Roots To Join Busta Rhymes On 'Saturday Night Live'

Jazzy rap group set to perform two songs with New York MC on comedy show this weekend.

Philadelphia rap group the Roots were scheduled to join high-energy

New York MC Busta Rhymes on this weekend's edition of "Saturday

Night Live" for a rare performance featuring Rhymes with live

musical accompaniment.

The Roots rap collective, known for their aversion to samples and

their use of live instrumentation, planned to accompany Rhymes on

performances of two songs from his most recent album,

Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front.

"The Roots are [one] of the most authentic quality hip-hop

ensemble[s] around," said lead MC Black Thought (born Tariq

Trotter) of why he thought Rhymes had tapped the six-man

collective to accompany him on the weekly 90-minute comedy


The nationally televised collaboration between Rhymes and the

Roots represents a drastic change for Rhymes (born Trevor Smith),

who typically performs accompanied by only a DJ and members of

his Flipmode Squad rap crew.

"Our whole thing is about setting a foundation where we are

constantly switching up the textures and keeping it fresh," Black

Thought said. "We're always coming up with new s--- and ways to

present our music, and Busta wants the best."

Black Thought said the Roots would back Rhymes on performances

of the frenetic "Gimme Some

More" (RealAudio excerpt), the first single from

E.L.E., and the equally frenzied call-and-response song

"Tear Da Roof Off."

The Roots are about to release their third major-label album,

Things Fall Apart (Feb. 23), which includes a duet with R&B

singer Erykah Badu on the first single, the jazzy rap tune


music/Roots,_The/You_Got_Me.ram">"You Got Me"

(RealAudio excerpt).

Their new album draws its title from the classic 1958 novel by

Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Black Thought said the theme of the

novel -- the devastating effects of cultural imperialism on a Nigerian

village -- fits the apocalyptic theme of the first single's video.

"It's just a sign of the times," Black Thought said of the "You Got

Me" clip, which depicts the band's members as survivors in a

seemingly post-apocalyptic world, walking through city streets

littered with lifeless bodies.

"It's art imitating life," Black Thought explained. "The video goes

even further [than the song] to represent the tradition of the [book's]

title. It's the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next."