I love The Roots, the legendary Hip Hop band out of Philadelphia. in fact, they are my favorite Hip Hop group, next to A Tribe Called Quest (support the new Q-Tip album The Renaissance)who technically aren't together at the moment so that would make The Roots my favorite group, but I digress.
I watch a lot of Noggin because of my 20-month old son (notice how I blame my son for this guilty pleasure of mine). I saw a recent episode of "Yo Gabba Gabba" and who should I see during a musical interlude, but "The Legendary" ones themselves. Black Thought wasn't spitting fire this time, oh no. Guitarist "Captain Kirk", rarely used vocally, displayed his superior singing talent in a song about family. It was great to see the entire band on the colorful set (Kamal grooving on keys, Questlove on the drums and Black Thought with the hilarious vocal accompaniment) having fun and sending a message to kids.
Seeing The Roots gave "Yo Gabba Gabba" a little more credibility in my eyes (even though I was already converted, a far cry from when I first saw the title and angrily changed the channel in disgust at what I thought was another exploitation of Hip Hop culture by way of suspect Hip Hop vernacular). I thought the title and the buffonish looking lead "DJ Lance" was a disgraceful stereotype of young Black males and Hip Hop culture not fit for kids to study. However, I changed my tune when forced to watch the program over time (I can't monitor my son's cartoons from work) and saw that the themes ranging from being polite to others, family, to what to do with a loose tooth, were valuable lessons that were more important than the physical appearance of the host. With guest spots from R&B recording artist Mya, rapper Biz Markie, and Pheonix Suns star Amare Stoudamire teaching kids dance steps, dribbling moves, beatboxing and more, the show isn't half bad.
Shout out to The Roots for diversifying their musical portfolio. They need to give "Kirk" more shine on future recordings (sidebar: doesn't Scott Storch -the predecessor of Kamal on the keys- wish he stayed with the group now?).
Just my thoughts...
Yo Gabba.... lol.
Hip Hop forever...