The Roots.

POTUS Barack Obama Slow Jams The News w/ Jimmy Fallon + The Roots–For The Last Time?

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POTUS Barack Obama Slow Jams The News w/ Jimmy Fallon + The Roots--For The Last Time!?!!

President Barack Obama dropped through the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to slow jams the news with The Roots…what we can only assume will be his last slow jam as a sitting president. Thought with 8 months still in the oval office we have a slim chance of slow jamming one more time before we privatize Obama, pressure was clearly intense on Barack Dubs and The Legendary to make this one for the ages. We won’t ruin all of the punchlines for you but suffice to say we got our Lemonade, we got our “Work” in, well-placed Steph Curry jokes, all the bases are covered. The real pay offs however, come with Fallon’s inability to say “slid in through the backdoor” with a straight face while the leader of the free world (the “commander in preach” if you will) is standing right behind him. Black Thought‘s break-up moment comes when Obama replies to a lyrical query about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with an interpolation of Treach from Naughty By Nature.

In short, right down to the cross-over, double-handed mic drop, it’s just about everything an Okayplayer could wish for in a final hard news slow jam from the man who is objectively, scientifically, the coolest President ever to take the oath of office. Let’s face it: we may have just peaked, America. Savor this moment. We’ll be looking back at it with either wistfulness or desperate sadness come November. But at least we can console ourselves by looking forward to more greatness in the very short term, as this segment is clearly just the beginning of a Fallon episode that is going to get even crazier, because Obama just walked back on set to the sound of The Roots playing Large Professor‘s “Lookin At The Front Door.” What a way to go out. Watch below…and hope retirement at least means Private Citizen Obama can just become a regular Fallon Tonight cast-member.

The post POTUS Barack Obama Slow Jams The News w/ Jimmy Fallon + The Roots–For The Last Time? appeared first on Okayplayer.

Roots Picnic NYC Pre-Sale Is Live!

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Black Thought + Questlove Announce 'The Roots Picnic' Coming To New York

In case you haven’t heard, Roots Picnic is taking the show up 95 to NYC’s Bryant Park this fall for a celebration of the city’s boundless splendor and musical lineage. The bill holds nothing back, with a very special inaugural evening (October 1st) planned, featuring the likes of D’Angelo and John Mayer, backed by the mighty Roots crew.

And if that wasn’t enough, the following evening (October 2nd) the fellas will be in tow while the likes of Wu-Tang, David Byrne an Nile Rodgers, respectively, pour down the hits, with Black Thought‘s live mixtape performance (featuring Styles P, Freddie Gibbs, Royce Da 5’9″ and J. Period) as well as sets from DJ Jazzy Jeff, Yuna, Bibi Bourelly and so many more making this the city’s premier festival experience (and intimate one at that.)

We know you’ve all been teeming with anticipation for these pre-sale tickets to go live, and so, it brings us much pleasure to announce that you can now officially grab your stubs without trying too hard to crack the code (though that certainly didn’t stop some of you.) Day passes run $99 with two-day bundles going for $179. Peep the line-up announcement from none other than Chris Rock below and hit the link in a hurry to cop your tickets using the code “BRYANT”. It’s only running until 10PM tonight! All tickets will be available tomorrow morning.

>>>Purchase tickets to Roots Picnic NYC (via Ticketmaster) 

The post Roots Picnic NYC Pre-Sale Is Live! appeared first on Okayplayer.

Adore: Watch Usher x The Roots Live Prince Tribute At Roots Picnic 2016!

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Adore: Watch Usher x The Roots Live Prince Tribute At Roots Picnic 2016

Roots Picnic 2016 was full of priceless moments, some joyful, some poignant. Headliner Usher‘s set with The Roots was marked by surprise Lil Jon collabos (“Yeah!”) on the one hand and by the sadness captured in Usher Raymond rocking his Muhammad Ali t-shirt, the day we lost The Greatest. The most goosebumps-inducing, lighters-up, hold-back-tears moment of the whole gloriously long day and night, however, was surely the Prince tribute Usher and The Legendary created by weaving the purple one’s all-time classic “Adore” into an already ecstatic, slow-swaying spirit catching rendition of the Ursher chestnut “You Got It Bad.” When they hit that unexpected but oh-so-right chord change, though? And the first notes of “Adore” make themselves known with the immortal phrase “until…the…end of time,” spirit catching tipped over into falling out. Panties on the verge of dropping simply melted. Sung-along lyrics became shrieks of transportation to another plane. Though never for an instant ceasing to sing or play in their own style, Usher and The Roots were filled with spirit of Prince for the brief, magical not quite a minute duration of the “Adore” interpolation, temporarily becoming the song in a striking, ego-less rendition that is beyond style, beyond clever musical conventions. Whether you are spiritual or not, this is devotional music.

“Adore” is one of those songs that, much like Roberta Flack once expressed best, everybody feels is sung directly to they themselves. Watching Usher “become” Prince for a fleeting moment is a bit like watching Denzel become Malcolm onscreen–not an imitation so much as a personal transformation unfolding in front of our eyes. Prince after all, inhabited the r&b tradition fully, and yet somehow stepped outside or above it into something more ethereal, genderless, ambiguous–almost bodiless. Usher and The Roots’ fervent rendition not only reconnects Prince to soulful water he swam in–taking a whole community of bodies along to church with them–it seems to suggest that within all soul music lies that possibility of at least temporary transcendence. At least that’s what I got from it–perhaps you’d prefer to say “Adore” is simply the slow jam to end all slow jams. Watch The Roots and Usher’s interpretation of “Adore” below…and Happy Birthday, Prince.

The post Adore: Watch Usher x The Roots Live Prince Tribute At Roots Picnic 2016! appeared first on Okayplayer.

D’Angelo, The Roots, Sheila E And Janelle Monae Will Pay Tribute To Prince At 2016 BET Awards

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D'Angelo, The Roots, Janelle Monae + More To Pay Tribute To Prince At 2016 BET Awards

“Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We got you.”

Man, BET might just win back the confidence of the masses. The TV network made a point of blasting out a cryptic, yet shade-filled tease at the conclusion of this year’s Billboard Music Awards where Madonna’s rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Purple Rain” was blasted by the Prince hive, even with the assistance of the immaculate, Stevie Wonder.

Today, BET makes good on that promise, announcing that D’Angelo, The Roots, Janelle Monae and Sheila E. will lead the tributary charge at this year’s BET Awards, answering the call for a more potent purple revue. We can’t say just yet which selections from the icon’s legendary catalogue will be performed, but those looking to get a taste of what could be in store for us, need not look any further than D’Angelo’s emotional take on “Sometime It Snows In April” from The Tonight Show. The 2016 BET Awards are slated for June 26th, and while there’s still much to be sorted out, one thing we do know: it’s gonna be beautiful night.





h/t Rolling Stone

The post D’Angelo, The Roots, Sheila E And Janelle Monae Will Pay Tribute To Prince At 2016 BET Awards appeared first on Okayplayer.

Black Thought + Questlove Announce ‘The Roots Picnic’ In NYC feat. D’Angelo, Wu-Tang + More!

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Black Thought + Questlove Announce 'The Roots Picnic' Coming To New York

For nine years now, The Roots Crew has brought their annual family-style festival Roots Picnic to their hometown of Philadelphia. But as we shared last night Black Thought blew the minds of the assembled Roots Picnic crowd by announcing from the stage that Roots Picnic will be soon be coming to New York City as well!

While this is clearly a move that Thought, Questlove and Roots management have been quietly making moves toward for some time, the decision to share the news at Roots Picnic was apparently a spontaneous reaction to the observation from Lil Jon (who was there to join Usher  for a Legendary live rendition of the club smash “Yeah!”) that Usher’s set with The Roots was so tight (it was–get more via our official Roots Picnic recap!) that they needed to take it on the road.

No sooner was the word given from onstage than an official announcement was forthcoming. Now that official details can be shared, it’s clear this is no afterthought to the original Roots Picnic (which will absolutely continue on as a Philadelphia tradition, to put to rest fears some fans expressed on social media overnight). The New York edition of the picnic will come to Manhattan’s Bryant Park this October 1st and 2nd, with headliners D’Angelo, John Mayer + The Wu-Tang Clan (!).

Let’s take a second to process that for a second. That’s Night 1: D’Angelo and John MF Mayer back by The Roots. Night 2: Nile Rogers and David Byrne and The Entire Wu-Tang Clan back by The Roots (!!) for a marathon set called “A Love Letter To NY” (!!). You might think with the incredible 9th Annual Roots Picnic (Usher, DMX, Swizz Beats, Future, Kaytranada, surprise appearances from Will Smith, Yuna and Lil Jon!!) now in our collective rearview, there would be time to sigh or take a breath. But, no! The Illadelph insanity is just going to continue in New York as a mix of returning picnic guests (Yuna, Lil’ Uzi Vert, Swizz Beatz) and new artists (EPMD, Stretch & Bobbito, DJ Jazzy Jeff ). In addition to the guys listed above, Black Thought will bring his “live mixtape” seriesto the New York edition of the picnic, with DJ J. Period presiding over a segment that also includes Freddie Gibbs, Royce Da 5’9″ and Styles P (!!). Still breathing?  Neal Brennan (The Chappelle Show) and Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) will also bless the NY picnic crowd with their comic genius.

But don’t take our word for it, watch as our heroes Questlove and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter break it all down on the video reveal below. See y’all there!

The post Black Thought + Questlove Announce ‘The Roots Picnic’ In NYC feat. D’Angelo, Wu-Tang + More! appeared first on Okayplayer.

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