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5 of the Best Bands in Hip-Hop, Not Including the Roots

Well before samplers and synthesizers became a part of hip-hop’s fundamental equation, most hip-hop artists recorded their music with live bands in the studio. In the early 1980’s, for example, Brooklyn-based hip-hop group Stetasonic popularized the use of live bands in hip-hops. And, thankfully, the art form has been kept alive throughout the years thanks to artists like The Roots, Common, DJ Quik, OutKast, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Q-Tip. With today’s release of Wake Up!, the collaborative LP from platinum soul singer John Legend and hip-hop’s greatest band The Roots, it only makes sense that celebrate the bands and artists that are maintaining the oftentimes forgotten art of live instrumentation. Here are five of our favorites.

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