The Roots

With 311. Monday, July 19, at Tower City Amphitheater.

Share on Nextdoor
D:Fuse, with Rob Black, Mike Metz, and others Wish, 621 Johnson Avenue, Warehouse District 9 p.m. Friday, July 16; $10; 216-902-WISH
More than just a band, the Roots have consistently lived up to their name during a decade-long career, spreading their tendrils throughout the hip-hop community to link seemingly disparate artists. Before Kanye West became the most celebrated bridge between the music's over- and underground, these Philadelphians, led by drummer Amir "?uestlove" Thompson, went from alt-rap pioneers to being Jay-Z's backing group without losing an ounce of cred. Closer to home, the Roots were instrumental in linking various Philly artists under the "Soulquarians" banner in the mid-'90s, and their website has become home for many like-minded performers.

Their previous album, 2002's Phrenology, bravely shoved hip-hop into an uncertain future full of Hendrix-style licks and drum & bass rhythms; their latest, The Tipping Point, is a return to roots, so to speak, channeling the spirit of Big Daddy Kane into songs that celebrate the unadulterated glory of beats and Black Thought's rhymes. Always a concert powerhouse, the band is touring this summer with rap-rock-raga veterans 311, whose live sets supporting their new greatest-hits album have included covers of work by punky reggae forefathers like Bad Brains and The Clash, as well as a blunt-edged version of the Cure's 1989 hit "Love Song."

Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.