The Roots

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Bios: The Roots, Rahzel, ?uestlove & Scott Storch
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Buy: The Roots, ?uestlove, Rahzel, Malik B., Scott Storch, Ben Kenney, Incubus, Scratch, Dice Raw & Josh Abrams
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Members
(Originally: The Square Roots)
Black Thought (Born Tariq Luqmaan Trotter, October 3, 1972 in Philadelphia, PA)
?uestlove (Born Ahmir Khalib Thompson in January 20, 1971 in Philadelphia, PA)
Kamal (Replaced Stott Storch in 1995) (Born Kamal Gray)
F. Knuckles (A.K.A. Frankie Knuckles & Knuckles) (Born Frank Walker)
Captain Kirk (Replaced Ben Kenney in 2003) (Born Kirk Douglas)
Owen Biddle (Replaced Hub)
Tuba Gooding Jr. (Born Damon Bryson)

Former Members:
Malik B. (A.K.A. Malik Blunt) (Left in 1999) (Born Malik Abdul Basit-Smart)
Rahzel (Member: 1995 - 1999) (Born Rahzel M. Brown)
Scott Storch (Born Scott Spencer Storch, December 16, 1973 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Ben Kenney (Joined Incubus)
Scratch (Member: 1998 - 2003) (Born Kyle Jones)
Dice Raw (Born Karlos Jenkins)
Hub (Member: 1992 - 2007) (Born Leon Hubbard)
Kenyatta "Kid Crumbs" Warren (Organix only)
Josh "The Rubberband" Abrams

See Also: John Legend

The Roots

Albums
The Roots - Illadelph Halflife
The Roots - The Legendary
The Roots - The Tipping Point
The Roots - Game Theory
The Roots - How I Got Over
John Legend & The Roots - Wake Up!
The Roots - Undun
?uestlove Presents Babies Makin' Babies 2: Misery Strikes Back......No More Babies
Scratch - Loss 4 Wordz

Singles
John Legend & The Roots - Wake Up Everybody (Single)

Also Featured On...
Erykah Badu - Badu
Bait
The Beatnuts - Milk Me (Rahzel)
The Best Man
Big Punisher - Capital Punishment (Black Thought)
Big Pun - The Legacy: The Best Of Big Pun (Black Thought)
Boot Camp Clik - The Chosen Few (Scratch)
Brown Sugar
Common - One Day It'll All Make Sense (Black Thought)
Common - Like Water For Chocolate (Black Thought & Rahzel)
Common - Communication
Common - Uncommon Classics
Dilated Peoples - Expansion Team (Black Thought)
Disses & Hot Shit Cornerstore Mixtape Vol. 3
DJ Hurricane - Don't Sleep
Down To Earth
Drop The Beat (Rahzel)
Game - Purp & Patrón: The Hangover (Black Thought)
Ghostface Killah - Apollo Kids (Black Thought)
Guru - Jazzmatazz III: Streetsoul
High School High
Hip-Hop Docktrine: The Official Boondocks Mixtape
In Tha Beginning...There Was Rap
Talib Kweli - Quality (Black Thought)
Talib Kweli - The Beautiful Mix CD (Black Thought)
Talib Kweli & Z-Trip - Attack The Block (Black Thought)
Bob Marley - Chant Down Babylon
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley - Welcome To Jamrock (Black Thought)
Men In Black
Nas - Nasir Jones: Carry The Cross Mixtape (?uestlove)
Ol' Dirty Bastard - Osirus: The Official Mixtape (Rahzel)
The Pharcyde - Plain Rap (Black Thought)
Pharoahe Monch - Where Is Monch? (Black Thought)
Pharoahe Monch - Y'all Know The Name (Black Thought)
Raekwon - Shaolin Vs Wu-Tang (Black Thought)
Ride
Pete Rock - Soul Survivor (Black Thought)
Mark Ronson - Here Comes The Fuzz (?uestlove)
Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told (Black Thought)
Jill Scott - Who Is Jill Scott?: Words And Sounds Vol. 1
Skillz - The Million Dollar Backpack (Black Thought)
Soundbombing III
Strong Arm Steady - Deep Hearted (Black Thought)
Sway & King Tech Featuring DJ Revolution - This Or That (Black Thought)
Thug Radio Mixtape 14: Ridin' (Black Thought)
Wale - The Mixtape About Nothing
The Wood

Bio From AllMusic.Com
Though popular success has largely eluded the Roots, the Philadelphia group showed the way for live rap, building on Stetsasonic's "hip-hop band" philosophy of the mid-'80s by focusing on live instrumentation at their concerts and in the studio. Though their album works have been inconsistent affairs, more intent on building grooves than pushing songs, the Roots' live shows are among the best in the business.

The Roots' focus on live music began back in 1987 when rapper Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and drummer ?uestlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson) became friends at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. Since the duo had no money for the DJ essentials — two turntables and a microphone, plus a mixer and plenty of vinyl — they recreated classic hip-hop tracks with ?uestlove's drum kit backing Black Thought's rhymes. Playing around school, on the sidewalk, and later at talent shows, the pair began to earn money and hooked up with bassist Hub (Leon Hubbard) and rapper Malik B. Moving from the street to local clubs, the Roots became a highly tipped underground act around Philadelphia and New York. When the group was invited to represent stateside hip-hop at a concert in Germany, they recorded an album to sell at shows; the result, Organix, was released in 1993 on Remedy Records. With a music-industry buzz surrounding their activities, the Roots entertained offers from several labels before signing with DGC that same year.

The Roots' first major-label album, Do You Want More?!!!??!, was released in January 1995; forsaking usual hip-hop protocol, the album was produced without any samples or previously recorded material. It peaked just outside the Top 100, but was mostly ignored by fans of hip-hop. Instead, Do You Want More?!!!??! made more tracks in alternative circles, partly due to the Roots playing the second stage at Lollapalooza that summer. The band also journeyed to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Two of the guests on the album who had toured around with the band, human beatbox Rahzel the Godfather of Noyze — previously a performer with Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J — and Scott Storch (later Kamal) became permanent members of the group.

Early in 1996, the Roots released Clones, the trailer single for their second album. It hit the rap Top Five, and created a good buzz for the album. The following September, Illadelph Halflife appeared and made number 21 on the album charts. Much like its predecessor, though, the Roots' second LP was a difficult listen. It made several very small concessions to mainstream rap — the band sampled material which they had recorded earlier at jam sessions — but failed to make a hit of their unique sound. The Roots' third album, 1999's Things Fall Apart, was easily their biggest critical and commercial success; The Roots Come Alive followed later that year. The long awaited Phrenology was released in late November 2002 admist rumors of the Roots losing interest in their label arrangements with MCA. In 2004 the band remedied the situation by creating the Okayplayer company. Named after their website, Okayplayer included a record label and a production/promotion company. The same year the band held a series of jam sessions to give their next album a looser feel. The results were edited down to ten tracks and released as The Tipping Point in July of 2004. A 2004 concert from Manhattan's Webster Hall with special guests like Mobb Deep Young Gunz, and Jean Grae was released in early 2005 as The Roots Presents: A Sonic Event in both CD and DVD formats. Two volumes of the rarities-collecting Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Roots appeared at the end of the year. A deal with Def Jam fostered three riveting, often grim sets: Game Theory (2006), Rising Down (2008), and How I Got Over (2010). Through 2009 and 2010, the Roots expanded their reach as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. They also recorded a 2010-issued album with John Legend, Wake Up!, which featured covers of socially relevant songs like Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "Wake Up Everybody" and Donny Hathaway's "Little Ghetto Boy." - John Bush

Rahzel's Bio From AllMusic.Com
Probably best known in the semi-mainstream world as a member of the Roots, Rahzel is an MC that specializes in the "fifth element" of hip-hop culture — beatboxing (which comes after graffiti spraying, DJing, MCing, and breakdancing). He actively discourages classification of his sound, attempting to remain on the eclectic edge of the commercial music. According to the artist, his influences include Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh, Buffy of the Fat Boys, Bobby McFerrin, and Al Jarreau. His goal is to gain respect for beatboxing as a true art form on its own merits. Growing up, Rahzel looked up to his cousin Rahim of the Furious Five, and went to Grandmaster Flash's shows regularly. He later became a roadie for the Ultramagnetic MCs. Rahzel has in fact mastered the art of beatboxing, able to recreate full songs, with accompaniment by himself without instrumentation, able to sing a chorus and provide a backing beat simultaneously, able to invoke impressions of singers and rappers on a whim. Any fan of hip-hop should definitely invest in his Make the Music 2000 album. - Adam Greenberg

?uestlove's Bio From AllMusic.Com
Drummer for the original all-live, all-the-time hip-hop band the Roots, ?uestlove was also arranging and producing Roots tracks from their 1993 recording debut. He also appeared on or produced for Common, Dilated Peoples, and Nikka Costa, though his first record under his own name, Babies Makin' Babies, was a mixtape of smooth soul instead of his own productions. He put together a sequel in 2006. - John Bush

Scott Storch's Bio From AllMusic.Com
Scott Storch's knack for laying down dazzling keyboard lines led to a burgeoning career as a musically blessed producer by the early 2000s after aligning himself with production duties for high-profile rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes. Long before Storch was crafting entire tracks for superstar rappers, he was a humble keyboardist. He contributed to mostly forgotten Philadelphia-area efforts such as Schoolly D's Welcome To America (1994) and G. Love & Special Sauce's self-titled debut (1994), yet his humble contributions to a then low-profile, indie-label debut album by another Philadelpha act ended up being his path to success. This particular album happened to be the Roots' Organix (1993), an album that led to a major label deal for the Roots, solidifying Storch's role as keyboardist for the group. Yet as the years passed and his reputation grew as the talented keyboardist in America's premier live hip-hop "band," Storch began extending his reach, taking on production opportunities. His big break came when his keyboard riff laced the mammoth lead single to Dr. Dre's comeback album, "Still D.R.E." Working alongside Dre obviously had its pluses, and soon Storch found himself co-producing the lead single to Xzibit's Restless album, "X," and getting the opportunity to produce three tracks for Snoop Dogg's Tha Last Meal. In subsequent years he became one of the rap industry's most reliable hitmakers, up there with the Neptunes, Kanye West, and Lil Jon among the industry's most in-demand hired hands. Some of his best-known productions include Terror Squad's "Lean Back," Mario's "Let Me Love You," 50 Cent's "Candy Shop," and Beyoncé's "Naughty Girl." - Jason Birchmeier

Official Sites: The Roots, MySpace, Facebook, Vevo, Fuckin' Twitter, ?uestlove's MySpace, ?uestlove's Facebook, ?uestlove's Fuckin' Twitter, Black Thought's MySpace, Kamal's MySpace, Captain Kirk's MySpace, Owen Biddle's MySpace, Dice Raw's MySpace, Dice Raw's Facebook, Dice Raw's Tumblr, Dice Raw's Fuckin' Twitter, Rahzel's MySpace, Rahzel's Facebook, Scott Storch's MySpace, Scott Storch's Facebook, Ben Kenney, Ben Kenney's MySpace, Ben Kenney's Facebook, Ben Kenney's Fuckin' Twitter & Scratch's MySpace

The Roots

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