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The Roots

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. Preceeded by the moderate hit "Clones", 1996's Illadelph Halflife[?] (1996, 1996 in music) included some samples but still did not sell well.

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.



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