The Roots
The Roots
The Roots in 2010

Also known as

The Legendary Roots Crew, The Fifth Dynasty, The Square Roots, Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show Band


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.


Hip hop, alternative hip hop, jazz rap

Years active



Def Jam, DGC, MCA, Interscope-Geffen-A&M

Associated acts

Bahamadia, Big K.R.I.T., Common, Dice Raw, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Eve, J Dilla, Joey Bada$$, Soulquarians


  • Black Thought
  • Captain Kirk Douglas
  • Kamal Gray
  • Mark Kelley
  • James Poyser
  • Questlove
  • Tuba Gooding, Jr.
  • Stro Elliot

Past members

The Roots are an American hip hop band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 1992 by Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. The Roots are known for their jazzy and eclectic approach to hip hop and for the inclusion of live instrumentation.

Since its first independent album-length release, the band has released ten studio albums, two EPs, three collaboration albums with other artists, and also collaborated on recordings and in live shows with a wide variety of artists in many musical genres. The Roots served as the house band on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2014, and in the same role on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since 2014. The Roots' work has been consistently met with critical acclaim.


Studio albumsEdit

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