While most modern hip hop acts have shied away from playing actual instruments, The Roots have made a hugely successful career out of it. Their unique brand of hip hop and soul with a full band (including horn section) has led to sold-out tour dates and four Grammys. In addition to their own acclaimed albums, The Roots have also participated in acclaimed collaborations with artists like John Legend, Erykah Badu, and Duffy. As fans eagerly anticipate the release of Undun later in the year, they can catch The Roots on several 2011 tour dates this summer and fall.
The Roots was formed in 1987 by vocalist Black Thought and drummer Questlove while they were friends in high school. The duo began performing around Philadelphia and New York City, gathering a line-up of musicians that would change frequently throughout the band's career, including beatboxer Rahzel. After gathering a following of both hip hop and alternative fans with strategic tour dates, The Roots roared onto the mainstream with the release of Things Fall Apart in 1999. The album quickly went gold and won The Roots their first Grammy that year, and was followed by a performance at Woodstock '99. The Roots' political and social commentary began to grow stronger and stronger beginning with Game Theory in 2006 and continued on their next few albums.
The Roots latest album, Wake Up!, has combined The Roots increasing social commentary with the smooth R&B sounds of John Legend and has become a winning combination. As fans wait for the return of The Roots' signature sound on their upcoming album, Undun, they can catch the band on their 2011 tour dates. Although The Roots' tour schedule is short because of their work as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, they do have upcoming performances at the Dave Matthews' Caravan and in support of Nas and Damian Marley. For the full list of The Roots' 2011 tour dates, check their tour schedule on Eventful.