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Watch The Roots rock out to the Action News theme at Welcome America

The Roots perform at Wawa Welcome America 2015
The Roots perform at Wawa Welcome America 2015

It was a night of many moments when The Roots played the Wawa Welcome America Festival last night. To name a few: Mayor Michael Nutter’s fierce mic drop after his performance of “Rapper’s Delight.” A surprise guest set from Cee Lo Green that included covers of Kool and the Gang and Al Green. Jeremy Ellis’ Philly-centric sampler megamix. Solid performances from Miguel and Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland.

Definitely the most talked-about moment, though, was when The Roots opened their set with their song “Game Theory,” reworked so it incorporated the iconic Action News theme “Move Closer To Your World” – a nod to 6 ABC, who was broadcasting the festivities. It’s incredible, and you can watch it below – along with Baby Flamehead’s straight-up cover of the song from the 1990s. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Roots and more at Welcome America Fest, Satellite Hearts at Tellus 360

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The Roots | Photo via Facebook.com/theroots

It’s July 4th and that can mean only one thing here in Philadelphia: The Roots will be throwing down an epic celebration on the Parkway. As previously announced, this year’s Wawa Welcome America line-up features R&B singer Miguel, country music star Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland), Non-COMM alum Zella Day, pop duo MKTO and local acoustic soul singer Twin Ghost. There will also be activities on the Parkway throughout the day, along with special events around the city. Details can be found here. Watch The Roots perform with Common, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Queen Latifah at the 2012 concert below.

Continue reading →

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Watch The Roots and Erykah Badu’s 20-minute hip-hop history lesson from the Roots Picnic

Erykah Badu performing at Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese
Erykah Badu performing at Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese

There were lots of standout performances at this year’s Roots Picnic, which took place at Festival Pier on May 30th. One in particular that is gaining buzz in various corners of the web is Erykah Badu and The Roots‘ 20-minute hip-hop medley. The two music powerhouses teamed up to create a tribute to Grandmaster Flash, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, and more, and included their individual songs in the mix as well. Watch the performance below, and read our recap of the Picnic here. Continue reading →

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Love of My Life: The 8th Annual Roots Picnic celebrates a generation of innovative music

The Roots | Photo by John Vettese
The Roots | Photo by John Vettese

Every year, the Roots Picnic inches closer to Philly musical utopia. The pre-summer day fest is curated by local hip-hop heroes The Roots, the self-proclaimed hardest working band in America. True to their own innovative and barrier-breaking approach, the lineup is always a unique, eclectic and interesting trip. The setting and its vibe has historically been a bit rockier, beset by exponentially swelling crowds and typically sweltering heat beating down on the minimally shaded asphalt of Festival Pier.

But the eighth annual installment of the Picnic yesterday, while not perfect, was a tremendously positive event, with major improvements in the layout and organization of the festival and a trimming of the musical fat (for the most part). Continue reading →

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Other than The Weeknd and A$AP Rocky, 5 Artists to Catch at The Roots Picnic this Weekend

 

Donn T | Photo via Facebook.com/pages/Donn-T/105596011218?fref=photo
Donn T | Photo via Facebook.com/pages/Donn-T/105596011218?fref=photo

The 8th annual Roots Picnic is headed to Festival Pier this Saturday, May 30. Major names are set to perform at the all-day festival (The Weeknd and Phantogram, anyone?), but the lesser known artists will undeniably rock Penn’s Landing just as hard. The Questlove-curated lineup includes longtime Philly favorites and emerging young artists. Here are five not to miss. Continue reading →

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The Roots (of course), Miguel and Jennifer Nettles playing Wawa Welcome America

The Roots | Photo via https://www.facebook.com/WawaWelcomeAmerica/posts/900391980002753
The Roots | Photo via https://www.facebook.com/WawaWelcomeAmerica/posts/900391980002753

Wawa Welcome America announced the first several artists playing the 2015 Philly 4th of July jam on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Once again, The Roots will be holding down the day’s events, along with R&B singer and songwriter Miguel and country music star Jennifer Nettles. Continue reading →

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Erykah Badu, Phantogram, The Weeknd and more to play Roots Picnic 2015

Erykah Badu | Photo via facebook.com/erykahbadu
Erykah Badu | Photo via facebook.com/erykahbadu

The eighth annual Roots Picnic will bring its eclectic, Questlove-curated lineup to the Festival Pier on Saturday, May 30th, and the lineup is, as usual, pretty damn exciting. In addition to a set from hometown heroes The Roots themselves, this year’s “old school guest” will be Erykah Badu – the progressive soul singer who notably sang the hook on The Roots’ 1999 hit “You Got Me” (and who The Roots earned their first Grammy with in 1998, for production on her album Baduizm). Continue reading →

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Dice Raw’s hip-hop musical The Last Jimmy will show at the Prince Theater next month

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

After the death of the Prince Theater’s board chairman and chief fundraiser, Herb Lotman, it seemed that the theater would be closing its doors for good. But next month, the Prince will be showcasing a new hip-hop musical, “THE LAST JIMMY!”

A stage performance created by local playwright Phillip Brown in collaboration rapper and Roots affiliate Dice Raw, it is based in part on Dice’s socially-charged Jimmy’s Back mixtape, which is a call-to-arms against mass incarceration. In turn, the mixtape and musical were inspired by Dr. Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, a study of race and the American prison system.  Continue reading →