The Roots kicked off the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans on Sunday (Feb. 19) with a star-studded basketball musical called The Evolution of Greatness.
With the help of Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs, DJ Jazzy Jeff, actor Michael B. Jordan, Jidenna, Run D.M.C.‘s Darryl McDaniels and others, the Roots took over the Smoothie King Center to examine the history of the game.
“We live in a culture that has always been obsessed with one age-old question: who’s the best?” the Roots’ Black Thought said opening the number — which the band created — setting up an era-by-era look at basketball’s greatest players and the sport’s development over time.
McDaniels spoke with Billboard about the performance, highlighting its educational value for a younger generation who may not know about the NBA’s rich history.
“[The Roots] wanted to do something that wasn’t just based on the entertainment value,” he said. “While you’re entertaining people, you should be able to educate, inspire, motivate and teach, which is the basis of hip-hop.”
Watch The Roots’ musical The Evolution of Greatness here: