Good news is always welcome. Yet given the current state of affairs in this country of ours, these good news is especially welcome. Yesterday’s good news came courtesy of a Giddy Up America-favorite, Questlove.
In an interview with Hip Hop DX, Questlove said that the Roots have currently recorded 263 songs. 263! Last fall he had announced that the band had started working on a 17th album, their first since 2014’s …and then you shoot your cousin, but then Black Thought tossed a little cold water on the fire, saying that they weren’t looking to rush anything. So get excited, but not too excited.
But now you have permission to get kind of excited again because that’s a shit load of music from people known to make dope music.
The problem The Roots are currently facing is that they lost their long-time manager Richard Nichols in 20o14 when Nichols passed away.
“It’s still tentatively titled End Game,” he revealed. “The difference between this record and [the ones] that came before it was our longtime collaborator, who’s our manager and producer, is no longer with us. Usually, in that situation, [Nichols has] always been the centerpiece, the referee, between all the guys. So, this will be the first time we had to grow up and resolve our own arguments. But the one thing he was talented at was telling us to stop.”
End Game will have about 14 songs on it, meaning the boys have some editing to and some hard choices to make. Nichols was instrumental in helping the band do both. The band’s most recent release was “It Ain’t Fair,” featuring Bilal, which was featured on the Detroit soundtrack.
Prior to that, they provided the NBA Finals in 2016 with their anthem, the back-to-basics song “Champion.” The return to more traditional hip hop tendencies was kind of refreshing in the wake of ..and then you shoot your cousin, which had a Radiohead-meets-The Roots vibe. That sound worked at times, but was also sometimes off-putting and a let down. It’ll be interesting to see what End Game sounds like when it’s finally released.
In the meantime, here’s Giddy Up America’s official The Roots-Appreciation Playlist: