Archives

Finding The GOAT Group: The Roots vs. Freestyle Fellowship. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

Will Smith & Jimmy Fallon Cover Classic Theme Songs In A Must-See TV Moment (Video)

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince are responsible for one of the most popular, and regularly-quoted television series themes of all time. Throughout recent years, when Will Smith gets together with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, the two entertainers (often involving The Roots) come together to have some fun—and... Read more

Black Thought Reveals His 10-Minute Freestyle Was Off The Top & Kicks Another Verse (Video)

On Thursday, Black Thought unleashed a freestyle that rocked the world. Unlike Eminem’s politically-charged BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher that became world news, Thought’s verse did not have the benefit of being launched on the world’s biggest stage for Hip-Hop. Instead, his freestyle came courtesy of a digital drop by... Read more

RZA & Ghostface Killah Continue The Wu-Tang Saga With Help From The Roots (Video)

Just hours after releasing The Saga Continues, Wu-Tang Clan was on network television promoting an album that stands as one of their best in several years. While Method Man is a key lyrical component on the LP with his DJ, Mathematics at the helm, it was the Wu Abbott, The... Read more

In A Tumultuous Week, Hip-Hop Remains The Great Unifier (Video)

Hip-Hop news and culture move fast, and it’s easy to miss significant developments. Every week, Ambrosia For Heads takes a look back at the Last 7 days. This video series, hosted by Justin “The Company Man” Hunte examines the current issues with a colorful rundown of the what, where, and why. While the Last... Read more

The Roots & Bilal Give A Stunningly Powerful Performance With A Full Orchestra (Video)

Late last month, The Roots and Bilal released "It Ain't Fair." The Detroit soundtrack single is jarring, as it applies to racial and social injustice in 1967, as well as in 2017. The song and its message are not going away. This partial Soulquarians reunion is bigger than just one... Read more

Black Thought & Common Have A Freestyle Battle That Goes Off The Wheels (Video)

When it comes to freestyling, few are better than Black Thought and Common. Unlike others who shy away from grabbing an open mic, both Comm' and Thought seize the moment when there's an opportunity to rhyme. And, while neither has anything left to prove, each often goes completely off the... Read more

Skillz’s 2016 Rap Up Reminds Us Of The Year’s Highs, Lows & Reasons To Stay Woke (Audio)

2016 is coming to a close. Years from now, how will we, the people, remember such an expansive year in Hip-Hop music, news, and culture? This year, some of the biggest MCs in the genre released new albums. Several of these efforts came in short notice, challenging new distribution platforms... Read more

Here Are The Best Hip-Hop Performances & Videos Of 2016

2016 has been a unique year. With it, Hip-Hop had a lot to say, visually. Poets new and old, independent and well-heeled, used their art to promote awareness, suggest change, and when appropriate, provide distraction. At a time when the music video largely lives online, artists made statements—about themselves, their... Read more

The Symphony 2016 Was Just 1 Of The Truly Amazing Performances & Videos Of The Year

2016 has been a unique year. With it, Hip-Hop had a lot to say, visually. Poets new and old, independent and well-heeled, used their art to promote awareness, suggest change, and when appropriate, provide distraction. At a time when the music video largely lives online, artists made statements—about themselves, their... Read more

The Roots, Joell Ortiz & Busta Rhymes Take Their Shot & Deliver An Amazing Performance (Video)

Last night (December 5), The Roots, Joell Ortiz and Busta Rhymes hit Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show stage to perform their “Rise Up Remix" of the song “My Shot” from the recently-released The Hamilton Mixtape. Black Thought, Ortiz and Busta give a dramatic performance, providing a less story-driven rendition of Miranda’s... Read more

David Blaine Produces A Live Frog From His Stomach. The Roots Freak Out (Video)

David Blaine has been performing for audiences for nearly two decades. While the magician and illusionist is always entertaining, there are times when people find the things he does to be downright scary. Whether it's levitating, taking the heads off of live chickens and re-attaching them, or driving ice picks... Read more

Black Thought & Daveed Diggs Get Busy On An Incredible Election Day Rap-Off (Video)

Today (November 8) is Election Day in the U.S., and millions will be casting their ballots in what is proving to be the most memorable election in modern history. Hip-Hop has been putting in serious overtime in getting out the vote, with Chance the Rapper headlining a "Parade to the... Read more

Common & The Roots Join Forces To Break The Cycle Of Ills Facing Black America (Video)

Earlier this month, Common was a surprise guest at The Roots Picnic New York. There, the Things Fall Apart, Rising Down, and Wake Up! featured MC performed his single "Black America Again" with The Roots crew in the misty rain for all of Bryant Park to hear. Last night (October 27),... Read more

The Roots & Phil Collins Made Us All Feel It In The Air Last Night (Video)

Phil Collins' 1981 hit "In The Air Tonight" has been covered by Lil' Kim (with Phil providing vocals). The Face Value single was also referenced in Eminem's "Stan" lyrics, sampled on Nas's definitive hit "One Mic," and interpolated by Tupac & Tha Outlawz. Collins appeared on The Tonight Show Starring... Read more

The Roots Use Ghostface Killah’s Music To Signal Hillary Clinton Is “Mighty Healthy” (Video)

Throughout their tenure on "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" (and previously, "Late Night..."), The Roots have had fun with their musical post. Band leader Questlove, Black Thought, Tuba Gooding, Jr., Captain Kirk Douglas and the rest of the crew have jammed with some incredible musicians, partook in more than... Read more

While Fallon Played With Trump’s Hair, The Roots Went For The Jugular (Video)

For the last 36 hours, the Internet and social media have been aflame with outrage at the way Jimmy Fallon handled a recent appearance by Donald Trump on The Tonight Show (9/15). Fallon, unlike David Letterman, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, is typically friendly and jovial with all of his... Read more

Seth Rogen Smashes The Roots’ “Mellow My Man” In An Epic Lip Sync Battle (Video)

Among the many stunts Jimmy Fallon stages with his guests, some of the best are his lip sync battles. Over the years, he's waged war with Tom Cruise, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kevin Hart, to name a few. His latest matchup was against fellow funnyman Seth Rogen and, as... Read more

The Sky Is The Limit For A-F-R-O As He Freestyles His Way To Fallon (Video)

A-F-R-O (All Flows Reach Out) may appear to be a purebred Underground Hip-Hop MC. The California native has surrounded himself with veterans like R.A. The Rugged Man and GZA—artists who always favored appeasing cult followings over pandering for mainstream attention. However, even before his acclaimed Tales From The Basement mixtape or... Read more

Common Still Loves H.E.R. Watch Him Breakdance While The Roots Play (Video)

During The Electric Circus and Like Water For Chocolate tours, it was not uncommon to see Common Sense bust out some B-Boy moves during his sets. That was 15 years ago though, and also well before the Chicago, Illinois MC/actor won Oscars and Golden Globes. Now a household name, juggling... Read more

Black Thought Raps About the Super Bowl With Help From “Tonight Show” Fans (Video)

To Heads, it's no secret that the Roots are arguably the greatest band in Hip-Hop. When Jimmy Fallon brought the Philly crew with him to The Tonight Show, millions of new fans were born, and thanks to the many musical skits and interludes on the show, America gets to see... Read more

Bernie Sanders Calls Out Republicans for “Suicidal Course” on Climate Change (Video)

Last night, Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders visited Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show, where the Broooklyn, New York native outlined the major points of his political platform for a very receptive audience. After calling Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's politics "demagoguery" and "crap," Sanders focused on what he... Read more

Adele Sings Hello While Fallon & The Roots Play Classroom Instruments. Still Amazing! (Video)

Many of Adele's biggest hits are rooted in heartbreak, loss or regret. The same holds true for her latest smash, "Hello." Leave it to Jimmy Fallon, however, to make even a song about someone's inability to get over a past love funny. As he has done with others, including Robin... Read more

All 4 Members Of A Tribe Called Quest Perform On TV For The 1st Time In 15 Years (Video)

Yesterday (11/13), A Tribe Called Quest released the 25th anniversary deluxe edition of their debut album, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. To celebrate, all 4 members reunited on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to perform together on TV for the first time in over 15 years.... Read more

Talib Kweli & Rapsody Debut a New Song Live…& The Revolution Is Televised (Video)

On last night's episode of "The Tonight Show," Talib Kweli and Rapsody visited Jimmy Fallon and performed a no frills rendition of "Every Ghetto," the latest single from Kweli's forthcoming Indie 500, a name first introduced to Heads last year when it was announced that Pharoahe Monch, 9th Wonder, and... Read more

Big Boi & Phantogram Perform Fell in the Sun With The Roots (Video)

Big Boi's and Phantogram's respective fans have always known the musicians for not only being talented recording artists, but also highly entertaining live performers. The former is known for his lively stage shows alongside his Outkast partner, Andre 3000 and the latter are an eclectic duo whose set designs and... Read more

Jimmy Fallon Faces Off Against Terrence Howard. There’s Only 1 King on “Jimpire” (Video)

Over the last 6 months, Fox's show Empire has become a runaway hit. The series, which stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, has transcended race and gender to become as embedded in the cultural zeitgeist as any show in years. Its over-the-top plot twists and outsized characters are only... Read more

Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake are Back at It: Check Out Part 6 of Their History of Rap (Video)

It was a big day for Hip-Hop in late-night television yesterday. With Kendrick Lamar's awe-inspiring performance on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" last night and the return of the Fallon-Timberlake duo to the "Tonight Show," there is plenty to go around. Since 2010, the two have partnered in medley-style performances of... Read more

23-Year-Old Anthony Sadler Prevented a Terrorist Attack. The Hero Shares His Story (Video)

On August 21, three friends were heading to Paris from Amsterdam as their Euro Trip winded down. After spending some time in the Netherlands, the three Americans opted to head to France, but before they arrived, they were thrown into a harrowing situation that earned them international acclaim. Sacramento, California... Read more

Jeb Bush Turns a Political Speech Into a Slow Jam with The Roots & Jimmy Fallon (Video)

In 2011, The Roots found themselves in hot water when then-Republican Presidential Candidate Michelle Bachmann stopped by "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." The Minnesota State Representative appeared on the late-night TV show, as Roots band-leader Questlove queued the clique to play the instrumental to "Lyin' Ass Bitch" by Fishbone as... Read more

Ludacris and The Roots Perform a Mind-Blowing Acoustic Version of What’s Your Fantasy (Video)

The last several weeks have been all about Ludacris' return to super-lyricism on his new album Ludaversal, which was released on March 31st. While quality new material is always welcomed, sometimes it's good to re-visit the classics, and that's just what he and The Roots did on a mind-blowing acoustic... Read more

Ludacris’ Personal Revelations Come To Life With The Roots’ Support (Video)

Ludacris truly seems to have something special with Ludaversal (March 31). The DTP founder's most honest, most vulnerable, and most courageous album to date comes at a time when Heads may not be expecting it from him. After all, Luda' seemingly has it all already, after 15 years running things—different... Read more

G-Unit With The Roots? Why Hasn’t This Happened Before? (Video)

For the last 15 years—and pretty much always—G-Unit and The Roots have been across the room from each other in Hip-Hop. While 50 Cent and Questlove are two of the more outspoken voices in the genre, the Philadelphia Grammy Award-winning band and the Queens, New York multi-platinum collective are really... Read more

GZA, Tom Morello, The Roots & Crazy Legs Are All In Together (Video)

The Wu-Tang Clan's GZA stopped by "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" last night (March 3) to perform his recently released single "The Mexican." While he was backed by The Roots, Tom Morello (of Rage Against The Machine) joined GZA with his guitar, and Kara of K.I.D. sang the chorus.... Read more

Will Smith & Jimmy Fallon Re-Create Rob Base’s It Takes Two With an iPad (Video)

Jimmy Fallon is winning these days when it comes to combining sharp comedy and Hip-Hop. In addition to the daily dose of dopeness from The Roots, The Tonight Show band, Fallon has done numerous skits, often involving Hip-Hop classics. His latest is another joint effort with Will Smith. He and... Read more

Jimmy Fallon Is The Fresh Prince Of Late Night…Just Watch (Video)

Taping "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" in Los Angeles this week, what better for Jimmy to set the stage than pay homage to "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" opening? That's exactly what the late night host did, involving Alfonso Ribeiro ("Carlton Banks") and DJ Jazzy Jeff ("Jazz") from the hit,... Read more

Kevin Hart, Will Ferrell & Jimmy Fallon Have A Post Super-Bowl Lip Sync Championship Battle (Video)

In the post-Super Bowl XLIX fanfare, Jimmy Fallon hosted a special Sunday edition of "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon." With the special captive audience, and some carryover from the big weekend, Jimmy reverted to one of his nighttime talk show's winningest formulas: show how well celebrities know the lyrics... Read more

Joey Bada$$ Rocks His Dilla & Roots-Produced Track With The Roots (Video)

Quite curiously, Joey Bada$$'s debut album, B4.Da.$$ (January 20) includes a track co-produced by The Roots, and the late J Dilla. While the snippets of the Sony Red-distributed LP were promptly pulled from YouTube, many Heads are curious how the Brooklyn, New York millennial would sound alongside the iconic collaboration... Read more

Ghostface Performs Love Don’t Live Here No More on The Tonight Show (Video)

Ghostface Killah took the stage on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and performed a version of "Love Don't Live Here No More" that was oh so soulful. Instead of The Roots, he was backed by a band called The Revelations who more than held it down. Kandance Springs supplied... Read more

Jon Stewart Looks Back At Premiering The Roots On TV In 1995 (Video)

In the last 15 years, Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" has been a destination for some Hip-Hop-savvy performances. Sitting down with another TV host Head, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart looked across the set at The Roots. Casually, Stewart (who is promoting the new film he co-produced, Rose Water) recalled giving... Read more

Harry Potter Raps Blackalicious With The Roots? Yeah…(Video)

So...it appears Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Harry Potter film franchise, has got the Gift of Gab. The British thespian guested on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and, to show his knack for memorizing complicated lyrics, performed "Alphabet Aerobics" by Blackalicious. Backed by The Roots, Radcliffe breathlessly did Blackalicious'... Read more

Lecrae & The Roots Tear It Down Like It’s Nuthin’ (Video)

Lecrae's "Nuthin'" is one of the talking points from Anomaly. The Reach Records star with a #1 album isn't holding his tongue about his Rap peers on the single, but he's trying to bring messages back—whatever they may be. Joining The Roots onstage for "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,"... Read more

Public Enemy Performs One Of Their Earliest, Biggest Hits With The Roots (Video)

While 1988 would be the year Public Enemy's seminal It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1987 is integral to the story. That would be the year that the Long Island collective dropped their debut album, Yo! Bum Rush The Show. The album was a homogenous blend... Read more

What Does Morgan Freeman Sound Like on Helium? Just Watch (Video)

Jimmy Fallon is quickly becoming the king of viral clips. After creating several memorable musical moments with The Roots, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith and more, he's now showcased a different kind of unique vocal talent. He recently hosted Morgan Freeman and persuaded the dignified thespian to have a conversation...on helium.... Read more

With Grammys Stacked On The Shelf, The Roots Are Nominated For An Emmy Award

2014 marks 15 years since The Roots crew grabbed their first Grammy Award alongside Erykah Badu for the Things Fall Apart smash hit, "You Got Me." In the time since, Black Thought and company have received a bevy of nominations, and grabbed two more statues for their 2010 WAKE UP... Read more

Tariq Trotter Meets Harry Potter, As Black Thought Has Latenight TV Fun (Video)

The Roots are so much more than a "house band" for "The Tonight Show." The Philadelphia crew, long-labeled as one of host Jimmy Fallon's favorite acts, has been interwoven into the show's nightly sketches, comedy, and a heavy hand in collaborating with various musical guests. At the request of one... Read more

Get Ready. Chris Rock is Spreading the Black Plague…(Video)

Dave Chappelle is not the only comedic giant returning to stand up this year. Fresh off his announcement as host of the BET Awards, Chris Rock sat down with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show and told Fallon he is going on tour. Rock revealed the name is "The Black... Read more

Dave Chappelle Recalls Being Mistaken As A Member Of The Roots, Prince Laughing At Himself (Video)

Dave Chappelle had two critical media appearances in the past week. At the top of things, the Ohio native appeared on "The Late Show With David Letterman," discussing his absence from the spotlight, and walking away from $50 million from Comedy Central to fulfill a "Chappelle Show" contract. Later appearing... Read more

Rick Ross Performing The Devil Is A Lie With The Roots Is One Of The Hardest Fallon Musical Moments (Video)

When you think about it, "The Devil Is A Lie" is the type of musical presentation and message that would work for either Rick Ross or The Roots. Perhaps at opposite ends of the Def Jam Records roster, The Roots Crew's albums like Rising Down, How I Got Over, and... Read more

Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake Add a New Chapter to Their History of Rap Series (Video)

After tackling the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dance with Will Smith and editing together a piece with Brian Williams "rapping" Rapper's Delight, Jimmy Fallon capped off his Tonight Show debut week with part 5 of his History of Rap series with Justin Timberlake. The 2 performed a medley with music from... Read more