The Roots are an American Grammy Award-winning hip hop/neo soul band formed in 1987 by Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are known for a jazzy, eclectic approach to hip hop which includes live instrumentals. Malik B., Leonard "Hub" Hubbard, and Josh Abrams were added to the band, originally called The Square Roots.
Since their first independent album release, the band has released 10 studio albums, two EPs, two collaboration albums and have collaborated with a wide range of artists from different genres. The Roots have served as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon since its premiere in 2009. The Roots' work has been repeatedly met with critical acclaim. About.com ranked them #7 on its list of the 25 Best Rap Groups of All-Time, describing them as "Hip-hop's first legitimate band."
- Grammy Awards
- 1999: Won for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "You Got Me" (featuring Erykah Badu and Eve)
- 2002: Nominated for Best Rap Album for Phrenology
- 2004: Nominated for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for "Star"
- 2004: Nominated for Best Rap Performance By a Duo/Group for "Don't Say Nuthin'"
- 2007: Nominated for Best Rap Album for Game Theory
- 2007: Nominated for Best Rap Performance By a Duo/Group for "Don't Feel Right"
- 2011: Won for Best Group or Duo R&B Vocal Performance for Shine
- 2011: Won for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "Hang on in There" (with John Legend)
- 2011: Won for Best R&B Album for Wake Up!
- 2011: Nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Wake Up Everybody"
- 2011: Nominated for Best Rap Album for How I Got Over
- MTV Video Music Awards
- 2003: Nominated for MTV2 award for "The Seed 2.0"
- mtvU Woodie Awards
- 2004: Nominated for Road Woodie and Welcome Back Woodie
- BET Awards
- 2005: Nominated for Best Group
- 2009: Nominated for Best Group
- NAACP Image Awards
- 2005: Nominated for Outstanding Duo or Group
- 2007: Won for Outstanding Duo or Group
- 2011: Won for Outstanding Collaboration for Wake Up!
- 2011: Won for Outstanding Album for Wake Up!
- Named one of the "twenty greatest live acts in the world" by Rolling Stone, 2003
- Won a "Heroes Award" from the Philadelphia chapter of the Recording Academy, 2004
- First Hip-Hop group to perform at Lincoln Center, January 2002
- Won Max Stevenson International Hip-Hop Award for Game Theory album, 2007
- Former members
- Studio albums
- Collaborative albums
A distinctive feature of The Roots albums is the way tracks are numbered. Other than in most other cases, The Roots use a continuous track numbering beginning with their first studio album Organix through all following albums:
- 1-17: Organix
- 18-33: Do You Want More?!!!??!
- 34-53: Illadelph Halflife
- 54-71: Things Fall Apart
- 72-76: The Legendary
- 77-86: The Roots Come Alive
- 87-102: Phrenology
- 103-113: The Tipping Point
- 114-127: Game Theory
- 128-142: Rising Down
- 143-156: How I Got Over
- 157-170: undun
Some of the tracks are available only on particular editions of the respective album (e.g., on vinyl or on iTunes).