that they’ve been the house band on The Tonight Show and Late Night alongside Jimmy Fallon for a decade-plus, either.)
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