Which Artist Had the Best Run at Def Jam?

21. The Roots

Years on Def Jam: 2005-Present
Signature Def Jam Song: "How I Got Over" (2009)

Although they started as little more than a hip-hop cover band, The Roots gradually found their feet as progenitors of the boom bap for the conscious set. When Jay-Z became Def Jam's president one of his most underappreciated moves was that be brought the Roots over to Def Jam. But as Questlove once told us, "Jay-Z said, 'Nah man, if y'all do a record, I want y'all to do a real Roots record. Don't like figure out what Jay-Z wants because then I'ma look like the bad guy that killed y'all.'" After dropping some excellent albums on Def Jam, we're happy to say The Roots are alive and well.

Tags: the_roots
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