Thursday, June 24, 2010
When The Roots signed on to be Jimmy Fallon's house band, I'll admit I pouted a bit. How could these bamf hip-hop positive poets with sick style & mad beats go to latenight TV?
I'll tell you why.
When you're the houseband, the booking agent becomes your bestie. You hookup with all the live acts who moonlight for their 5 minute sets. Then when you want to make another record, you just mass text Yim Yames, Joanna Newsom, Patty Crash, and some of the chickiebabies from Dirty Projectors. They'll swing by the studio, lend their vocals or maybe remix some of their own tracks. Then they'll skip out into the smokey dusk with a little more street cred. Ain't no thang.
How I Got Over, The Roots Crew's ninth album, keeps their socio-political style while stretching their limbs. Black Thought's flinty, profound lyrics are augmented and approachable by Over's contributors. It makes for a softer album than Rising Down, but Questlove's tight production keeps their message wrapped up tight. In moments of tragedy, realism and cynicism - the groove is hopeful.
We should shine a light on. A light on.
The Roots f. Joanna Newsom // Right On