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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hip-Hop needs a live band other than The Roots

I have long been a fan of The Roots. Illadelph Halflife is a classic album from beginning to end and the Roots have been very innovative in what they do musically and their ability to achieve a balance with the live music and rapping. The last concert I attended in fact was to see The Roots and The Pharcyde, so I say this not to diss or knock hip-hop's official tour band straight from Philly, but to ensure we have some consisten live music for future generations.

It's true the Roots have done every single important event in rap music for the past 15 years and they have toured incessantly to solidify both their reputation and their income, but even they have had to acknowledge the need to slow down and take it a little easy by signing on to have a steady gig with the Jimmy Fallon show. I mean at some point the crew needs to be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their incredible labor. With that said, live music with hip-hop acts is becoming more popular again in many circles. In fact it probably is the future of live music with the exception of the DC area where Go-Go is a staple. There just aren't many Mint Conditions anymore and there damn sure aren't any Earth, Wind, and Fires.



The Roots are important because they just aren't the guys who Jay-z calls when he is trying to show off. They are a group of people who make solid songs in their own right and thus have their own market outside of backing others. It also makes the shows they do with other big names even more of an event. They don't have to do shows with someone like Jay or Common, but when they do it is made more of an event. They aren't a part of the scenery but a set of people who bring their own skills, talents, and name recognition to the event, making it even more special.



Honestly, it's just something so special when Quest's fro comes from behind stage and you know it's about to go down. The concert feels more like an intimate jam session and that's why the next 'Roots' needs to establish themselves in their own right. These shows become a more bonding experience between the performers and the audience. The Roots have done something great in hip-hop by making the notion of live music more than just an oddity or special act. I can only hope they have and can inspire people to follow in their footsteps.

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