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

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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 film or a moment in time.

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Last night (August 7), The Roots, Bilal, and an extensive symphonic orchestra played “It Ain’t Fair” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. More than seven minutes long, the message and spirit were meant to be heard as these musical juggernauts put their souls and passion on display.

Every day I wear a mask, like an umpire / Guess a brother gotta laugh, to keep from cryin’ / Tonight another friend passed, on the young side / It’s sad, ’cause a good friend is hard to come by / Justice is never color-blind / Never gun-shy / For one crime, you may never see the sunshine / We know if one-time / Is given you the finger / Around here it mean ‘f*ck you’ / It ain’t the #1 sign / I hear they turning Downtown to the front line,” Tariq spits. Later, the South Philly MC spits, “I guess / I’m trying to minimize regrets / I identify with death / That don’t mean it’s not an uninvited guest / I’m just trying to answer all of my requests / I express / In 140 characters or less / Why I’m the best.” Bilal’s crooning fits right alongside Thought, just as the two world class entertainers stand side-by-side on stage.

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These lyrics are slightly altered from the formal version. Before the 6:00 mark, Bilal explodes after his song ends. Emotional, the Philly singer appears to leave the stage. He returns following the symphonic crescendo. This is among The Roots’ NBC-era highlights.

On a related note, this recent video makes a case for Black Thought as the Greatest MC of All Time:

This is part of the TBD series created by Justin “The Company Man” Hunte.