All Articles Tagged "the roots"

“We Got You” BET Announces Artists Involved In The Prince Tribute

June 7th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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After the news of Prince’s passing fully set in—for some of us, points to myself, it still hasn’t— we began wondering who would be selected to honor the late, great musical icon. Since the Billboard Music Awards proved themselves incompetent in the face of the challenge, all of our hopes rested on the shoulders of BET.

And with their appropriately timed, super shady tweet, the network led us to believe that they were going to deliver.



Well, according to a recent press release announcing the artists set to honor The Artist, it seems like they were telling the truth.

The Roots, D’Angelo, Janelle Monae and Sheila E. are the performers set to celebrate the legend and his music.

I know I saw quite a few of these names on the wish list. I’m particularly happy to see Sheila E. made the cut since songwriter/producer, Linda Perry, went out of her way to not only defend Billboard’s decision to have Madonna tribute Prince but to insult his musical protégée and former fiancee, Sheila E., along the way.

In case you missed it, on CBS’ “The Talk,” Perry said, “…it’s really the Billboard Awards, they think about who is hot and popular. They’re not gonna call up Chaka Khan and re-put together The Time and Sheila E. because they’re not relevant right now.” 

But Madonna is apparently poppin’ in these streets.

Oh, okay…

Either way, with this line-up, we’re officially excited.

The BET Awards, which will be hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, for the second year in a row, will air live on Sunday, June 26 at 8 p.m. EST.

Sick of Reading About White Boys and Dogs, Marley Dias Launches #1000BlackGirlBooks

January 26th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Fox 29

Source: Fox 29

When I was going into first grade, my parents went over to the school and insisted that I have a Black teacher. Growing up, I always thought my parents were a little too militant; so for years, I didn’t quite understand them being so adamant. But now? I’m older and I “overstand” the importance of representation and having role models that look like you, which is what my first grade teacher Miss Dalton, now Mrs. Bush, ultimately became.

Marley Dias, an 11-year-old from New Jersey, is leaps and bounds ahead of me when it comes to understanding the importance of seeing yourself. In fact, Marley Dias is leaps and bounds ahead of most people, at any age, when it comes to being an awesome human being. In the past year she received Disney’s “Friends for Change” grant, served food to orphans in Ghana and started a book club.

And as if that weren’t enough, Dias launched a campaign to collect #1000BlackGirlBooks. As the hashtag suggests, she’s looking for 1,000 books that feature a Black girl as the main character.

Dias started the campaign after feeling a bit frustrated in her classroom. Her teacher, a White man, often assigned books that were reflective of his experiences.

According to the Philly Voice, one day, Dias came home expressing her frustration to her mother.

“I told her I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” Dias said, pointing specifically to “Where the Red Fern Grows” and the “Shiloh” series. “‘What are you going to do about it?’ [my mom] asked. And I told her I was going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not background characters or minor characters.”

Since she launched her campaign, Dias is halfway to her goal of 1,000 books by February 1.

The books will be donated to a library in St. Mary, Jamaica, her mother’s hometown.

The book collecting campaign is one of the activities in the GrassROOTS Community Foundation Super Camp, which was founded by Marley’s mother, Janice, and Tariq, “Black Thought” Trotter of the Roots.

Marley says she hopes her efforts inspire other girls to work toward the changes they’d like to see take place in their lives.

As for future plans, Marley says, “I want to be a magazine editor for my own magazine. And I’d also like to continue social action. For the rest of my life.”

A girl after our own hearts.

Watch Marley’s incredibly charming interview with Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia in the video below.

If you’d like to donate to #1000BlackGirlBooks, you can find out how to do so below.

Celebs Who Traced Their DNA Roots

February 13th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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With advancements in modern technology, we can now have our DNA traced back hundreds of years with just a couple swabs of the cheek. As you know, the MN editorial staff is currently awaiting results of the DNA testing with, so we decided to shout out these celebrities who went on a hunt to find out where their lineage lies. Here are 15 celebs who traced their DNA roots.

"Whoopi Goldberg pf"


Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg was born and raised in New York City but after having her DNA traced a few years back, the talk show co-host now has another place to call home. Her genetic make up consists of 92% sub-Saharan African descent. The Sarafina star’s ancestors are from the Papel and Bayote tribes, who mainly clustered in what is now modern-day Guinea-Bissau. Goldberg is interested in receiving her citizenship from the tiny African country.

“Brandy Little Sister Lame”: Kanye Finally Responds To Ray J’s “I Hit It First”

September 10th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Kanye West Ray J


When Ray J dropped “I Hit It First” in April, the consensus for folks with good sense was that Brandy’s little brother had stooped to a new low. Not only was Ray J lying in the track, but it was a tacky display altogether, “kissing and telling” on an individual who is clearly happy in a new relationship, and was at the time, with child. Kim Kardashian never responded to such foolery, and surprisingly, Kanye West never opened his mouth (not even in his controversial sit-down with Kris Jenner) about the wack track…until now.

While performing his song “Bound 2” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon from the Yeezus album, and backed by Charlie Wilson, the Roots and a talented boy’s choir, the rapper opened the song with a new lyric. The original opening line is, All them other ni**as lame, and you know it now, but on the show, he started with “Brandy little sister lame and you know it now.” It was his first live performance of the song ever and the first time he ever stepped on the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon stage, and he used such an opportunity on a stage that could be seen by a national audience to basically say “F U” to Ray J. The “One Wish” singer isn’t too fond of people trying to diss him (I’m sure you recall the squabble he had with Fabolous a few years back over some Twitter comments), so I wouldn’t be surprised if he responded. But he’s definitely done enough talking already…

Check out the performance of “Bound 2” (which is actually pretty good–Charlie Wilson kills it!) and let us know what you think!

Robin Thicke Recreates “Blurred Lines” With The Roots Using Children’s Instruments On “Jimmy Fallon”

August 2nd, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Robin Thicke

As if you you couldn’t love “Blurred Lines” enough already, on last night’s episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Robin Thicke teamed up with Fallon and The Roots to have a jam session and recreate the song using children’s instruments. We’re talking colorful xylophones, maracas, kazoos, ukeleles, plastic flutes, cowbells, a guiro, and more. Black Thought filled in for TI on the rap part, and a very enthusiastic Fallon filled in for Pharrell to do back-up vocals. Safe to say, they killed it, and it just so happened to be adorable.

This isn’t the first time Jimmy Fallon has performed popular songs with children’s instruments and other interesting tools. He did so with Carly Rae Jepsen for “Call Me Maybe,” Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” and “Your Body” with Christina Aguilera. Thicke appeared on the show to promote his new album, Blurred Lines, which came out on July 30 and is expected to go number one (*fingers crossed*) and has been all over the talk show circuit to remind folks, including you, that they need to support a fella. Check out the video below and let us know if you love their performance as much as we do!

It’s Not Easy Being “The Man!” Questlove Talks About How His Public Life Has Affected His Personal Life & Relationships

June 15th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Source: Village Voice

It is not easy being one of the most sought after men in the music business.

Questlove has been the drummer and musical director for The Roots for over 20 years, since he and band mate, Black Thought, first created the group. In the years since, his life has become a sort of whirlwind.  The Roots are the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Quest also djs private and public events almost every night of the week, works with other artists on their albums and recently opened a chicken spot called Hybird in New York City.

But it hasn’t come without a price.

In a recent interview with The Village Voice, the music aficionado discusses how his life as “Quest” has taken a toll on his private life as Ahmir Thompson (his real name):

“You know, after work, everyone hangs and they go to a bar and stuff?” says Thompson, sounding a bit like an anthropologist who has just pinpointed a key habit of a strange tribe. “I don’t socialize that way. I don’t have a posse. I don’t have friends. I got the people I work with. I got a mom and a sister.”

He takes it a step further and says that his most consistent relationship has actually been with Black Thought (although as many fans know, the two often go through their “tough” moments).

The article states that The Roots are contractually obligated to work on Late Night 200 days out of the year but Quest, in the past, has often said between his other gigs, he works 364 days a year. So while the show gives the other members of The Roots time to connect back with their families, clearly Quest doesn’t allow time to nurture romantic or platonic relationships.

Quest says that music is spiritual for him and not something to turn on when he wants to feel “street or cool.”  In understanding that, maybe it gives a better sense of why he’s always working: it seems he “frees” himself when dealing with anything related to music.

But you have to wonder if this life will allow him time to relax and slow down, if he even wants that for himself.

Are you a fan of Questlove? Do you have a passion as deep as his that often closes you off from more personal relationships?

J.Cole Woos Us On ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’

May 24th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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From StyleBlazer

J.Cole recently hit up Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to perform his single “Power Trip” from his anticipated album Born Sinner And the Grammy nominated artist gave an amazing performance with a style to match!
The rapper donned a leather colorblocked sweater by Clothsurgeon and Kith Mercer Pants. To keep it all the way fresh, he completed his look with a Comme des Garcon belt and Jordan kicks.
J. Cole’s new album hits stores June 18. We hope his sophomore album is as hot as his style!
Read more and watch the performancee on

Worst Kept Secret Ever: Jay Leno Out As “Tonight Show” Host, Jimmy Fallon In

April 3rd, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

NBC has finally announced what we already knew: Jay Leno is out as host of The Tonight Show come Spring 2014 and Jimmy Fallon is in. Fallon just closed a new deal with NBC this morning, and Leno followed soon after with his statement on the matter. “Congratulations Jimmy,” CNN quotes him. “I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.” Leno had been the host for 22 years and topped the ratings. Fears about the 62-year-old host losing a young audience to Jimmy Kimmel on ABC played a role in the change.

Just as exciting, we’ll get to see The Roots an hour earlier! We support that. Moreover, for the New Yorkers, the show is coming back East. So we can just mosey on over to 30 Rock and check it out.

Even though there had been speculation about all of this, it seems like things moved kind of quickly in the end. It was only the other day that we were watching the two do their best West Side Story in a skit that got a lot of pick up.

Jimmy Fallon To Take Over ‘The Tonight Show’ And Move It To NYC So He Can Hang On To The Roots

March 21st, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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AP Photo/NBC Universal, Lloyd Bishop

AP Photo/NBC Universal, Lloyd Bishop

It’s looking more and more likely that Jay Leno will be giving up his place as host of The Tonight Show, turning it over to Late Night host (and viral video hit maker) Jimmy Fallon. The details haven’t been worked out, but The New York Times is saying this could happen by fall 2014. And the show would leave Los Angeles and head back to New York, where it started in 1954.

“One senior executive who has been involved in the discussions said on Wednesday that ‘there is no way on earth that this is not going to happen,'” one source told the Times.

One of the reasons the paper says Fallon wants to stay in NYC is to hang on to his stellar house band, The Roots. Many of Fallon’s most popular jokes, skits, and videos involve Questlove and the crew, so this is an important part of the show. Moreover, Fallon is from New York and has deep roots of his own in the city.

Jay Leno remains strangely popular, topping the ratings for the past few years. The question Buzzfeed asks is why everyone — except those viewers who keep Leno on top — dislike him so much. Some of the general perceptions of the host that are used in the story include “moral cowardice,” “sniveling backstabber,” and “modern milquetoast.”

“The combined effect of all these sins was to set in stone an animus towards Leno that nothing can touch. To be a thinking or cool person in America is to hate Jay, and like Dave, or Conan, or Kimmel, or Jon Stewart: anyone in the long line of talk show hosts breaking off a niche of the stratifying media world by being edgier and cooler than Leno,” the article says. Eeek.

Do you still watch late night network TV? Would Jimmy Fallon bring you back?

That’s Our First Lady: Michelle Obama Hits Her Dougie on ‘Jimmy Fallon’

February 23rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Getty Images

Where were you the night First Lady Michelle Obama broke out into the dougie on national television?

On Friday night, Michelle Obama took to the talk show scene when she made her first appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She was there to promote her “Let’s Move” initiative and before they sat down to talk, Mrs. Obama and Fallon (as a woman) performed a nifty number described as “The Evolution of Mom Dancing.” The dances ranged from “The Hip Bump to the “Just the hands part of the Single Ladies Dance” and finally, “the Dougie,” which “Mama Fallon” sat out because it was a bit too advanced for “her.”

After the dance performance, Mrs. Obama sat down with Fallon to discuss the strides they’ve made with the “Let’s Move” initiative, including Wal-Mart lowering prices on fruits and vegetables as well as the obesity rate of children in Mississippi being lowered by 13 percent since “Let’s Move” kicked off three years ago.

While Jimmy Fallon shared with Mrs. Obama his wishes to see a Clinton/Obama (Michelle, that is) presidential ticket in 2016, the First Lady said she has her own plans: to possibly take over as host of Jay Leno’s show whenever he decided it was time to retire.

For whatever some may think of President Obama, you’ve got to work really hard to dislike the First Lady – she’s just so likeable!

Check out “The Evolution of Mom Dancing” below!