The Roots – American hip-hop, neo-soul, and jazz rap band
The Roots was formed in 1987 in Philadelphia. The initial lineup consisted of a vocalist Black Thought, a keyboard player Questlove, and a rap vocalist Malik B, who left the band in 1999. Only the first two members of the initial lineup are still with the group. They met while still attending high school. The musicians showed off their skills at the local talent show. They called the band Square Roots. However, the name was later shortened to The Roots due to a conflict with another group.
In 1993, after signing a contract with DGC Records, the group released its debut LP, Organix. The second release under Cargo Records occurred in 1998. The album climbed to the 93rd spot of Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart.
Between the release of the first and the second LP, the group was joined by bass guitarist Rubberband (Josh Abrams) and Leonard 'Hub' Hubbard, rap vocalist Kid Crumbs (Kenyatta Warren), and keyboardists Kamal Gray, Scott Storch. and Nikki Yeoh.