O.G. Philly hip-hop group The Roots must now clear their music selections with producers on NBC before they can play them on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, as reported by Rolling Stone. The Roots are known for cleverly selecting intro songs to play as guests walk on stage, but they found themselves in hot water recently after playing Fishbone’s “Lying Ass Bitch” as republican presidential hopeful Michelle Bachman took the stage.
Photo Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC
Roots’ drummer and Fallon bandleader Questlove tweeted before the show “aight late night walkon song devotees: you love it when we snark: this next one takes the cake. ask around cause i aint tweeting title.”, offering a link to buy Fishbone’s music on iTunes after a few fans correctly identified the song.
Shortly after the airing of the episode, the Bachman received a personal letter of apology from Don Vaughn, NBC’s vice president of late night programming, as well as an apology phone call from Fallon.
“It was a real bummer that it happened,” Fallon told Rolling Stone. “We don’t want to censor anyone, but…I don’t know. Maybe Questlove is a Romney guy.”
Questlove must now clear his songs with three people before he can go on stage, and he is forbidden from tweeting about the incident ever again.
“It’s still a comedy show, so they promise not to step on my toes or that type of thing, but they definitely want to know the title of the song, the subject matter of the song – can it be seen as an insult?” Questlove told the Associated Press. “It was kind of wrong for me to throw [NBC] under the bus without telling them what it was, so I understand from a business standpoint.”