The Roots Tickets for Sale

In 1999 (see 1999 in music) The Roots' Things Fall Apart (named after Things Fall Apart, a novel by Chinua Achebe) was a breakthrough commercial and critical success which made it on many best-of lists for the year. Though The Roots were no superstars, they vastly expanded their fanbase, leading to high hopes for their follow-up, the long-awaited Phrenology, released in 2002 (see 2002 in music), which was similarly acclaimed, though sold somewhat less than Things Fall Apart.

Phrenology contained the singles and music videos, 'Break U Off' (featuring Musiq Soulchild) and 'The Seed 2.0' (featuring Cody Chesnutt). Similarly to fellow alternative rappers, Outkast's more recent singles, both Phrenology singles display a more commercially-friendly side of the Roots while still being far from mainstream hip-hop in their sound. If anything, 'Break U Off' has a nu soul feel, thanks to Musiq, which enabled it to do well on VH1 Soul, MTV Jams, and urban radio, as well as MTV2. 'The Seed 2.0' performed even more strongly on VH1 Soul and MTV2, due to its almost alternative rock sound. The song even received some exposure on alternative radio stations in America, including MusicChoice's 'alternative' station. It was the video for 'The Seed 2.0' that finally earned the Roots a nomination for the MTV2 Award, signaling their more widespread breakthrough, at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, even after almost a decade of more underground, less commercial music videos.

Most recently, the Roots have returned this summer with a new single, 'Don't Say Nothin''. Its video is their most high-tech and expensive to date and is currently seeing explosive airplay on VH1 Soul and MTV Jams, as the song climbs the American urban charts.

In 2004 the band remedied the situation by creating the Okayplayer company. Named after their website, Okayplayer included a record label and a production/promotion company. The same year the band held a series of jam sessions to give their next album a looser feel. The results were edited down to ten tracks and released as the Tipping Point in July of 2004.
Though popular success has largely eluded the Roots, the Philadelphia group showed the way for live rap, building on Stetsasonic's 'hip-hop band' philosophy of the mid-'80s by focusing on live instrumentation at their concerts and in the studio. Though their album works have been inconsistent affairs, more intent on building grooves than pushing songs, the Roots' live shows are among the best in the business.

The Roots are an influential Philadelphia-based alternative hip hop crew, known for uplifting lyrics and live instrumentation. Originally composed of Black Thought (rapper) and ?uestlove (drummer), The Roots soon added Malik B. Moving (rapper) and Hub (bassist) and earned themselves a respectable fanbase in Philadelphia. Their debut album, Organix, was released on Remedy Records. With significant hype, The Roots soon signed to DGC and released their major label debut, Do You Want More?!!!??! in 1995 (see 1995 in music).

Do You Want More?!!!??! included no samples and was recorded live; sales were slim among mainstream audiences, though it was very popular among devoted hip hop fans and some alternative rock audiences. Preceded by the moderate hit 'Clones', 1996's Illadelph Halflife (1996, 1996 in music) included some samples but still did not sell well.

Early in 1996, the Roots released Clones, the trailer single for their second album. It hit the rap Top Five, and created a good buzz for the album. The following September, Illadelph Halflife appeared and made number 21 on the album charts. Much like its predecessor, though, the Roots' second LP was a difficult listen. It made several very small concessions to mainstream rap � the band sampled material which they had recorded earlier at jam sessions � but failed to make a hit of their unique sound.

The long awaited Phrenology was released in late November 2002 amidst rumors of the Roots losing interest in their label arrangements with MCA. In 2004 the band remedied the situation by creating the Okayplayer company. Named after their website, Okayplayer included a record label and a production/promotion company. The same year the band held a series of jam sessions to give their next album a looser feel. The results were edited down to ten tracks and released as the Tipping Point in July of 2004.
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