John Legend and The Roots will team up for a new project titled Wake Up!
The album, due for a September release, will feature soulful music from the '60s and '70s, all with an underlying theme of awareness, engagement and consciousness.
Finding inspiration in 2008's US Presendital election campaign, Legends and The Roots felt a need to enter the action, with plans for a single quickly evolving into a full blown album.
The resulting album features eleven profoundly evocative songs infused with sounds of gospel, rock and reggae inflections with hip-hop influences. The album is highlighted by familiar tracks like “Wholly Holy” by Marvin Gaye and “Little Ghetto Boy” by Donny Hathaway mixed with the more obscure selections of Baby Huey and the Babysitters’ “Hard Times,” and “Hang on in There” by Mike James Kirkland.
Bringing John Legend and The Roots together is an inspired pairing, so logical that it’s a little surprising they haven’t teamed up in a proper collaboration before.
Legend is a six-time Grammy winner whose three albums have all hit #1 on the Billboard R&B charts, and who has collaborated with such artists as Kanye West, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and the Black Eyed Peas.
The Roots – currently visible nightly as the stupendously versatile house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon – have released nine acclaimed studio albums (including the recent How I Got Over) and redefined the relationship between live instruments and hip-hop.
Wake Up! is slated to be released on September 24.