The Roots showed Chicago what a hip-hop band could do at Taste of Chicago by delivering dopeness on the stage of the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park. Young and old, Black and White filled the area anticipating the first note from the legendary band. Before that happened Chicagoans got a treat from hometown hero and independent rap star Chance the Rapper with a quick set. Danny Trumpet, who founded Social Experiment with Chance, asked the crowd to take a moment of silence for Alton Sterling, the man who was shot in cold blood by Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police. Chance filled his brief set with songs from his most recent project Coloring Book.
The Roots began their set with the audio montage from the beginning of their album Things Fall Apart as Black Thought and Questlove came onto the stage the crowd roared. The Roots have the ability to cross genres. One moment they are jamming out to James Brown and the next they are belting out “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns and Roses.
The diverse crowd stood on their feet to enjoy the skills of these master musicians and emcee. Black Thought’s dexterity on the microphone is superb. At one point during the night, they poked fun at the mumbling staccato type style that is popular today. One of the most memorable moments of the night is when Jussie Smollet of “Empire” hit the stage to sing the chorus to “You Got Me,” which was written by Jill Scott and performed by Erykah Badu. Not to be outdone, Taraji P. Henson was back on the scene enjoying herself, seemingly Snapchatting every moment.
We asked Keinika Carlton what she thought of The Roots show, “I thought it was amazing! The Roots [are] one [of] the most amazing [bands] of my generation. They will definitely be legends.”
The Legendary Roots Crew added the word legend to their names, they deserve to use it.