Are The Roots getting dark for the most wonderful time of the year?
The veteran hip-hop troupe and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" house band has lifted the curtain on their latest originals set, "undun," due on Dec. 6 in time for the holiday season. What makes it sound heavy is this: the 10-track set is The Roots' first concept record, based on the apparently fictional character Redford Stephens, "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,'" reads a release, with comments from ?uestlove. "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... Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun.”
Gather 'round, kids. It's a wonderful life.
Start with fresh arrival, "Make My," a wordy Machiavellian diversion with Big K.R.I.T, below.
This is The Roots' 13th album, and it comes on the heels of somewhat-uneven "Wake Up!," the band's collabo with John Legend released last year.
The Roots are playing New York's s Highline Ballroom on Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 5, plus have a stop at the Orlando Calling music fest on Nov. 11.
Here is the tracklist for "undun":
2. Make My
3. One Time
4. Kool On
5. The Jump
8. I Remember
9. Tip The Scale