There are many reasons why The Roots are appreciated amongst music aficionados, with the foremost reason being that they seem to speak to us in a way that most musicians don’t. For more than a decade, they have been shaping the mold in modern music, as they have the unique knack to blend their strong Hip Hop background, while making their sound digestible for the masses. Their role in popular music is somewhat of an oasis…the food that you like that happens to be good for you, and their current position as the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon house band is similar, as they are the knowledgeable musical relief that we can all relate to in the dry, buttoned up comedy that is late night television.
On any given night, you can hear The Roots play an obscure cult classic as a guest walks out, or you can see them playing behind an up and coming artist as the band is giving their golden seal of approval. On the broadcast of January 3rd, 2012, they showed the late night comedy world the greatness of what Black Star (Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli), while paying homage to the late great J. Dilla, as Black Star performs their rare classic song Little Brother, a song which features the sample from Roy Ayers’ Ain’t Got Time.
Black Star – Little Brother (Original Version)
Roy Ayers – Ain’t Got Time
From the message that Black Star delivers, to the J. Dilla production, to the sample used, this song represents one of the most profound songs that Hip Hop has ever heard, and to hear this song performed live, with the iconic instrumentation of The Roots gives this song a different interpretation, a new life while recognizing the foundation of what made the original version of this song a timeless collaboration.
This performance would surely make J. Dilla proud, and it most likely fills Roy Ayers with pride as well.
Written by: @Haylow