FRIDAY

You got the feeling upon the release of the Roots’ seventh album, The Tipping Point, that the Philly band was gonna get some hiphop lifetime-achievement award from Russell Simmons or Dick Clark. You know, the kind you get when you’re respected by backpackers but ignored by 14-year-old mall rats. It’s an odd sort of achievement that even the band acknowledges: worshipped enough to remain relevant but not enough for platinum sales, boutique clothing lines, or Eminem-sized controversies. In a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, drummer, producer, mastermind, and Chappelle’s Show guest Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson bitched that after 12 years in the underground, he was sick of being considered a novelty act—he just wanted a hit record. He added to the Believer last year that he knows he’s respected, but just wants to be loved. So what can we do? Offer Thompson a Source commemorative plate? A shrine at Fatbeats? A Spike Lee soundtrack? Of course, he deserves much better. He deserves us. Not only because he’s proved one of the best thinkers in hiphop, but because he’s dabbled in jazz, put out an amazing soul-for-the-bedroom comp titled Babies Makin’ Babies, and even managed to make John Mayer cool. So we can show up for Thompson’s latest nonpop experiment—a video-projection project with the drummer DJ-ing lost gems against pomo images produced by locals Dissident Display and tunes from Prince channeler Raheem DeVaughn—at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 30, on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Jason Cherkis)