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Friday, March 20, 2009

The Roots back up Jimmy Fallon

Since its premiere weeks ago, the Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon has featured the talented and often underrated legendary Roots Crew as the back up band. Here's Jimmy Fallon featuring the Roots from last night's show in a segment called "Slow Jammin' the News"...

The move by the group to this position as a late night backup band has received mixed criticism, including this rant from

“I’ve never had a group that I actually like go the late night house band route. Springsteen fans saw Max Weinberg take his act to Conan’s show; and I’m sure there were some jazz heads who were flabbergasted to see their main man Kevin Eubanks signing up with Jay Leno. But The Roots? The Illadelph generals opening up for that stuttering mop-headed ball of suck, Jimmy Fallon? It’s kind of tragic.

On one hand, we’ll get to see The Roots on TV every night; on the other hand, Black Thought opening for Jimmy Fallon every night is the cultural equivalent of Miles Davis playing his horn on the subway platform to back up a semi-trained dancing spider monkey.”

Last night's episode featured The Roots in a comedy sketch similar to MTV's The Hills called "7th West". Jimmy Fallon bumped into them at the office and asked their opinion on which tie he should have worn. While Jimmy Fallon is still nowhere near the level of Conan O'Brien with his comedy sketches and overall show, having The Roots backing him up doesn't hurt him. The question is whether the band is hurting themselves by taking this gig? The Roots have plenty of cred amongst hip hop and alt fans. This move could potentially thrust them more into the mainstream then some would like, but it could also help with new connections and lead to further appearances. This legendary band has the talents and they deserve to be seen. Whether or not Jimmy Fallon will sustain the late night show, increase its viewership, or just be canceled out like many other show businesses these days could be the key factor in how much exposure the Roots crew gets.

For another treat check out rap pioneers Public Enemy performing "Bring the Noise" with The Roots backing them up: Daily Highlights Late Night with Jimmy Fallon video!

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