When it comes to music, late-night talk shows have long been the province of the Great American Songbook—with some rock and jazz mixed in. But when Jimmy Fallon takes the stage next week, it will be with longtime hip-hop band the Roots. “The show's going to be a marriage of two worlds that never have necessarily met before,” rapper and singer Black Thought tells the Wall Street Journal.
But they won’t just be rapping; instead, they’re ready to be “a human karaoke machine,” says drummer ?uestlove. Fallon’s requirements when searching for musicians: “a band with personality, a band with talent, a band that can play with anyone from Tony Bennett to Jay-Z,” he says. It’s a steady job for the heavily touring eight-piece band, which includes a tuba-like Sousaphone—but they say they’ll still be playing gigs of their own.