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‘The Roots’ Planted as ‘Late Night’ House Band

Hip Hop Band Becomes New House Band


‘The Roots’ Planted as ‘Late Night’ House Band
Jason Kempin / Staff / Getty Images

With the March 2, 2009, debut of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon , critically acclaimed hip hop artists The Roots became the third house band for NBC’s Late Night franchise. They band follows in the footsteps of Paul Shaffer and The World’s Most Dangerous Band and Max Weinberg and the Max Weinberg Seven.

Quite possibly, The Roots represent the first established hip hop band to become the house band for a major talk show. Formed in 1987 and based in Philadelphia, Pa., the eclectic band has been winning fans with its eclectic sound since its 1993 debut album, Organix. The album was put together quickly to have something to promote when the group was offered a chance to perform in Europe.

They have been compared in some circles with The Dave Matthews Band, but with a sharper edge and more urban sound. The Roots toured with Dave Matthews in 2007. Band Members

  • Black Thought (MC)
  • ?uestlove (drums)
  • Kamal Gray (electronic keyboard)
  • F. Knuckles (percussion)
  • Captain Kirk Douglas (electric guitar)
  • Owen Biddle (bass)
Former members

  • Kid Crumbs (Kenyatta Warren) (MC)
  • Rubberband (Josh Abrams) (bass)
  • Malik B. (MC)
  • Rahzel (beatbox)
  • Scott Storch (electronic keyboard)
  • Ben Kenney (electric guitar)
  • Scratch (beatbox)
  • Dice Raw (MC)
  • Hub (bass)


  • Organix – 1993
  • Do You Want More?!!!??! – 1995
  • Illadelph Halflife – 1996
  • Things Fall Apart – 1999
  • Phrenology – 2002
  • The Tipping Point – 2004
  • Game Theory – 2006
  • Rising Down – 2008

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