The Wu came thru on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. My mom was like “Who’s the white guy singing?” Check it out.
It’s been nearly 20 years since I’ve seen quality hip-hop consistently beamed into homes across the U.S. on the proletariat waves of mainstream networks, so I’ve been overjoyed the past couple weeks to have caught PE, Luda, and Santigold on TV.
Jimmy Fallon has been bringing the pain, hardcore to the brains of his Late Show audience, with The Roots smoking all other late night bands and funking up the musical guests. Back in the day, Arsenio had that game sewn up. His stage saw more hip-hop acts than the Apollo. It was worth it to sit through the brother’s softball intros, excruciating interviews, and near-Fetchit clowning for the three minutes of astounding brilliance that was the musical set.
Today is much the same. Fallon is painful to watch; he’s not funny, gratingly ingratiating and looks constricted in his fashionably tight suit. The Roots as house band is the lone shot of hip that may save the host, and Fallon’s not stupid in booking musical acts that play well with them—though their decade plus of touring has helped hone their act, I’m sure.
In fact, Jimmy’s biggest danger is being upstaged. Black Thought and ?uestlove aren’t second stringers. If they ever get some lines written into the show, or the chance to just kick it casually on-air and display some of their natural charisma, forget about slow-jamming the news—Fallon might be singing the blues.
We here at Grownheadz decided to modify our late night viewing a little bit. Last night was the premiere of Jimmy Fallon as the NEW host of Late Night. Everyone it seems is moving on up. Jay Leno gets a new primetime show, Conan gets his spot, and Jimmy Fallon gets to try out the 2nd biggest chair on late night talk.
I don’t know if one day we’ll be telling the grandkids “Ya know I watched the first show when it came on back in the day” but it was aight. You could tell Jimmy was definately a little nervous and its going to take minute for him to find his midnight grrove. But if history is any indication one of two things might happen.
-He’ll suck and die. See Magic Johnson, Chevy Chase, Whoopi Goldberg, and a cast of dozens with “former talk show host” on their resume.
-He’ll suck, but get better. Conan was universally panned when he took over the spot for David Letterman. Everybody was taking bets on when would get the ole heeve hoe. But alas it was not to be. NBC stuck by him and the loyalty payed off.
Anyhoo in a aight debut we found this little tidbit to be amusing.
NOTE: Questlove has said that Black Thought actually has a pretty good singing voice and has actually hinted that they might really do an all singing album. Could this be the beginning of the Roots road to becoming the Black Eyed Peas?
The Roots Take Manhatten
by Roy Harvilla for the Village Voice
The Roots, perhaps hip-hop’s most deified live act—and an increasingly rare sure-thing concert draw for a desperately flailing music industry—have now largely confined their tour bus route to the lonely 100 miles or so between Philly and New York City, there and back again four or five times a week, having tied their future success and viability to Jimmy Fallon’s decidedly unproven skills as a late-night talk-show host.
This is a time of great possibility and profound terror.
Late Monday/early Tuesday, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon will premiere on NBC: The Saturday Night Live alum is replacing Conan O’Brien, who is replacing Jay Leno, who is jumping to an unprecedented prime-time slot as part of a bizarre internal fiasco you’re better off avoiding entirely—except the Roots did not, as they have agreed to be Fallon’s house band. Doc Severinsen begot Paul Shaffer begot Max Weinberg begot ?uestlove (a/k/a Ahmir Thompson), the Roots’ drummer and bandleader, who now sits with rapper Black Thought (a/k/a Tariq Trotter) in a Manhattan recording/rehearsal studio, a scene from the imminent Fame remake being shot right outside, acknowledging the fact that Jimmy’s quest for greatness and longevity is far from assured.
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