The Roots demonstrated their musical versatility Monday night when Jimmy Fallon asked them to perform on-the-spot freestyles in the style of Blake Shelton, the Rolling Stones and the upcoming Hamilton mixtape.
Fallon asked questions to the audience to give Roots MC Black Thought ideas for song lyrics. Most of Fallon’s inquiries were seasonally themed: “Say you’re playing in the snow and you built a snowman,” he said to one audience member. “You put a top hat on its head and it comes to life: What’s the first thing the snowman says to you?” Moments later, Black Thought was singing about meeting a living, breathing snowman, while Questlove adeptly played the harmonica.
The Hamilton mixtape themed-freestyle doubled as an advertisement for the album, due out December 2nd. Black Thought set the scene using information from another audience member, Josh, who said he loved Christmas tree ornaments. But it didn’t take long for the MC to make a smooth segue into album promotion: “Go buy that Hamilton mixtape, I had a hand in it.”
The album features a star-studded group of guests, including both Fallon and the Roots alongside Busta Rhymes, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Folds and more.