#QOTD: Forget Tousle-Gate, What Did the Roots Play for Donald Trump’s Tonight Show Walk-On?

It’s as perfect as one would expect.

Donald Trump with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Sept. 15, 2016
Donald Trump with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Sept. 15, 2016 YouTube screenshot

The world has been all abuzz about how Jimmy Fallon tousled Donald Trump’s hair Thursday night on The Tonight Show.

I wasn’t impressed for several reasons; see below for a few of them:

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I thought about trying to muster the outrage, then I realized that if I can live through Hillary Clinton’s “dab” and listen to her talk about having “hot sauce in her bag,” then I could make it through tousle-gate.

But I did have one gnawing question:

What did the Roots, my favorite band of all time, play for Donald Trump’s walk-on?

For those who don’t watch The Tonight Show, the Roots crew always plays a song that reflects something about the guest.

Roots drummer Questlove talks about this fan favorite in his book Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove:

When we had Salma Hayek on the show, rather than play “Mexican Radio” or even “Salmon Falls,” we did some Internet research and unearthed the theme song from the first Mexican soap opera she ever starred on, “Theresa.” She knew it faintly at first, or at least knew it was something she should know, and her eyes went wide when she figured out what it was. When Edward Norton was on, promoting “The Bourne Legacy,” we played Patrick Hernandez’s 1979 disco hit “Born to be Alive.” And we thought we had a great left-field pick when we played the Dave Matthews Band’s “The Space Between” for football player Michael Strahan, but somehow he knew it immediately.

And then there was the entrance-that-shall-not-be-named.

So what did the Roots crew play for Trump? *Drum roll, please.*

Erykah Badu’s “20 Feet Tall.” The lyrics include the following:

Then you, you built a wall
A 20 foot wall
So I couldn’t see
If I get off my knees I might recall I’m 20 feet tall

Perfect, yes?

Because, of course, the Orange One is going to build a YUGE wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.

Watch Badu perform “20 Feet Tall” below:

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Kirsten West Savali is a cultural critic and an associate editor at The Root. She was named to Ebony magazine’s 2015 “Power 100” list and awarded a 2015 Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship. Her provocative commentary explores the intersections of race, social justice, religion, feminism, politics and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter. 

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