According to a press release just released today, The Roots are releasing their next album on December 6th a mere month and a half from now entitled undun. The album is a 10 track concept album about the life of “one Redford Stephens” (1974-1999).
This will be an interesting work and a welcome surprise for fans of The Roots although many questions still aren’t unveiled about the album such as who assumed the role of bassist on the project. Since the departure of Owen Biddle, bassist Mark Kelley has taken his place.
However, the new album undun makes no mention of who’s on bass and listing the band as “Black Thought (MC), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (drums), Kamal Gray (electronic keyboards), F. Knuckles (percussion), Captain Kirk Douglas (electronic guitar), Damon Bryson (sousaphone) and James Poyser (electronic keyboard)”. No bass.
But the focus here is a NEW ALBUM!! The concept album tells the story of Redford in reverse from his death to birth or as they’ve put it explores “the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out on the corner”. Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson goes into more detail indicating;
“At this point in our career we’d like for our work to have a unifying theme, and an experiential quality. 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?”
There’s also a sneak peek of the first single Make My featuring Big K.R.I.T. was made available at SoundCloud at http://soundcloud.com/okayplayer/the-roots-make-my-featuring. So for now, it’s time to look forward to new music from The Roots and figure out the details later!
2. Make My
3. One Time
4. Kool On
5. The Jump
8. I Remember
9. Tip The Scale