PICS: The Roots at Harrah’s Resort SoCal

The Roots -- inarguably one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time -- rolled through The Events Center at Harrah's Resort SoCal on Aug. 30 in prime form.

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The group currently serves as the house band on NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" -- a role they've held since Fallon took over hosting duties (they were also the house band for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" show from 2009-2014). (Vocalist Black Thought pictured)
Jeff Herrera, NBC 7
Of course, the nine-member band rose to worldwide popularity before they started getting beamed directly into our televisions on a nightly basis -- the Roots rose up through the Philadelphia music scene in the early '90s with albums such as 1995's "Do You Want More?!!!??!" and 1996's "Illadelph Halflife." (Drummer/co-frontman Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson pictured)
Alex Matthews
"Illadelph Halflife" was their first to break the top 40 on the Billboard 200 chart, thanks in no small part to their video for "What They Do," which received heavy MTV airplay, along with the single "Clones." (Guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas pictured foreground)
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In 1999, the group released "Things Fall Apart," an album that propelled them to worldwide fame; it peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart, certified platinum by the R.I.A.A. and earned the Roots two Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group (which they won).
Alex Matthews
"Things Fall Apart" featured Mos Def, Zap Mama, Common, Erykah Badu, Eve, Beanie Sigel and Jill Scott (among others) and was highly acclaimed. has described it as "one of the cornerstone albums of alternative rap."
Alex Matthews
Recorded in 1997-1998 at New York City's Electric Lady Studios, sessions for "Things Fall Apart" coincided with work on several other landmark records at the facility such as D'Angelo's "Voodoo," Erykah Badu's "Mama's Gun" and Common's "Like Water for Chocolate." What we'd have given to have been a fly on the wall at that studio during that time! (Black Thought pictured)
Alex Matthews
After backing Jay-Z on his live "MTV Unplugged" concert (and LP) in 2001, the Roots released their fifth studio album "Phrenology" the following year. It earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album and was certified gold. (Bassist Mark Kelley pictured)
Alex Matthews
The group released "The Tipping Point" in 2004 (which earned them two more Grammy nominations), followed by 2006's "Game Theory" and 2008's "Rising Down" -- both of which were dark reflections on the political state of the U.S. at the time. (Tuba/sousaphone player Damon "Tuba Gooding, Jr" Bryson pictured)
Alex Matthews
In 2010, the Roots released "How I Got Over," followed by "Undun" in 2011 and "...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin" in 2014. Rumors abound that the group's next album, reportedly titled "End Game," will be released sometime this year. (Questlove pictured)
Alex Matthews
In 2013, the band collaborated with Elvis Costello on the album titled "Wise Up Ghost." Costello explained its recording process as: "We didn’t know what form it might take, whether it was a song or an EP or what. But ideas kept tumbling out, and they seemed connected by an approach to rhythm and lyric writing."
Alex Matthews
Due to the band's role on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," they don't tour as much as they used to -- making their Harrah's Resort SoCal show on Aug. 30 that much more special. (Trumpet player Dave Guy pictured)
F&F Express
In 2013, during his performance on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," the late soul/funk/pop legend Prince infamously borrowed Captain Kirk Douglas' (pictured) vintage 1961 Epiphone Crestwood guitar -- and promptly destroyed it at the end of his performance by throwing it off the stage. To add insult to injury: It wasn't actually owned by Douglas, it was on loan! Ouch.
Rollin Stone
Aside from being one of the most acclaimed and recognizable drummers in the world, Questlove (pictured) has also amassed quite a filmography, appearing in such shows as "Chappelle's Show," "The Eric Andre Show," "Top Chef," "Inside Amy Schumer," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Parks and Recreation," and "Drunk History" (among others).
Alex Matthews
Needless to say, the Roots put on a fantastic show at Harrah's Resort SoCal -- it was everything we hoped it'd be!
Alex Matthews
We can only hope they take a short break from filming "The Tonight Show" and play San Diego again soon!
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