Tag: The Roots

Hakim’s Bookstore, Philadelphia’s Oldest Black Bookstore, Garners Support to Stay Open

Yvonne Blake, current owner of Hakim's Bookstore (photo via philly.com)
Yvonne Blake, Hakim’s daughter and current owner of Hakim’s Bookstore (photo via philly.com)

Hakim’s Bookstore, the oldest African-American bookstore, is getting some much-needed help from the Philadelphia community.

According to owner Yvonne Blake, people who heard the news that the store, which has been family-owned-and-operated since 1959, was struggling were quick to respond. Blake said that she has been overwhelmed by all the support she received, reports Philly.com.

Blake’s story, and her store, have been pasted all over social media by everyone from locals to even Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of the Roots, with many using the hashtag #BlackBooksMatter. But Blake said that the most important thing she has seen people do is shop at the store. Their business helps keep the store afloat.

The Early Birds, an online community dedicated to helping support black-owned business, also held a cash mob, in which they encouraged their followers to go to Blake’s store and spend at least $20.

Other people have also volunteered to help Blake run the store, since Blake is also caring for her ailing mother, and people like Temple University student Ebonee Johnson have volunteered their time to keep the doors open.

The support has been overwhelming to Blake, and she hopes it will continue past the holiday season.

“It’s like a dream I don’t want to fully embrace because I don’t want it to end,” she told Philly.com. “It’s been an eye-opener because I thought we were dead and irrelevant. I really thought our time had passed, but I realized that I was living in the past and we have to do things differently if we want to stay around.”

To help out, if you’re in the area, Hakim’s Bookstore is located at 210 S. 52nd St. Visit or call: 215-474-9495.  Check them out on Facebook. They also have a GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/HakimsBookstore

article via thegrio.com

J Dilla Recording Equipment Headed to the Smithsonian

J Dilla Recording Equipment Headed to the Smithsonian

J Dilla was only 32 years old when he died in 2006, but in his too-short life, the prolific producer worked with hip-hop icons including Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, The Roots, De la Soul, Common, and A Tribe Called Quest, even earning a Grammy nomination for his work with Tribe. And now, another honor for the late Detroit beatmaker: His recording equipment will be featured in the Smithsonian.

At the ninth DC Loves Dilla tribute concert on Thursday night, Dilla’s mom, Maureen Yancey, announced onstage that she would donate her son’s custom Minamoog Voyager — one of the last synthesizers Bob Moog built for someone before he died in 2005 — and his MPC to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“I feel it’s necessary to raise the level of art appreciation in the hip-hop sector and honor my son James Dewitt Yancey, one of the most influential individuals in the history of hip-hop,” Dilla’s mom said in a Smithsonian press release announcing the donation.

Below, watch Yancey announce the donation at the benefit concert, which raises money to battle lupus, a disease that might have played a part in Dilla’s early death.

article by Katie Atkinson via billboard.com

Hip-Hop Band The Roots Grow Large in New Philadelphia Mural

Workmen sweep in front of a new mural honoring The Roots, Friday, May 31, 2013, in Philadelphia. As a teen growing up in Philadelphia, Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter got busted for graffiti and was ordered by a judge to clean up such vandalism by painting murals. Now, Trotter and his Grammy-winning band The Roots are scheduled to attend Friday the unveiling of a city-sanctioned mural in their honor. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Workmen sweep in front of a new mural honoring The Roots in Philadelphia. As a teen growing up in Philadelphia, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter got busted for graffiti and was ordered by a judge to clean up such vandalism by painting murals. Now, Trotter and his Grammy-winning band The Roots are scheduled to attend Friday the unveiling of a city-sanctioned mural in their honor. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The house band for NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” is living large in its hometown of Philadelphia. Members of The Roots are now depicted on a multistory mural on the back wall of a school. The group attended a dedication of the project on Friday, May 31st.

The mural is called “Legendary.” It uses a colorful collage of images to trace the history of the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group. Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson says it’s difficult to believe how far the band has come since its founding in the city in 1992. The art project was created by the city’s Mural Arts Program. There are more than 3,600 murals in Philadelphia.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press via thegrio.com

Questlove To Teach “Classic Albums” Class At NYU

questlove-nyu-teacher

The Roots bandleader and music historian Questlove will be putting his extensive knowledge of music to use when he co-teaches a course called “Classic Albums” at New York University.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is set to join forces with Universal Music Group’s Vice President of A&R Harry Weinger to teach the two-credit class at the prestigious Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The course is to begin at the beginning of the spring semester. Some of the albums to be studied are Michael Jackson‘s Off The WallBeastie Boys‘ Paul’s Boutique, and Aretha Franklin‘s Lady Soul, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

article by Jonathan Hailey via theurbandaily.com