Gather round tight as The Roots rock NPR Music’s Tiny Desk with the new song “It Ain’t Fair”

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The Roots at NPR Music’s Tiny Desk | via NPR Music

The Legendary Roots Crew played an epic Tiny Desk Concert in DC over the weekend, and the whole place was bouncing. Most artists fill their slot at NPR with two or three songs, but The Roots were jamming out to one song, twelve minutes, eight people crammed behind the desk brass band style.

The song is a new one called “It Ain’t Fair,” and featured fellow Philly native Bilal on vocals for a performance of enormous proportions. A true ballad, it began quietly, with the drums and the tuba taking reigns on the rhythm. Then, in full force, the rest of the brass joined in, and it was electric. Bilal has a voice reminiscent of Prince, and I drew the connection instantly. So soulful and jumpy, he truly stole the show when he walked in a few minutes into the song.

Everything about The Roots is just fun. Their joy while performing is so infectious, and I actually found myself smiling through this set and wishing I’d been there in person. As usual, Questlove on the drums took charge of the band and expertly conducted everyone into a perfect unity, and that in itself is just something. This band is made up of closeness, and it’s so obvious when watching them play together.

The Roots don’t have any Philly appearances in the near future — we’re about eight months away from Roots Picnic 2018 — but if you’re willing to make the trip, you can see The Roots in Boston on December 26th at House of Blues. Or every night on the television for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

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