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April 13, 2017

The Roots are creating an animated kid's series about South Philly

Philadelphia-born hip-hop legends The Roots have just about done it all at this stage of their career. As the soundtrack to "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," they've reached a level hip-hop could only have ever dreamed of when first starting out, and all the while they've never turned their backs on their, well, roots.

But the band's latest project — two, actually — is sure to generate excitement for longtime fans, some of whom may have kids and some who aren't above savoring the joys of being young.

According to Page Six, Tarik "Black Thought" Trotter and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson are teaming up on two children's series for Amazon Studios, one of which will be an animated show with a working title "South Street Sounds." From the report:

The animated series ... follows three friends growing up in the most musical of neighborhoods, where the birds tweet to a beat, every shop-keeper, pizza-maker and crossing guard dance perfectly in time, and having a bad day means literally singing the blues. The neighborhood inspires the kids the form a band called South Street Together. The series will be written by Becky Friedman and feature music by The Roots.

A second live-action series is also in the works, but no details on its subject matter were provided.

Trotter and Thompson will executive produce along with manager Shawn Gee of Philly Films and Brian Cher of Category 5 Entertainment. The series will stream through Amazon via Passyunk Productions. "South Street Sounds," written by Becky Friedman ("Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood"), will feature music from The Roots.

“Our love for music started as young kids, and we hope to inspire a generation of future artists, musicians and music fans through the stories we tell and the music they hear on these shows,” said Trotter.

No immediate timeline was given for the debut of either series.