The Roots Unveil ‘How I Got Over’ in New York
Last night, New York City was blessed by the legendary Roots crew beyond their nightly in-house band duties for 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.' The hip-hop band was hosting their first listening session at Legacy Studios for their ninth full-length studio album, 'How I Got Over,' an album reminiscent of 2002's 'Phrenology' with obvious natural progression.
"Contemporary" is the word that comes to mind when first hearing 'How I Got Over.' Not to suggest they've gone adult contemporary, but rather, it's the inevitable growth of a band who, after originally busting on to the scene with their crossover success, is now relishing in the collective genius of the entire group. Even friend and co-worker Jimmy Fallon was in attendance to support the Roots, eagerly awaiting to see what the select few in the media thought of their latest effort. 'How I Got Over' will undoubtedly be well-received, probably more so than 'Phrenology,' as the landscape of hIp-hop has significantly changed since then.
Here is the general rundown of 'How I Got Over':
1. 'Walk Alone' (feat. Truck North, Porn, Dice Raw, Mercedes Martinez):
This opening track follows a smoothed out intro and keeps the melodic momentum going in this neo-soul cut with former Jazzyfatnastees front woman Mercedes Martinez.
2. 'Dear God 2.0' (feat. Jim James, MOF):
This lead single is a reinvention of the Monsters of Folk classic 'Dear God,' only slightly darker and more intense than the original.
3. 'Radio Daze' (feat. Blu, Porn, Dice Raw, Mercedes Martinez):
A mellow Bass-heavy movement with Blu as the official scene stealer.
4. 'Now Or Never' (feat. Phonte Coleman, Dice Raw):
Modestly mature track with the quietly desperate hook, "Gotta get my shit together / it's now or never".
5. 'How I Got Over' (feat. Dice Raw):
The first leaked track and video off 'How I Got Over,' is jungle-tinged with jazz sensibility.
6. 'The Day' (feat. Blu, Phonte Coleman, Patty Crash):
This track resembles the 'Phrenology' cut 'Sacrifice' featuring Nelly Furtado, but with Blu's opening verse setting the stage for the whole song, as new school Roots affiliate Patty Crash provides a soulfully edgy hook.
7. 'Right On' (feat. Joanna Newsom, Sugar Tongue Slim):
Andy Samberg's girlfriend, pianist and singer/songwriter Joanna Newsom assists this thumping track with newcomer Sugar Tongue Slim, who sounds like a cross between Cypress Hill and the Pharcyde.
8. 'Doin It Again' (feat. John Legend):
A signature Roots sounding track, where John Legend sings the hook in a slightly rockier way than we're used to.
9. 'The Fire' (feat. John Legend, Rick Friedrich):
This keys-heavy closing track screams 'victory!' in its uplifting and triumphant production.
Bonus Cut #1:
A cypher meets posse cut amidst DJ scratched production, like the soundtrack to a schoolyard.
Bonus Cut #2:
Sugar Tongue Slim is on the hook and lends a verse to this song probably titled 'Hustler,' since STS repeats it throughout the cut along with "I hope my baby girl grows up to be a hustler."