To call it "long-awaited" or "eagerly anticipated" would be the understatement of the year - as hip-hop's most daring pioneers the Roots release their ninth studio album (and third for Def Jam Recordings), How I Got Over. The album, which takes its name from Clara Ward's gospel classic (made popular by Mahalia Jackson), is the Roots' first new release since joining Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for a full time gig as the show's house band, and describe the album as "depicting the everyman's search for hope in this dispiriting post-hope zeitgeist". The lead single is "Dear God 2.0." The track re-imagines the Monsters Of Folk song "Dear God" and features MOF members Yim Yames from My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes and M. Ward. How I Got Over also includes two appearances from soul man John Legend: "Doin' It Again" a re-working of his track "Again," and "The Fire." Other guests include Joanna Newsom on "Right On," Phonte Coleman (Little Brother, The Foreign Exchange), Blu (Blu & Exile), Peedi Peedi , Mercedes Martinez, Icelandic alt-pop singer Patty Crash, newcomer Sugar Tongue Slim as well as long time Roots' Crew members Dice Raw, Truck North and P.O.R.N.More than two decades after ?uestlove and Black Thought first met under nefarious circumstances in the principal's office of Philadelphia's High School For the Creative and Performing Arts - and over fifteen years since the Roots recorded their indie debut album in 1993 - the group and its intelligent school of jazz-inflected hip-hop are more relevant than ever. Today's Roots are vocalist Black Thought and drummer ?uestlove, long-time keyboardist Kamal Gray (a member since 1996's Illadelph Halflife), Brooklyn-based guitarist Kirk "Captain Kirk" Douglas, percussionist Frank Knuckles (both members since 2003-2004's The Tipping Point sessions), Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson, who joined the lineup after touring with the band in 2007 and the bands newest member Owen Biddle on bass (a producer on the 2006 Game Theory sessions).
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