Schedule

Saturday, July 27

10:00 pm – 11:30 pm

ATB Main Stage

Concert

The Roots

Philadelphia, PA

Hip-hop has always been a genre of evolving styles, flows and beats, constantly morphing and changing, capturing sounds, subjects and rhymes lifted from one scene to another, and back again. When The Roots started out, they took a slight deviation from the progressing hip-hop tree by including live drums, then adding funky live bass and keyboards. They occupied a unique space but were still finding their way. After two albums of jazz-influenced tracks that flirted with the nu-cool movement, they had gained a devoted audience, with slots at prestigious jazz festivals while also thriving in the hipster scene. The band was also filling out its membership, with Questlove and Black Thought being the driving force – and then Illadelph Halflife dropped. That slow move up the evolutionary ladder became a huge leap. Things exploded. It was not just two steps ahead, they were now entirely on their own line, their own genus. Its own genius. Fast forward, and the evolution continued. The release of the masterpiece Things Fall Apart was, once again, a whole new thing. It exploded expectations and genres. The jazz influence was meshed with a harder edge. The lyrics were spat, not smooth. The samples and scratching were now integrated seamlessly. The bass is both funky and driving, and the beats alternating from explosive to subtle as needed. The collaborations on the album stood as a testament to the respect for the band, with well-known and emerging (often now seminal) artists from Detroit to the West Coast to NYC making appearances. The Roots became transcendent, unafraid to hit issues straight on and then make a hard turn to tracks accessible to the casual listener, invitations to dive into their catalogue. The timelessness of their songs, the fearlessness to go head-first into the new, The Roots remained – and still remain – unyielding and unique, standing as a band that re-shaped an entire genre.

— Derek McEwen

Upcoming shows

Saturday, July 27

10:00 pm – 11:30 pm

ATB Main Stage

Concert