It’s no secret that The Roots are a massive band and that they’re also one of the busiest bands in show business.
As the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, their three decades of musical experience and hustle have finally cumulated into worldwide recognition and mainstream acclaim along with their critical respect. So it was a rather impressive by NPR’s All Songs Considered program to secure an appearance for the burgeoning ‘Tiny Desk Concert’ series and squeeze so many humans into such a small space, but that is exactly what they were able to do and the result is more than worth it.
Rather than performing a medley or the typical three-song set (that all other artists have done), The Roots spend a little bit of time on a funky horn piece, then launch into their masterful protest song with Bilal, ‘It Ain’t Fair.’
The signature track from “Detroit”, the August film that depicts the events leading to the Detroit riots of 1967, ‘It Ain’t Fair’ isn’t just a retrospective of the racial injustice of that era, but an indictment of the lack of progress that we’ve seen since, with Black Thought’s incisive lyricism and Bilal’s poetic lamentation drawing the parallel from those dark times to the modern era.
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