Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The Roots, on last.fm
Later this week the Large-Scale Events Committee is expected to announce that The Roots, a Philadelphia-based alternative hip-hop group, will play at Swarthmore in November. The Committee declined to comment, mentioning the need to finish “some last [minute] paperwork.” According to several websites connected to The Roots, however, the concert will occur on Saturday, November 3, presumably in LPAC.
The concert is part of their Game Theory World Tour, named after the group’s most recent album, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap Album category last year. In earlier shows in the series, the group’s material included Roots songs, covers of classic hip-hop songs and James Brown, and a lengthy rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War.”
The Roots are frequently hailed as the best live show in hip-hop, with a “jazzy” sound and jam-oriented shows. Their members include MC Black Thought, drummer ?uestlove (pronounced “Questlove”), keyboardist Kamal Gray, percussionist F. Knuckles, and guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas. Following the departure of bassist Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, who was with The Roots for almost all of its twenty years, the band has been touring with Owen Biddle, whose plans to perform at the show this November are unconfirmed. The Roots have been known to play their live shows with a brass section, such as when they teamed up with Philadelphia jazz group Brass Heaven for a recent show in New York. The Gazette is unaware of any such plans for Swarthmore’s event.
While The Roots’ appearance on campus is not completely unexpected — they were floated as a possible future act in 2005 — it promises to be an exciting show.