Watch Every BET Awards 2016 Performance
Sunday night's BET Awards was one of the show's best iterations in years. Performers included Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Usher, Young Thug, Future, Bryson Tiller, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, French Montana, & Anderson. Paak -- and that doesn't even include any of the Prince tributes, which were bountiful and glorious. Sadly, the scheduled D'Angelo Prince tribute never came to pass. Otherwise, the show was nearly flawless.
The NYC Edition Of Roots Picnic Includes Wu-Tang Clan, D'Angelo, Kevin Gates & More
Among the many festivals that went down this past weekend (although some experienced a few setbacks due to the weather), The Roots' annual Roots Picnic took place in Philedelphia.
The Roots Pull Out Of David Bowie Tribute Concert In NYC
Starting tonight, the famed NYC musical institution Carnegie Hall will play host to the first of two tribute concerts in honor of the late David Bowie. The second show will take place tomorrow night at Radio City Music Hall. The names on the bill include the Pixies, Laurie Anderson, Mumford & Sons, and many more. The Roots were also scheduled to take part in the event, but yesterday, drummer Questlove announced that his band would be pulling out due to "Bitchassness," alluding to an apparent dispute over shared musical equipment.
Lee Andrews, R&B Singer & Father Of Questlove, Has Passed Away
Our hearts go out to longtime drummer of The Roots and all-around great dude Questlove, whose father Lee Andrews passed away yesterday. He was 79. Lee Andrews was the frontman for the Philadelphia-based R&B group Lee Andrews & the Hearts, a classic doo-wop group that charted on the Billboard charts all the way back in the 1950s.
Classic Rotation: J Dilla's "Donuts"
Depending on how cool your social media feeds are, you probably saw some posts last week celebrating the legacy of the legendary producer J Dilla. February was declared "Dilla Month" by Stones Throw Records to commemorate the loss of James "J Dilla" Yancey, who died of a rare blood disease on February 10, 2006. His death came just days after his birthday as well the release of Donuts, arguably the greatest instrumental hip-hop album ever.
Usher & Future To Headline Annual Roots Picnic 2016
The Roots Picnic happens every June, and has continued to grow in profile and popularity each year. This year is no different, as we’ve got some truly impressive artists playing the 2016 iteration.
The Roots Ex-Bassist Reportedly Suing Over Unpaid Royalties
You may remember Leonard “Hub” Hubbard as the dude in The Roots holding down the groove in the back, chew stick dangling from his mouth, in the classic film Dave Chappelle's Block Party. Hub played bass in The Roots from 1992 until 2007, when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a common form of blood cancer. According to TMZ, Hubbard has filed a lawsuit against Qustlove, Black Thought, and the band's current manager for unpaid royalties.
Classic Rotation: The Roots' "Do You Want More?!!!??!"
In the 1990s, jazz-influenced rap was much more abundant than it is today. A Tribe Called Quest were sampling the classics, Gang Starr were churning out albums that did the same, and the likes of De La Soul and Digable Planets were also melting the music of yesteryear with the sound of the future. The jazz-rap sound was taken to the next level, however, when a couple Philadelphia cats with a big dream started taking music seriously.
Marvel Remixes Album Covers From Nas, The Roots, & Pete Rock & CL Smooth
In a stroke of branded content genius, Marvel is planning to release 50 reimaginations of classic rap album covers as comic book covers featuring characters from the Marvel universe.
10 Collaborations We Need
Advancements of the infinite tool that is the Internet have made collaborating among musicians exponentially easier. Gone are the days where it was nearly impossible to create music without musicians being in the same studio at the same time. Now artists and producers are able to collaborate despite being in different parts of the country, or even across the globe. One can simply email over a verse or an instrumental that can be worked with, and tweaked, into a musical masterpiece. This makes any collaboration possible and has resulted in some incredible creations recently.
10 Artists Who Might Have Influenced "Surf"
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's Surf is a diverse collection of sounds ranging from downtempo jazz to upbeat, theatrical hip hop. The crew is undoubtably influenced by tons of different artists, but who are they? First and foremost, you can tell that the SOX was influenced by the cast of features that helped them make the album. J. Cole's consciousness, Erykah Badu's soulfulness, Migos' modern swagger, and Busta Rhymes' spitfire are all present on the album, and not just when they themselves are unleashing it.
The Roots To Be Inducted Into The Philadelphia Music Walk Of Fame
The Roots announced at their 8th annual Roots Picnic this weekend that they will be inducted into the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame in a ceremony on October 26th. Congrats to The Legendary Roots Crew, it's about damn time. Other inductees to the Walk of Fame include Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson, veteran glam band Cinderella, disco group The Tramps, Broadway performer Andrea McArdle, and legendary local radio personality Harvey Holiday. The celebration will be held at the brand new Fillmore Philly venue in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia.
"The Mixtape About Nothing" Vs. "More About Nothing" Vs. "The Album About Nothing"
Wale's Projects About Nothing demonstrated his love for Seinfeld mixed in with a healthy dose of alternative hip hop. The Mixtape About Nothing kicked off the love affair with 19 tracks, mostly containing Best Kept Secret production, but the tape also had some music from The Roots, J Dilla, Lil Wayne, and The Budos Band for healthy measure.
Rap Industry Recap: March
Business moves quick, and that's no exception for the rap world. From the hottest new signings, to movie deals, to album pushbacks, the industry is constantly in motion. It can be hard to keep up with at times, so we've consolidated all of the must-hear information from the past month, all in one place. Be on the look out for this monthly recap of news-worthy items you may have missed to stay afloat with the industry.
10 Rappers We Want To See Live With The Roots
The Roots have collaborated with nearly everyone in hip hop. As the rap scene's resident band, they've made music with everyone from Jay Z and Kanye to Rae Sremmurd and Miley Cyrus. There's literally nobody they can't pair up with, and their residency on Jimmy Fallon's talk shows has proven that.
#TBT: The Roots
The Roots are the greatest hip hop band of all time, hands down. From the streets of Philadelphia to late night TV, they have conquered each and every stage they've graced over their twenty-eighty year career. Questlove is a cultural icon, an authority on hip hop, accomplished author, a real-deal DJ, and elite drummer. Black Thought is a great MC, occasional actor, lethal feature, and globetrotting hip hop representative. The Roots are what you should show your grandmother, or grand-daughter, if they ask, "What is hip hop music?"
The Roots Picnic 2015 Announces Line-Up
The Roots will be putting on their 8th annual Roots Picnic this coming summer in Philadelphia. They've tapped a dope line-up for this year, with a mix of rap and r'n'b, mainstream and indie, albeit, mostly indie. The Roots Picnic headliners will be The Roots and The Weeknd. In addition, you'll be able to catch A$AP Rocky, Phantogram, Erykah Badu (backed by The Roots), Hudson Mohawke, DJ Mustard, Raury, Bishop Nehru, Marc E. Bassy, Rae Sremmurd and more.
Hip-Hop & R&B Albums You Should Give Your Family For Christmas
We want everyone to love hip-hop just as much as we do. That goes not only for all the brothers and sisters out there, but the grandmas, grandpas, mothers and fathers out there too! It might not be the easiest thing to pick out a record for every family member, especially when personal preference is clouding your perception (no, your gandma won't like 2 Chainz). But this culture is eclectic, and we know it. There are tons of R&B and hip-hop records out there, so there has to be one for everybody in your family.
#TBT: J. Dilla
James Yancey accomplished more with his 32 years on this planet than most people could do with 5 lifetimes. He cultivated a sound that has influenced the finest producers of today. Enough can't be said about this man's influence. Dudes like ?uestlove and Kanye West, who are amongst the most influential members of the hip-hop culture, damn-near worship the ground this dude walked on. From his days as a youth to the days of making beats while laid up in his hospital bed, J. Dilla did nothing but advance the culture.
Manager Of The Roots Rich Nichols Reportedly Passes Away [Update: The Roots Release Official Statement]
According to several artists via Twitter, The Roots' manager Rich Nichols has passed away, although the details remain muddled. Artists like Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, Phonte and Questlove each expressed their condolences and mourned the loss of their friend through social media platforms. Questlove shared an old text message with Nichols with the caption "Sharing Memories." However, others, including a Baltimore-based musician by the name of John Pinder, have stated that Nichols is still alive, although he is very ill and may be passing away soon.