Legendary by Amber Art & Design featuring Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Photo by Steve Weinik.

About the Project 

In 2013, Mural Arts honored the homegrown hip hop trailblazers, cultural icons, and GRAMMY® Award winners, The Roots. From founders Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson’s humble beginnings at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), to their staggering thirteen recorded albums, to an endless overseas touring schedule, and their current position as house band on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on NBC, The Roots have influenced generations of artists locally, nationally, and globally.

The mural is located at 512 S. Broad Street, on the World Communications Charter School, not far from CAPA, where The Roots were founded.

Mural Dedication in May, 2013. Photo by Steve Weinik.

The first meeting with the artists was amazing; we shared ideas of what the final mural could end up looking like. It’s beyond anything Tariq and I ever dreamed of, and to have it along South Street, near the same corners we were kicked off of for playing our music is fantastic.

- Questlove

After a national open call for artists, Mural Arts selected a group of Philadelphia artists to create the mural.  The artistic team, known as Amber Art and Design featuring Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, includes artists lead artist, Ernel Martinez, Charles Barbin, Willis Humphrey, and Keir Johnston.

Legendary is a part of the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection, a curated collection of Mural Arts murals that capture the rich African American experience in Philadelphia. The collection, narrated by Questlove, provides in-depth, engaging information about the murals’ themes and surrounding communities.

Project Photos 

  • In September 2012, artist Ernel Martinez traveled to New York to watch The Roots rehearse and gather inspiration for the mural design. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • This photo was incorporated into the mural design. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • This photo was incorporated into the mural design. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Questlove's Legendary studio space at 30 Rockefeller Center. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • The mural design was unveiled in October, 2012.

  • The Roots helped paint the mural at the design unveiling. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Painting activity at The Roots Picnic in 2012. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Chill Moody and artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh at The Roots Picnic in 2012. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Mural Dedication in May, 2013. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Mural Dedication in May, 2013. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Programming Partners 

Little Giant Media, two.one.five magazine

Events Funder 

Heineken