The Roots’ hometown of Philadelphia is showing the musical collective brotherly love with a new honor. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, the city council named East Passyunk Avenue after the band, the street now adorning the sign Avenue of the Roots.
“They had first started there on Passyunk and South Street, that’s where they would go and do their singing at night,” Councilman Mark Squilla said. “Philadelphia is still a land of music and arts and culture, and the more we bring attention to it, the better we are.”
On Instagram, Questlove shared that the group planned to unveil and celebrate the moment in May but the surprise arrived early. “Really awesome to see the place we honed our skills and craft embrace us like this,” Questlove wrote. The ceremony will still take center stage in May.
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Welp this is very Philly: technically we were supposed to wait for the vote and then like in May come Picnic Time we’d have an unveiling w confetti & kool aid lol but cats was like “NOAP!!! WE FINNA PUT THIS JAWN UP NOW!!!!!”—-“ really awesome to see the place we honed our skills and craft embrace us like this. #Repost @whyy ・・・ Philadelphia government may never have gotten anything done this quickly before… . A stretch of East Passyunk just below South Street is being dedicated as “Avenue of The Roots” in honor of the famed Philadelphia hip hop group. A resolution to add the honorific was introduced Thursday in City Council by Councilmember Mark Squilla — and by Friday morning, the little red street sign was already installed. . . ✏️ @phillydesign 📸 @imagicdigital . . . #whyilovephilly #philly #philadelphia #phillyevents #visitphilly #discoverphl #phillypulse #peopledelphia #ourphilly #billypenngram #theroots #therootspicnic #phillymusic #phillyhistory #phillyblackpride
In a 2019 interview with OkayPlayer, Leroy McCarthy shared his plans to have hip-hop legends recognized in their native cities. That April, he revealed his plans to work with Philly’s council to honor The Roots which has now come to fruition. He’s also on a mission to have certain New York City’s rap pioneers receive a street-renaming ceremony.
“I’m trying to honor hip-hop in every borough. Moving forward, I’m trying to honor Beastie Boys in Manhattan. That’s pending. Biggie was successful in Brooklyn, Wu-Tang is successful in Staten Island. I initiated the honoring of Phife Dawg in Queens, and that was successful but I’m also really trying to get them to add to that same street pole, ‘A Tribe Called Quest Boulevard.’ So that’s hopefully in the works. I’m trying to assist the family of Big Pun to have a street named for him in the Bronx,” McCarthy said.