The Roots Will Back Jay-Z . . . Backwards
The Roots and Jay-Z will make beautiful music together . . . again. After backing the "retired" emcee for both his 'Unplugged' set and his 2003 Madison Square Garden concert, the group will again provide the live instrumentation when Jay-Z returns to the stage on June 25 at Radio City Music Hall.
While Jay has divulged only that the event will be for the "purist" and fans of his seminal 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt, Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson says the collective has a few surprises in store.
"In New York, you always have to outdo yourself, so we thought of a very unique way to execute these songs," he told us Thursday at AOL Music's New York studio. "It will be my most challenging task yet, because I'm not just dealing with my element."
Any special guests? Lights, fireworks? Thompson is taking a turn from his new boss and staying tight-lipped, but we did get one tidbit out of him: Songs on the album will be performed in reverse order.
"After listening to ['Reasonable Doubt'] a few times, I noticed that the strong singles were in the beginning and the moodier stuff was at the end. I don't know how that's gonna translate live. However, once I played the album backwards from 'Regrets' to 'Can't Knock the Hustle,' that seemed like a stronger show."
If you're thinking of attending, forget about it: All 3,000 seats sold out in less than two minutes.
"I don't even have tickets," Thompson joked. "I'm gonna phone in my work from home."