Last week it was announced that The Roots would be releasing their lucky 13th album, Undun, in December via Def Jam. Little was revealed about the record other than that it would be a “concept album.” Now, bandleader ?uestlove has revealed the topic of the record, the life of Redford Stevens, a man who died at the age of 25 in 1999. According to Questo:
“At this point in our career we’d like for our work to have a unifying theme, and an experiential quality,” says Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, 40. “We’ve been intentionally making our albums shorter in length so that they can be experienced as a continuous work. The music is band-oriented with an eye on the moody cinematic. As a DJ, I am the King of playlists, but I don’t want our albums to feel like a playlist or a mixtape for that matter. We want to tell stories that work within the album format and we want the stories to be nuanced and useful to people. undun is the story of this kid who becomes criminal, but he wasn’t born criminal. He’s not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner like Tupac’s character Bishop in Juice… he’s actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment… At the end of the day… isn’t that what we all do?”
The group also announced that the first single from Undun will be “Make My,” which features Big K.R.I.T. The single drops Nov. 1. Check the full tracklist for Undun after the jump.
When hip-hop mainstays The Roots became the house band for Jimmy Fallon‘s late night TV show in 2009, it was a safe bet that the bands recorded output would slow down. But that assumption was proven false when the group released 2010′s How I Got Over, and quickly followed it up with Wake Up!, a collection of classic soul covers recorded with John Legend that same year.
Now, ?uestlove and Co. are preparing to release their 13th proper studio album, Undun, on Dec. 6 on Def Jam. Details are slim so far. The only thing known is that Undun will be a “concept album” and is widely rumored to include a guest spot by post-dubstepper James Blake. …MORE
Remember just a few years ago when Ms. Lauryn Hill was an enigma? Now she’s everywhere, rocking out Coachella, doing a full U.S. tour, and dropping in on Jimmy Fallon to perform a revved up version of her classic, “Doo Wop (That Thing).”
Fallon has really been kicking late-night ass on the music guests. I guess having ?uestlove in your corner has a serious advantage. Too bad The Roots didn’t actually join Ms. Hill for this jam. Coulda used some tuba.
When was the last time you watched a clip of any musical guests on any late night talk show and thought anymore to yourself that “well that happened.” Third time in on this clip of Tyler the Creator of Odd Future performing “Sandwitches” on Fallon backed by The Roots and Hodgy and we’re still not sure what all is happening here. Partial synopsis: smoke machine, white Supreme sweatshirt, snow masks, zombie girl in hospital gown, mask off, sweatshirt off, Supreme hat on, Tuba Gooding Jr., Tyler jumping behind the couch, catching huge air, Fallon onstage, Tyler on Fallon, Mos Def sceaming “Swag!” like an overstimulated 12-year-old girl. XL Recordings might have a hit on their hands.
Watching this clip of ?uestlove buying CDs at LA’s Ameoba Music is mostly surprising because we assumed that Questo already owned every Grace Jones album ever made. Still, it’s a good reminder to get out and do some record shopping this weekend.