Photo Credit: Owen Ela
Anytime you want to guarantee fans a good time, you’d be hard-pressed to find a band more capable and talented than The Roots. Long after their initial rise as one of the most talented and influential hip-hop bands, the legendary crew became synonymous with improvised jam sessions and incredible performances with a revolving door of artists, whether that be on television with Jimmy Fallon or on tour.
This year, Bud Light is bringing back The Roots and Friends Jam Session at this year’s South by Southwest. The Roots will be joined with hip-hop/R&B newcomer Jidenna along with How High stars Method Man and Redman, as well as other surprise guests slated for the March 18 event.
“The Roots are known for our jam sessions across the country,” says The Root’s (and most underrated MC of all time) Black Thought. “Over a long period of time, we’ve always produced once-in-a-lifetime event experiences and it carries over into what we do at our festivals and what we do when we’re doing a pre-awards party or even at NBA All-Star Weekend—it’s always about the Roots reaching out to [a] specific and unique group of friends and family to curate an experience.”
And its friendship, Black Thought claims, that’s at the heart of the jam session’s guests this year.
“Questlove and I been friends since high—our friendship is the foundation of this band we’re just excited to collaborate with such a wide range of brilliant artists. Speaking to Jidenna, specifically, I found out a few months ago when we played together at a different concert, it was one of the first times I got to sit down and have a conversation with him. He had explained to me that listening to some of my lyrics as a young man…is what made him become an MC. It’s a friendship that’s come full-circle.”
As for Method Man and Redman, that’s a friendship that needs little explaining as the three acts have always run in similar circles.
“We’ve collobrated with Method Man and Redman before on various levels. At one time, we were label mates. Method and I recently worked together on a show for HBO—the recurring theme here is friendship. It’s always an honor [to perform with them]. They’re two artists I hold in high esteem and am comfortable with, and I don’t feel like they need to be directed at all. I feel like we can give them free reign to do what they do and bring that flavor to the jam session.”
It’s always a good time when The Roots are involved, so be sure to catch them at SXSW this year. The Jam Session is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 18 at 800 Congress Street. They’re also slated to appear alongside Odesza and John Legend this year at the Karoondinha Festival.
The Roots and Friends Jam Session 2017: