As co-frontman for the legendary hip-hop group The Roots, Questlove’s huge afro and extensive knowledge of music is well known. But after finding out his DNA ancestry, the Philly native was inspired to do some research of his own. Ancestors from both his mother’s and father’s side are from the Mende tribe in Sierra Leone. While the country’s political strife and history of violence is well chronicled, Questlove was determined to find out more about his homeland in Africa.
8. Black Thought
Black Thought grew up on the gritty streets of Philadelphia and found a home as rapper and co-frontman for the hip-hop group The Roots. Born Tarik Trotter, the Philly native found out he has even more in common with his fellow bandmate Questlove. After having his DNA analyzed, it was revealed Black Thought’s mother’s ancestors hail from the Mende tribe in Sierra Leone, just like Questlove. His family roots also extend to the Mandinka tribe of Senegal.
As one-fourth of the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip has always infused Jazz, blues and funk with hip-hop. Repping Queens, NY and more specifically Linden Blvd., Q-Tip can now proudly claim another place to call home. DNA testing revealed Q-Tip’s ancestors on his mother’s side hail from the Jola tribe in Guinea-Bissau and his ancestry plays an important role in his musical career. The tribe was known for creating an instrument called the lute, the precursor to the banjo, which led to the creation of the blues.