Roots Present (Live NYC Concert Summer '04)
Although the Roots weren't kind enough to invite the majority of us to witness first-hand the illest hip-hop lineup in years, at least they're showing us some mercy by releasing a recording of this landmark, invitation only event, on Roots PresentCourtesy of Image Entertainment and Okay Player, this disc features the Roots performing live beside Mobb Deep, Skillz, Jean Grae, Martin Luther, Young Gunz, and Dice Raw to name just a few. What makes this album even more spectacular is that the Roots may be the only hip-hop group to actually sound more impressive on a live recording than a studio album. The integration of some of the most talented cats in the underground into the Roots live, and often-times very instrumental, performance will renew any fan's faith in the potential of hip-hop on stage. The Roots began as a live band in 1987 when rapper Black Thought and drummer ?uestlove became boyz at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. Shortly thereafter, the two linked up with bassist Hub and rapper Malik B., at which time the group began creating a buzz by performing live throughout Philly and New York. After being invited to represent stateside hip-hop at a concert in Germany, the group decided they needed an album to distribute while on tour, and recorded Organix for Remedy Records in 1993. The Roots were signed to DGC later that year, and in 1995 released their major label debut Do You Want More?!!!?! . To promote their album, the Roots played Lollapalooza along with the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. These shows along with their highly instrumental, no samples, and therefore very unique sound, gained them a following among alternative hip-hop fans. Godfather of Noyz, Rahzel, who had previously performed with Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J, had been showcasing his skills as a human beat-box during The Roots' live shows, and quickly became a permanent member of the group. Live in NYC is a testament that the Roots live show remains the strongest in hip-hop.