Longtime Roots bassist Leonard “Hub” Hubbard (2021)


Leonard “Hubbard” Hubbard was the bassist of the famous hip-hop group The Roots from 1992 to 2007.

Musical career

Hubbard joined the Roots at the start of the band, when they were still called the Square Roots and had yet to release their debut album. He was trained in jazz and classical music, having studied at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and Carnegie Mellon University. It fits well with the Roots, who take an unusual approach to their hip-hop, mixing jazz influences as they play real instruments in concert and on their recordings. While playing in the Roots, Hubbard became known for his bass solos as well as the licorice root chewing stick that was always in his mouth. In 2007, Hubbard was named one of the Settlement 100 as the Settlement Music School celebrated notable alumni for its 100e birthday.

Hubbard at his first concert with the Roots

“They didn’t know me from Adam. Ahmir told me to do a solo, and when he saw that I was a virtuoso, he was like, “Oh, man, keep playing, keep playing. – from a 2007 interview for the Philadelphia Inquirer


Tribute to Leonard “Hub” Hubbard

Complete obituary: The Philadelphia Investigator

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