I wonder how my musical life would have been different if I was never exposed to The Roots. Perhaps I would be much more into other genres of music, like classic soul or reggae. Maybe I wouldn't have such a unrelenting desire to see or hear live music (because live Roots shows are simply the best in the world). It's possible I would have never even become an artist, rather a veterinarian or a motorcycle mechanic. Because The Roots are, quite literally, one of the most influential groups of musicians to my personal sense of artistic aesthetic. They have been at the epicenter of just about every important moment of hip hop for the last 15 years, (the exposure and mentoring of J Dilla, the formation of The Soulquarians, accompanying Jay-Z's appearance on MTV Unplugged, performance in the concert film Dave Chappelle's Block Party, the house band gig on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, etc.) and have proved to be one of the most consistent, thoughtful, versatile, and innovative groups in the history of music.
This is my favorite track from their 1999 release Things Fall Apart. They do Philly proud.