Watch the Roots' Frank Sinatra-Inspired Freestyle on 'Fallon' - Rolling Stone
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Watch the Roots’ Frank Sinatra-Inspired Freestyle on ‘Fallon’

Questlove and co. also nod to Chic and Christopher Cross during amusing sequence

The Roots invoked Frank Sinatra, Chic and Christopher Cross during a freestyle-themed portion of The Tonight Show on Tuesday.

Jimmy Fallon headed into the crowd to mine source material for his trusty house band. With Valentine’s Day and the NBA All-Star Game around the corner, Fallon asked audience members to answer hypothetical-yet-topical questions: “If you could make up your own candy heart, what would it say?” “If you owned your own basketball team, what would it be called?”

The Roots’ Black Thought came up with a few whimsical lyrics based around the answers. When Fallon asked a viewer to invent a basketball team, he came up with “the Super Fresh Corn Hustlers.” But Black Thought managed to make it work, concocting the lyric, “the Super Fresh Corn Hustlers at the NBA All-Star Game/ They playin’ to win, I hope they do, ’cause if not it would be a shame.”

Once the lyrics were composed, the rest of the band snapped together a groove in a style requested by Fallon. For the Valentine’s Day tune, he asked the Roots to summon the spirit of Frank Sinatra, and they responded with light swing. Later they performed a disco number that nodded to the melody of Chic’s “I Want Your Love.” They brought the segment to a satisfying close with a warm yacht rock tune in the mode of Christopher Cross’ “Sailing Away.”


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