The Untold Truth Of The Roots - Grunge

While Black Thought and Questlove are seen as the official co-founders of the Roots and played in different versions of the band before it took its final name, other members contributed to the group’s success. One of these people was the late Leonard Hubbard, who played bass for the Roots from 1992 to 2007. Hubbard left the band after being diagnosed with blood cancer and died in 2021.

In March 2023, Rolling Stone published a report that Hubbard’s widow, Stephanie, had filed a lawsuit against several entities and individuals, including Questlove and Black Thought, alleging they had defrauded Hubbard. According to the claims, Hubbard, Questlove, Black Thought, and Malik Smart created a company for band business, whereby each of them held different stakes and percentages in the enterprise. However, throughout the years and various practices, Hubbard allegedly didn’t receive his fair share.

The Hubbard estate’s lawsuit claimed that the bassist was defrauded out of millions of dollars and not compensated based on what was agreed upon. In addition to the demand that the estate receive financial compensation for the damages and legal fees, a request was put in to freeze the use of the Roots’ brand as intellectual property until its true worth could be ascertained. However, in June, Hubbard’s widow dropped the lawsuit, although it’s unclear why as no news of a settlement was announced.