Quickies: The Roots, Erykah Badu and Tia Kemp


A few quickies for you this morning dear readers….


1. Can someone please explain the current lineup of The Roots to me? I’m very confused.

My favorite kids’ show is a weird combination of live action puppetry and a DJ named Lance Rock who wears a skintight orange suit. It’s called Yo Gabba Gabba! and it’s awesome. Example of awesomeness: A regular feature is Biz Markie’s “Beatbox of The Day.”

‘Nuff said.

They have the occasional celebrity, singing a song or doing a knock-knock joke. It’s always someone very hipster-friendly. Like Jack McBrayer, from 30 Rock, (he was also the geek in Mariah Carey’s Touch My Body video).

I caught a recent episode of Yo Gabba Gabba! which featured the legendary Roots crew singing a song called Lovely Family.

At least I think it was The Roots.

The bad has evolved and revolved for years, adding and deleting members faster than Matthew Knowles. But there’s always been a fluidity and consistency that’s made each band change feel seamless.

When rapper Malik B left, there was still Black Thought, the band’s frontman lyricist. Malik B returned occasionally to trade verses with Thought and then would disappear again. Scratch and Rahzel, both beatboxers, came and went. And came. And went. But the overall feel of the group never changed.

And of course, you always have ?uestlove, the centerpiece, spokesperson and heart of the band.

So when I saw ?uest’s Afro and ubiquitous Afro pick behind the drums on the set of Yo Gabba Gabba! I was excited to be able to introduce Tog to The Roots.

But I didn’t recognize the band at all.

The lead singer is completely unfamiliar to me. Never seen him before. I don’t know if he’s only in the Yo Gabba Gabba version of The Roots or if he’s really in the band. The bassist, (the guy who always had the chew stick in the mouth), is gone. And there are other random faces I don’t recognize. And why do The Roots have a lead singer anyway? I’ve always appreciated the concept of a hip-hop band. But I’m not sure how I feel about adding a singer to the mix. It feels a little Black-Eyed Peas-ish to me…

But what really bothers me is Black Thought.

It’s not (just) that he’s singing on this track. Which is strange enough. But I suspect he might be lip synching. To someone else’s voice. This is just all kinds of bizarre. And I need answers. Check the clip out, (sorry, this was the only clip I could find on YouTube. Someone did it real bootleg style). Check out Black Thought at :46 seconds in.

Dear readers, can you please explain this to me? I’m not against rappers-turned-singers. But this is The Roots. And is it just me? Or is this whole thing just way weird?

Moving on…


2. Erykah Badu delivered baby number three yesterday. Homebirth. No meds. No doctors. First things first: Erykah, I bow down to you. You are superior to me in every possible way. A five hour labor with no epidural? Yes. I bow down.

Now, about the kiddies.

This little girl makes number three. She joins her big sister Puma, who is four. And her big brother Seven, who is eleven. Puma’s daddy is rapper D.O.C. Seven’s daddy is Andre 3000 from Outkast. And New Baby’s daddy is producer Jay Electronica.


Do you all remember Bonita Bitrell from In Living Color?

She was always talking loud to someone off screen, waving and inviting them over. And then as soon as they’d walk away, she’d turn directly to the camera and talk smack about them. She always ended by saying: But I ain’t one to gossip. So you ain’t hear it from me.

That’s the way I feel about Erykah right now. I so don’t want to gossip. And I so don’t want to judge. But. I. Just. Can’t. Stop. My…self…

Dear readers, are we okay with this? Not that it’s our business. But. Um. Three babies. Three daddies. No husband?

I’m sure she can provide for them all financially. So there are no concerns there. And we all know Erykah is on her own planet where different rules apply.

I’m not saying anything. I’m just sayin’.

If she’d adopted all three as a single mom, I wouldn’t have a thing to say. I’d commend her. So why do I feel differently about three children born to her from three separate relationships? Babies are a blessing. She was in a relationship with each man. So it’s all good. Right? I’m not so sure…

And last but not least, speaking of baby mammas….


3. The web world is all a-buzz with news of Tia Kemp, the mother of rapper Rick Ross’ son and her encounter with 50 Cent.  For my older readers, (hi Mommy!), and my non-hip-hop-knowledgeable readers, (hi Portia!), here’s the simplified backstory…

Rick Ross is a rapper. 50 Cent is a rapper. They are at odds with each other. They have begun to say not-nice things to each other on songs. 50 Cent has taken things one step further by interviewing Rick Ross’ baby mamma and putting this interview up on his website.

Okay, now that we’re all up to speed, can someone please explain to me WHY this woman would do something like this? I am thoroughly confused. Ms. Kemp is having a disagreement with Mr. Ross, a custody battle of some sort I presume. So, in retaliation, she has allowed herself to be interviewed by Rick Ross’ rival? And she let him take her shopping? For a fur coat? Even though she lives in Florida? And doesn’t even have a CAR?

I don’t really care about 50. Or Rick Ross. Or Tia Kemp. They are all grown folks making their own decisions. Their tomfoolery is their own.

But what about Rick Ross’ son?

This kid has to see his own mother on video, acting like, (as my grandmother would say), a Pure D Fool. Taking gifts in exchange for trash talking his father.

It makes my stomach hurt. And it makes me think of Nas’ daughter, Destiny, who will one day hear Jay-Z saying some awful stuff about her parents on the song Supa Ugly. (If she hasn’t heard it already).

I haven’t felt things become this tense in hip-hop since Jay and Nas were going at it. I don’t like where this is headed…

Dear readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of the above….


21 Responses to “Quickies: The Roots, Erykah Badu and Tia Kemp”

  1. Timothy Says:

    you called it right…tomfoolery…cant waste anymore brainspace thinking about it

  2. Hanif Says:

    I noticed the change up with the roots, but didn’t think much into it to research. The song is hot, me an my little one jam to it everyday. Also my favorite, Yummy in my tummy.

    Erykah is making a band. Two MC’s and a producer.

    Now, I ask the BM would she ever cross me. 50 had me feeling a little insecure with that stunt. She assured me that that was absurd and she wouldn’t think of it, even if I took her car and didn’t pay child support. Ride or Die.

    No need to worry, the clothes came from 50’s marketing budget, just another promo war in a lame attempt to sell albums. I wish we could truly compare this to Nas and Jay.

  3. Aliya S. King Says:

    @timothy: you’re right. I’m done with it.
    @hanif: lol at erykah and her making the band. as for your BM, I think that stunt got a LOT of dudes thinking. How COULD you? or just…COULD you? Ever? I think I might have to make that a completely separate post. What could a man do so wrong that would ever make a woman go to those extremes?

  4. Margaret Says:

    Ok first let me say the song that I find myself sing along with my shadow is “the party in my tummy”. At first when we watched it I was like who and why is this grown man dancing around in this tight tight track suit that looks like a catsuit. But once I got past him and shadow really got into it I was hooked. Then they had the people from the music industry on and some actors well and like you when I saw and herd the Roots singing ” I love my Faimly” I was like huh what because DH is a huge roots fan I like the music but don’t no as much about them as DH does. So I have to keep my eyes open because like you I wasn’t sure if it was a mix of people from another group or is this the new roots.

    Now Mizz Badu again I love me some Badu and all of her foolishness is her own.”I still sing Next Life time ” love it love it . Anyway I just feel that Erykah like many others just don’t think about the long term affect of what they are doing. I do not think and this is my thoughts I don’t think it is ok to keep haveing baby after baby with everybody you deal with. Because let’s face it if she is having these children then she is not using any protection which honestly is not my buisness but it needs to be addressed. When did it become ok to have all these kids just because you can afford them. I just don’t like it. Love her music but it just bothers me and I feel bad because I no it really shouldn’t
    The 50 cent thing all I can say is HOT MEss , basically she was bought. She didn’t take the money to put in an account for her child or for a car but for a coat that is so not needed. I just feel really disgusted by this just as I felt wtih the Jay -Z, , Carmen mess somethings need to stay private. Once again lets put the CL back in ASS

  5. Margaret Says:

    Ok Yo Gabba Gabba is a fav in our house my shadow loves it and. The Party in my Tummy song is sung a lot. And I likeed the roots I love my family. The guy sining was weird becasue I had no clue who he was. Erykah and her mess all I can say is I disagee with her and all others that do this. I just feel in the long term it does create some kind of mess that the childern have to deal with not the momma. Who enjoyed the making. And what ever happened to protection dang does nobody care about STD”s or is that just everyday folks that get them. Now the mess with 50 Cent all I can say is it is a hot mess. No matter what was done to her or said to her I feel you owe a certain level of respect to her son. Just as I have ill feelings about Jay-Z and the Carmen Chick I feel some things need to stay private or take it to the grave. But at no time should you ever do something or say something on purpose that could affect and damgae an child. They didn’t ask to be put in this mess. I always think about celebs kids. Call me crazy just my thoughts

  6. Jovi Says:

    Yo Gabba Gabba. Never heard of it but will introduce to the girls. Love the Roots because ?uestlove reminds be of The Mighty B.

    From work I can’t get to the embedded objects in the blog so I will have so now I have to wait until I go home to enjoy :-(.

    Erykah, three baby daddies and three ‘different’ names. Not a good look but like you said, is it our business.

    A fur coat in Florida. She is making herself look real bad and might get her butt kicked when she goes back down south. I would never put my kids father on national blast, might talk to my girl friends but not on radio.

  7. Anita Says:

    Word on the message boards is Erykah doesn’t take kindly to judgment. It was a funny post, but folks got out of line. And she came in with fiery keyboard.

  8. Aliya S. King Says:

    @anita: at okayplayer.com, right? Yeah, I read that before I posted. I felt bad for her. And she made some good points. But ultimately, I still think it’s suspect.

  9. Anita Says:

    yeah @ OKP.

  10. nextlevel Says:

    Ok sOooooooo….. The rick Ross BM thing… I live in MIA and although I personally would take the high road and not air my dirty laundry…. I aint mad at her! All respect for dude was gone when he repoed the car not leaving transpo to take his seed to and from school… And today he was on the radio saying that they were never in a relationship she was his maid as if that doesn’t speak volumes for the type of man he is. He was making it seem like she’s beneath him and not “bad” enough for him He’s triffling bragging on wax about “making it rain” in strip clubs and then leaving his BM without transportation to take the kiddie to school…

  11. Aliya S. King Says:

    @nextlevel: whooooooa. rick ross said she was his MAID? oh goodness. but wait. nextlevel, are you okay with how far this whole thing has gone?

  12. The Week In Review: February 7, 2009. « Aliya S. King Says:

    […] I had to deal with a few quick issues: The Roots line-up, Erykah’s new baby (and baby-daddy) and the 50 Cent vs. Rick Ross […]

  13. nina Says:

    you’re right.. the roots are constantly changing. the only original members are thought, ?uest and kamal. HUB (the bassist with the toothpick) left a couple years back… when he left they added captain kirk (i don’t like him personally, he has talent but he’s cocky) who is kneeling on the right. knuckles is the procussionist is standing in the back and has been with the roots for a really long time but never an “official” member. i’ve seen the roots perform like 10x and knuckles has always been there. as for the white dude and the other guy.. i dunno!!! i used to keep up with ?uestlove’s blogs but haven’t in a while. did u know the roots are going to be jimmy kimmel’s band? if you havent heard.. jimmy kimmel is taking over late night with conan o’brien and conan is taking over the tonight show while leno is retiring. i think the idea of THE MOTHAFUCKIN ROOTS being a late night tv show band is hella wack… but we shall see.

  14. Aliya S. King Says:

    @nina: finally, a good explanation! Thank you for breaking this down for me. I don’t think I like Captain Kirk. He doesn’t seem to fit the aesthetic of the group. I did hear about The Roots being Jimmy Kimmel’s band. At first I thought, WTF?! But then I thought. Hey. It’s a recession. Can we blame anyone for how they get their money? No. We can’t. There are worse things they could do…

  15. Nkuli Says:

    I dig erykah
    but i think might get krazie for the kids
    met Puma once and she is just soo adorable and smart
    would dig to checkout the post on okayplayer anyone got the link?

  16. Aliya S. King Says:

    @nkuli: here’s where one place where you can find the comments she made. she went OFF.


  17. Nkuli Says:

    thank you so much, just checked it out, hectic ;-)

    and im glad i came on this site, its kind of cool.

    peace,love and humbleness

  18. Aliya S. King Says:

    @nkuli: you’re welcome. and enjoy the site!

  19. Kristina Says:


  20. anonymous Says:

    I don’t know if I am too late or not but I will be happy to let you know what this is about….by too late i mean this has already been published as the definitive reason why tia is doing this….this is in my opinion of course and do not in any way know either one of these individuals in any way….having said that……here it is…..in child support contracts there is usually a transportation stiupulation that is separate from the monetary child support that is deposited into a checking account. that is where the transportation part comes from. the rest of it is her getting more child support, including a bonus to keep her mouth shut indefinitely. that’s it in a nutshell. and if you ever find yourself in the position of being the parent of a child whose other parent is a celeb, i highly suggest you conisder. it may change your life into a completely different stratosphere, if you get what i mean. if you have no kids and were considering becoming a mother, i highly suggest being the parent of a celeb kid. you get to be a mother, continue in your profession and lifestyle, and be a mom. you get the best of both worlds. don’t pass it by. take my advice. happy holidays!

  21. anonymous Says:

    don’t ask me to elaborate- i refuse.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: