Tag Archives: The Roots

watch the new video for “100” from dice raw

19 Nov

this past june philly rapper (and Roots’ collaborator) dice raw released the first of a trilogy of EP’s called The Greatest Rapper Never: Preservation. check out the video below for the song “100” from the ep and be on the lookout for a new track from the second installment in the series transformation

listen to new roots ft big k.r.i.t, “make my”

17 Oct


oh yeah.
new roots
album is called undun

Zilla Rocca, the Roots pay tribute to J Dilla

7 Feb


Philly local hip-hopper, producer, musician and writer Zilla Rocca has taken a moment to remind us of the significant influence of hip-hop producer and DJ J Dilla. Yesterday Dilla would have celebrated his 37th birthday had he not passed away at the young age of 32 on February 10th, 2006. Dilla, (born James Dewitt Yancey) was a legendary producer and DJ who emerged out of Detroit’s underground hip-hop scene in the Nineties and worked with A Tribe Called Quest, Common, De La Soul and others. He also was a founding member of The Soulquarians with Roots’ members Questlove and James Poyser and neo-soul musician Bilal.

To understand J Dilla’s legacy take a few moments and read this article written by Zilla Rocca called “The Beat Generation: The J Dilla Effect.” In it Rocca explains what he thinks made J Dilla so important:

After listening to The Shining, Welcome 2 Detroit , Like Water for Chocolate, Amplified, Fantastic Vol. 2 and Jaylib’s Champion Sound was that Jay’s greatest triumph as a producer wasn’t necessarily the off-kilter pacing of his drums nor the seamless blend of phlanged-out samples and spacey Detroit synths. No—Dilla had the gift of making average, ho-hum, nonsensical rappers sound like superstars.People worship at the altar of DJ Premier because not only does he make burger-flippers like Group Home sound dope, but he makes technically GREAT rappers sound UNF*!#WITABLE (hello Nas, Royce, Common, Jay, Big, etc). And they’re right—his tracks have a signature thumping kick drum and harsh snares (that 9th Wonder still can’t mimic) coupled with 2-4 bar chopped up samples that never get in the way of the lyricism. No big drum fills, no crashing cymbals—just supreme head nodding.

Last April, The Roots paid tribute to J Dilla with a collection called Dilla Joints in which they played renditions of some of Dilla’s greatest hits including this song, “The Stars.” Right below is Zilla Rocca’s tribute, a jam called “Let’s Do This,” which Rocca put up on his SoundCloud page.

JD, may you be jamming in peace.

The Roots – Dilla Joints 06 – The Stars by Hypetrak

Let’s Do This (J Dilla Tribute) by ZillaRoccaNoir