Archives

Black Thought Asks “Who Want It” With Him On The Mic. The Answer Is NOBODY (Audio)

The Roots have not released an album since 2014. During that time, however, Black Thought has stayed hard at work. He and his longtime musical partner, Questlove, were deeply involved in the Broadway sensation, Hamilton, curating mixtapes, cyphers and more for the musical. Thought has continued working with DJ J.... Read more

Black Thought, Posdnuos & Pharoahe Monch Say It’s Time To Rise For Freedom (Audio)

In an increasingly complicated time in the world, The Roots' Black Thought, De La Soul's Posdnuos, and Pharoahe Monch stand up for oppressed people with a truly standout, topical collaboration. Orchestrated and produced by J. Period, "Rise Up!" is as grabbing a collaboration as any in some time. In the... Read more

The Roots Are For The Children. The Band Is Producing 2 Kids TV Shows.

The Roots are one of Hip-Hop's busiest and most successful acts in the game today. Between being the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, their annual Roots Picnic concert series, releasing new music, and individual members' solo pursuits, it's remarkable that the Grammy-winning crew even has the... Read more

DOOM & Black Thought Have Released A Track Showcasing How Mad Nice They Are (Audio)

In the mid-2000s, MF DOOM was on a run as prolific as any in Hip-Hop. Between 2003 and 2005, the Metal Face villain released at least eight projects, not including a live LP and a compilation of Special Blends. That run began with off-shoot group Monsta Island Czars' 2003 Rhymesayers... Read more

Finding The GOAT Producer: J Dilla vs. Dr. Dre. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Producer,” the third installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest producers vying for the #1 spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no... Read more

Finding The GOAT Producer: J Dilla vs. A Tribe Called Quest. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Producer,” the third installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest producers vying for the #1 spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no... Read more

DJ Jazzy Jeff Wants His New Project To Give You Goosebumps. Listen & Chill. (Audio)

DJ Jazzy Jeff has kept a tight catalog. Outside of his award-winning, multi-platinum work with The Fresh Prince, the Philadelphia DJ/producer launched his Magnificent series, introduced protege MC Dayne Jordan, and played a key role with The Roots, Jill Scott, and others. In a sneak attack of sorts, Jeff releases... Read more

Erykah Badu Discusses The Making Of Baduizm On Its 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago today (February 11, 1997) Erykah Badu opened the doors to her musical house of worship. Baduizm was a way of life, an inviting presentation of Soul music that stood apart from most of what was out there. Despite its refusal to conform to a very formulaic time... Read more

Finding The GOAT Producer: Kanye West vs. Scott Storch. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Producer” begins. The third installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest producers vying for the #1 spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no deserving... 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

A Tribe Called Quest & Many More Gave Hip-Hop Much To Be Thankful For In November (Audio)

November 2016 was one of the most tumultuous months in a generation. Regardless of one's political affiliation the world seemingly changed over one long night on November 8 for hundreds of millions of Americans. When not fixated on the news, many turned to music for relief from the onslaught or,... 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

Black Thought Explains How He Constructs His Brilliant Rhymes

For more than 20 years, Black Thought has been one of the most consistent, prolific and greatest MCs in Hip-Hop. If he has been underrated, and that qualification becomes less applicable after each verse he smashes, it is solely because he has been a team player within the framework of... Read more

Questlove Gets Nostalgic About What Makes ’90s Hip-Hop So Important (Video)

When thinking of quintessential Hip-Hop from the 1990s, the Roots are, without question, included in the conversation. That makes it hard to remember that there was a time when Questlove, Black Thought, and the rest of the band were just fans of the genre and not recording artists. It wasn't... Read more

Dave Chappelle, De La Soul & More Celebrate the Obamas With a “Block Party” at the White House (Video)

Earlier this year, Dave Chappelle's Block Party celebrated its tenth anniversary, a milestone which allowed fans to reflect back on the film and its place in Hip-Hop history. A similar history was just made on Saturday Night Live, where the most recent episode sported Chappelle as host and A Tribe... 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

Black Thought, Busta Rhymes & Joell Ortiz Rise & Take Their Shot At Greatness (Audio)

Over the last year, the Broadway musical Hamilton has gone from critical darling to global phenomenon. The play, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, re-wrote the rules for theater, bringing Hip-Hop to the fore, and tossing historical conventions, using a multicultural cast to portray the country's White founding fathers. The Roots Confirm... Read more

Scott Storch Details Going From Leaving The Roots To Making Hits With Dr. Dre (Video)

In Hip-Hop, Questlove and Black Thought have become household names. However, going back to Organix and the earliest album lineups of The Roots, there is arguably another. Scott Storch has become one of the most prolific, top-earning music producers of the 2000s. Beginning in 1999 with Dr. Dre's "Still D.R.E.,"... 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

Questlove & Yasiin Bey Praise Bad Brains’ H.R. In An Upcoming Documentary (Video)

Since the late 1970s, Bad Brains changed the face of Punk Rock music. The Washington, D.C. collective was an all-Black band that blended the hard sounds of early Punk with messages associated with their Rastafarian beliefs. Songs like "Banned In D.C.," "Pay To Cum" and "Sailin' On" (all from their... Read more

The Roots Confirm 17th Album Title & Preview Some Sounds (Video)

It has been nearly two and a half years since The Roots released an album. 2014's ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin featured Dice Raw as well as Raheem DeVaughn, and was rooted heavily in a cohesive theme. It was also largely co-produced by Richard Nichols, the band's longtime manager/producer,... Read more

De La Soul Performed Their Pete Rock Joint With Help From The Roots (Video)

Anybody who has gotten the chance to watch De La Soul perform live knows the Long Island, New York trio puts on one of the greatest shows in Hip-Hop. More than 25 years after dropping their debut LP 3 Feet High and Rising, Posdnuos, Dave, and Maceo are still able... Read more

Rahzel Provides Jewels On The History & Evolution Of Beatboxing (Video)

Rahzel The Godfather of Noyze has become one of the household names for beatboxing. The New Yorker and onetime member of The Roots has worked with a range of artists including Erykah Badu, Ben Harper, Common, Rakim, Everlast, and Sean Paul, among many others. With more than 20 years of... Read more

Dante Ross Wanted To Make O.D.B. & Method Man “The Next Run-D.M.C.”

In the canon of Hip-Hop music, Dante Ross may be what we now know as "the plug." From De La Soul to Missy Elliott, MF DOOM to Digital Underground, Lil Dicky to Brand Nubian, Dante has discovered some of Hip-Hop's most respected artists. Beyond simply the exploration, Ross has thrived... Read more

20 Years Later, The Roots Continue to Do What They Do Best: Shine For Hip-Hop (Video)

With content ranging from the ethereal "The Hypnotic" to the aggressive "Clones," September 1996's Illadelph Halflife was a bold look from the Roots. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania group's third album, it took the musical concepts established on Jazz and improv-heavy formulas found on 1993's Organix and 1995's Do You Want More?!!!??!... 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

Black Thought & Rahzel Made Us Want More With This 1994 Freestyle (Audio)

It was 1994, and The Roots had delivered their first offering via the previous year's Organix. Released independently, it was stripped-down yet fully developed, and helped land the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania crew a place alongside artists like G. Love & Special Sauce in providing the City of Brotherly Love with a... 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 Roots Quench Fans’ Thirst For New Music With A Release That’s Bittersweet (Audio)

It's been more than two years since The Roots released a new album. Though they blessed fans with "Champion" for the NBA Finals, fans are still thirsty for new music from Hip-Hop's premier band. Today (8/3), Black Thought, Questlove, Captain Kirk, Tuba Gooding, Kamal, and the rest of the gang... Read more

Tish Hyman Has Co-Signs From The Roots, Kanye & More For Good Reason. She Tells Her Story

Over the last 18 months, Tish Hyman has emerged as one of the most promising voices in years. The talented singer, songwriter and MC has earned the respect of Alicia Keys, The Roots, Kanye West, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, Fabolous and more, not to mention countless new fans. She also... Read more

Sadat X Passes The Torch To A-F-R-O And He Holds It High (Video)

For more than 25 years, Sadat X has set a high standard in lyricism. In his acclaimed work with Brand Nubian, songs like "Slow Down" and "Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down" not only packed stylish deliveries, they were rich in thematic substance. With an unmistakable voice, the Bronx,... Read more

Hear The Best Hip-Hop Of May 2016 In One Playlist (Audio)

As May helped us get ready for Summer, it brought the heat for Hip-Hop, too. De La Soul delivered on the promise of their new album And The Anonymous Nobody, with the scorcher, "Pain," and Redman announced a new group called 1000Volts, consisting of himself and DJ Jayceooh, releasing his... Read more

Black Thought’s Fresh Freestyle Serves The Good Food To Expect At The Roots Picnic NYC (Video)

This past Saturday (June 4), the ninth annual Roots Picnic took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hosts The Roots played alongside Pop-R&B superstar Usher, while other feature performers included Future, DMX, Swizz Beatz, Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kaytranada, Lil Dicky, Migos, Tish Hyman, Willow Smith, and... Read more

The Roots Are Chosen For The NBA Finals Theme Song & Do It Like Champions (Audio)

Earlier in the year, PRhyme, the duo of DJ Premier & Royce 5'9", were commissioned to create the theme song for ESPN's NBA Countdown. "Rockin' With The Best" was one minute of pure boom bap Hip-Hop, accompanied by a video featuring footage of the league's biggest and brightest stars intercut... Read more

Jamila Woods Releases A Song That Flips A J Dilla-Inspired Rarity By The Roots (Audio)

Though she has been on the scene for some time, having worked with Chance The Rapper, Donnie Trumpet and others, Jamila Woods came to the attention of many through a powerful feature performance on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "White Privilege 2," earlier this year. The singer, poet and writer seized... Read more

Black Thought Recites The Verse Of His Lifetime…Literally (Video)

Last week, The Roots' Black Thought appeared at Harvard's Innovation Lab. The South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Grammy Award-winning, platinum-selling MC reportedly kicked a freestyle in the Cambridge, Massachusetts  lunchroom. Afterwards, during an audience with the Hip-Hop veteran, he was asked to reprise his verse. Instead, Thought chose to do a nearly... Read more

Black Thought Fronts A Funky Track That Uses Blues To Motivate (Audio)

The Roots' Black Thought does not do a ton of features, relatively speaking. However, in recent years, when the South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MC puts his vocals on something beyond the circle, he does not seem to play politics. From Thurz ("Riot") to L.A. The Darkman ("Rap Poloticians"), Tariq supports what... 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, Del, Murs & Fashawn Make An All-Star Collabo About The Fight Within (Video)

One of 2016's most exciting collaborations crosses the coastline. The Roots' Black Thought, Hieroglyphics' Del The Funky Homosapien, Felt's Murs, and Fashawn all come together for "Rise Up." The song is for Street Fighter V, the game, but it is by no means a simple marketing ploy. Instead, this visual—which... Read more

Black Thought Reveals What Artists Used To Do To Get J Dilla’s Best Beats (Video)

Between 1999 and 2006, The Roots would work with J Dilla (f/k/a Jay Dee) a number of times. Then label-mates at MCA Records, Dilla produced elements of the Grammy-nominated platinum Things Fall Apart album. While "Dynamite!" would make the LP, "New Year's @ Jay Dee's" would be a hidden jewel... 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

Black Thought & J.Period Are Performing A Live J Dilla Mixtape At Dilla Weekend (Audio)

As announced earlier this week, Black Thought and J.Period have been added to the 2016 J Dilla Weekend lineup. Taking place February 5-7, the Miami, Florida event will feature concert performances, panel discussions, a Discogs record swap meet, art exhibits, and much more. With the addition of The Roots' MC... Read more

Black Thought, Jay Electronica, & Bun B Added To 2016 J Dilla Weekend Lineup

There have been some major changes surrounding the 2016 J Dilla Weekend. The second annual event in Miami, Florida will take place February 5-7. The event, hosted by J Dilla's mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, features concert performances, art exhibits, panels, record swap meets, and more. The main venue for... Read more

Round 2 Of The Greatest Rap Albums Of The 2000s Is Coming But 1 Race Is Too Close To Call

In late 2015, Ambrosia For Heads returned to “Finding The GOAT,” our annual voting series that polls readers and fans to determine the Greatest Of All-Time. Following 2014-2015’s quest to use votes to determine the GOAT MC, we are asking readers to determine the greatest of all-time Hip-Hop album. “Finding... Read more

DJ Premier Tells The Story Of This Photo With D’Angelo, Alchemist & J. Dilla, In His Words

DJ Premier tells Ambrosia For Heads the story about the night he, D'Angelo, Alchemist and J. Dilla gathered in the studio and took what would become an iconic photo. These are his words about the photo, that night, and the other supremely talented men with whom he posed: "Gang Starr... Read more