When you think of Philadelphia, a few things come to mind: Cheesestakes, the Philadelphia 76ers and The Roots.
Fusing their love for hip-hop and jazz, The Roots developed a sound all their own and they’re bringing it back to this year’s ESSENCE Festival. To celebrate their return, here are five fun facts you didn’t know about the legendary Roots crew from Philly.
1-Not only are The Roots a great band of musicians, they also nurture other great musicians. Hip-hop producer Scott Storch, who’s worked with Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake and more, got his start in 1991 by being a keyboardist for the band.
2-Before settling on the name The Roots, the group went through a series of name changes, which included “Radio Activity” “Black to The Future” and “Square Roots”
3-While in high school, Questlove befriened R&B singer Amel Larrieux. During an interview, Larrieux discussed on going to prom with the drummer after his original date called and canceled the night before.
4-Questlove and Black Thought also have a great ear for talent. The band leaders spoke about their early jam session that commenced inside the drummer’s house, which included artists such as Jill Scott, John Legend, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and even 11-year-old Jazmine Sullivan.
5-Questlove gets his musical ability from his father, who was an established doo-wop singer signed to Chess records. As the story goes, one of Questlove’s dad’s drummers abruptly quit and never took his equipment with him. Questlove inherited the drum set as a Christmas present, which kept him off the street and fuled his career.
If you’re as a big a Roots fan as we are, there is still time left to buy tickets to see them live down in New Orleans. Purchase your tickets now!