The Roots will be on hand for the unveiling of a new mural painted in their honor in their hometown of Philadelphia. The dedication ceremony is set to take place May 31 at 11:30 a.m. at the World Communications Charter School. The City of Brotherly Love is known for its myriad colorful public paintings, many of which exist thanks to the Mural Arts Program, a graffiti abatement initiative that started all the way back in 1986. MAP is also responsible for this tribute to these “hometown hip hop trailblazers.”
The new mural is located near the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), where Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter started the group as classmates. “To have it along South Street, near the same corners we were kicked off of for playing our music, is fantastic,” said Questo in an early press release. Boyz II Men aficionados will note that’s the very same South Street that those earlier CAPA grads were often known to be coolin’ on.
MAP initially issued a national open call for artists for the project but wound up working with a local collective, Amber Art and Design. “The first meeting with the artists was amazing,” Thompson said in 2012. “We shared ideas of what the final mural could end up looking like. It’s beyond anything Tariq and I ever dreamed of.” As seen above, the design includes cassette bootlegs of early albums like Do You Want More?!!!??! and Illadelph Halflife, plus ?uestlove’s iconic hair pick.
Check out the Roots discussing the project in February of last year. Your move, Kurt Vile.