“A Roots Jam Session is always a journey…I’ve come to expect the unexpected.”
That’s Black Thought, speaking backstage at the 2019 Citi Sound Vault. The rapper and MC, along with drummer Questlove, co-founded the renowned Philadelphia-based hip-hop group The Roots in 1987.
The Roots’ history of hosting and performing Jam Sessions goes back roughly 25 years, Black Thought says, and the goal has always been to give well-known and emerging artists alike a space to play that felt looser and more open to possibilities. Numerous venues have played host to Roots Jam Sessions in that time, and the shows have given a platform to an array of talent, from up-and-coming artists to live instrumental acts to brash MCs.
Life and Money by Citi sat down with Black Thought (born Tariq Trotter) for an exclusive conversation on what makes the band’s Jam Sessions — and particularly, their series with Citi Sound Vault — so special. Check out the video and read on below.