“They had first started there on Passyunk and South Street, that’s where they would go and do their singing at night,” said Councilman Mark Squilla. “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 actually planned to unveil the new street name in May around the time of The Roots Picnic. He wrote, “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.”
Activist Leroy McCarthy is the man who came up with the idea to name a street for The Roots. McCarthy first reached out to Squilla’s office about his idea last year. In 2019, McCarthy told OkayPlayer that he planned to get hip hop legends honored in their native cities.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Check out the new street name sign below.
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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