The Roots represents a genre that has, in recent decades, become one of most dominant genres in the American music scene. Its influence is felt outside its own borders and into many other forms of popular music. Don't miss out on getting The Roots tickets for an upcoming tour date.
The Roots was formed in 1987 when rapper Black Thought and drummer ?uestlove met at their Philadelphia high school. After gaining initial popularity playing on the streets and in school talent shows, the group was eventually invited to perform in local clubs, at the same time adding bassist Hub and rapper Malik B. to the band. With this lineup, The Roots became popular in the underground scene. The band recorded its first album, Organix, prior to going on a concert in Germany in 1993. The album was enough of a hit to catch the notice of several record labels; the band signed with DGC Records and headed back to the states to record their second album.
The Roots released Do You Want More?!!!??! in January 1995. Unlike many hip-hop albums, DYWM was created without any samples or material previously recorded. The album failed to be a commercial success, but it did create waves with many alternative music fans. At this time, the band added Rahzel and Kamal to its lineup. To help promote their next album, The Roots released the single "Clones," which hit the top five on the singles charts. When released in September 1996, Illadelph Halflife was the band's first album to appear in the Top 40, peaking at #21 on the Billboard 200. It spawned two singles, "Concerto of the Desperado" and "What They Do," the latter of which peaked at #34. Although it had greater success than DYWM, this album too suffered from its lack of mainstream hip-hop appeal.
The Roots finally found mainstream success with the February 1999 release of Things Fall Apart. The album peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200, reached gold status in sales and spawned two singles. The album also marked the group's first Grammy Award: Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "You Got Me." The band's next album, the long-delayed Phrenology, was released in August 2002. It did not chart as high (#28) but still sold enough albums to be certified gold and was nominated for a Best Album Grammy. During the time it was recorded, The Roots had several membership changes, including the departure of long-time member Malik B. In July 2004, the band released their sixth album, The Tipping Point, which matched Things Fall Apart's #4 peak on the Billboard chart.
The latest two albums by The Roots have seen a darker, more political tone to them. Game Theory, released in August 2006, peaked at #9 and samples several tracks from other artists, including Radiohead's "You and Whose Army" and The Jackson 5's "All I Do Is Think Of You." The band's latest album is Rising Down, which continues the strong political themes of the previous album. It peaked at #5 when released in April 2008. The Roots have worked with many well known artists, including Jay-Z, Mos Def, Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump and Nelly Furtado, among others.